For those of us who know Tracy, his passion for many things runs deep. One could call Winter Park Construction, which he founded literally from the ground up in 1974, the epicenter of his passion. His distinguished list of accomplishments include every aspect of construction from innovative real estate development and architectural design to financial wizardry and visionary strategies. But, then there’s flying, and when on the ground any souped-up motorized vehicle requiring horsepower on steroids will do, but first and foremost, it’s all about Bob Hoover. Then again, they all equally evoke powerful emotions. It is the way Tracy rolls, down the runway, on a straight-a-way, and in the philanthropic arena.
As aviation does with the most passionate of aviators, particularly those who had the privilege of calling Bob a friend, an indelible bond developed between Tracy and Bob that blossomed into an aviation-centric friendship and became part of the catalyst in forming the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation. Tracy, an accomplished pilot himself, has his ATP and all of the certifications that go with it, plus single-pilot type ratings in several Cessna Citation business jets, a seaplane rating, and for good measure, logged flying time in a Ford Tri-Motor airplane. Between business travel and humanitarian support for the Veterans Airlift, Corporate Angel Network, and EAA Young Eagles to name a few, he stays in the air.
Prior to Bob Hoover’s passing, Tracy partnered with Mike Herman to form the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation including taking on the role of Founder and President with Mike becoming Chairman. Their mission, sanctioned by Bob, is to inspire future generations of professional aviators in all aspects of aviation and aerospace. Tracy, Mike, the BHLF Board of Directors, and ‘Friends of Bob Hoover’ are all committed to seeing Bob’s dreams come to fruition for tomorrow’s youth. If Tracy’s success in business, flying, and philanthropy is any example, we’re in for groundbreaking, earth-shattering results.
Vince Mickens’ unique and storied background offers the perfect combination of experience, expertise, and dedication to aviation that is ideally suited for taking the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation into a higher orbit. Starting with the pursuit of his pilot’s license at then ‘Lambert Field’ immediately after getting his drivers license, then discovering wearing glasses was not an option for becoming a Naval Aviator, Vince opted for his other love, broadcast journalism. So, after Junior ROTC, college and making the best of his Naval tour, he built a career in radio and television broadcasting that lasted 27 years and spanned seven major media markets.
Yet, for all of you who know Vince, he always managed to find a way to intertwine his love for aviation with his passion for the world of broadcast, and when the opportunity came about for him to join the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) staff 14 years ago during the Phil Boyer era, he didn’t blink.
That new four-year chapter gave Vince a wealth of non/not-for-profit experience that lead to a more expansive opportunity with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) for the next eight years. Vince took full advantage spearheading record growth of its Leadership Council membership revenue, its Business Aviation Insider magazine ad revenue, and developing convention corporate sponsorship strategies. Ready to lay the groundwork for innovative ways to advocate and promote aviation, Vince launched his boutique aviation marketing and public relations firm Private Air Media Group.
Being immersed in all things aviation has afforded Vince over the years the opportunity to meet up close and personal, the best of the best iconic aviators, including his all-time favorite, Bob Hoover. It is these experiences that have provided the perfect trajectory for Vince to play a vital role in the preservation of Bob Hoover’s legacy to assure that it remains in the forefront, stays relevant, and is championed infinitely. Needless to say, Vince considers this to be quite the honor, an absolute privilege, and a surreal chance to fly 'left seat' in honor of "the greatest stick and rudder man who ever lived."
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The Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation is a 501c3 tax deductible organization.
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