As many of you may know, a Wing Leader is a volunteer role taken up by a dedicated and passionate individual who steps in to lead their respective Wing and team of volunteers. For the Northern California Wing, Bob Strawn has been that amazing individual. Bob has orchestrated several patient, provider, and pilot outreach activities throughout the state that have been instrumental in the growth in missions and volunteers during his time as NorCal Wing Leader. Additionally, Bob has flown 227 missions as a Command Pilot since first joining AFW in 2006.
Having led the wing for the past several years, Bob is now handing over the Wing Leader yoke to new hands. Thankfully, Bob will continue to be involved in a supportive role in the NorCal Wing Leadership Team. I hope you will join me in giving our heartfelt gratitude to Bob for sharing his leadership, talents, and dedication with us. Thank you, Bob! Your faithful volunteer service has made such a difference in the lives of many patients and families, and you have truly been a blessing for this organization.
It is my pleasure to now introduce Gil Takemori as our incoming NorCal Wing Leader. Gil will be taking over the Wing Leader role and help us continue our mission of delivering health and hope in CA and beyond.
Gil Takemori grew up in Livermore, right under the LVK ILS 25R and watched many pilots honing their IFR skills before becoming a (Commercial, Instrument-rated) pilot himself, many years later. A small business owner with a prior career in high tech, he became an AFW Command Pilot in 2011 knowing that community service would be a great way to embrace his love of flying while helping others in need. Besides being a proud father of two amazing young adults and husband to his business partner Linda, he also founded and organizes the EAA IMC Club at Reid-Hillview (KRHV), flies for EAA 62 Young Eagles and participates in holiday bike building events for Turning Wheels for Kids and Sacred Heart Community Center.
When he’s not flying for AFW or on family holidays, you might find Gil out fly fishing for the very elusive steelhead trout in Northern CA and OR. An avid outdoor enthusiast and environmental advocate, he also volunteers for the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition, the San Jose Flycasters Education Foundation, and the Alameda Creek Alliance. Most of all however, he is anxious to participate in this new role at AFW to help promote and expand the reach of this amazing group of volunteers. Call sign: Angel Flight 6826. Your plane, Gil!