SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In Names New Executive Director at Aerospace Center for Excellence

Lakeland, FL: The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is proud to welcome its new Executive Director, Ed Young. Hailing from the State of Kansas, Young’s background as a pilot, flight instructor, attorney, professor, conflict resolution specialist and experienced public safety official will be utilized starting day one as he takes the helm of ACE. The success of the organization has become nationally recognized as a leader in addressing the aerospace industry’s shortage of professionals and it was the opportunity to grow its programs that interested Young to make the move to Lakeland, Florida.

Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, ACE is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo fundraising event as well as the Aerospace Discovery Museum which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center.  “We are thrilled to have the skills and capabilities in both the worlds of aviation and education that Ed brings to our organization, “ said John “Lites” Leenhouts, President & CEO of SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In.

Young started his career in local government serving as a city administrator, county administrator and county counselor for three Midwestern communities. He was appointed Director of Aviation for the state of Kansas in 2003. During his tenure, the State received several National awards. Since 2013, he has been in the private sector consulting on various airport and state aviation system planning projects.

Young worked as an instructor for Kansas State University Polytechnic in the airport management program, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in a variety of subjects. Young also has a significant public safety background, receiving recognition as both a police and fire instructor. He received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration, and Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas. He also has a certificate in Airport Safety and Risk Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Young is currently the President of the Fly Kansas Foundation and the Past President of the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education. He is a founding member of the Clyde Cessna Homestead Preservation Board.

This past October, Young was recognized with the title of Distinguished Flight Instructor as part of the 2018 AOPA Flight Training Experience Survey. He is a commercial pilot with single-engine land and sea, multi-engine land, certified flight instructor with instrument, multi-engine flight instructor and remote airman ratings.

“Every time I teach a student to fly, I look back and relive those memories. It’s a huge change in someone’s life,” Young said. “I am excited to join the Aerospace Center for Excellence because its programs and scholarships change the lives of 30,000 students a year by engaging them to all the aerospace career possibilities they can pursue as well as preserving the legacy of aviation”.

About Aerospace Center for Excellence, Inc.:

The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps and scholarships aimed at preparing students for tomorrow’s aerospace challenges. Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo fundraising event as well as the Aerospace Discovery Museum which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center. ACE is the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and delivers youth programs that engage over 30,000 students a year. For more information, www.ACEedu.aero.

About SUN ‘n Fun Fly-In, Inc.:

SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages. Year round events, including the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo which is one of the world’s largest of its kind, raise funds for the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In annually raises over $2M for ACE enabling the delivery of STEM-related and aerospace education programs engaging over 30,000 youth each year. Additionally, ACE manages and allocates up to $430K/year in aerospace scholarships. For more information, www.flysnf.org.