EAA Chapter 54

St. Paul, MN. (Lake Elmo)

Meet the Chapter 54 Leadership Team

Marlon Gunderson President: Marlon Gunderson
Marlon, who hails from from Mora, Minn., went to college at St.Olaf, and lived in Palo Alto, CA and St. Paul, Minn., for a decade each before settling in Lake Elmo in 1999 with his wife, Julie Bunn, and (now grown) daughter, Lauren. He's an engineer and has had a career designing printed circuit board and integrated circuit chip electronics for data network and internet-related equipment. He owned and flew a T-Bird Ultralight in the '90's, joined EAA Ch.54 in 2000, trained for his  PPL with former Ch.54 president Bill Schanks in hisJ5 Cub,  then traded up to a Piper PA16 Clipper, and flew both of those aircraft to the EAA show in Oshkosh several times in the 2000's. He built a 50hp Rotax 503 powered experimental SkyRaider II light aircraft, which he flew to Oshkosh each year from 2011 to 2017. He sold  a Clipper to finance and make room for a partially built Lycoming O320 powered Cozy III project, which he has flown to Oshkosh since 2018. He occasionally flies to other places. He's volunteered with the chapter for fly-in kitchen and parking duty, and has been the chapter newsletter editor since 2020.



Jay Schrankler Vice President: Jay Schrankler
As a young child Jay’s family nicknamed him “bird” and has called him that since. Maybe that’s why he became a pilot. He currently is the owner of a 1965 Beechcraft Debonaire and is the co-founder of Perceptive Avionics Inc, an avionics sales and installation business located at the New Richmond (WI) Airport (KRNH). Jay is a private pilot; instrument rated and holds a gyroplane endorsement. In addition, he is an FAA certified repairman for transponder and pitot static system recertification. After spending nearly 25 years with Honeywell’s aerospace business in various global assignments, Jay started an aviation consulting business called Aero1217 and still does that work today. In 2018 Jay, built an experimental Gyroplane, an AutoGyro Cavalon, at the company build center in Stevensville MD. The aircraft was displayed at EAA AirVenture in 2018. As a young child Jay’s family nicknamed him “bird” and has called him that since. Maybe that’s why he became a pilot.



Ed Trudeau Secretary: Ed Trudeau
Ed is a private pilot, and has been flying since 2000. He got into flying thru skydiving and logged over 200 jumps in the 1990s. Ed joined Chapter 54 shortly after starting flying lessons but remained 'the guy sitting in the back of the room' at chapter meetings. He and his wife, Lisa, recently retired from running a local insurance agency for 32 years. That gave him more time to take over the secretary position. He currently rents planes from Lake Elmo Aero but plans on completing his 14-year Zenith CH750 project this summer. Besides flying he enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing, and playing with his four grandkids. "Beats working!" he says.



Emma Gaustad Treasurer: Emma Gaustad
Born and raised in Western Wisconsin, aviation has always been in her soul since she was a toddler. Getting her Private Pilot certificate in fall of 2021 at Lake Elmo Aero, she soon became an EAA member in March 2022 after meeting Gregg Addler at an event at Lake Elmo airport and after that a Chapter 54 member. She is almost complete with her Instrument Rating and will see where aviation takes her after that is completed. Emma is also involved with the Minnesota 99s and other various aviation communities continuously wanting to build her aviation knowledge and aviation friendships. Also quite interested in learning more about building aircraft! When she is not flying an airplane or running a convenience store she stays very busy with different activities and hobbies to name a few: EAA Airventure Oshkosh (of course), hiking, running, disc golf, reading, and an avid Minnesota Twins STH and Green Bay Packers Fan. She looks forward to continued involvement with Chapter. 54.



Paul Hov Director (at large): Paul Hove
Paul has been a member of Chapter 54 since the mid-'80s. He served as vice president (2002-2003) and president (2004-2007). He has been on the Board of Directors ever since. During that time, he built an RV-7A and still flies it during good weather. He went on several work parties at Oshkosh and encourages more members to go and have great time operating equipment or building structures for the EAA air shows. He enjoys home-cooked meals there and free access to the museum and Pioneer Airport hangars. Some of the projects that he was involved with include helping the Boy Scout with his viewing area Eagle project. His team poured the foundation and dismantled an above-ground swimming pool deck for the lumber used to erect the structure. He was also involved with replacing the windows and blinds in the Chapter House. He has helped with many annual pancake breakfast fly-ins, and he still posts area events on our website's Event Calendar.  



Evangelos Savvas Director (at large): Evangelos Savvas
Born and raised in Greece, Evangelos came with his family to Minnesota working for 3M in 2018. In love with general aviation from the late '80s, he holds  an EASA and FAA PPL and is working on his instrument rating. He dreams of owning his own airplane and he is pretty handy with tools and repairs. He has flown mostly in Europe (ask him about Greece) and looks forward to exploring the USA. A quiet extrovert, he is looking forward to getting to know more people, involve himself in the community, work and learn on projects and hear travelling stories.



Bill Schanks Director (Events): Bill Schanks
Born in Wisconsin, raised in St. Paul, MN. I'm rather introverted, so of course the chapter asked me to be the social director; eventually changed to event planner. I've been around aviation my whole life; the Acrosport I in the profile picture started was built the year I was born in Wisconsin and followed us to St. Paul when I was 2 years old. That aircraft is like a sibling to me, I grew up watching it be built on Saturdays when I would go out to the airport with my Dad. I finally learned to fly as a teen in the Holman Hobos Club in a Piper Colt, but didn't get my license until 2006 at the ripe age of 35 due to life getting in the way. Ever since getting my PPL I've fallen in love with aviation more and more each year. My nickname from Jack (Crash) Miller is "lawn dart" (You'll have to ask me why, if you want to know that one).

I love hanging around the airport when I can and absorb the stories from My Dad (Bill Schanks Sr), Mitch, The Andersons, Mike Rekowski, Roger Westerberg, and on and on. I also enjoy building computers, tinkering with them, programming them; but I don't really like computers in the cockpit as I'm around a computer all day long for work.

I mostly fly the Experimental EAA AcroSport I that my dad built. Up until recently I also flew the oldest flying Bellanca Champ (1971 7ACA).



Jeff Dale Director (Education): Jeff Dale 
Originally from Colorado, Jeff and his family moved to Minnesota in 2022 because they visited once and fell in love, though he typically tell people it was for his son, Eli, to play hockey, which isn't so much a lie either. He works for a small IT solutions company. His focus on aviation is as a simpit builder for use with flight simulators. He is interested in obtaining his PPL, but in the process hopes to surround himself at Chapter 54 with other aviation enthusiasts who want to talk about flight, aircraft, and just about anything else aviation.



EAA Director (Facilities): Bob Collins
Bob is a two-time offender when it comes to building airplanes, having built a Van's RV-7A and an RV-12iS that's almost ready to fly (on Tuesday). He flunked shop in junior high school. He is a former chapter newsletter editor and rejoined Chapter 54 after retiring from Minnesota Public Radio where he was a news editor and writer for 27 years.  In addition to the chapter janitorial services, he serves as editor of the chapter website. He is an usher at Target Field for the Minnesota Twins even though his allegiance belongs to the Cleveland Guardians and he has never lived in nor has any desire to live in Ohio. A native of Massachusetts, he and his wife, Carolie, live in Woodbury, Minn.



Scott Hanson Director (Membership): Scott Hanson

As a kid, I always wanted to be a pilot.   However, at that time, the usual route was to go thru the military, and that wouldn’t work for me.   So, instead I went into a career with computers, and owned almost every version of flight simulator that existed.   In 2012, while visiting Discovery Days at Anoka airport, I decided to get an actual pilot license.    I obtained my Private license that year, and went on to get my Instrument, Commercial, and Multi-Engine ratings.   I am currently playing around with getting my Ground and/or Flight Instructor ratings.   I have been a member of Tailwinds Flying Club since 2012 (and fly all of their aircraft), and occasionally rent aircraft from various flight schools.   I’ve been a member of Chapter 54 since 2013, and active pilot in our Young Eagles program, and was our Chapter’s Young Eagles Coordinator for a couple of years.   I have also assisted in maintaining the Chapter’s website and IT needs.   And at some point (when I have some spare time), I plan on building an RV-10…  if Vans Aircraft is still in existence.



Leif Erickson Director (Past President): Leif Erickson
Leif has been an EAA and Chapter 54 member since 1999, serving as the chapter's president 2010-2011 and 2019-present. He has been Events Director (Pancake Breakfast and Corn Feed) and Education Director (Ground School and Farnsworth Hangar Tour) 2000 – 2019, a member of the Young Eagles Ground Support 2000-present. He has never built an airplane and says he never will. But he makes a mean PowerPoint and Word document.



Dal Seitzer Young Eagles/Eagle Flights Coordinator: Dale Seitzer
Dale has been a member of Chapter 54 for more than 20 years. He has served as President twice, Vice President twice, secretary three terms and newsletter editor for six years. He has a private pilots license and exercising the light sport priviledge. He has flown hundreds of Young Eagles. He started flying ultralights, a Kolb Firestar, then a Titan Tornado and now the Skyranger. He is a technical counselor for four stroke and two stroke airplane engines.



Bruce Olson Ray Aviation Scholarship Coordinator: Bruce Olson
Born in St. Paul and grew up in Roseville. My background is in graphics and sales. I recently retired as a salesman at Stillwater Motors. I started flying on my 35th birthday and it quickly became my favorite hobby. Young Eagles is a program that I have enjoyed participating in with Chapter 54. Leif asked me to become the Ray Scholarship Coordinator. It's a program that is new to our Chapter and it has been rewarding watching our first Scholar work his way towards the goal of getting his private pilots license.



EAA 54
President: Marlon Gunderson
Contact: 651-515-3464 | president@eaa54.org
Meetings: Every 2nd Monday 7:30 PM
Lake Elmo Airport-Chapter 54 Bldg.
3275 Manning Ave N, Suite #7
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

EAA Chapters Gold
Programs: Young Eagles, Technical Counselors, Eagle Flights, Ray Aviation Scholarship
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