South Grand Lake Regional Airport Authority

Working Board and Volunteers

People ask how a nonprofit airport with no paid employees and no outside financial support can rise from a cow pasture to a fully functioning regional airport producing well over $2.5 million in economic impact annually for the Grand Lake community and beyond. The answer lies in the old-fashioned principle of a Working Board and Working Volunteers willing to perform real duties and raise funds to accomplish the goals. The Grand Lake Community is blessed with so many wonderful volunteers.

Directors L to R: Art Box, Jim C. Brown, Dave Wolfard, Jimmy Kuykendall, Mark Delozier Volunteer, Derrick Schmidt, Donna Belt, Bob Sullivan, Gary Watkins, Brent Howard.

Airport Board

Directors Serving


Your Title Goes Here
Jim Brown, Chairman (2015-2023)

Board Member, Jim Brown, comes to the South Grand Lake Regional Airport with a background in industry franchising. Owning his own business for 18 years, Jim owned multiple Moto Photo franchises around Tulsa; later guiding others into owning their own franchising opportunities. Brown retired from Comfort Keepers, a Sodexo Company, as the Vice President of Franchise Development. Growing up in Oklahoma City, Jim became interested in aviation shortly after graduating college while living in Midland, Texas. He had a roommate that encouraged him to fly and he was hooked after only one lesson. He officially obtained his pilots license in 1974. He has an instrument rating in addition to multi and seaplane ratings.  He is currently in a partnership on a Cessna 182 and has flown over 2,000 hours.  Coming to Grand Lake for the first time in 1981, Jim and his wife Paula, fell in love with the area which became their avid weekend retreat. The long time Grand Lakers built a home here in 1996. He sat on the airport board from 2002 to 2004 before moving to Ohio, returning to Grand Lake for good in 2013. Brown came back on the SGLRA Board in 2015. Jim first started flying into SGLRA when it was a 3,000’ grass strip which is vastly different from today. He is proud to serve on the Board with other area leaders who govern the airport and volunteer their time.  In addition to becoming Board Chairman in 2024 Jim is also an organizer and current President of Friends of South Grand Lake Regional Airport, a 501(c)(3). Friends is focused on helping the airport grow with matching Grant funds and capital expenditures.  His passion for flight is still in full swing and he has become an instrumental part of the upkeep of the 100 acres of property in which the airport sits on in Ketchum, Oklahoma.

Bob Sullivan, Secretary (2004-2023)

Accomplished is one word that accurately describes South Grand Lake Regional Airport Secretary, Bob Sullivan. Born and raised in Seminole, Oklahoma, Sullivan has resided on Grand Lake in Duck Creek  since 1976. Serving for 35 years as an Army National Guard JAG Officer and a former Tulsa Assistant District Attorney- Sullivan is best known around the Grand Lake area as General Counsel for the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) where he served for 33 years, retiring in 2009. The University of Tulsa College of Law graduate is also a proud past President of the South Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce; and an active member of the Vinita Lyon’s Club. The Sea Plane rated pilot has had the pleasure of owning two aircrafts including a 1946 Aeronca Champion and a 1966 Cessna 172. He notes logging some 1,500 hours as a pilot. One highlight for Sullivan was flying to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1976 for the Bicentennial Fly In. He also flew to various National Guard locations during the first Gulf War to assist with sending soldiers off to war. Sullivan came on board at the South Grand Lake Regional Airport when the runway was still just a path in the grass and has immensely enjoyed watching the airport grow. He helps the airport by keeping in compliance with the Open Meetings Act and takes published minutes. Giving back to the community is important to Sullivan. He is a proud member of the Grand Lake community and enjoys the wildlife in the area as well as the change of seasons.

Dave Wolfard, Tresurer (2017-2023)
Officially retiring to Grand Lake full-time in April of 2016, South Grand Lake Regional Aiport Board Member, Dave Wolfard, is proud to represent the airport. The Oklahoma State University graduate takes pride in living and partaking in all things Grand Lake.
Traveling around the country for the past 30 years, Wolfard has acted as a Regional Sales Manager, Director of Sales and National Account Manager for companies related to the golfing industry such as Scotts Miracle-Grow, LESCO and SiteOne Landscape Supply. He also spent three years in Business Development at John Deere. While golfing has played a major role in his life, he has always admired aviation.
Born and raised in the Norman/Oklahoma City area, Wolfard is no stranger to travel and aviation as it played a major part in his life during his career. Befriending pilot, Derrick Schmidt, of Derrick Schmidt Aviation, peaked Wolfard’s interest in aviation even further. He enjoys helping the airport and the board in any way that he can; and believes it will keep expanding and growing into the future.
Currently focusing on his recent retirement, Dave likes spending time with his family, boating the waters of Grand and even partaking in the sport of rock crawling beneath the rocks at the Pensacola Dam between the towns of Disney and Langley. He enjoys small town living and the people he gets to meet along the way.
Art Box, Member (2008-2023)

Dedicated Grand Laker and South Grand Lake Regional Airport Board Member, Art Box, became fascinated with aviation at a young age and earned his pilot’s license in 1968. It was an advertisement in a magazine which drew his attention to take his first flight lesson in a Cessna for a mere $5.00. He has been hooked on flying ever since logging some 4,000 hours.

The former Army veteran who hails from Tahlequah, Oklahoma discovered Grand Lake in the 1960’s. He and his wife, June, have been full-time residents for over 22 years. Very active in the lake community, Art currently serves as a Board Member of the South Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce and has served two terms as the President of the Grand Lake Association.

Fifteen years ago Art began Pine Lodge Resort, a beautiful lakeside cabin retreat, which has grown into a five-star lodging experience. Coining the phrase, “Grand Lake, The Crown Jewel of Oklahoma”- speaks volumes as to Art’s love and pride of the area in which he resides.

As a SGLRA Board Member, Box has been excited to see the growth of the airport over the years and understands the important role that regional airports play in a small community. Helping maintain the grounds of the airport takes a group effort on everyone’s part and is one that he is happy to assist with. He is proud to sit on the Board of many accomplished individuals who all share a common goal of growth and expansion.

Staying busy is nothing new to Art Box, but when he finds spare time you can find him fishing and boating on the waters of Grand Lake. He enjoys the people in the area, accommodating tourists and the peacefulness that Grand Lake brings.

Derrick Schmidt, Member (2015-2023)

Board Member, Derrick Schmidt, has played a huge role in the growth of the South Grand Lake Regional Airport. While Schmidt owns his own aviation company (Derrick Schmidt Aviation) he also has a rare and impressive background. Not only does Schmidt posses 21 years of Cessna factory experience, he also worked for 7 years as an A&P mechanic at Wichita Service Center where he performed light to heavy maintenance on all Citation types. While spending 6 years as a part-time corporate pilot for Cessna’s in-house air transportation department, he also worked for 14 years as a Senior Production Test/Delivery pilot. He has over 11,000 hours of flight time in Citations; is licensed as an Airline Transport Pilot, Type rated in C-510S, C-525S, C-500, C-560XL, C-650, C-680, and C-750 and is an A&P Mechanic (current). Hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Schmidt attended Colorado Aerotech in Broomfield, Colorado in 1989. He started flying with his dad as a child, but notes he didn’t become serious about aviation until he finished his A&P and had a job at Cessna to pay for it. He started DSA once he saw a need for consulting and found a home for his business at the South Grand Lake Regional Airport. He has built an impressive hangar, complete with a makeshift control tower office and sleeping quarters inside. He has flown over 14,000 hours and continues to pilot while also focusing on sales and acquisitions. Coming to Grand Lake in 1997 to purchase a boat, Schmidt instantly felt a connection to the area. He and his wife, Linda, have enjoyed living on Grand Lake full-time for the past fourteen years. When he’s not in the air, you’ll find him on his jet ski or relaxing and spending time with his wife. He has a love for all fuel burning machines and is happy to sit on the airport board where he shares his knowledge of all aspects of aviation. He enjoys working with Brent Howard and discussing ideas on how to expand and grow the airport.

Gary Watkins, Member (2017-2023)

Tulsa businessman and licensed pilot, Gary Watkins, joined the South Grand Lake Regional Airport Board in July of 2017. The Tulsa native earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from The University of Tulsa and obtained his pilot license soon after graduation. Over the years, Watkins has logged many hours as a pilot and has owned various aircrafts (Bonanza A36TC, King Air C90, Turbo Commander and 310). Watkins flew to and attended the ground breaking ceremony at 1K8 when the runway was an unpaved strip in the grass and has watched SGLRA grow and evolve over the years. His passion for aviation keeps him active at the South Grand Lake Regional Airport as well as the R.L. Jones Riverside Airport in Tulsa. As a SGLRA Board Member, Watkins is excited to be part of the growth of the airport and the community. Having raised his family in active aviation and water settings, when not flying or at the airport, you’ll find Watkins spending time with his wife Meg and their family out and about on Grand Lake.

Jimmy Kuykendall, Member (2019-2023)
KD Hill, Member (2024)

KD Hill moved to Grand Lake in May 2020 with his wife Tammy. He has invested heavily in the Ketchum/South Grand Lake area acquiring several commercial properties. He has also built Marina Del Rey Resort, located just a few short miles from the Airport. KD is committed to helping the South Grand Lake community grow, as he volunteers on the airport board and other duties at the airport. He comes to us with a long history and love for aviation. He has held his private pilot license since 1994. Having been around aviation since a very young age, KD brings a passion and acumen for aviation that will only complement our board and community. KD enjoys boating and shooting pool as well.

Mike Vaughn, Member (2024)

Mike Vaughn spent the first 18 years of his life being raised near Grand Lake and left home to seek higher education at Oklahoma State University where he earned a mechanical engineering degree along with a Master in Business Administration. In 2003, he returned to Grand Lake full time with his wife Rebeka to raise their three daughters as Grand Lakers.

He spent 15 years in the engineering design field working on a variety of products, including some in the marine and aerospace industries, where he was awarded a handful of patents. While the work was fun, he wanted to have more of a community impact so he began his financial advising business in 2013 when he started his career with Edward Jones.

Over the past ten years, Mike has served the South Grand Lake community in many ways including serving on the Ketchum Scholastic Foundation Board and the South Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce. He enjoys spending time on the lake as well as traveling the country with his family.

Total Serving Years . . . 70

Brent Howard, Chairman Emeritus

After 20 years as Chairman of the Board of the South Grand Lake Regional Airport and Airport Manager Brent Howard retired and accepted Board Chairman Emeritus position to advise and assist with specific airport projects. 

Brent Howard, is known as a visionary to many in the area. In 2005, Brent envisioned turning what was once a grass strip airport with a pole barn hangar into a jet-capable facility that would bring people to the lake community from outside the normal drive time. This idea would end up generating additional money into the local economy. Long believing that providing a long-term source of income for the area was far superior to handout programs, the airport would provide income for local businesses to hire and retain valuable employees to serve the Grand Lake community.

Graduating from Oklahoma State University, Brent brought a plethora of experience to the airport board with a highly impressive background in business which includes owning residential and commercial real estate companies; and serving as a Bank Director and Commercial Real Estate investor.

Brent Howard served as the President of the Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Lake Economic Development Council, Ketchum Economic Development Council, Grand Lake Boaters Association, South Grand Lake Scholarship Fund, Sigma Chi Order of Constantine, Sigma Chi Significant Sig, Oklahoma State University House Corporation, and Tulsa University House Corporation.

He has inspired and played host to many boat enthusiasts from around the country who partake in restoring classic boats at Howard Classic Boats. In recent years he has started raising Registered Texas Longhorn Cattle. He enjoys lake activities with his four children, grandchildren, and great-grandson son. He also enjoys seeing the South Grand Lake Regional Airport grow from a pasture to a Regional Airport.

Directors Served

Brent Howard (2004-2023), Jim Frazier (2004-2005), Dan LeGrant (2004-2008), John Ballard (2004-2008), Carl Clay (2004-2013), Art Couch (2004-2013), Frank Sommer (2004-2011), Brian Ruth (2006-2007), Jeff Ducato (2007-2009), Charlie Sublett (2008-2014), Dan Diehl (2009-2015), Wilson Jones (2009-2015), Gary Heitgrass (2012-2015), R.J.Gomez (2013-2017), Donna Belt (2014-2023), and Layne Enloe (2015-2019).

Total Served Years . . . 111

Served Early Years

John Ballard, Jim Brown, Bill Hartman, Jack Heath, Perry Hood, Jim Inhofe, Pete Kourtis, Bob McDowell, John Mullin, Joe Ramsey, Jack Seay, Greg Simmons, and Frank Sommer.

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