Mary Ann Dilling, CFEE 

Mary Ann L. Dilling, CFEE is currently the Director of Business Development for Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, WI.  

EAA is an organization with 180,000 worldwide members dedicated to growing participation in aviation by sharing “The Spirit of Aviation.” EAA was founded in 1953 and supports all facets of recreational aviation, including through more than 900 chapters that encourage aviation activities in local communities. Those activities include the Young Eagles program, which has flown 1.8 million young people at no charge since 1992 to introduce them to the wonders and possibilities of flight.  EAA’s annual gathering, EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., is the world’s largest fly-in event, welcoming an attendance of more than 500,000 and 10,000 aircraft from more than 60 nations. AirVenture is also one of the world’s largest aviation marketplaces, with more than 800 exhibitors showcasing innovations from throughout the world of flight, and features 1,000-plus forums, workshops and seminars covering all of aviation.

As the Director of Business Development, Mary Ann’s team encompasses three areas.  exhibits, advertising and sponsorship.  The team currently recruits more than 800 exhibitors during its fly in AirVenture.  For advertising EAA has monthly magazines along with electronic ads, programs, newspapers, jumbotrons etc. The third component is sponsorship.  These three entities produce revenue of 10.6 million dollars, annually.

Before November 2015, Mary Ann was the Director of Events and Hospitality at EAA for the past 3 festivals seasons.  Mary Ann’s department was for responsible for five different areas.   The food and beverage program, which encompasses, volunteer food program, catering, concessions, alcohol etc.  The sales area for EAA’s venues, along with the event coordinators for EAA owned events as well and hosted events was also part of the team.  Housing that secures the over 2400 room nights for their annual event AirVenture, and varies events throughout the year; along with the lodge that houses events year around is also part of the department.  Event administration, the supply chain for all events golf carts, wristbands, tents etc. is also an area of the team.  Audio and visual for the organization is also coordinated in this department.

Previously she served as the Executive Director of Fond du Lac Festivals for the past eleven festivals seasons. Fond du Lac Festivals is a nonprofit organization that produces Taste of Fond du Lac, Light Up the City, and Wisconsin’s premier event, Walleye Weekend a Free Family Festival. Fond du Lac Festivals currently benefits almost 200 non-profit organizations through its efforts.She was responsible for all aspects of the organization, including budget, sponsorship, marketing, community relations, acts and entertainment, building and grounds, and accounting. Fond du Lac Festivals is able to produce international award winning events by partnering with different entities and utilizing their resources to maximize the events to their fullest potential.

Mary Ann has also been involved in the production of varies events including the San Jose Holiday Parade, San Jose, CA, and McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, Chicago, IL. Speaking engagements include Wisconsin Tourism Conferences, Michigan Festivals

and Events Conference, Calfest California, Prince Edward Island, and International Festivals and Events Association. She also serves on numerous boards in her community and internationally.  Currently, she is the chair of the IFEA Foundation Board.

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