WINDSOR LOCKS, CONN. — Michael P. Speciale, Executive Director of the New England Air Museum (NEAM), has announced his retirement as of Dec. 1. He has been executive director for 29 years and has led the museum’s transformation from a small one-hangar museum recovering from the effects of a tornado in 1979, to a major cultural, educational, and historical institution serving a world-wide audience.
Scott Ashton, president of the NEAM Board of Directors, said “Mike has been an enthusiastic and dedicated leader of the museum for nearly 30 years. Over that period, Mike has led our steady expansion and has made NEAM an important part of New England Tourism. We are very grateful for Mike’s leadership and dedication to the mission of the New England Air Museum.”
Ashton continued, “Under Mike’s leadership, the museum has built on Connecticut’s deep aviation legacy and now houses one of the world’s finest collection of aviation artifacts. We have embarked on a strategy to leverage those artifacts to engage the next generation of scientists, engineers, pilots, and astronauts to continue our nation’s legacy of exploration through innovative and hands-on education programs and events to engage and inspire diverse audiences. With the development of programs such as Soar for Science, Women Take Flight, and Voices of Pride, Mike has made the Museum an important part of the community. Further, our restoration programs are world-class and include special and unique aircraft such as our B-29, which serves as a memorial to World War II’s 58th Bomb Wing.”
The New England Air Museum, located at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks, is the largest aviation museum in the Northeast. Founded in 1959, and in its current location since 1981, NEAM’s mission is to present the story of aviation, the human genius that made it possible and the profound effects that it has had on the way we live.
The Board of Directors has initiated a search process and has engaged Third Sector New England to assist in the executive search and leadership transition process.