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Reno Air Races names Marie Bodman 2011 Person of the Year



RENO, Nev. The Reno Air Racing Association Board of Directors announced Marie Bodman, president of Breitling USA, as the 2011 Person of the Year.  Breitling has been a sponsor for the National Championship Air Races for the past eleven years.  As president, Marie continues to invest the company’s effort in the Air Races, providing dedication, commitment and support for the continuation of the event.

“The “Person of the Year” award singles out an individual who has made a major contribution to the success of the Air Races,” said Mike Houghton, President and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association.  “Marie joins a long list of aviation notables such as Bob Hoover, Moya Lear, Bill Stead and Herb Kelleher, to name few, who are members of our Hall of Fame, as well as members of our Board of Directors.”

Marie Bodman was born in France and immigrated to the US in 1975. She began a career in the watch industry and was hired by Breitling in 1989 to re-introduce the brand to the US market.  For the past 21 years, Marie has worked diligently to build Breitling’s presence through a retail distribution of just over 300 doors to the opening of the Flagship boutique in Manhattan this month.

In 2004, Marie chose to expand Breitling’s relationship with the National Championship Air Races by becoming a presenting sponsor.  This partnership has proven, year-after-year, that a successful business partnership can only be achieved when the people behind it truly believe in each other’s products. Under her leadership, she introduced John Travolta to the Reno Air Races which helped launch a worldwide ad campaign featuring John Travolta in Reno. That campaign has spread the Air Race brand to many countries.  Despite her demanding responsibilities here and in Europe, Marie continues to evolve the relationship with Breitling USA and the Reno Air Races. Recently, Marie and Breitling pledged their support for the National Championship Air Races through the 50th Anniversary in 2013.

“The relationship with Breitling is one that we are honored and humbled to have experienced,” said Terry Matter, Chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association.  “Their continued support has allowed us to produce this event for our incredible fans and aviation enthusiasts around the world and we look forward to another thrilling year.”

The 48th annual National Championship Air Races is the premier air racing event in the world.  The air races take-off on Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept.18, 2010 at the Reno Stead Airfield.  For more information, please visit www.airrace.org or call 775.972.6663.

About the National Championship Air Races

Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world.  In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 200,000 spectators per year and has generated more than $80 million a year for the region’s economy.  The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations.  For more information on the National Championship Air Races, obtain media credentials or purchase tickets for next year’s event, visit www.airrace.org.

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Reno Air Races short on funds, asks county for support

Reno Air Racing Association is short of funds for this year’s Reno Championship Air Races, slated for Sept. 14-18, and its leaders today asked Washoe County’s Board of County Commissioners for financial support.