Board of Directors

John Roper

John began building and flying radio control airplanes at the age of 11.  He received his pilot’s license at the age of 18.  While studying for his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas, he bought a Cessna 150 and started the KU flying club where he began teaching and generating interest in civil aircraft.  John then went on to earn his Air Transport Pilot license, Multi Engine Instructor, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics certificate and holds an FAA Inspection Authorization.  John also has earned an MBA from Dowling College in Aviation Administration

John has accumulated almost 4,000 hrs of flight time ranging from small aircraft to corporate jets to competition aerobatics.  John has always had a desire to push the envelope of technology in small aircraft.  While at Kansas University, he worked to develop separate surface stability augmentation systems, worked with Cessna and Honeywell during the development of display technology for the Cessna Citation X.  Most importantly, he was part of a team working under a NASA program for the development of the Advanced General Aviation Transport.  The aircraft designed by his team went on to become the basis for the NASA AGATE program which concluded studies in 2001.

John was Director of Engineering for Adaptive Propulsion Systems (APS) where he was responsible for the development of an advanced engineering department to develop next generation piston engine technology for the military.  While at APS, John completed his Six Sigma Black Belt training and implemented lean methods.  John then went on to work as a consultant and engineer for Proxy Aviation where he was involved in the design and development of UAV airframe modifications for the incorporation of sensors and weapons packages. John has been a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and sat on committees responsible for the certification and operational requirements of UAVs.

Most recently, John has been with Signature Flight Support where he was operations manager at the West Palm Beach facility which saw typical daily operations of over 100 aircraft per day.  John returned to his Kansas City Roots in 2010 as Director of Maintenance for the new Signature TechnicAir Aircraft Maintenance facilities at both Kansas City Downtown airport and New Century Air Center where he worked on turn around strategies.

Ron Pye

The son of a pilot and a flight attendant, Ron grew up surrounded by aviation.  He began his career with Eastern Airlines, holding several positions in sales and operations.  In 1995 he helped start up two Part 121 passenger air carriers, Eastern Metro in Atlanta, GA and Puerto Rico.   After Eastern closed their doors, Ron worked with Fairchild Aerospace Corporation, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of Jet Air Craft based in Germany and San Antonio, TX, again starting up another 121 air carrier, Yute Air in Alaska.   During his tenure at Corporate Airlines, he negotiated a capacity purchase agreement with TWA that would allow the airline to continue flying as an American Connection carrier after American Airlines acquired TWA.  He returned to Alaska to be the Director of Marketing for Evergreen Airline, and then moved back to Fairchild Corporation in 2001 where he became the Vice President of Marketing. 

In 2004, Ron became Director of Marketing & Sales for Pemco World Air Services, a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO), which was based in Dothan, Alabama, focusing on cargo conversions.  When joining Southern California Aviation (SCA) in 2006 as Vice President Sales & Marketing, he created a strategy for this 145 Repair Station by expanding the facility’s capabilities, which had been known only for the handling of transitional aircraft.  From there, Ron moved to be Vice President at Pacific Aviation Group (PAG), the sister company of SCA and a subsidiary of Pratt and Whitney.  The company stored, maintained and distributed over 50,000 parts, along with new and used engines under his marketing plan.  

Honored to be elected to the Foundation Board for ISTAT in 2012, an organization he continues to work with to this day, Ron has a unique background of having worked with air carriers, OEM, and MRO companies.   As a Senior Vice President of New Business Development with Jet Midwest since 2012, Ron continues to find new opportunities, including working with Next Gen Aero Support, manufacturer of engine stands, and the Airline History Museum.

Gary Scholtz

Gary Scholtz retired after 27 years as a staff investigator and litigation legal assistant with the Vasos Law Offices. He investigated numerous cases involving transportation negligence, product liability, insurance claims, and utility power line cases. Prior to that, he was an investigator with the Kansas Department of SRS for 4 years and a commissioned police office with the City of Kansas City, Kansas for 12 years. He is a Board Certified Legal Investigator, conferred by the National Association of Legal Investigators. He was a charter member and past State Regional Director for the Kansas Association of Licensed Investigators and a member and National Regional Director for the National Association of Legal Investigators having published several articles on investigations. He was also a member of the Kansas Association for Justice and American Association for Justice Paralegal Affiliate. He is currently serving as an Officer for the Knights of Columbus Good Shepherd Council No. 11126, Shawnee, Kansas. 

Gary is married to his wife Cindy for the past 43 years. They reside in Shawnee, Kansas and have one son and two grandchildren who live in Mora, Sweden. 

Gary obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Administration from Ottawa University following a Paralegal Certificate from Rockhurst College, and an Associate of Arts Degree from KCK Community College. He is a Vietnam Army Veteran and a licensed fixed-wing and helicopter pilot with approximately 1,200 hours. 

Gary joined the NAHM and is active in organizing all the publications, manuals, and documents pertaining to the Connie, DC-3, Martin 404, and the L-1011.

Philip Hayes

Phil has a lifelong passion for aviation. As a child, Phil spent countless hours on the observation deck at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport during Northwest Airlines' heyday. Later, Phil contemplated a career in aerospace engineering during his freshman year of college, before ultimately switching to accounting, graduating from Saint Louis University with an Honors BSBA in Accounting and Economics. 

Phil is a CPA and Principal with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, a national professional services firm, and works primarily with privately held businesses and their owners in the transportation, manufacturing and distribution, and construction industries. 

Phil is excited to work with the team at the Airline History Museum to bring history to life in the museum's exhibits and aircraft.