Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Tillman, commander and pilot of Air Force One from 2001-09, is set to keynote TVPPA’s 72nd Annual Conference.

In a very real sense, Mark Tillman made it possible for President George W. Bush to steady the nation after the catastrophe that was 9/11.

Tillman, then a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was in command of Air Force One on that darkest of days. After the terrorist attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York City, Col. Tillman piloted President Bush around the country, keeping him secure until it was safe to return to the capital.

Tillman’s 9/11 story is just part of what he’ll share with TVPPA-member executives when he keynotes the 72nd Annual Conference, May 21-23 at the Marriott Grand in Point Clear, AL.

“Talk about someone who’s been there and done that,” TVPPA Conferences Director Tim Daugherty said. “Colonel Tillman will talk to our attendees about how principles including detailed planning, measurable expectations and personal responsibility translate from a military career like his to civilian business and everyday life.”

The nation’s 12th Presidential pilot, the now-retired Tillman served as pilot and commander of Air Force One from 2001 to 2009. In addition to 9/11, he was the first Air Force One pilot to fly a sitting Commander-in-Chief into a war zone; in complete secrecy, Col. Tillman planned and executed the transportation of President Bush to and from Iraq for Thanksgiving dinner with U.S. troops stationed there. The mission went off without a hitch, and news of it surprised the world.