Aviation has been a major part of Jim’s life. He holds commercial fixed wing, commercial helicopter and commercial gyroplane ratings with over 2300 total hours of flying time. As a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, he has built, restored and flown a number of experimental and classic aircraft. Sixteen hundred of his flight hours have been in experimental and classic aircraft. Four hundred hours have been in rotor wing aircraft and three hundred have been in factory built aircraft, ex-military prop and jet aircraft.
Jim has served as Executive Director for the Southern Museum of Flight since September of 2005. He brings a unique blend of experience to his position. Jim served as principal of two elementary and two middle schools, was regional vice president for a major national financial services company, and has over 40 years of flying experience. Jim served in the United States Marine Corps.
Educational background: BS in Counseling and Guidance, University of Montevallo Masters Degree and AA, University of Alabama at Birmingham Doctorate in Administration and Supervision, University of Alabama Completed the United States Air Force Museum School and Orientation Course, Dayton, OH
Brian J. Barsanti Historian & Director of Administration
Brian began working with the Southern Museum of Flight in 2007. He serves as a part-time faculty member in the Department of History & Anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, as well as an Affiliate Instructor of History with Huntingdon College. Brian is a graduate of a number of military training schools including the United States Army Airborne School, and he currently serves as a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. He completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and his education includes a graduate degree in History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Brian is currently pursuing the Ph.D. in Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Wayne Novy Curator & Director of Operations
Wayne joined the Southern Museum of Flight in 2004, after retiring from the United States Air Force. In his 22 year career, he worked avionic systems, crewed many versions of the C-135 and learned four Slavic languages. He is the only Air Force enlisted graduate of the Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course. Wayne has worked at a number of aviation museums, and he has maintained vintage aircraft both flying and non-flying. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with degrees in History and Anthropology.
Daphne Dunn Office Manager
Daphne has been a member of the Southern Museum of Flight team since 2005. She possesses over 16 years of office administration experience with the City of Birmingham. In addition, Daphne’s professional work experience includes nearly twenty years of management, human resources management and public relations endeavors. She is a graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration.
Brian Burke Museum Technician
Brian Burke joined the Southern Museum of Flight in 2012. He retired from the United States Navy in 2005 after a twenty-year career as an aviator. He flew the SH60B Seahawk in the “Fleet” and completed three deployments to the Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf. Brian was a flight instructor in the Navy’s primary training aircraft, the T-34C, and was designated to instruct aerobatics, familiarization and instrument phases of primary flight training. He served in numerous overseas positions in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Brian is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, the Navy Flight Training Program and the Navy Flight Instructor Training Unit.
Zachary Edison Restoration Technician
Zachary joined the Southern Museum of Flight part-time in June of 2011 and became a permanent member of the team in November 2011. He previously worked for Alabama Aircraft Industries as a Senior Estimator on KC-135, C-130, P-3 aircraft and H-60 helicopter depot-level repair maintenance. He retired from the United States Air Force after 24 years. During his military career, he worked as a Crew Chief and Superintendent on C-5, C-141, C-130, C-9 and C-17 aircraft. He became a master instructor teaching C-141, C-130 and C-5 aircraft maintenance. Zachary has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Talladega College, and two Associates Degrees from the Community College of the Air Force in both Aircraft Maintenance and Military Instructor of Technology.
Elizabeth Grady Events Manager
Elizabeth joined the Southern Museum of Flight in 2012 with over 15 years experience working in Performing Arts and Events; locally with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Center and nationally with The Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. Most recently she traveled with Big Bird as a tour manager for Sesame Street Live! Liz has her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Stage Management from the University of Delaware Professional Theatre Training Program. She is also a proud graduate from the Alabama School of Fine Arts Theatre Department, class of 1997.
Address 4343 73rd Street North Birmingham, AL 35206