Barry Smith and the Future of Flight Foundation
As a boy Barry Smith lived near Paine Field and was fascinated with the airplanes he saw taking off and landing there. He grew up to be a banker but eventually combined his finance skills with his love of aviation. In 1995 he formed an endowment committee for the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and he continued for many years volunteering his time and talents for the Museum. He also maintained strong community connections in Snohomish County, serving as President of the City of Everett Parks Commission and as co-chair of the city’s Shoreline Access Committee. In 2001 an idea he had cherished for many years began to come to life: an aviation-themed exhibit and conference center incorporating a new Boeing Tour facility.
As this concept was becoming a reality, in late 2003 Mr. Smith formalized his contribution to that effort by incorporating the Friends of the Aviation Museum and Conference Center at the National Flight Interpretive Center (NFIC). This organization would change its name several times in the next few years, reflecting changes in the name of the project. On September 22, 2004, it became The NFIC Foundation. On July 18, 2005, it filed amended articles of incorporation that renamed the organization Future of Flight, drawing on the new name for the facility that the County had approved a few months previously.
On June 20, 2007, the nonprofit became the Future of Flight Foundation. In late 2015 the Board Of Directors decided to rebrand the organization as Institute of Flight, which emphasizes its growing education program and the educational mission of the facility’s exhibit gallery.