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Wall of Honor Level: Air and Space Sponsor
Mr. Rudy R. Miller (RRM), a former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor in numerous industries, including aviation. He established THE MILLER GROUP (TMG) in 1972 in Phoenix, AZ, and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2022. TMG has several entities; for more information, including RRM's biography, visit www.themillergroup.net.
RRM is serving as Chairman of the Advisory Board & (Aviation) Scholarship Committee of Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. (Tbird2), www.tbird2.org founded July 2014 and located at Scottsdale Airport, AZ. He was the first recipient of the Tbird2 Leadership Award. RRM was honored to be the keynote speaker at a U.S. Navy Relinquishment of Command and Retirement Ceremony in 2018 aboard the USS Midway Museum, San Diego, CA. He served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Air Force Reserve during the Vietnam era. RRM received honorable discharges as a Noncommissioned Officer. Prior to his military service, he also served as a fireman/first responder.
President of the United States of America, Ronald W. Reagan, presented RRM the Medal of Merit in appreciation of his support and service as a member of a Presidential Task Force. RRM was appointed by the Governor of AZ to serve as a member of the AZ State Board of Private Post-Secondary Education, and elected Chairman by the board members. The AZ Attorney General also appointed him to the AZ Police Officers Memorial Board.
America West Airlines (AWA) was founded in 1981 in Tempe, AZ and had 12 employees, a business plan, no FAA approval or airplanes, and needed capital. RRM was instrumental in assisting AWA transition from a business plan to an operating airline. His investment and advice were critical, he became a board member in 1982. He brought in a boutique investment bank to underwrite the $18,750,000 Initial Public Offering, which closed Feb. 23, 1983. AWA launched its inaugural flight on August 1, 1983. AWA grew rapidly over the years, but entered bankruptcy in 1991. Later AWA merged with USAirways, and then merged with American Airlines.
* RRM had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy regarding aircraft financing at an AWA board meeting.
After serving the shareholders for 4 years as a board member and Chairman of the Audit Committee, RRM departed AWA to be the Founder, Chairman of the Board & CEO of Phoenix, AZ StatesWest Airlines (SWA), a public regional airline serving AZ, CA, and NV. Their inaugural flight was October 1, 1986. During his tenure, the CEO secured over $135 million in public, private capital plus lease financing. USAir and SWA signed an agreement be become the first operator USAir Express in the Western U.S. On July 15, 1990, SWA began feeding USAir?€™s 100 plus flights a day in Los Angeles (LAX), plus numerous other cities throughout CA and AZ. On August 2, 1990, the Gulf War started and fuel went from $17 per barrel to $46 in October. This event contributed to the recession of the early 1990s. Due to these factors, SWA ceased operations in 1992.
Wall of Honor profiles are provided by the honoree or the donor who added their name to the Wall of Honor. The Museum cannot validate all facts contained in the profiles.