Our Staff

Curator / President: Mark Conrad, Master Sergeant, USAF, Retired

  Mark enlisted in the United States Air Force in October 1980 and served as a Master Instructor and Combat Communications Specialist. His assignments include Lajes Field, the Azores, Portugal, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He served on multiple deployments including in Iraq and Turkey in support of Operations DESERT STORM and PROVIDE COMFORT, NATO Base Tomaso Dal Molin, Italy in support of Operations DENY FLIGHT and PROVIDE PROMISE, Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Implementation Force (IFOR) in support of Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, and Eskan Village, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and DESERT FOX. He was honorably retired after 20 years service.

   He's been a military history enthusiast since childhood and has contributed to more than a dozen collector's books and scholarly publications. Mark serves as the President of the museum's governing board.                                                                                          

Vice President: Ken Hoelscher

  Ken has been an avid fan of WWII since he was in junior high school. He saw the movie Memphis Belle and since then has been hooked. He has been involved in reenacting for nearly 20 years and enjoys teaching the public about WWII. Ken's impressions run the gamut from a Flight Officer (Glider Pilot), a mountain trooper, infantryman , a cook, and a Marine in the Pacific Theater. Ken is the founder of the group “Keeping the History Alive” and enjoys reenacting alongside his daughter and displaying his 1942 Studebaker "Phantom". When not reenacting Ken spends his time working in the family business as a chimney sweep and loves spending time with his family. Ken serves as the Vice President of the museum's governing board.

Public Affairs / Treasurer: Catherine I. Beers-Conrad, USAF Veteran

  Catherine (Cathy) is a veteran of 6 years service in the United States Air Force; she served tours of duty in Alabama, Alaska, Ohio, and the NORAD/Space Command Headquarters in Colorado. She is a former freelance writer on military family life for the Dayton Daily News.

  She is also a Gold Star Daughter; her father, Master Sergeant Jack Blaine Beers, was Killed In Action in Vietnam on 07 April, 1969 and is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Purple Heart and two Bronze Star Medals.

Cathy serves as the Treasurer of the museum's governing board.

Docent / Chaplain: Brent L. Davidson, USAF Veteran

  After graduating from high school in Wilmington, Ohio, Brent enlisted in the United States Air Force in June 1978. He completed the Security Police Academy in October of that year and was assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, where he guarded nuclear missile silos. In 1982 he was reassigned to Zweibrucken Air Base, West Germany. In 1984, he was reassigned to his old unit at Malmstrom. Brent left the Air Force in 1985 and worked for several civilian security companies as well as the Esther Price Company and Goodwill Easter Seals.

  He is active in various Veterans organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, and was elected as the Commander for Disabled American Veterans of America Auxiliary Unit 9 for 2018-2019. Brent is also heavily involved in Native American Veterans issues; his support for them led to his being adopted into the Tall Tree Piqua Shawnee Turtle Clan in 2016, and given the title and native name of Sub Chief (acting Chief) Peaceful Tall Shadow by the Primary Chief and the Matriarch of the clan.

  In addition to being the Museum's Chaplain, Brent serves as the Chaplain for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, William T. Sherman Camp 93, and does living history as the first Chaplain of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (forerunner of today's VA), Chaplain (Captain) William T. Earnshaw.

Trustee: Dan Kirkpatrick, Colonel, USAF, Retired

  Dan was born in Dayton, Ohio but grew up in a variety of places as his father worked for a defense contractor. He joined the Air Force Reserves after graduating from High School and flew Aeromedical Evacuation missions throughout the Pacific region. While in the Reserves, Dan attended nursing school at Riverside City College, graduating in 1975. He was given one-year leave of absence from his Reserve duties to join the Peace Corps in 1976. During this time Dan served in the Truk (now called Chuuk) Islands providing health care to residents of two small islands. He returned to the Reserves in 1977, and in 1979 went on active duty in Air Force. Dan spent next 28 years on active duty, retiring as a Colonel in 2007 from Wright-Patterson AFB. He then joined the faculty at Wright State University, teaching undergraduate and graduate disaster preparedness for nurses and coordinating the graduate flight nurse course. Dan served on the City Council and as the Mayor of Fairborn, Ohio and serves in several other civic organizations. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal. Dan serves as a Trustee on the museum's governing board.

Trustee: John Hoelscher, US Navy Veteran

  John is a native of Kettering, Ohio. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1969 and served as a Combat Air Crew with Patrol Squadron TWENTY SIX (VP-26). John's duties included serving as the Radio Operator and In-Flight Technician. He was honorably discharged in 1973. John has degrees in Electronic Engineering and worked as a research technician in solid state physics at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base until his retirement in 2016. He is married to Caryl and has two sons, a grandson and three granddaughters. His long interest in military history manifests itself in his restoration of three military vehicles: a 1941 Dodge WC18 ambulance, a 1942 GPW jeep, and a 1953 Dodge M37. John serves as a Trustee on the museum's governing board.

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