Karen Gebhart is vice president of business development for Helicopter Association International (HAI). She leads HAI’s membership, advertising and sales, trade show, and partner relations departments. Additionally, she has management oversight of HAI HELI-EXPO, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exposition. Karen also serves on the Dallas and Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau advisory boards, and the National Aeronautical Association board.
Prior to joining HAI, Karen served in executive leadership positions for more than 16 years at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). She joined AOPA in 1994 as vice president of membership, where she oversaw extensive membership growth. She became senior vice president in 1996. In 1999, she added AOPA’s member products, technical assistance hotline, and annual convention operations to her areas of responsibility. Karen was named executive vice president of non-dues revenue in 2001, taking over AOPA’s convention exhibit and advertising sales. In 2007, she was named executive vice president of AOPA communications, leading the division responsible for bringing AOPA's message to members, media, government and the public through AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines, AOPA Online, electronic newsletters, outreach events, media relations, and public relations campaigns including GA Serves America. Karen was appointed president of the AOPA Foundation in 2009.