Board of Directors
The Future of Flight Foundation’s volunteer board of directors embodies community support for the organization, determines its goals and priorities, and helps secure the means to pursue its mission. Over the years the board has become stronger in each of these roles. In addition to solid representation from Snohomish County and The Boeing Company, the board has benefited from a significant expansion of support from local and regional business, education, and community leaders.
Short biographies of current board members are available at http://www.futureofflight.org/meet-our-board-of-directors.
As 2006 began, the board members were the same as in 2005. During 2006 Lynn Nixon (Global Education Program Manager for Agilent Technologies) joined the board. In September Howard Johnson stepped down from his position, and in November the vacancy was filled by Jane Kilburn, Director of Public Affairs for the Port of Seattle. Also in November, Jack Jones (Director, Everett Field Operations and Delivery) took over the Boeing ex officio position, and Airport Director Dave Waggoner had begun participating as Paine Field’s ex officio representative in place of Bill Lewallen. On July 20 former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel was named an Honorary Director.
Over the next several years the Foundation’s bylaws provisions concerning the composition of the board were modified from time to time. At its January 17, 2006, meeting, the board approved two amendments: increasing the maximum board size to eleven and introducing staggered terms. The bylaws now provided that the terms of the “initial directors” would end on the following schedule:
Position #1 – Melanie Jordan 12/31/06
Position #2 – Erik Nelson 12/31/07
Position #3 – Howard Johnson 12/31/07
Position #4 – John Quinlivan 12/31/08
Position #5 – Dan Rahkonen 12/31/08
The bylaws amendment also provided that Director #4 could serve an additional, successive three-year term, and the other directors could serve two additional, successive two-year terms.
At its March 15, 2007 meeting, the board approved amending the bylaws to reflect that ex officio members were voting members and to delete the Museum of Flight’s representation on the board. In the fall of 2008 the Foundation’s bylaws were amended to increase the possible number of directors to twenty-four. In January 2013 a bylaws revision was approved so that the number of directors would be no less than five and as many as twenty-four.
Under subsequent amendments, the current bylaws include two provisions about the board’s composition. Section 3.2 provides that specified entities may appoint regular directors, as follows:
- 1 director appointed by and currently a member of the Executive Branch of Snohomish County;
- 1 director appointed by and currently part of the County’s Legislative Branch;
- 1 director appointed by the County who is a current resident of or employed in the county (but not a County employee);
- 1 director appointed by the Northwest Director of Global Corporate Citizenship of The Boeing Company.
These appointed directors are not eligible to be officers of the corporation. If the Snohomish County Airport Director is appointed to the board under Section 3.2, then the ex officio member slot described in Section 3.8.a will not be filled. If the Boeing Tour’s Senior Leader is appointed under Section 3.2, then the ex officio slot described in Section 3.8.b will not be filled.
Section 3.8 pertains to ex officio representatives on the board. The “following stakeholders in the Future of Flight Foundation may each appoint ex officio members as follows”:
- a.Snohomish County Government: one member from the Snohomish County Airport;
- b.The Boeing Company: one member from senior leadership at the Boeing Tour, to be appointed by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Communications Department.
Ex officio representatives to the board have no vote and are not eligible for officer positions.
The terms of regular board members are nominally three years. A newly elected member “will join the board on the date selected” but the three years does not begin to run until the “date of the annual board retreat following their election,” which is usually in January. Directors may not serve more than two successive terms, with the exception that “the President may serve one additional year at the end of their [sic] second term when serving as president in the last year of their second term.”
At the end of 2015 the board of directors had seventeen regular members and two ex officio representatives. In addition, the board had established emeritus positions for Mr. Drewel and four former, long-time board members: John Quinlivan, Bill Stafford, Dan Rahkonen, and Tom Sanger.
As the size of the board gradually increased from 2006 through 2015, the interests, perspectives, skills, and talents of its membership expanded significantly. For the first few years of the nonprofit’s existence the board necessarily focused on the challenges facing any start-up enterprise. Therefore, the business backgrounds that most of the members had were important to the organization’s success. As the Foundation matured it could afford to enlarge the scope of its activities to pursue the education program aspirations embodied in its charter. Correspondingly, board membership was broadened to include several education professionals. In addition, the “future of flight” focus evolved to include commercial space travel in the person of former NASA astronaut and current Human Integration Architect for the Blue Origin company, Nicholas Patrick.