Exciting changes are happening at the 800+ organizations taking part in AASLH’s Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs). Our “StEPs Spotlight” series highlights accomplishments by the participating organizations. Join us each month stepsbadges-goldto read how StEPs is helping these organizations take a leap forward by improving policies and practices, opening lines of communication, and setting goals for a bright future.  


Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Fort Worth, Texas


The Fort Worth Aviation Museum, formerly the Veterans Memorial Air Park, is located next to Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth. Dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of aviation in Fort Worth, the North Texas region, and around the world, the museum features exhibitions and 24 airplanes.

The Fort Worth Aviation Museum has two paid staff, approximately ten unpaid staff, and 20 to 30 active volunteers. They enrolled in StEPs in 2014. To date, they have earned a Bronze certificate in the Mission, Vision and Governance section.

What would you say is the most significant improvement within your organization as a result of taking part in StEPs?

We’ve always been aviation enthusiasts. Now we also have a greater sense of professionalism.

Can you offer specific examples of other positive changes within your organization as a result of StEPs?

We have gained a greater awareness that we are on a path to success. Also the realization that we have been doing some things as best practices for sometime and that we are building a good foundation for growth.


Tell us how your organization is making its way through the program.

We are working through the sections one at a time. Our first pass is sort of an assessment to see where we are. We check off what we are doing and at the specified level. We then go back and work on items one at a time with the goal of achieving the Bronze recognition.

What advice do you have for organizations just getting started in StEPs?

Just start. Don’t put it off. Begin with Mission, Vision, and Governance and see how you measure up. Don’t do anything other than review. Then consider your next steps. Don’t let the magnitude of the program paralyze you.

Finally, which section of the workbook has been your favorite?

Mission, Vision, Governance. It reaffirmed our stance and direction and confirmed we were on the right track. It is the foundation of the organization. It is the launching pad.


Our thanks to Jim Hodgson for providing information for this blog post.


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