In recognition of Michael J. Flinn’s significant contributions to Pittsburgh’s National Aviary and his influence on the Aviary’s growth and success to date, the organization held a special reception on July 1 to introduce friends, family, staff and past and present board members to a juvenile bald eagle named after Flinn and to unveil a plaque bearing his name. The eagle was rehabilitated at the Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine from a wing injury suffered in the wild. While the injury prevents the eagle from being returned to the wild, he will become part of the Aviary’s educational programs.
“[The Aviary is] a key part of several species’ survival plans. At least four separate species of bird exist today because the Pittsburgh National Aviary successfully bred them,” Flinn explains.
Flinn, a shareholder in Buchanan’s Corporate Section, has served on the National Aviary’s board of directors for 24 years. His involvement started by providing pro bono legal services to assist the Aviary to become the first indoor, non-profit aviary in the United States. Flinn then served as the board’s first president from 1992 – 1997, when the Aviary hired its first executive director and achieved an honorary national status accorded by Congress. During 2007-2010, Flinn’s second term as board president, the National Aviary undertook a $17.5 million expansion and remodeling project. Since then, earned revenue has doubled over the past five years, and admissions have been growing. As of June, the Aviary was on track to increase 2014’s admissions by 32 percent.
“Of all the things they could have done, I think (having a bald eagle named after me) is the coolest,” Flinn says, noting that he was humbled and thrilled by the recognition.
Read the full article – “Ross resident honored for service to National Aviary” (Pittsburgh Tribune Review, July 20, 2015)