New chairman of Sun ’n Fun named

Following the retirement of long-time Sun ’n Fun chairman Bill Eickhoff, the Sun ’n Fun board of directors has elected Bob Knight, president of Knight Industrial Equipment of Lakeland, Fla., as the new chairman.

Eickhoff served as chairman for the past 28 years at Sun ’n Fun.

Pictured L to R: Bob Knight, Bill Eickhoff, John Burton and Lites Leenhouts

Knight assumes the chairmanship after serving on the board for the past 10 years, most recently as its vice-chairman. He has been a highly engaged member of the board serving, among many duties, as the Chairman of the Board’s Master Site Planning Committee, which has overseen significant development in Sun ’n Fun’s educational mission culminating last year in the dedication of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy on its year-round campus and the current construction of the Piedmont Aerospace & Technology Laboratory addition to its Florida Air Museum’s Tom Davis Educational Center.

“The entire Sun ’n Fun organization is eternally grateful to Bill Eickhoff for his remarkable dedication to the vision and potential of Sun ’n Fun and the role it plays in the economy of Central Florida and in its mission to inspire and educate people of all ages through involvement in aviation,” Knight said. “Bill and Suzy Eickhoff were among the Sun ’n Fun pioneers who cleared the Florida wilderness on south side of Lakeland airport starting in 1978, driven by a common passion for aviation and a commitment to share the sense of achievement and inspiration that comes from taking control of an airplane.”

Knight will immediately assume the key leadership role of the board and its newly elected executive officers consisting of Bob Beaty, Vice-Chairman; Pat Phillips, Secretary; and Ed Cooley, Treasurer.

Knight will also serve as board contact for Sun ’n Fun’s new President & CEO John R. “Lites” Leenhouts who was selected by the board this past July to lead the year-round staff and extensive volunteer base of Sun ’n Fun. Leenhouts filled the leadership position of Sun ’n Fun vacated by John Burton who assumed the role of president of Sun ’n Fun’s Florida Air Museum and its education programs.

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