Promoted To New Executive VP Posts
The Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association (AOPA) announced Monday the promotion of two of
its members to newly-created positions within the association.
Karen Gebhart has been made executive vice-president of non-dues
revenue, and Andy Cebula has been made executive vice president of
"Andy joined AOPA just months before the terrorist attacks of
9/11," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Through Andy's guidance and
leadership during a very difficult time for general aviation we
have successfully forwarded the concerns of our members on the
national, state, and local levels."
With nearly 25 years of experience in aviation policy, Cebula
manages AOPA's advocacy efforts on issues affecting general
aviation (GA) pilots and aircraft owners. This includes opposing
legislation that limits GA pilots' freedom to fly, protecting and
preserving airports and access to the nation's airspace, and
fighting proposals on Capitol Hill, state capitols, and regulatory
agencies that increase the cost of flying and aircraft
Cebula joined AOPA in 2001 as the senior vice president of
Government and Technical Affairs at the association's Frederick, MD
headquarters. Shortly thereafter he also became the head of AOPA's
lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. In addition, Cebula manages
AOPA's Political Action Committee, 13 regional representatives
located across the country, and 1,700 volunteers in the AOPA
Airport Support Network.
As part of Cebula's new responsibilities, the Aviation Services
Division of AOPA now falls under his leadership as well. The
division is staffed by experienced pilots who answer nearly 130,000
technical questions from members each year, and medical specialists
who to answer 50,000 questions annually about medical certification
"Andy's promotion is part of a senior management reorganization
I announced in 2003," said Boyer. "The structure is now complete,
with Andy as one of the four executive vice presidents who will be
vital to AOPA's continued success."
Another one of those new VPs is Karen Gebhart, who has been with
the association for 11 years.
"Karen's unique background with AOPA's advertising agency,
Membership Marketing, and the current Products and Services
Marketing group make her an excellent choice for this position,"
said Boyer. "During her eleven-year tenure, Karen has held
increasingly responsible positions and led departments that
generate millions of dollars."
AOPA tells Aero-News that Gebhart joined the AOPA staff in 1994
as vice president of membership marketing, where her
responsibilities included the development and oversight of direct
mail and advertising campaigns to help attract and maintain AOPA
In 1996, she was promoted to senior vice president, assuming
additional responsibilities in managing the AOPA Membership
Assistance department and AOPA's graphics staff. In 1999, Gebhart
took over the Products and Services division, including AOPA Member
Products, Aviation Services, and AOPA Expo.
In her new position, Gebhart leads a division spanning two
important areas of continuing growth for AOPA, contributing more
than 60% of AOPA's income.
The first is AOPA Publications advertising, which annually
generates more than $14,000,000 in revenue for the association.
Second are the member benefits available through specialized
products, services, and discounts for AOPA's members.
The non-dues revenues from these programs generate more than
$19,000,000, according to AOPA. Gebhart also oversees the annual
AOPA Fly-In and Open House, which attracts thousands of aviation
enthusiasts and hundreds of airplanes to AOPA headquarters in
Frederick, MD., each year, and AOPA Expo, the association's annual
convention and trade show.
Gebhart and Cebula join two others in executive VP roles within
AOPA: Diana Roberts, executive VP of Operations, and Jeff Myers,
EVP of Communications.