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Boyer Retires Following Distinguished 18-Year Tenure It's official... AOPA President Phil Boyer will retire in just a few weeks and as ANN FIRST reported, experienced Washington political insider Craig L. Fuller will take the helm of the influential 415,000-member pilots association. AOPA Board Chairman Bill Trimble noted that, "Starting last year to find AOPA's next leader, a Board of Trustees search committee hired national search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help identify final candidates from among 597,000 US pilots. After hundreds of interviews and painstaking review of 100 potential candidates, it was clear that Craig Fuller, a recognized leader in business, public affairs and association management, would be ideally suited to carry-on Phil's tremendous legacy. "Craig is a committed 40-year pilot, aircraft owner and AOPA member," added Trimble. "He is as comfortable with fellow pilots and 'hangar talk' as he is facing a Congressional committee." Fuller left his native California in 1981 to be Assistant to the President for Cabinet Affairs in the Reagan White House. In 1985, he became chief of staff for Vice President George H.W. Bush, traveling with the vice president to every state and 60 nations overseas. Later, after working with international public affairs organizations in Washington and Philip Morris Companies Inc. in New York, he became president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) linking retailers, manufacturers and suppliers in that industry. He will be leaving his current post as executive vice-president at global public affairs and strategic communications company APCO Worldwide in Washington to become AOPA president. Fuller learned to fly at Buchanan Field in Concord, CA while still in high school and flew with the UCLA flying club at Van Nuys while earning a B.A. in political science. He has a Master's degree in urban studies from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where business travel in his early public affairs career fostered purchase of a Cessna ...