The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is thrilled to announce Dennis Dunbar as the new Director of Air Shows and Attractions.
Dunbar brings more than 20 years of air show management experience to SUN ‘n FUN. He has been involved in organizing hundreds of air shows and numerous other aerial events, ranging from fleet weeks to Super Bowls. Most recently, Dennis just wrapped up another record setting year at AirVenture, where he was responsible for the air show at the annual convention of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the last 10 years.
Dunbar currently serves as the Chairman of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Board of Directors. Prior to his term on the ICAS board, he chaired the Event Organizers Safety and Operations Committee and continues to instruct numerous educational seminars throughout the industry. "Dennis brings valuable industry experience to SUN ‘n FUN," said Rick Garcia, President/CEO of Gulf Coast Avionics, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Aerospace Center for Excellence. Rick added, "His reputation as a leader in air show entertainment, education and safety is a perfect fit as we engage, educate, and accelerate the next generation of aerospace professionals."
When asked how his experience at Oshkosh will benefit SUN ‘n FUN, Dunbar said, "Our goal isn't to create an Oshkosh in Florida, but to create a culture that focuses on people first and encourages everyone to play a role in becoming the best SUN ‘n FUN we can be. As the Director of Air Shows and Attractions, I have an awesome opportunity to empower and support our volunteers so we can foster a low stress, safe, and entertaining event where our aviation friends and family can come together to be inspired and enjoy the camaraderie of flight."
Dunbar began his aviation adventure back in high school by pumping gas at the local airport to help pay for his flight training before enrolling at Indiana State University where he graduated with a degree in Professional Pilot Technology. After graduation, he stayed in Terre Haute where he worked as the Chief Flight Instructor, FBO manager and ultimately the airport director. It was here that Dunbar was able to realize his childhood goal, and produced his first large air show at the age of 25. He then spread his wings and began to produce air shows and other aviation events nationwide.
Gene Conrad, President and CEO of ACE and SUN ‘n FUN, stated, "I've worked side by side with Dennis for the last 10 years as a volunteer at EAA AirVenture and in my role I have had the unique opportunity to watch Dennis use his passion and creativity to elevate the entertainment aspect of AirVenture to new heights. I have also witnessed Dennis' unwavering love and dedication to the volunteers, performers and kids of all ages that make events like ours special. We are fortunate to have Dennis join our team and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work as our 49th annual SUN ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo is just a short eight months away!"
When asked his thoughts on this new opportunity, Dunbar stated, "It is great to come to SUN ‘n FUN and collaborate with an incredible team to revolutionize the air show spectator experience. I'm just as excited for what's in store behind the ‘crowd line' as we enhance existing elements and create new guest experiences in an effort to develop additional features and attractions designed to keep our guests entertained as they experience this amazing event." Dennis went on to say, "Personally, as the father of two children raised in Florida, getting back to the sunshine state to support the mission of ACE and SUN ‘n FUN, and the noble work this organization does to help create the next generation of aerospace professionals is something that is also deeply important to me."