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Hall of Fame 2008 - Delford M Smith

Delford M. Smith

Delford M. Smith is the owner and founder of Evergreen International Aviation. He began the company with the idea that aircraft could be used as angels of mercy as well as industrial workhorses. In 47 years of operation, under Mr. Smith’s active direction, Evergreen International Aviation has proven the truth of this concept time and again.

With 100 worldwide bases and more than 4,500 employees, Evergreen International Aviation has worked for customers in more than 170 countries. Through all of this work, Evergreen International Aviation has remained committed to Quality Without Compromise®, and maintains the highest safety and reliability record in the industry.

The company provides total aviation capabilities through its subsidiaries:

Evergreen International Airlines operates a fleet of B-747 freighter aircraft, which are employed in contract services for major airlines and U.S. government agencies. This division specializes in cargo carriage around the globe.

Evergreen Helicopters is the world’s most diversified rotor-wing operator, and serves agriculture, construction, forestry, health, peacekeeping, petroleum, and utility industries. The division also provides helicopter airframe and component management services, including repair and overhaul.

Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprises provides full-service ground handling and express logistics serving over 40 major airports in the United States.

Evergreen Trade (formerly Evergreen Aircraft Sales and Leasing) specializes in matching machines to missions through managing the acquisition, trade, lease, and sale of aircraft assets.

The Evergreen Maintenance Center is an unlimited aircraft overhaul and repair station. This maintenance center is the world’s largest commercial aircraft storage facility and provides maintenance services to major airline fleets.

Evergreen Systems Logistics is a fully integrated third-party logistics provider with the capability to provide creative and efficient logistics solutions worldwide.

Evergreen Supertanker Services is changing how the world looks at fighting forest fires. As a Boeing 747 retrofitted for firefighting, it can hold more than 20,000 gallons of water or fire retardant on board, allowing drops of nearly seven times the amount of other large firefighting aircraft.

Mr. Smith continues his focus on the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, which opened June 6, 2001 in McMinnville and has now hosted more than a million guests from around the world. With the Howard Hughes “Spruce Goose” as its focal point, the 121,000-square-foot facility now houses over 65 world-class vintage aircraft. Mr.Smith’s commitment to the Museum’s mission of inspiring and educating today’s youth, promoting and preserving aviation history, and honoring the patriotic service of our veterans has been the key to the success of this major Oregon attraction.

The Museum campus experienced tremendous growth in 2007. The Evergreen IMAXÒ Theater opened in March. The theater houses one of the largest IMAX movie screens in the Pacific Northwest. Images appear six stories high on a screen rising 53 feet tall and 70 feet wide. The 230-seat auditorium, with its state-of-the-art 3D technology, will offer educational films as well as some of the Hollywood’s newest movie experiences.

Construction also continued on the new Evergreen Space Museum. The 121,000 square foot facility will compliment the museum campus and reflect the same design as the home of the famous Spruce Goose. The new museum will feature artifacts the facility has already acquired including the Titan II SLV missile, the Titan IV SLV missile, the Willamette Meteorite, the replica Lunar Module, the replica Lunar Rover and the Russian Photon Space Capsule. The facility also plans to feature a mission launch room with interactive opportunities.

In addition to his aviation endeavors, Mr. Smith founded Evergreen Agricultural Enterprises, Inc., which operates Evergreen Nurseries, Evergreen Farms, and Evergreen Agricultural Products. With approximately 8,000 acres of land, the nurseries and farms propagate landscape plants, hazelnuts, walnuts, Christmas trees, and pinot noir grapes. Evergreen Agricultural Products manages the sale and distribution of Evergreen’s line of fine wines and gourmet food products.

Mr. Smith’s most recent addition to the Evergreen Family of Companies is Evergreen Defense and Security Services. The company is committed to defending freedom by providing ethical and professional solutions to security challenges. Personnel are highly trained to provide a full spectrum of security services.

Mr. Smith and his Evergreen family are dedicated to global citizenship and to serving mankind in order to make our world a better place in which to live, and as such, he formed Evergreen Humanitarian and Relief Services, Inc. to formalize Evergreen’s legacy of support for local and international relief projects.

Mr. Smith began developing his company after graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree and top honors as a distinguished military student in the Air Force Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. He went on to earn honorary Doctor of Aeronautical Science and Doctor of Business Administration degrees from Salem College in West Virginia and Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, respectively.

Mr. Smith served in the U.S. Air Force from 1953-1955 and was a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot for many years.

In his own words, Mr. Smith often says that “God gave us the gift of life, so we owe God our best performance.” This belief is a driving force behind all Mr. Smith does—as a business owner, a community leader, a philanthropic donor, and as a great American citizen.

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