Friday Dec 4, 2015

"A Hidden Gem at the North End of Lake Washington - Kenmore Air"

Gregg Munro

Chairman Kenmore Air / Kenmore Air Harbor

Scribe: Mark Hough

Logged In =

Create =

Manage =

In This Issue

Kenmore Air – Paul Cunnington Classification Speech –  New Member Induction: Susan Beals – Thought for the Week

Speaker Program

A Hidden Gem at the North End of Lake Washington: Kenmore Air

Greg entered the business after college in 1970.  Today Greg is not so active but his sister works in the business and his son, Todd, is president.  After the Vietnam war, Kenmore Air bought between 200 and 250 surplus de Havilland  Canada U-6 Beaver aircraft from the US Army.  All of the aircraft were completely rebuilt.  Most were resold, some to celebrities like Kenny G and Harrison Ford.  These were the quintessential bush airplanes and along with the eight surplus U-1 Otters, a bigger version of the Beaver, became the mainstay of the Kenmore fleet.  Today the fleet consists of 20 aircraft and flies from Kenmore or Lake Union.  Most of the flights are to Victoria and the San Juan Islands.

Greg recounted one of the highlights of his career, which involved a chance but life changing meeting in 2005 with a visiting children’s choir from Uganda.  Greg took the children flying and on the invitation of one of the members, visited them in Uganda.  This would become the first of 18 trips to Uganda and setting up a high school there which started with 25 students and now has 280.

It gives one a good feeling to have successful and generous neighbors like Kenmore Air in our community.

Club Business

President Paul rang the meeting to order.  Chuck Barnes let the invocation, including a moment of silence for the victims of the San Bernardino shootings.  John Smolke greeted guests and visiting Rotarians.

Classification Speech

Paul Cunnington, through a PowerPoint presentation, gave the BBRC a good look at himself.  Paul grew up in a small village in northern England, but thanks to an uncle who was a currency trader in London, he gained a more worldly view and eventually became involved in the international high tech industry, speaking three languages, living in four countries and visiting all the continents.  He was a consultant and this was his pursuit for 20 years.

One of his stints was with Microsoft where he worked in the international business area.  Five or six years ago, when his wife was seriously hospitalized, became a reflecting point for Paul.  He and his wife left the high tech industry and became real estate investors.  Paul still does a little consulting.  He began to see how to treat life as a business and apply the same measuring tools as one would in a business.  Using this philosophy, he is happy helping others and having a sound and successful relationship with his family, friends and business associates.  His interest in helping others led him to Rotary.

New member induction

Susan Beals was sponsored by Alan Pratt as the newest member of the BBRC.  Susan was accompanied by her husband Hal, also a Rotarian.  She was a member of the International District Rotary Club where she was a past president.  Susan is in the residential real estate business with Windermere.  She is an accomplished violinist and was attracted to the BBRC by its energy and varied projects, locally and internationally.  Welcome Susan; you will fit right in!

Thought for the Week

George Bernard Shaw: “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society.  The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist invents the parachute.”

About the Speaker

Gregg Munro was born and raised in Kenmore, graduated from Bothell High School in 1964 and started to learn to fly during his senior year. He graduated from Washington State University in 1968, after which he spent two years in the Army (1968-1970) with a year in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. Upon his return from military service, Gregg started working in the family business – Kenmore Air Harbor – full time upon return from Vietnam. Gregg has logged over 20,000 hours since 1970 and held the positions of pilot, flight operations manager, president, and chairman.

Gregg visited Uganda in 2005 and has returned twice a year since with Restore International, a humanitarian organization based in San Diego. He was inducted into the North Shore School District Wall of Honor in 2105 in recognition of both civic and humanitarian contributions here and abroad. He is semi-retired with the title of Chairman and continues to fly for the company.