From Home Furnishing Business
Hall of Fame Announces Captain Sully Sullenberger as Keynote Speaker
2019 by Laurie Northington in Business Strategy, High Point, Industry, Market
“Captain Sullenberger is a true American hero and leading voice on lifelong preparation and leadership with integrity,” said David Gebhart, president of the Foundation board of directors. “A bestselling author, international speaker and subject of a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Captain Sullenberger will inspire us as we induct new members into the Hall of Fame.”
A man of deep courage and striking humility, Sully Sullenberger has been an advocate for safety his entire adult life. Sullenberger is best known for landing US Airways Flight 1549 on New York City’s icy Hudson River after both engines were disabled by a bird strike in January 2009. All 155 people aboard survived. Sullenberger and his crew received international acclaim for their actions, including passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in Time magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009,” and he was awarded the French Legion of Honour.
Sullenberger, who learned to fly at age 16 near his hometown in Denison, Texas, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. He served as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force from 1975 to 1980, advancing to become a flight leader and training officer and attaining the rank of captain. He was an airline pilot from 1980 until his retirement from US Airways in 2010. With a focus on safety throughout his nearly four-decade career, Sullenberger performed accident investigation duties for the U.S. Air Force and also served as an Air Line Pilots Association representative during a National Transportation Safety Board investigation, among other safety leadership duties.
He is the author of two books, including Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, which reached number one on The New York Times bestseller list, and Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders. Sully, the critically acclaimed movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, was based on Highest Duty.
From 2009 to 2013, Sullenberger served as co-chair of EAA Young Eagles, a program that inspires and educates youth about aviation. In collaboration with DuPont Sustainable Solutions, he developed and was featured in an award-winning video safety training program. Since January 2017, he has served on the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation, which advises on transportation automation issues across a range of industries.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Sullenberger earned a master’s in industrial psychology from Purdue University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He also has an honorary doctorate from Purdue. He still flies privately.
The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Oct. 20 will again be produced by Event Chairman Michael Amini at the Sheraton Greensboro Four Seasons. Tickets for this year’s event are $250 per ticket for members ($2,500 for a table of 10) and $300 per ticket for non-members ($3,000 for a table of 10). For more information about the celebration or to purchase tickets, visit the event’s website at www.fuelthefuture2019.com.