I knew the day would come to talk about Charlie Spence. He was a signal force in General Aviation public relations. He was once my daunting competitor. Later, he was a warm and encouraging friend — as he was to so many.
Charlie and I each held the same two top PR jobs in GA: From 1963 to 1968, Charlie represented the Utility Airplane Council (predecessor to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.) I was at GAMA about 12 years later. And we were both senior vice president for public relations/communications at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Charlie held forth from 1968 to the mid-1980s. I signed on in 1991.