Aviation World Mourns the Passing of NASAO's 'Henry 0’ - Feb. 7, 2014
The aviation community is mourning the loss of an outstanding leader, friend and advocate.
Henry Ogrodzinski, who was known by his friends and colleagues as simply “Henry O”, passed away Jan. 22 after losing a two-year battle with cancer. He was 65.
For the last 18 years, Henry has served as president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), an organization in Washington D.C., that represents state-government aviation professionals in all 50 states as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.
"The aviation industry has lost a dear friend and champion in Henry Ogrodzinski. He was a passionate, tireless worker for everything aviation, but more importantly, he was my personal friend,” said Victor N. Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission and former NASAO chairman. “He has taught me so much over the years for which I will always remain grateful. I will miss him greatly.”
Henry began his aviation career at the Delco Electronics Division of General Motors, which manufactured navigation and flight-management systems for the aviation industry, handling all communications for the division’s Milwaukee facilities. He then moved on to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh where he became the Director of Policy and Planning as well as Director of Corporate Communications, playing an integral role in the organization’s growth and its signature event, AirVenture.
Following his stints with Delco and EAA, Henry also worked for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and the United States Air and Trade Show as those organizations’ communications and public affairs officer.
Throughout his tenure with NASAO, Henry was a regular visitor on Capitol Hill. Whether it was bending the ear of policymakers about some issue facing aviation or serving as an industry spokesperson for a House or Senate committee or subcommittee hearing, he was always well received and well respected among those serving in Congress.
Henry was a U.S. Army veteran and honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications. He has served on many aviation-related boards and committees, most recently serving on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
A recipient of several awards and other aviation accolades, including most recently the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Aviation Management Association, Henry is survived by his wife of 21 years, Ellen Barrett, and a brother and sister.
NASAO President and CEO Henry Ogrodzinki, shown here speaking during the 2010 Oklahoma Aerospace Summit in Oklahoma City, recently passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.