EAA Chapter 54

Lake Elmo, MN (St. Paul, MN)

Meet the Chapter 54 Leadership Team

Leif Erickson 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.



Robyn Stoller Vice President: Robyn Stoller 
While growing up, Robyn enjoyed flying with her dad in his Comanche 250 for many years. She decided to take flight training after retiring early from 31 years at 3M and earned her private pilot certificate in March 2015. She has met many wonderful people involved in aviation from EAA, MN 99s and other groups too. She is a ‘fair weather flyer’; winter is not her preferred time to fly, but rather summer and fall are favorite times to take fun local flights. Robyn also serves on her township’s planning commission and broadband ad hoc committee. She’s a church organist and enjoys traveling with her husband in ‘Mr Cool’, their RV motorhome.



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.



Tom Gibbons Treasurer: Tom Gibbons
Born and raised in White Bear Lake, Minn. My family always had boats and when I saw a commercial for the U.S. Coast Guard and the sailors running down to their boats for a mission, I thought, "Wow! That would be fun to join." Well, my flight to boot camp change all that! First, I jumped into the aviation portion of the USCG and was a crew member on a C-130. I was crazy about the airlines and watching airliners. When I got out, I got a job for American Airlines as a baggage handler and got to do fun things for that job until I retired early in November of 2012. I have been building a Pulsar experimental airplane since October 1990. I know someday I will finish it; Tuesday maybe. My heroes in life are the Wright Brothers. I admire them so much for all they did and how they did it to invent flying as we know it today. I flew out to the Washington DC area one year and got to fly with a couple of Pulsar pilots to Kitty Hawk, NC where it all began. See the August 2004 newsletter for my story. Recently I was in Dayton, Ohio to see where they grew up and are buried and the test field where they did their trials and experimenting. Loved it all!



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. He and his are restoring his high-time 1979 Piper Warrior in his hangar and are about to paint some of the parts and start to reassemble it this summer.



Jay Schrankler Director (at large): Jay Schrankler
Jay Schrankler is the associate vice president and head of the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Prior to that, Jay served in various senior executive and global leadership positions at Honeywell International Inc., spanning the company’s space systems, aerospace, and environmental controls divisions. He holds several degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and from the University of Wisconsin. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Executive Development Program. Jay is a fixed wing pilot and holds a gyroplane rating. 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). He is also a co-founder of Pulse Charter Connect Inc a startup located in Chicago, IL that provides air charter services for organ transplants. In 2018 Jay, along with chapter member Paul Randall, 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.



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).



Director (Education): Gregg Adler
Gregg stepped up last spring to host a long-standing event that was suspended during COVID. The event was the Farnsworth Hangar Tour. The second-grade class at Farnsworth was invited to 21D for a field trip. The event consists of six “hangar” visits where the kids learn about topics such as how airplanes fly, how clouds effect a flight, and a look at the equipment MAC uses to maintain the airport. The event concludes with a live flight demo, giving the kids a close look at real airplane. Rumor has it that Gregg may plan another Young Eagles Workshop event next fall and introduce the Farnsworth faculty to a new EAA program called AeroEducate.



EAA Director (Housing): 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.



Director (Membership): Jim Pearsall
Jim is a former president, having served for six consecutive years. His experience and knowledge of chapter operations has been invaluable. During Jim’s tenure as Membership Coordinator, the chapter has maintained a stable membership, hovering around 90-95 members. In 2022, he helped attract eight new members and provided several prospective members with free six-month EAA trial memberships. Jim also manages the chapter’s new Roster Management Tool, a free service provided by EAA.



Jack Miller Director (Past President): Jack Miller
Born and raised in Minnesota, I flew with my mother as a child. On my first flight I got sick, but eventually came to love the freedom of flying. I learned to fly later in life as a retiree. It was on my bucket list, I guess. The experimental aircraft pictured here was built by my Uncle Bob, a master carpenter, in Petaluma California. He called me out of the blue and asked if I wanted his airplane “Plumb Bob”. After landing on a rural road, having run out of gas, he clipped a fence post and was taken for a loop! At 87 he decided to call it quits. I had no pilots license, nor did I live close to an airport (Roseville MN) so I said "yes." My wife and I hauled it back in a Penske truck, stuck it in our garage.  and wondered what to do with it. So I learned to fly. Bill Shanks Sr., was my instructor and Scott Hutchinson my mentor. That was over a decade ago. Since then I have driven Plumb Bob’s nose into the runway at 21D and have taken it for a loop de loop and a flip. That’s another story.



Young Eagles/Eagle Flights Coordinator: Vicky Moore
Summer 2022 was Vicky’s first experience as YE Coordinator. Under Vicky’s leadership Chapter 54 pilots provided a free airplane ride to 110 kids. This impressive accomplished occurred during only four rallies. Two rallies were cancelled due to weather. She has also used new software to streamline the registration, assigning pilots, and printing certificates for the recipients. With Vicky’s leadership we also approved a scholarship to Anika Hovland to attend a week-long Air Academy session last summer. Vicky is a recent graduate of the EAA Chapter Leadership Academy in Oshkosh.



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.



Marlon Gunderson Newsletter Editor: 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.
EAA 54
President: Leif Erickson
Contact: 651-335-6755 | 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
To provide a better user experience, EAA uses cookies. To review EAA's data privacy policy or adjust your privacy settings please visit: Data and Privacy Policy.