The Aviation Museum is managed by three staffers and about 80 volunteers. (With a little help from Santa!)
To learn more about volunteers, visit the ‘Volunteers’ area under ‘Support Us.’
Jeff Rapsis, executive director
Jeff Rapsis joined the Aviation Museum of N.H. as executive director in 2018. A native of Nashua, N.H., Jeff is the son of John “Jack” Rapsis (1916-68), a noted New Hampshire aviator and flight instructor who flew C-47s and C-54 transports for the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, and later as a pilot for Boston-based Northeast Airlines. As an undergraduate, Jeff attended Fordham University in New York City and Glasgow University in Scotland. His professional experience includes a 35-year career in journalism and publishing during which earned an M.B.A. from the University of N.H.’s Whittemore School of Business. In 2000, he cofounded HippoPress, a weekly publication based in Manchester, N.H. of which he serves as Associate Publisher and co-owner. In addition to managing the Aviation Museum, Jeff is a musician and composer who specializes in creating improvised live music for silent film screenings at venues around the nation. He is a resident of Bedford, N.H., and has been an avid collector of airline timetables since age 10.
Leah Dearborn, assistant director
Leah Dearborn was appointed the assistant director of the Aviation Museum in June of 2021. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from UMass Amherst, and in 2019 earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations from UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. She also earned a certificate in Modern Media from Yale University in 2017. Leah’s professional background includes working as a reporter and newspaper editor. Her stories have appeared in publications around New England, including the Boston Globe. She also has experience in the financial services industry. Her interest in aviation includes accruing hours towards a glider pilot license and she is especially fascinated by non-mechanized flight. As a writer, her goal is to tell stories from the past that might otherwise be lost. When she’s not at the museum, you can usually find her walking her Shiba Inu or rock climbing.
Debbora Losch, education director
Debbora Losch began her role as the first full-time education director at the Aviation Museum of N.H. in August, 2022. Her involvement with aviation is a long one that began as a child. In high school in Tampa, Fla., she was a part of the MacDill Aviation Academy at Robinson Senior High and a member of MacDill’s Civil Air Patrol. As a high school student, Debbora was a part of a student plane-build of an RV-9A, much like the program the student plane-building program museum is currently undertaking. She was also a part of a national rocketry team and spent four years learning daily about aviation and all that it encompasses. After high school, She began working as the assistant to an aircraft mechanic on antique aircraft. Shortly after starting this job she realized she couldn’t afford the cost of higher education and she enlisted in the U.S. Army as an AH-64D Apache helicopter mechanic. After four years of service in the Army, Debbora went on to get her B.A. in World History and an M.A. in World History and Education. When she isn’t at work she is with her husband of six years and young daughter. They spend most weekends exploring all of the family fun things New Hampshire has to offer.