Retired Intrepid President Bill White to assist RIAHOF's Fundraising Campaign to Bring the USS JFK to Newport County

Top Quote Bill White has dedicated his career to honoring and supporting our nation's military personnel, veterans and their families. Bill White retired after 20 years as President of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and continues to serve on the boards of the Intrepid Relief Fund and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. End Quote
    Quote Bill White led fundraising efforts which raised more than $600 million during his tenure. Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 13, 2011 - Bill White, retired Intrepid President and Chairman and CEO of Constellations Group has agreed to assist the Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame (RIAHOF) with their national and international fundraising campaign in an effort to bring the retired aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy to Newport County as a world class educational attraction.

    Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame (RIAHOF), a local non-profit group, recently announced the exciting launch of an important national effort to bring the retired aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy to Newport County. The group was notified in a letter from the Navy that they are the only viable candidate for the donation of ex-JFK. In light of this news, the group will move forward promptly in an effort to raise the funding needed to execute the 15 million dollar plan.

    Bill White, Chairman and CEO of Constellations Group, and retired president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, has agreed to assist RIAHOF's national and international fundraising campaign to bring the USS JFK to Newport County. Bill White served as the President of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City and successfully led the organization for 20 years through his retirement in 2010.

    While serving as president of the Intrepid family of foundations and lead director at their sister organizations, Bill White led fundraising efforts which raised more than $600 million during his tenure. He managed all operations, management, strategic planning and branding for the Intrepid Foundations, leading a team of more than 250 professionals and thousands of volunteer personnel over the years. Bill spearheaded the $115 million capital campaign for the 2006-08 restoration of the ship and pier, building the Intrepid brand to new heights of international awareness and respect.

    Commenting on the Navy announcement, Bill White said, "This is a very important step. People who want to support this exemplary project and bring the 'Big John' home will want to know that if they actually commit the necessary funds, then the project will happen. They also want a date certain that the JFK will open to the public, assuming that all other requirements are met," he added.

    Leading the local fundraising effort is former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, a WWII B-17 bomber pilot who retired from the Air Force as a colonel and also chaired President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in 1961; he has a personal interest in this project and is committed to its success. This past fall, he reached out to Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame and offered his services in the fundraising area. Sundlun was also appointed by JFK as incorporator of the famous Comsat Corporation, the federally funded entity designed to establish a worldwide satellite communications network.

    Project leadership has learned through subsequent phone conversations with the leadership of NAVSEA's Ship Donation Program that RIAHOF's designation as the sole viable candidate can change if steady progress toward the fundraising goal is not made. A small window of opportunity has been left open by the Navy for Portland, Maine; however, in January, Portland's Town Council voted 9-0 against a proposal to host the JFK. The group in Portland must able to identify a site for the ship and meet funding requirements within the next six months in order to apply for the next round of the application process.

    RIAHOF's remains steps ahead of Portland in terms of the six month deadline; their application has already met most of the other requirements for donation so the six month deadline does not apply to them. RIAHOF will focus on steady progress toward raising the necessary funding, with the help of Bill White and Bruce Sundlun, to ensure their submission will remain viable.

    About Bill White

    Bill White currently serves as Chairman and CEO Constellations Group, a strategic consulting firm that advises corporations, foundations, and high net worth individuals with their business challenges and philanthropic and business endeavors. While serving as Intrepid President, Bill White helped raise over $600 million for related charitable efforts. While under White's leadership, The Intrepid Museum emerged as a world-class education attraction welcoming almost 1,000,000 visitors each year and featuring exciting exhibits like the British Airways Concorde.

    Bill White is a graduate of Fordham University and holds a Culinary Arts Degree from the French Culinary Institute.

    For additional information, contact:
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