Stephan C. Brown is president and chief executive officer of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). A former Army aviator and private pilot with more than 2,000 hours logged in military and civilian aircraft, he has almost 25 years of leadership, marketing and financial management experience. Brown assumed his post with the CAF on Oct. 17, 2007.
After graduating from Penn State University in 1983, Brown served as an Army commissioned officer and helicopter pilot, earning the rank of captain. Upon his discharge from the Army in 1988, Brown began a career in consumer products, sales and marketing at the leading marine electronics manufacturer, Humminbird Fishfinders in Eufaula, Ala. He quickly rose through the ranks from territory sales manager to vice president of sales/marketing, product development and finally as Managing Director.
In 1997, he left Humminbird to form the Consumer Products Division at Valley Recreation Products, Inc., in Saginaw, Mich. When the opportunity came along a short time later to work at EAA – and reconnect with his passion for aviation – he quickly accepted the position of executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
Brown was recruited by EAA in 1998 to bring the organization’s marketing into the future. Under Steve’s leadership, a web presence was developed, a branding effort was implemented and what is today known as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh was solidified. Brown remained with the organization for nearly five years.
In 2002, Brown left EAA launched his own business: RSVP Wisconsin, a national franchise direct mail marketing publication. He continued to own and direct this operation while serving as president and chief operating officer of Chi-Mar Construction, LLC, in Destin, Fla.
Through his leadership, the Commemorative Air Force has become the leader in warbird aviation with a voice among decision makers in the field of Aviation as well as in Washington, D.C. The CAF owns and operates 162 vintage military aircraft which are cared for by 12,000 members in more than 60 unit locations within the United States and four foreign countries. The organization continues on its mission to Honor American Military Aviation, through flight, exhibition and remembrance.