National Aviary Honors Long-Time Board Member, Names New Bald Eagle "Flinn"


7/2/2015

July 2, 2015 (Pittsburgh, PA) – The National Aviary honored long-time board member and supporter Mike Flinn yesterday evening at a special reception where they unveiled a plaque in his name and announced the naming of a new Bald Eagle “Flinn.”

“The National Aviary wouldn’t be where it is today without the leadership, time and contributions that Mike Flinn has provided through the years.  We are so grateful, and we are thrilled to be able to honor Mike in such a meaningful way,” said Cheryl Tracy, National Aviary managing director and chief operating officer.

Mike Flinn first joined the board of the National Aviary in 1992, after working as pro-bono attorney in 1991 on a contract to privatize the Aviary under the name Save the Aviary, Inc. when City of Pittsburgh budget cuts threatened closure. He served as the board’s first president from 1992 – 1997. During that time the Aviary hired its first executive director, achieved its national designation, earned a contract with the Regional Asset District, and held its first fundraising initiative and significant renovation project. 

During Flinn’s second term as board president from 2007-2010 the National Aviary undertook a major expansion that, by 2010, had doubled the size of its visitor space, adding a new entrance on Arch Street, a café, classroom, the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater, and two new exhibits: the Grasslands and the popular Penguin Point, which has become the National Aviary’s most popular exhibit. Admissions and earned revenue since the expansion has grown by more than $1 million and 250% percent respectively.

In addition to providing board leadership, Flinn has made significant personal contributions to the National Aviary of time, expertise and financial support. 

In recognition of his significant contributions through the years and his critical influence in the National Aviary’s growth and success to date, the organization held a special reception for Mr. Flinn where they introduced a group of his friends, family and past and present board members and staff to a new Bald Eagle named “Flinn” in honor of Mr. Flinn.

“Flinn” the Bald Eagle is a juvenile, approximately four years old, that sustained a wing injury in the wild that made him unable to survive on his own. He has joined the National Aviary’s education collection and is being trained to participate in educational programs and shows. 

The National Aviary also unveiled a plaque bearing Mr. Flinn’s name that is positioned in Condor Court near the Bald Eagle exhibit there.

“It’s an honor to be recognized in this way,” says Flinn. “I’m proud of the National Aviary’s achievements and that I had a role in it.  It’s inspiring to work alongside such passionate and dedicated people and, because of them, there’s no limit to what this organization can achieve.”

Mike Flinn is a shareholder at Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney and lives in Ross Township with his wife Eileen. He has two children, a daughter Erin, son Kevin and daughter-in-law Megan. Mike is a 1967 graduate of North Catholic High School and of Notre Dame in 1971.

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