Former Cessna chairman Jack Pelton named EAA chairman

Jack Pelton, former CEO and chairman of Cessna Aircraft Co., is the new chairman of the board of the Oshkosh, Wisc.-based Experimental Aircraft Association.

He was named to the board on Monday. In his role, Pelton will guide the organization through a leadership change.

On Monday, the board accepted the resignation of EAA president and CEO Rod Hightower, who resigned to return to St. Louis to reunite with his family there.

When he accepted the position two years ago, Hightower wanted to move his wife and five children to Oshkosh, he said.

“But our family and school involvement have increased as our children advance in the schools they, and we as their parents, love,” Hightower said in a statement. “It would simply be too great a hardship on my family to move them to the Oshkosh area.”

Pelton said he will work with the board of directors to make sure there is a seamless transition to a new EAA leader.

“The directors of EAA and I thank Rod for his service. We understand how difficult it is to relocate a family of school-age children,” Pelton said in a statement.