Five Outstanding Leaders Added to the Board of Trustees

The NAHF mission Inspiring future generations through the accomplishments of America’s aerospace pioneers, heroes and leaders” will be greatly advanced by five outstanding additions to the Board of Trustees.

(Dayton, Ohio – April 17, 2012)  The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) today announced the addition of five outstanding aviation Leaders to their Board of Trustees.  The five are retired Army four star General Richard “Dick” Cody, 2011 NAHF Enshrinee Harry Robertson, attorney Geraldine Carolan, Air Force acquisition expert Frances Duntz and financial professional Mark Sparling.

The Chairman of the Board of the NAHF, Phil Roberts said, “We are delighted to add such men and women of accomplishment and character to our Board of Trustees.  Each of these significant individuals brings their skills and talents to our Board and will allow us to continue to Inspire, Honor and Educate future generations through the accomplishments of America’s aerospace pioneers, heroes and leaders. These great men and women will allow us to fulfill our Congressional charter and vision that Every American Youth Learns Lessons from our Aerospace Heroes, while additionally establishing the Dayton headquarters of the NAHF on a firm financial foundation.”

General Richard “Dick” Cody retired as the Army Vice Chief of Staff in 2008.  A 1972 graduate of the US Military Academy he spent 27 of his 36 years in troop assignments.  With over 5,000 flight hours he is an Army master aviator rated in the UH-1, OH-58, AH-1, AH-6, AH-64A Apache, AH64D Longbow and the MH-60K.  As a Lieutenant Colonel, Dick led his Apache battalion into Iraq to fire the first shots of Operation Desert Storm to eliminate two critical enemy radar sites prior to the air war campaign.  Never was his contributions to the Army greater than during the period following September 11, 2001, when as the G-3/5/7 and then the Vice Chief of Staff, Dick led the most sweeping transformation in the Army and the Aviation branch since the dawn of mechanized warfare.  No individual has had a greater impact on the Army and the Aviation branch in the 21st century than General Richard Cody!

S. Harry Robertson entered the Air Force in 1956 after working his way through Arizona State University.  As a military pilot, Harry participated in the investigation of six military aircraft accidents. Fatal, post-crash fires were particularly vexing to Harry.  He spent many thoughtful hours theorizing methods to greatly reduce the crash fire hazard.  Harry left the Air Force in 1960, although he continued to fly with the Arizona Army and Air National Guard, and joined the Phoenix, AZ based Aviation Safety Engineering & Research Division of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) to conduct his crashworthy fuel system research. Harry knew if research could define the way aircraft came apart in a crash, a practical fuel system could be designed to survive the impact. Over the next ten years Harry and his colleagues crash-tested over 40 full-sized aircraft and hundreds of newly designed crashworthy devices, amassing critical data and knowledge.  In 1968, as the war in Vietnam raged on, the painstaking research and development began to show results. After leaving the FSF in 1970 he formed a crash research laboratory at Arizona State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, formed Robertson Research Group and formed Robertson Aviation to design, develop and produce crashworthy fuel systems and related components.  In April 1970 the first new crashworthy fuel system was installed in the Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter. Once the Army decided to convert all of their helicopters to the new fuel-systems, the Air Force, Navy, and Marines quickly followed suit.  Prior to the use of the crashworthy fuel systems pioneered and developed by Harry and his colleagues, 42% of all deaths in U.S. Army helicopter crashes were caused by fire.  Since the introduction of the Crashworthy Fuel System into military helicopters, post-crash fire deaths have virtually been eliminated.  Crashworthy Robertson Fuel Systems, nicknamed by military users as “Robbie Tanks”, have gone beyond saving lives in civilian and military aircraft types around the world. Today Robertson technology is also being integrated into in military ground vehicles, such as tanks and Humvees, and high-performance racecars. To use Harry’s words, “There’s no reason for someone to survive a crash – and then die in a fire.”   In recognition of this pilot and pioneering engineer’s tireless devotion to aviation safety the National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrined Harry in 2011.

Geraldine P. Carolan has a long and distinguished legal career in labor relations and human resources.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina and her Juris Doctor, cum laude from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington.  She spent twenty-four years in the airline industry working for Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines while most recently working for Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is a strategic executive and proactive business partner with notable success in developing legal and employee relations strategies that achieve company objectives while promoting a high level of employee morale.  She is known and respected for building a foundation of mutual respect and trust with company’s senior leaders, union leaders and staff.  She has the ability to develop creative solutions for difficult problems in adversarial and pressured situations.  Geraldine is an avid volunteer and has provided her time and efforts to Catholic Relief Services, Delta’s CARE program, she led Catholic Charities Kosovo refugee resettlement efforts in Peachtree City, Georgia and founded a group of airline employees who accompanied orphaned children traveling to their adoptive parents from India, Vietnam and Korea.

Frances A. Duntz earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia and her Masters in Business Administration from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio.  She has also graduated from Executive Leadership programs at Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University and Leadership at the Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  She currently provides expert consultation to defense corporations, government entities, municipal and educational institutions regarding acquisition, procurement, and logistics strategies, corporate-level planning, program performance assessment, and leadership and workforce development.  From 1988-2008, she held the following positions for the US Air Force and DoD: the Executive Director of the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA; for the Air Force Materiel Command, Aeronautical Systems Center and Air Force Acquisition Logistics Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH as Director or Deputy Director of multiple programs; and Deputy Director of the F-15 System Program Office at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA.

Mark J. Sparling earned a Bachelor of Science in Business (Accounting) degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio graduating Summa Cum Laude.  He began his career with Deloitte Haskins and Sells in Dayton, Ohio and attained the CPA designation in 1984.  He is currently the Controller for LADD Industries, LLC in Kettering, Ohio.  Mark was previously on the founding team of Columbus, Ohio-based Skybus Airlines, America’s first Ultra Low Cost Carrier, as Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer.  Mark was the Controller for PSA Airlines in Vandalia, Ohio from 1995 to 2004, and Controller for Mauch Laboraties, Inc, in Moraine, Ohio from 1985 to 1995.  Mark is currently a Captain (Supply Corps) with the US Navy Reserve, and has served with the Navy for 27 years.  He was recalled to active duty in 2009-2010 as the Director of Resources and Requirements (Comptroller) on the staff of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, tasked to counter violent extremist organizations in the Horn of Africa.

Bill Harris, President of the Board of Trustees for the NAHF said, “It is an honor and a privilege to add such noteworthy aviation professionals like General Dick Cody, Harry Robertson, Geraldine Carolan, Fran Duntz and Mark Sparling to our Board of Trustees.  The addition of Dick, Harry, Geraldine, Fran and Mark, will allow the National Aviation Hall of Fame to continue to fulfill our motto of “Where Legends Land….and Dreams Take Flight”  while supporting our core values of:

  • Protecting and Perpetuating the Legacy of NAHF Enshrinees
  • Commitment to Education
  • National Service and Investment
  • Passionately Advancing Aerospace.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame invites you to participate in our 2012 Enshrinement activities the weekend of October 5th-7th in Dayton, Ohio.  Please see our web site at for details.

The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964.  Its mission is to honor America’s outstanding air and space pioneers, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring free admission to the public, interactive exhibits, youth education programs, its annual enshrinement ceremony, national merit awards, and other public outreach programs.


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