CHANDLER, Ariz. — A new president and vice president have been elected to the board of directors for the COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo, the fourth largest fly-in in the nation. Every October, COPPERSTATE is held at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ) in Casa Grande, Ariz., located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.
Stephen Bass of was appointed president, and Dee Grimm was appointed vice president to fill the balance of the remaining terms of both offices.
Bass takes over for Mike Still, who has served as president of the board of directors since 2008. Still began volunteering for the fly-in & aviation expo in 2006, joining the board of directors as secretary in 2007.
Grimm takes over the vice president spot from Mike Clifton, who has volunteered for the fly-in since 2001. After one year, Clifton was nominated and accepted to the board of directors, where he has held several positions since then — exhibitor chairman, treasurer and, most recently, vice president. He also has performed general fly-in manager duties.
Bass’s involvement with the fly-in began four years ago as chairman of the light sport and ultralight committee. After one event, he was nominated to the board and appointed to fill a two-year position as vice president.
Grimm’s involvement dates back to the late 1990s, when he and other members of his EAA chapter worked the sign-in desk. At the time, the fly-in was held at Mesa-Gateway Airport. In 2001, his warbird squadron (20) was reactivated, and Grimm began representing that group — something he continued to do when the fly-in was moved to Phoenix Regional Airport and finally, to Casa Grande Municipal Airport. After one year at the Case Grande venue, he was appointed warbird chairman. Two years ago, Grimm joined the board of directors.
Moving forward, Bass says he hopes to see “significant growth” in the areas of vendors/exhibitors, educational forums and youth aviation education. “Of course, we also wish to see a substantial increase in the number of patrons visiting the fly-in each year,” he said.
For Grimm’s part, he’d like to see the fly-in sustain its reputation — as a gathering place for vendors and pilots to educate and assist each other, and as a venue for further the activity and safety of general aviation.
“I’d also like to see a return of the air show,” he points out. “I know this would take a strong, knowledgeable volunteer — but, I’m sure it would be worth a try to find one.”
When asked their motivation for accepting these highest-level board positions, both Bass and Grimm said the fly-in’s stellar reputation and mission to promote aviation were factors.
“I wanted to carry on the fine tradition of organization and management demonstrated by our outgoing president, Mike Still,” Bass says. “COPPERSTATE Fly-In, Inc. has been fine-tuning and maximizing the efficiency of our fly-in to continue to promote aviation learning. We also desire to educate and encourage younger people to consider a career in an area of aeronautics.”
Grimm says his main reason for taking over as vice president was to assist in continuing the viability of the activity.
“I think it’s a worthwhile venture, and I get quite a bit of satisfaction from participating with the talented and involved group that leads the fly-in,” he says. “It’s a fun thing. While I have the time, energy and mental capability, I hope to continue working with COPPERSATE in some capacity.”
For more information: Copperstate.org