The Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society

The Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society is a Texas non-profit corporation founded to research, promote and preserve the rich aeronautical heritage of Houston and Southeast Texas. A diverse group of aviation, architecture and history enthusiasts founded the Society in 1998. The Society includes persons from all walks of life, including students and retirees, architects and attorneys, educators and engineers, community leaders and commercial pilots.

The Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society is recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. The Society is funded through private and public grants, corporate and personal contributions and net proceeds from revenue generating endeavors such as Museum Memberships and Gift Shop sales.

The central mission for the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society is its 1940 Air Terminal Museum Project. The Society is restoring the long-vacant Houston Municipal Airport Terminal for the City of Houston. As restoration is completed in phases, the Society will outfit and operate the 1940 Air Terminal as an interactive museum showcasing the role and importance of civil aviation in the Houston area since the dawn of manned flight.

Managing Director

Amy Rogers
Executive Director

Amy Rogers is the Managing Director of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, TX where she has held this position since September 2011. Amy holds a BA in History from Sam Houston State University and a MA in Nonprofit Management from the University of Houston-Downtown. She is an accomplished grant writer and fundraiser having secured funding for multiple museum programs. Amy served as a staff of one until October of 2014 when she was influential in securing the necessary funding to hire additional staff members based on her vision to further develop and grow the museum.

In addition to her work at the museum Amy was elected in 2012 to serve as Councilor at Large of the Southeast Texas Museums Association (SETMA) and currently serves as the organization's Secretary. She presented on the topic of Nonprofit Board Relationships at the 2014 TAM Annual Meeting and on Small Museum Growth and Organization at the 2014 Mutual Concerns of Air & Space Museums Conference in Washington DC. She is a current member of the TAM Program Committee and was also elected to TAM Council in 2016. She holds membership in TAM, SETMA, AAM, and various other professional organizations. Amy truly has a passion for historic preservation, nonprofit organizations and museum interpretation and enjoys working with others who dedicate their time and talents to this field.

Officers and directors

Marjorie Evans

Marjorie Evans is a Director. She has worked for 43 years with and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., a world-wide provider of services to corporate and general aviation. She also serves on the boards of The ESCAPE Family Resource Center, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Hobby Center Foundation and The Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast District Exchange Clubs.

Marjorie is a charter member and holds office in the Hobby Airport Area Exchange Club and is president of the Marjorie E. Evans Foundation. Marjorie has formerly served as President of the Texas Gulf Coast District Exchange Clubs and on the Board of Directors of The Masquerade Theatre, Pearland/Hobby Chamber of Commerce, the Scholarship Program for Houston Youth and the University of St. Thomas. Marjorie is a Life Member of the Museum.

John Graves

John Graves is the vice president and a Director. He has been a volunteer at the Museum since 2004, previously holding the position of President, as well as Collections Manager from 2006 to 2011. He researched and wrote the Museum's collection procedures manual, and co-created the Museum's aircraft marshaller certification program.

He holds a BA (double) in History & Political Science from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies with Merit from the University of Leicester. His Masters research examined the characteristics necessary for young, growing museums to make the transition from a pioneering stage to sustainability and success.

He serves on the organizing committee of the Airline Historian / Archivist Group. He is the founder and President of Graves & Co., an oil & gas transaction consulting firm, and its affiliates Oilfield Management Service LLC and Environmental Management Service LLC.

George Haines
Volunteer Coordinator and Director

George Haines is the Volunteer Coordinator. Originally a native of Johnstown, PA, George has had a long-time interest in transportation technologies and history. Most of his working career of some 35 years has been spent with an oilfield service company operating worldwide in the exploration sector, in the areas of Training, Quality/Operations Integrity, Safety Management and Emergency Response, among others. George's interest in aviation stems from the many times he traveled to and from remote locations in a wide assortment of aircraft. His most recent position in fact benefited from this experience; he was project manager for the development of a set of standard working procedures based in part on aviation-style checklists.

George studied Journalism at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and Technical Writing at the American University of Paris. He has been a volunteer at the Museum since January 2017, but had been attending periodic Wings and Wheels events during the previous 2-3 years and wanted to give something back to the museum community.

Curt Littlejohn
Chairman of the Board and Director

Curt Littlejohn is the Chairman of the Board of the corporation. He worked for Zale Corporation for 21 years in multiple functional areas, and served as Sr. Director of Administration Finance. He later held the role of Senior Vice President / COO for Bentley's Travelware, a division of Wilson's Leather. He then stepped into airport retail as the Vice President of Operations for 431 stores operated by HMSHost Corporation. After several years operating his own organizational development consulting firm, Curt is now the President & Chief Operating Officer of a Houston-based, national retail company.

He graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University. His board and volunteer service has included a role of Vice Chairman for the National Museum of Commercial Aviation, Board Member of Able & Willing International Educational Foundation and Volunteer Coordinator for Hero Dogs, Inc. Most recently, he has served as Vice President for the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.

Michael Loft
Vice Chairman and Director

Michael Loft is the Vice Chairman and a Director. He is a native of Great Britain, recently retired as Marketing and Sales Director for Air France where he worked for the past 38 years developing new air routes, and expanding commerce, tourism and trade in over 20 countries. He led the team that launched Air France as a major player in the oil & gas sector, and established Air France's Petroleum Club.

He is a former president of the Houston Airline Managers Association, the Houston SKAL Club, and the Houston Air Cargo Association. He was personally awarded "Honorary Texan" by President George W. Bush. A graduate of North Wales College, he is a proud American citizen...and Texan. He and his wife Kelly, a celebrated chef, co-own Plan Like a Chef™ which promotes the sales of 26 original event planning books.

Blair McFarlain

Blair McFarlain is a Director. Blair has been a volunteer at the Museum for many years. He joined the Museum in the Spring of 2007 following Barrington Irving's record-setting solo flight around the world.

Blair serves as our webmaster, social media coordinator, and training coordinator. He is prominent among our raffle plane pilots, and serves on our Wings & Wheels committee. His work during 2012 in securing and improving the effectiveness of our website has proved to be a game changer in the way the Museum raises operating funds. His hobbies include aviation and photography and he has combined those hobbies by creating a website called for aviation photography. Blair is a System Administrator for Weatherford Labs in Houston, Texas.

Bernard Morris

Bernard Morris is a Director. He is a product of the New York public school system, having attended Springfield Gardens H.S. in Jamaica, NY, and John Jay Criminal College of New York.

He began his commercial aviation career with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in the 1970s, and continued with Pan Am, TWA, Air Atlanta and Eastern Airlines before joining Air France in 1994, where he remained until taking early retirement in 2012. He has been a volunteer with the Museum since 2006, and a Director since 2009. He is a private pilot.

Karen Nicolaou
President and Director

Karen Nicolau is the President of the corporation.

Karen is a specialized veteran with a dedicated career in the finance industry for almost 35 years. In her role as Chief Financial Officer of Complete MD Solutions, she is responsible for the management of the finance and accounting functions of 40 physician businesses, 17 separate entities operating in 8 Greater Houston locations. Prior to her work at Complete MD Solutions, Karen has held a variety of prominent financial roles.

She is Principal of Atropos, Inc., where for the past 13 years she worked with a multitude of prominent businesses providing financial and advisory services. Proficient in many languages, Karen is a graduate of the University of Texas, a gourmet cook and a classically trained pianist. She is also a member of several professional organizations including IWIRC Houston, AIPCA, TSCPA, and NACVA. Karen started flying at nine-years-old with her father – a World War II Glider pilot – and was flying solo before she was eligible for a driver’s license.

Claudette Pfennig-High

Claudette Pfennig High served as vice president of the Southeast Conference American Lutheran Church, president of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Synod, Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast, and was on the board of directors for Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc.

She attended the University of Texas, worked for Trans-Texas Airways, and worked for a number of banks. She is active in her community, and is the widow of Captain A.J. High, one of the founding members of our museum.

Marie Wilkinson
Secretary and Director

Marie Wilkinson is the Secretary of the corporation. She worked for Air France for 46 years beginning at Idlewild Airport in NYC in 1961 as a reservations agent. She transferred to LAX as reservations supervisor and then to Houston as a customer promotion agent in 1978. She was promoted to sales rep in 1980 and finally to Account Executive covering accounts in DFW and Houston. She attended the Institute of Certified Travel Agents in Wellesley, MA, earning her CTC in 1980; she went on to coordinate study groups in Houston.

She graduated in 1999, Phi Theta Kappa, with an AAS degree in Geological Technology from North Harris County College. Her board service has included ten years on the board of the Desk and Derrick Club, where she was president of the Houston chapter in 2007 and 2011, the financial oversight team and the audit committee of Atascocita Lutheran Church, and the board of Harris County MUD 132 for four terms - 18 years from 1990 to 2008, where her positions have included director, vice president and president.

Advisory board members

The Advisory Board was created by resolution of the Board of Directors in October 2012. The Advisory Board is comprised of the following individuals having professional backgrounds in commercial aviation, finance, the practice of law, commercial aviation services, and corporate aviation.

Robin Russell

Robin Russell is the Managing Director of the Houston office of Andrews Kurth, a law firm with offices in nine cities around the world. She also co-chairs the firm's national bankruptcy practice. In addition to her restructuring and reorganizing work both in and out-of-court, she provides strategic advice to corporate clients and independent boards on the legal risks associated with counterparty insolvency and the structuring of acquisitions to minimize economic risks.

Robin has been with Andrews Kurth for 24 years. She holds an LLM in Banking Law Studies from Boston University School of Law, a JD cum laude from Baylor Law School where she was Highest Ranking Graduate, editor-in-chief of the Law Review, and listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, and a BS magna cum laude in International Trade from Texas Tech University.

Vincent Smith

Vincent Smith holds a BS in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University at Daytona Beach. He has spent his entire career as a pilot and instructor in general, business and corporate aviation. He has served as pilot for Black Swan Jet Charter, American General Corporation, Landry's Restaurants, and Dominion Resources. He is presently a pilot for Southwestern Energy Company. He is a Life Member of the Museum, and an energetic Museum volunteer.

Max Tribolet

Max Tribolet holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin in Finance with an Investment Management focus. Max currently heads Business Development at FlightAware (since 2011) and works in the sales and operations groups to head new strategic growth opportunities and product launches.

Max's profressional experience spans a variety of storied aviation firms, both for-profit and non-profit, based in the Texas area. Notably, he's spent two summers volunteering full-time at the Museum. In his spare time Max enjoys exercising his pilot's license, traveling, and photography.

Mario Gomez

Mario E. Gomez is a dedicated and passionate public relations professional with more than 20 years of experience as director of corporate communications, media spokesperson, crisis communications specialist, media relations strategist and social media producer. Mario has held management / leadership positions with Kenyon International Emergency Services, The United Way of Houston and KBR Corp., formerly known as Brown and Root, Inc. - Houston, Texas division.

Mario's previous experience includes positions as a television news and radio reporter in Southeast Texas. He has received awards from the Public Relations Society of America, Texas Public Relations Association, a Suncoast Television Emmy nominee in 2000 and he is FEMA certified National Incident Management System Public Information Officer (IS-0072.a) and is a member of the PIO Network Houston/Galveston Region.

Major Benefactors

The Houston Endowment Paul F. Barnhart, Sr. The Brown Foundation
Cultural Arts Council of Houston & Harris County Jay & Charlotte Tribble The Fondren Foundation
Jeffrey Weiss The Trammell Foundation Sterling Bank
Gulfway Hobby Airport Rotary Club Ella F. Fondren 1982 Trust The Strake Foundation
Continental Airlines Southwest Airlines National Trust for Historic Preservation
Texas Preservation Trust Tribble & Stephens Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
Harper & Kelly Trammell Sterling Bank The Strake Foundation
Elkins Foundation Herzstein Foundation J. Randall Holstead
Competition Roofing, Inc. The Glasscock Foundation  
George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation