Michigan Aerospace Foundation Board of Directors
Dennis E. Norton – President
Dennis was the founder and first president of the Yankee Air Museum (in 1981). He also helped form the Michigan Aerospace Foundation in 2001. Now semi-retired, he still consults in fields of Commercial Real Estate Development and Non-Profit Organizations. He formerly owned a multi-site retail firm, Norton Florists & Gift Shops, in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, MI along with a real estate development firm, Norton Development Company. He has been active on many nonprofit boards including the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Dennis has been a pilot since 1966.
James L. Dries – Board Chairman
Jim recently retired as Chief Deputy Clerk for Washtenaw County, MI (encompassing Ann Arbor), after a career in research for R. L. Polk & Co. He co-chairs the MAF Development committee. Jim is also president of a local marketing and campaign information firm.
Simon J. Baseley – Vice President
Simon is a director with Bosch Rexroth. He has experience with government grant applications and contract research. He holds an engineering degree, specializing in aircraft propulsion. Prior to the fire, Simon was an active restoration volunteer at YAM and, before that, at the Duxford Museum in England. He serves on the Board’s Capital Campaign committee.
Frank C. Sinagra – Vice President
Owner of a printing, publishing, and marketing firm, Frank co-chairs the Foundation’s Development committee. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and is a private pilot.
Gary K. Brown – Secretary/Treasurer
Gary, with degrees in business and finance from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, handles all of MAF’s financial and legal activities required to maintain a nonprofit organization in accordance with state and Federal laws and appropriate fiduciary procedures. He chairs the board’s Finance Committee. Gary owns his own business and technology consulting company.
Erik W. (Rick) Austin – Director
Rick has served on the MAF Board since 2005, having retired from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. He is an historian whose forty-one year academic career focused on the social and political history of the U.S. in the 20th Century. Rick serves on the Foundation’s Finance and Capital Campaign committees and is currently chairman of the Board.
Steven Berner – Vice-Chairman
Steve is currently serving as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, in addition to working with the Foundation’s Capital Campaign and Events committees.
James Harless – Director
Jim is a nationally-recognized environmental geoprofessional with 37 years in the environmental consulting industry. He is a Vice President and Principal of SME – Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. He holds a B.A. from Rice University and a PhD from the University of Texas, both in Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hazardous Materials Managers, was Michigan’s Outstanding Environmental Professional of the year (2010) and currently serves as the President of the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals.
James S. Jackson – Director
James is a social psychologist at the University of Michigan, where he currently holds positions as the Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Social Research. The author of numerous books and articles on social relations and mental health of the African-American population, James is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Institute of Medicine. He was recently appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board. With MAF, he serves on the Capital Campaign committee.
Jack Lousma – Director
Jack is a retired NASA Astronaut and US Marine Corps Colonel (ret). He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 9, 10, and 13 missions. He was the pilot for Skylab-3 (July 28 to September 25, 1973) and was spacecraft commander on STS-3 (March 22-30, 1982), logging a total of over 1,619 hours in space. Lousma also spent 11 hours on two spacewalks outside the Skylab space station. He also served as backup docking module pilot of the United States flight crew for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission which was completed successfully in July 1975. Along with retired auto industry executive Robert Lutz, he co-chairs the Save the Bomber Plant Campaign.
David L. Robertson – Director
David served as the Director of Training, Chief Pilot, Dir. of Operations and lastly, Director of Safety for Spirit Airlines. He was an airline pilot for 28 years. He is also involved in sailplanes and antique aircraft, and flies his Cessna Citation in support of his activities. He serves on the President’s Advisory Boards for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the EAA, and AOPA. Dave and his wife Andrea, as ‘Robertson Racing’, are competing as team owners-race drivers in the American Le Mans race series. They both work on the Capital Campaign committee for the foundation.
Jane Spires – Director
Jane is an Executive Assistant at Toyota Technical Center. She has been a volunteer with the Yankee Air Museum since 2003, working on special events and security. She is an active member of the Foundation’s Events and Development committees.
Harry A. Terpstra – Director
An architect in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Harry was also a founder and 4 year president of the Yankee Air Museum and a member of its board for many years. Harry was president of the Michigan region of the American Institute of Architecture. For the MAF he has served as a Director on the foundation board since 2002. Harry was also trained as an instrument rated pilot.
John Zajac – Director
John Zajac is a long time auto industry professional having several managerial, analytical and consulting assignments for over 20 years, primarily in product planning and program management. His credentials include an MBA for the University of Michigan and he has been an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. John has been a member of the Michigan Aerospace Foundation board since 2011.
Written Communication to the Board of Directors can be sent to the following address:
Michigan Aerospace Foundation, Inc.
Attn: Desired Board Member's Name
807 Willow Run Airport
Ypsilanti, MI 48198-0899
You can also contact Board members using the online Contact Form here.