In short, our focus is two fold where our expertise learns from our historical past through our artifacts, airplanes by teaching new generations as well as looking to the aerospace future of NY.
The Wings of Eagles Discovery Center traces its heritage to the National Warplane Museum (NWM), founded in Geneseo, NY in 1984 by a passionate group of members who celebrated the lore of WWII aircraft. NWM was a flying museum, by the New York State Department of Education. The flag ship artifact was a B-17 “Fuddy Duddy” that toured throughout the flying season, offering a unique flight experience for paying customers.
In addition to offering unique flight experiences, the National Warplane Museum also staged the annual Wings of Eagles Airshow, a major event on the airshow circuit featuring a host of flying historic warbirds.
In the mid 90’s, the Board of Trustees decided to move the Museum to a larger venue and posted a Request for Proposals. Chemung County was the preferred new site and the Museum moved to the Elmira Corning Regional Airport. The new location provided much higher visibility, but also significant challenges. As Federal Aviation Regulations governing airshows and warbird rides tightened, the founding business model became outdated and a financial crisis ensued.
While charting a viable future, the museum changed its name to The Wings of Eagles Discovery Center and while continuing to honor the past, began focusing on preparing a new cohort of aerospace capability among youth in our community. Our futures theme shifted to NASA and space exploration, culminating with the establishment of the Mars Base Eagle display, which captures essential elements of life in a human colony on Mars.
Built around the aerospace challenges illustrated by our displays is an extensive education outreach program, focused on project based education to promote STEM based critical thinking skills to meet the increasing demands of our technology based economy.
Our Present Board Members
Wings of Eagles Discovery Center prides itself for a well established and actively working board that works hard to help keep our mission going forward. We go forward toward the future with each and every board meeting, function, and idea for our visitors and area youth. Our STEM class focus is Aerospace training to help with the growing skilled worker deficit in our state. Please click on the board member names to read a short bio. NAME WEDC TITLE NOTED POSITION Joe Panzarella Chairman The Hillard Corporation Mike Hall Vice Chair M/G (ret) USAF Matt Cowen Finance The Hillard Corporation Tracy Sink Member WEDC President & CEO / RF Engineer David Genitz Member Owner Total Recall Message Center Allen Fusco Finance Owner, Elmira Holiday Inns Bill Cantando Member The Hilliard Corporation Cynthia Haigh Member Retired School Superintendent Don Keddell Member Chairman, GST BOCES Board of Directors Maureen Nicolo Member Retired ESD Middle School teacher Paul Flagg Member Retired Aerospace Executive Robert Pfuntner Member Owner, Pembrook Pines Media Corp. Todd Egan Secretary Elmira College Faculty Tom Heil Member Robert Packer Van Harp Member Retired FBI Agent/Security Consultant Angela May Finance/Grants Director of Development, Elmira College William Brown DO Member(Retired) Retired General Surgeon “A good Board Of Directors team is one where ideas are flowing fluidly - and where each idea is met with an initial welcome, an intellectual challenge, an expression of gratitude, a rigorous scrutiny and a readiness for action.” ― Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr “A strategic board has a view of looking ahead, an insight to look deeper, and competency to look beyond.” ― Pearl Zhu
Our Past Board Members