ACE Welcomes New Executive Director

Aircorps Art Dec 2019

PRESS RELEASE – The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), home of the annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, is very pleased to welcome Doug Jeanes as its new Executive Director. He will be relocating from Addison, TX, where he recently retired after 27 years with the renowned Cavanaugh Flight Museum (CFM), serving from 1993 to 1998 as Director of Maintenance and an impressive 22 years since as the President and Executive Director.
Doug brings a wealth of aerospace knowledge and experience to ACE. He managed an annual budget of over $2m dollars in his previous role, supervising the daily operations of a large, multi-airport flying museum with dozens of employees and hundreds of volunteers. His position allowed him to regularly interface with the FAA, media, education, and community leaders to develop successful partnerships, resulting in CFM’s recognition as one of the most impressive aviation museums in the U.S. During his tenure, Doug oversaw the transition of the CFM organization from a private collection to becoming a 501(c)3 educational museum with a focus on STEM and Living History aviation experiences.
“I am thrilled to be coming aboard at such a pivotal time for the Aerospace Center for Excellence. The STEM mission and aerospace engagements ACE provides are at the heart of my passions, and I am very much looking forward to helping the next chapter of ACE’s story unfold,” Jeanes said in a recent interview.
John “Lites” Leenhouts, President and CEO of ACE, is enthusiastic about bringing Jeanes onboard. “Having a person of Doug’s experience and caliber will be a tremendous asset for our programming, especially at such a critical time for ACE’s evolution. He brings a plethora of experience and expands our scope with a wide array of skills that will greatly benefit us going forward.”
In addition to his museum leadership experience, Doug is an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A&P) with Inspection Authority (IA), plus he has held FAA certification as a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR), which allowed him to perform licensed examination, inspection, and testing services necessary to the issuance of airworthiness certificates for aircraft that have been built, restored, or repaired. From 1975 – 1992, Doug held positions as a pilot and aircraft maintenance manager with several airlines and repair facilities, and between 1975 and 1982, he served in the US Air Force Reserves as a cargo and special handling specialist, supervising and training over 120 airmen in his squadron.
Doug is an accomplished pilot and has flown in hundreds of airshows since 1980. He holds Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) and Commercial Helicopter ratings, plus an Experimental “all makes and models” Letter of Authorization from the FAA to pilot most WWII through Vietnam era aircraft, including B-29, B-26, B-25, B-24, B-17, C-47, C-7, P-51, P-47, F-4U, A-1, MiG-15, T-33, and many others.
ACE has been in rapid development since its launch in 2014. Many people have been critical to that success, none more than outgoing Executive Director Ed Young. Acknowledging his many contributions, Leenhouts complimented Young, saying, “We are very grateful to Ed, who has been a tremendous benefit to ACE over his two plus years. Most notably, he has overseen the launch of Project: SkyLab, the multi-million dollar, 22,000 square-foot expansion of the Florida Air Museum into a world-class STEM learning complex. He is moving on to a position with the Lakeland Linder International Airport in their finance and operations area. His energy, enthusiasm, and contributions to moving ACE forward have been outstanding, and he will be missed.”
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 Aerospace Expo fundraising event as well as the Florida Air 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 50,000 students a year. For more information,

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