John Cudahy first joined ICAS as the organization’s president in June of 1997. As CEO, he has led the association’s efforts to increase the visibility and influence of the air show community on legislative and regulatory issues for nearly 18 years. Working closely with a Board of Directors comprised of industry volunteers and a full-time professional staff at ICAS headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia, Cudahy serves as the primary interface with military personnel, elected officials and federal regulators on issues and opportunities that impact the air show community. He acts as industry spokesman on air show-related issues, including appearances on news programs and documentaries. And he has focused much of his effort during his time with ICAS on professionalizing the air show business.On behalf of the air show community, Cudahy coordinated all aspects of a successful advocacy program to restore military participation in air shows following sequestration-related budget cuts in the spring of 2013. Following a sharp increase in fatal accidents, he conceived and managed a program to change the industry’s safety culture, an ongoing effort that generated and maintained a 65 percent decrease in fatal accidents. And Cudahy led an effort by ICAS and other aviation associations to present a thoughtful, coordinated and effective response to a multiple-fatality accident at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada in September, 2011.
Cudahy has spent his entire career in the association management field, including 13 years with the Institute of Packaging Professionals and one year each with the National Pest Control Association and the American Medical Student Association. A licensed pilot and graduate of the University of Virginia, Cudahy lives in Herndon, Virginia with his wife, Laura. The couple has two college-age children.