RENO, Nev. – The Reno Air Racing Association announces Chris Johnson as Director of Operations who has taken over following Terry Matter’s retirement from the position. The organization also welcomes new board member, William “Bill” Freeman.
The 2021 STIHL National Championship Air Races returned with a new face amongst the department heads. Chris Johnson, General Manager of Indian Hills General Improvement District, joined the Reno Air Racing Association as Director of Operations and successfully oversaw operations for the 2021 event. Johnson brings over 10 years of experience in airport and airshow management at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Johnson served in the United States Army as a combat engineer for 10 years and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Magna Cum Laude. He also serves as a board member for the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and previously for the Carson Valley Visitors Authority.
The Director of Operations position was handed off to Johnson by Terry Matter. Matter has been involved with the Reno Air Racing Association since 1999 having served on the Board of Directors since 2004, as Chairman in 2010 and 2011 and as Director of Operations since 2016. In his time Matter was directly responsible for the FAA waiver requirements for the Pylon Racing Seminar and the STIHL National Championship Air Races. Matter will remain on the RARA Board and continue serving as its Vice-Chair.
“My heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to Terry for his extraordinary service and dedication over the last 22 years,” said Fred Telling, CEO and Chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association. “Terry’s continued commitment to remain as our Vice Chairman and unparalleled dedication to volunteering as Director of Operations has been essential to our success. Chris has big shoes to fill, but I know he’s up to the task.”
A longtime STIHL National Championship Air Races supporter, Bill Freeman joins the Reno Air Racing Association’s Board after serving on the Chairman’s Advisory Committee for four years. Freeman has been attending the STIHL National Championship Air Races since the early ‘80s. He has flown and performed as an airshow pilot and aerobatic competitor in the Southeastern U.S., holding a low-level aerobatic waiver in the P51D, Pitts S2A, S2B, and S2C, as well as the T34.
A Nashville native, Freeman is the Chairman of award-winning Freeman Webb, Inc. a real estate investment, management and brokerage company he co-founded with partner Jimmy Webb in 1979. Freeman is an active volunteer who is no stranger to sharing his expertise on boards.
“We can’t thank Bill enough for his time on the Chairman’s Advisory Committee and are delighted to welcome him to the Board,” said Telling. “Bill’s extemporary background and service as Chairman of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Board of Directors, as a member of the University of Tennessee Alumni Board of Directors as well as on the AOPA Presidents Council will be a great asset.”
The 58th STIHL National Championship Air Races will return to Northern Nevada Sept. 14-18, 2022. More information about volunteering, donating, attending, scholarship information and more can be found at www.airrace.org.
About the STIHL National Championship Air Races
The STIHL National Championship Air Races are held every September just north of Reno by the Reno Air Racing Association, a 501(c)(3). The event has become an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world with seven racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. Independent economic impact studies show that the event generates as much as $100 million annually for the local economy. For more information on the National Championship Air Races, visit AirRace.org.