LightHawk Brings On Board New CEO

LightHawk missions include an ongoing project to survey and photograph changes in the Delaware River watershed. Julie Boatman

LightHawk, the aviation philanthropic organization bringing together pilots and environmentally focused conservation groups, has named a new chief executive officer, Michele Rutledge, whose prior executive experience includes aviation charity Wings of Hope. LightHawk’s prior CEO, Terri Watson, will continue on as a volunteer pilot and member of the advisory board.

“Michele comes to LightHawk with nearly two decades of corporate and nonprofit leadership experience including prior executive leadership with Wings of Hope, an international humanitarian aviation charity based in Missouri,” the organization announced in a press release on March 17. Rutledge wanted to join the LightHawk team for a variety of reasons. “LightHawk’s team of conservation experts and volunteer pilots are tackling the issues of our planet head-on,” she said. “I am inspired by their excellence and creativity, particularly as they effectively partner with so many great conservation organizations in the US, Mexico, and Canada to make a difference on so many important issues.” Rutledge begins work for LightHawk on April 1.

You can read more about LightHawk and its mission—and find out how you can become a LightHawk volunteer pilot—by looking for the feature in the April 2020 issue of Flying.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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