Originally from Columbus, he now lives in Kettering with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children; he also has 21-year-old twin boys out on their own. THE JOB:
The National Aviation Hall of Fame (nationalaviation.org
) commemorates American champions of flight. It’s housed at, but separate from, the National Museum of the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. He’s been executive director since 2005. “I tell people we’re to aviation as Cooperstown is to baseball,” he says. This year’s honorees include all the astronauts of the Apollo moon program.HOW HE FELL IN LOVE WITH FLIGHT:
“My dad was a B-25 instructor [during World War II], and continued to fly as a civilian.” He also helped foster a youthful interest in Kaplan in Eddie Rickenbacker, the WWI ace from Columbus.OTHER INTERESTS:
A lover of movies, Kaplan founded the “Reel Stuff” Film Festival of Aviation three years ago. Flight aside, his real passion is surfing. Once self-employed as a graphic designer, he created the “Surf Ohio” brand of T-shirts and hats, and is planning to revive it soon, both for profit and kicks. WISHES HE HAD MORE TIME FOR:
Painting. Kaplan used to paint a lot of realistic aviation-history scenes, but only gets to do about one a year, and misses making art.LOOKING FORWARD TO:
He and Jennifer are about to adopt a child from Ethiopia. They’re also planning a trip to Hawaii, “so I can teach the family to surf.