Aviary honors long-time board member, supporter

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Courtesy of the National Aviary

National Aviary long-time board member and supporter Mike Flinn (second from left) recently with a commemorative plaque and named a Bald Eagle “Flinn” after him.

The National Aviary honored long-time board member and supporter Mike Flinn recently at a special reception where a plaque in his name was unveiled and the naming of a new Bald Eagle, Flinn, was announced, according to a press release.

“The National Aviary wouldn’t be where it is today without the leadership, time and contributions that Mike Flinn has provided through the years.  We are so grateful, and we are thrilled to be able to honor Mike in such a meaningful way,” Cheryl Tracy, National Aviary managing director and chief operating officer, said in the statement.

Flinn first joined the board of the National Aviary in 1992, after working as pro-bono attorney in 1991 on a contract to privatize the Aviary under the name Save the Aviary, Inc. when city budget cuts threatened closure. He served as the board’s first president from 1992-97. During that time the Aviary hired its first executive director, achieved its national designation, earned a contract with the Regional Asset District, and held its first fundraising initiative and significant renovation project.

“It’s an honor to be recognized in this way,” Flinn said. “I’m proud of the National Aviary’s achievements and that I had a role in it.  It’s inspiring to work alongside such passionate and dedicated people and, because of them, there’s no limit to what this organization can achieve.”

During Flinn’s second term as board president 10 years later from 2007-10, the Aviary undertook a major expansion that, by 2010, had doubled the size of its visitor space, adding a new entrance on Arch Street, a café, classroom, the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone Theater, and two new exhibits: the Grasslands and the popular Penguin Point, which has become the National Aviary’s most popular exhibit. Admissions and earned revenue since the expansion has grown by more than $1 million and 250% percent, respectively.

In addition to providing board leadership, Flinn has made significant personal contributions to the National Aviary of time, expertise and financial support.

“Flinn” the Bald Eagle is a juvenile, approximately four years old, that sustained a wing injury in the wild that made him unable to survive on his own. He has joined the National Aviary’s education collection and is being trained to participate in educational programs and shows.

The National Aviary also unveiled a plaque bearing Mr. Flinn’s name that is positioned in Condor Court near the Bald Eagle exhibit there.

The information used in this article comes courtesy of the National Aviary.

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