Sheryl L. Chaffee, Vice-Chair

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Sheryl Chaffee was born in Kingsville, Texas; she is the daughter of Roger and Martha Chaffee.  Sheryl grew up in Houston, Texas during the Apollo space race, moved to Florida in 1979 and began her career at NASA in 1983.


Sheryl's father, Roger was an Apollo astronaut.  Roger died in the Apollo 1 fire along with Gus Grissom and Ed White on January 27, 1967.  Sheryl’s mother, Martha served on the Astronaut Memorial Foundation Board of Directors from 2008 to 2013.  


Sheryl's career at NASA spanned 33 years.  She held several positions during her years of service.  Her last position was as the Real Property Officer at the Kennedy Space Center where she was accountable for all real property assets on the Center. Sheryl retired from NASA December 2016.


Sheryl has been an active supporter of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation since its inception.  She participated in fund raising events and committee meetings during the development of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and the Center for Space Education.  She has received various awards and recognitions including a Community Service Award from the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and Outstanding Contribution recognition from the Telephone Pioneer of America North Florida Charter 39.


She supports local cancer center charitable events, has volunteered to work the Melbourne Art Festival 5K run and regularly participates in beach clean ups.  She enjoys traveling, boating, biking and the beach.  Sheryl is married to Grady Thomas, has two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.


Richard (“Rick”) Matthews, Secretary

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Richard (“Rick”) Matthews is vice president of Global Operations and leader of the Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence (CoE), located in Melbourne, Fla., at Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector, a premier provider of military aircraft, autonomous and space systems and next-generation solutions to assist our customers worldwide, preserve freedom and advance human discovery.

As the leader of the Manned Aircraft Design CoE, Matthews is responsible for developing the Center’s capacity, capability and culture to meet business objectives and the needs of customers around the globe. He is also Northrop Grumman’s lead executive for civic and business relations across Florida.

Matthews has additional responsibility as the Global Operations representative and Global Supply Chain program manager lead for Aerospace Systems’ Military Aircraft Systems division. In these capacities, Matthews provides expertise and support to every phase of weapon system management, from proposal through lifecycle support, across a widerange of systems operating worldwide.

Matthews joined Northrop Grumman in June 2007 following a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force. He led major weapon system programs, including the B-2 Stealth Bomber, and has an extensive background in leading large acquisition management functions in addition to major wholesale and retail logistics organizations.

Matthews earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Virginia Tech, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the National Defense University. He also completed Advanced and Executive Program Manager courses at Defense Systems Management College and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at Penn State University.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.


Col. Gregory H. Johnson, Treasurer - ​(Colonel, USAF, Ret.)


Former US Air Force pilot, astronaut, and aerospace leader. Served as the President and Executive Director, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) until Mar 2018.  Under his leadership, CASIS and the International Space Station National Lab (ISS NL) community grew and matured by expanding the pipeline of non-traditional and innovative ISS NL users, generating significant non-NASA resources and funding, facilitating strong support from commercial companies, institutions and other government agencies, and clearly communicating the opportunities and possibilities through channels new to space-based research and STEM. 

USAF/NASA career: a decorated fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut on missions. Retiring as a Colonel after nearly 25 years of service, he was selected as a NASA Astronaut and ultimately piloted two Space Shuttle missions, STS-123 and STS-134, spending 32 total days in orbit and contributing to the assembly of the ISS. Additionally, he was the Associate Director of External Programs at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In that role, he managed all public affairs, outreach, and educational programs at the Center.

Johnson received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, his M.S. in flight structures engineering from Columbia University and his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Johnson serves on multiple Boards including the SpaceCom Advisory Board, the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, and the National Boy Scouts of America STEM Advisory Board. Member of Association of Space Explorers (ASE), Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Rotary Club.

Eileen Marie Collins (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) - Immediate Past Chair


Eileen Marie Collins, retired Colonel in the United States Air Force and former NASA astronaut, has had an extensive career in the field of aviation.  During her Air Force career she was a T-38 Instructor Pilot and a C-141 Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot.  While assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, she was an Assistant Professor in Mathematics and a T-41 Instructor Pilot.  Collins was only the second female to attend the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.  She has logged over 6,751 hours in 30 different types of aircraft.

Colonel Collins became as astronaut in 1991 and is a veteran of four space flights. She has the distinction of being the first female Commander of a U. S. spacecraft (STS-93).  She also commanded NASA’s “Return to Flight” mission (STS-114), following the Columbia accident.  She has logged over 872 hours in space.  She retired from NASA in 2006 to pursue other interests.

Eileen Marie Collins received an Associate in Science degree in Mathematics/Science from Corning Community College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from Syracuse University, a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from Stanford University and a Master of Arts degree in Space Systems Management from Webster University.

Colonel Collins is the recipient of many awards and honors from a variety of military, government and private entities.  She has received the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, just to name a few.

Andrew Allen

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Andrew Allen is Vice President and General Manager of Jacobs Space Operations Group at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, FL. Jacobs provides overall management and implementation of ground systems capabilities, flight hardware processing and launch operations at KSC as part of the Test Operations Support Contract. NASA program support includes Exploration Ground Systems, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Space Launch System, International Space Station and Launch Services Program. Jacobs also supports NASA requirements, including agency programs, commercial entities and other government agencies in services for launch vehicles, spacecraft and payload integration and processing; operations and development of associated processes and ground systems to support integration, processing and launch; servicing and testing of flight hardware; and launch of development and operational flights at KSC.

Andrew’s entire career has been dedicated to aerospace. Prior to joining Jacobs, he served in various space industry leadership positions including Vice President of Space Programs and Requirements for Honeywell, Vice President of International Military Aircraft for Honeywell and Associate Program Manager for Ground Operations with United Space Alliance. Selected by NASA in 1987, Andrew became an astronaut in 1988 and is a veteran of three space flights – logging more than 900 hours in space as the pilot on STS-46 in 1992, STS-62 in 1994, and mission commander on STS-75 in 1996. He was the Director of Space Station Requirements at NASA Headquarters until 1997. A retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, he graduated from the Marine Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun), and U.S. Navy Test Pilot School prior to his selection to the astronaut program. He has flown over 6,000 hours in over 30 different aircraft.

Andrew earned his MBA from the University of Florida (2004) and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University (1977). He has received numerous awards and honors during his career including an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Daniel Webster College; Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Science from Villanova University; Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Bucks County Community College; as well as numerous medals and accolades in recognition of exemplary military and NASA service, such as the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Single Mission Air Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and NASA Space Flight Medal.

Bonnie Baer

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Bonnie Baer is the daughter of Lt. Colonel Ed and Pat White. Ed White was selected in the second group of astronauts. He was the first American to walk in space and the first person to use a jet propulsion gun to maneuver himself in space while on Gemini 4. Ed was chosen as senior pilot of Apollo 1 and was killed in a launch pad training accident in 1967.


Bonnie has been a supporter of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation since the beginning. Her brother, Ed White II, was one of the first directors.  Bonnie is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in business specializing in marketing. After raising two daughters she has been employed by Neiman Marcus since 2004 and was selected to be a personal shopper. She has been awarded for exceptional customer service and is one of the top producers at the flagship Dallas downtown store.  Bonnie has served on several boards and has been involved in many fundraising projects. She presently volunteers at North Dallas Shared Ministries filling food baskets for the elderly and sorting clothing donations.

Brian Duffy (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) NASA Astronaut (former)

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Born and raised in the Boston area, Brian Duffy graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in June 1975.  He graduated from the Air Force's Undergraduate Pilot Training program in August 1976 where he was named a Distinguished Graduate, awarded the Flying Training Award, and assigned to fly the F-15.  He completed two operational tours in the F-15 before attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California.  Duffy graduated as a Distinguished Graduate and was assigned as the Director of F-15 Flight Test at Eglin AFB, Florida.  He led a cadre of experienced test and operational pilots and managed a fleet of highly modified aircraft.

Out of thousands of applicants, Duffy was one of thirteen selected by NASA to be Astronaut Candidate in 1985 and became an astronaut in 1986.  Following the Challenger accident, he was a member of the team that redesigned and tested the field and nozzle joints of the Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor.

Duffy's first space flight was as the Pilot of the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the ATLAS-1 mission, STS-45.  It was the first of a series of missions conducted to study the sun, the atmosphere, and the complex interactions between them.  During one of the experiments of the mission, the crew created the first man-made aurora.

Catherine A. Ford

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Catherine Ford is the former headmaster of Holy Trinity Academy in Melbourne, Florida and has served the independent school community as a member of the Florida Council of Independent Schools Board of Directors and as President of  Florida Association of Academic Non-Public Schools. She joined the Holmes Regional Medical Center Board just as Health First was being founded and has served the organization as chair of both the Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center and the Health First Palm Bay Hospital Board of Directors.

As an Episcopal school leader, Ford has served as a Trustee at Sewanee—The University of the South and as a member of the Governing Board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools.

Catherine earned her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Science from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. As an active volunteer in the community, she is also a former president of the Junior League.

Kathie Scobee Fulgham

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Kathie Scobee Fulgham is the daughter of Challenger astronaut Dick Scobee and June Scobee Rodgers, Ph.D.

The scope of Kathie's experience and leadership skills are grounded in a well-rounded career of team-play, where creative interchanges, along with goal completion, have been benchmarks of success. She focuses on public relations, special events, writing, editing, media relations, fundraising, marketing and website development.

While Kathie's work in Chattanooga has been concentrated on her projects with the Mayor, the Tennessee Aquarium and Waterfront endeavors, she also worked for two of the most highly respected institutions in the nation: Rice University and Texas A&M University. 

In addition to serving on the Astronauts Memorial Foundation Board, Kathie currently serves as a board member for Crime Stoppers, Hamilton County Department of Education Fund for Excellence, H*Art Gallery and advisory board member of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Past board service includes the Houston Museum, First Things First and the Cypress-Woodlands Junior Forum.

She was named a 2012 Woman of Distinction.

William (Bill) Gattle


William (Bill) Gattle is president of Harris Corporation’s Space and Intelligence Systems segment.  In this role, he has primary responsibility for the business strategy, financial performance and successful execution of all programs within Space and Intelligence.  The segment offers complete earth observation, weather, geospatial, space protection and intelligence solutions from advanced sensors and payloads, ground processing and information analytics and is also a leader in end-to-end small satellite mission solutions.

Mr. Gattle holds a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida.

Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D.

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Thomas D. Jones, PhD, is a scientist, author, pilot, and veteran NASA astronaut. In more than eleven years with NASA, he flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit. On his last flight, Dr. Jones led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. He has spent fifty-three days working and living in space.

After graduation from the Air Force Academy, Tom piloted B-52D strategic bombers, earned a doctorate in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA, and helped NASA develop advanced mission concepts to explore the solar system.

Tom is the author of several space and aviation books: Ask the Astronaut, Planetology, (written with Ellen Stofan), Hell Hawks! The Untold Story of the American Fliers Who Savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht (with Robert F. Dorr), and Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir. The Wall Street Journal named Sky Walking one if its “Five Best” books on space.

Dr. Jones' awards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Public Service award, Phi Beta Kappa, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Eagle Scout. The Main Belt asteroid 1082 TomJones is named in his honor. In 2018, Tom was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Tom served on the NASA Advisory Council and the board of the Association of Space Explorers and is a board member for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. As an aerospace and science consultant, he focuses on the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources, and planetary defense. A frequent public speaker, he appears often on TV and radio with expert commentary on science and space flight.

Mike Leinbach

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Mike Leinbach was the final Shuttle Launch Director at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. He was responsible for overall Shuttle launch countdown policy, planning, and execution activities for the last eleven years of the program.

Mike joined NASA in 1984 as a structural engineer working on launch pad upgrades for the Space Shuttle Program. He became the Deputy Director of the International Space Station program office at KSC in 1998, and became the Shuttle Launch Director in August 2000. He led the Launch Team for all Shuttle missions from then to the end of the program in 2011, serving as the person to give the final “Go!” for launch.

Mike led KSC’s forces in the initial Columbia debris recovery effort in Texas and Louisiana in February 2003. Shortly thereafter, he led the Columbia Reconstruction Team to determine the cause of the accident from the debris collected and reassembled at KSC. He was the driving force behind the Columbia Preservation Team and the plan to lend debris to academia to develop better and safer spacecraft in the future. His book, “Bringing Columbia Home”, tells the inside story of the mammoth effort of the 25,000 Americans that helped find Columbia’s debris and reconstruct it.

His many service awards include the Presidential Rank Award, NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, and NASA’s Medal for Outstanding Leadership. Mike retired from NASA in 2011. Currently, Mike leads the new Launch Director Tour at Kennedy Space Center’s visitor complex. Participants in the tour have a unique opportunity to visit KSC’s facilities and hear first-hand about the risks and rewards of the Space Shuttle Program.

Mike attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, earning a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1976, and a Master of Engineering degree with emphasis in Structural Mechanics in 1981. He and his wife Charlotte reside in Scottsmoor, Florida.

Joseph Mayer

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Joe Mayer has 34 years’ professional experience in government and community relations, national security affairs and U.S. space exploration policy, as well as communications and business development.  He currently serves as Lockheed Martin’s Director for Government Relations – FL. 

Mayer has worked for Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, Rockwell International, the Senate Intelligence Committee and U.S. Senator Jake Garn (R-UT).  He is the National Chairman of Citizens for Space Exploration – a grassroots, pro-space exploration advocacy group.  He served nearly ten years with the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce in Houston, TX, including Chairman of the Board for the Chamber’s 50th Anniversary Year, Vice Chair of Research, Executive Committee and Board Member, Chair and principal author of the Chamber’s 2012 and 2017 strategic plans, as well as a member of the Government Affairs and Education Divisions. 

Joe Mayer is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and a member of the National Space Club – FL.  He has supported STEM education outreach as a Board Member of the Clear Creek Education Foundation, is a NASA Space Flight Awareness award recipient, and was named by the Clear Lake Chamber as one of fifty individuals who had a significant impact in shaping the achievements and future of the Clear Lake – Houston region.  The Mayor and City Council of Houston recognized his many professional and community contributions by officially declaring February 26, 2013 “Joe Mayer Day” in the city of Houston.

Lt. Col. (Ret) Michael Olson

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Mike is a career banker, currently serving as vice president at Lincoln Savings Bank in Grinnell, Iowa. He has served the banking industry nationally with past service on the American Bankers Association's Compliance Administrative Committee and current service representing Iowa on ABA's Banker Advocacy and Grassroots Committee. He is also a Congressional Contact Banker for the Iowa Bankers Association, advocating for the banking industry in Washington DC. He is an honor graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In 2009, Mike received a Congressional nomination for an appointment by the Treasury Department to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee to the United States Mint. In that capacity, he advised the Secretary of the Treasury on themes and designs of nearly 200 coins and Congressional Gold Medals. He first proposed the 2019 Apollo 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin program while a member of the CCAC in 2014 and it was unanimously recommended by the full committee in its 2014 and 2015 annual reports. He worked tirelessly to get a bill authorizing the coins introduced in Congress and was a key player in its passage into law in 2016.

Mike's military career began with a commission through the Reserve Officers Training program at the University of Northern Iowa in 1987, where he also earned his bachelor's degree. He is also a graduate of the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. During his career with the Iowa Army National Guard, he served as the commander of several units as well as in a number of staff positions, most notably as a strategic planning officer on the Iowa National Guard Joint Staff. He was additionally involved in Baldrige-based continuous improvement programs for the National Guard for over 10 years. His final assignment was as the Selective Service Officer for the State of Iowa, responsible for the recruitment and training of 145 civilian board members recommended by the Governor and appointed in the name of the President. Under his leadership, Iowa ranked first in a 23-state region in terms of readiness. His military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. He was also honored with the Arkansas Traveler award presented by the Governor and Secretary of State of Arkansas.

He has served as president of the Grinnell Rotary Club and treasurer of Big Brothers/Sisters of Northeast Iowa and is involved in many other community activities and organizations.

Stephanie Wilson

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Stephanie Wilson is the first active astronaut to serve on the board of directors for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. Wilson was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1996. She has flown 3 missions: STS-121, a return to flight and International Space Station assembly mission in 2006; STS-120, an ISS assembly mission in 2007 and STS-131, a resupply mission to the ISS in 2010.

Wilson is currently the Branch Chief of the Mission Support Crew Branch within the Astronaut Office where she is responsible for the training and professional development needs of the mission support astronauts to ensure they are ready for flight assignment.    She has previously served as the Space Station Integration Branch Chief from 2010 to 2012, and she has also served as a member of the 2009, 2013 and 2017 Astronaut Selection Boards.  

After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science from Harvard University and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas, she worked for the former Martin Marietta Astronautics Group in Denver, Colorado and for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California before reporting to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in August 1966 for Astronaut Training. As a member of the Astronaut Office she has served in many roles including working in mission control, working with payload displays and procedures, working in the area of robotics.  

Wilson has previously served as a member of  The Harvard University Board of Overseers, and she is currently a member of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The Association of Space Explorers, and The Society of Women Engineers.  Her achievements and honors include but are not limited to Harvard College Women’s Professional Achievement Award (2008); Harvard Foundation Scientist of the Year Award (2008); University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award (2015); Honorary Doctorates of Science from Williams College (2011), Smith College (2016) and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (2018); NASA Space Flight Medal (2006, 2007, 2010) and NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2009, 2011) and the Johnson Space Center Director’s Innovation Group Achievement Award (2013).