Greetings! Welcome to this personal web site. My name is Rol Murrow and I grew up in Southern California. As you will see, my primary professional involvements are in media & communications, general aviation, and organizational development. If you want to stay in touch, send me an email message and I'll keep your address on file for occasional announcements.
(A list of additional links to the groups mentioned in the Bio follows it)
IMPORTANT NOTE: I actually hate doing a bio because it misses the main point - that anything and everything I have done or been involved in is really due to the incredible and wonderful people with whom I have had the honor to work and collaborate. To do them justice I would have to vastly expand this writeup. All I can do in this space for now is express my tremendous appreciation for all the support and camaraderie that I have enjoyed over the years thanks to all of them, and maybe one day I will be able to write the full story!
Canned "Official" Bio:
William Rollins Murrow ("Rol") has a wide-ranging background in high technology, management, media, and aviation. From initial work assisting in aerospace acoustics he has proceeded through his education and a career in film and video production, theatre operations, and management. Along the way his enthusiasm for aviation led from avocation to advocacy of local airports to vocation.
Initially Rol worked at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), an acoustical research firm, working on sound level tests on the Saturn V engines and vibration telemetry analysis from the Explorer moon shots. Later, during and after attending UCLA's film school, he worked on crews for various motion picture productions. He was an original member of the multimedia group the Single Wing Turquoise Bird, which produced the visuals for the Pinnacle Productions concerts in downtown Los Angeles, and which later gave many performances at his Cumberland Mountain Film Company studio. Their first big show was for the Cream at the Shrine Exposition Hall in 1967. The group's work is currently featured in retrospectives of experimental multimedia at museums worldwide, and the group is active again, performing and preparing new material for events including recent venues in Los Angeles and Denver.
His production company, Cumberland Mountain, has provided a wide range of services in feature, documentary, and educational productions (titles include Dennis Hopper's "The Last Movie" and Jim Bridge's "The Baby Maker"), and has also participated in aviation accident investigations and in preparing audio-visual presentations for legal cases, often for the Law Offices of Jon A. Kodani.
During the 70's he (as company president) and his partners founded and operated one of the nation's most celebrated repertory film theatres, the Fox Venice Theatre in California. In addition to presenting thousands of films from the entire history of the cinema, the theatre featured performers such as Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Mose Allison, Jerry Garcia and the Legion of Mary, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, Merle Saunders and Kingfish, Oregon, Little Feat, the Dave Bromberg Band, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and many others.
One interesting side note - the night before The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened for its commercial release the producers asked the theatre if they could show it at the Fox Venice at midnight. An overflow crowd including cast members, crew, and followers of the play showed up - and that started the tradition of midnight showings of the film that continue today.
After learning to fly, Rol became more and more involved with others in championing the future of Santa Monica Airport. As an aviation advocate Rol was a leader in its preservation following attempts in 1982 to close and develop it, eventually serving as President of the Santa Monica Airport Association, and later acting as Regional Vice President of the California Aviation Council (now called the California Pilots Association), as well as Southern California representative for AOPA - the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. In California he was a member of the ShowHawks (an entertainment industry aviation group) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (encouraging the formation of EAA Chapter 11 at Santa Monica Airport).
He founded and served as President of Bernoulli's Soaring Association (Tehachapi, California), and was a founding member and Director of Systems and Concepts Development for the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group, operating under the aegis of the Southern California Association of Governments and sanctioned by the Federal Aviation Administration.
He worked with a working group team of aviation leaders to formulate a plan to redesign and reopen the VFR flight corridor over Los Angeles International Airport after its closure in 1986 and then to work on long term airspace management plans for Southern California's extremely congested airspace. He authored the working group's recommendations to the FAA for Airspace Reclassification and those recommendations were adopted by AOPA. Most were accepted by the FAA and incorporated in the current airspace classification protocols for mapping and using airspace in the United States. For the Santa Monica Airport and airspace accomplishments Rol was presented with the AOPA Presidential Award from John Baker, the President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
In 1989 Rol completed a special and very enjoyable project as Phase I Managing Director of the Museum of Flying at Santa Monica Airport, guiding it through its final construction, the development of a strategic plan, design and installation of aircraft and exhibits, recruitment of an operating staff and volunteers, and startup of operations - basically working with a team to take an empty shell and turn it into a functioning museum.
A major reason for Rol's working to preserve Santa Monica Airport in the 70's and 80's was to maintain its availability for life saving operations during emergencies, especially following Southern California's expected great earthquake. As a result of what he learned, he founded in 1987 and serves as President of EVAC, the Emergency Volunteer Air Corps, a national group assisting in rebuilding airports and providing voluntary transport services after disasters or during major public emergencies. EVAC works to encourage pilot groups such as volunteer pilot organizations and airport associations to prepare and adopt disaster and emergency preparedness programs.
He is also cofounder and President of the Air Care Alliance, a support group for more than sixty volunteer pilot aviation groups engaged in public benefit work nationwide and internationally. The ACA listed groups coordinate transportation by volunteer pilots to fly patients for care, provide disaster relief services, support the transportation needs of veterans, perform environmental support flights, use their planes to give young people introductory rides, relocate animals, and provide many other services on a charitable basis.
For his work with ACA and all the groups in 2016 Rol was awarded a National Public Benefit Flying Award at the Fall Awards Dinner of the National Aeronautic Association in Washington DC.
He helped found the Connecticut and the New York State Aerospace Education Councils and assisted other state councils in that region. Later he helped these groups form NASEA - the National Aviation and Space Education Alliance. This work led him to join the board of the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE), a central source for information and collaboration involving more than fifty associations, agencies, companies, and trade groups.
He was also inducted into the Crown Circle of aerospace educators by NCASE. He now serves as its President.
He is an Aerospace Educator member of the Civil Air Patrol and he also serves as a Board Advisor for the Aero Club of New England.
Rol also has a strong interest in preserving and promoting backcountry and recreational airstrips, providing enhanced opportunities for backpackers, fishermen, and other wilderness enthusiasts who arrive by air. As such he served as Director of the Recreational Aviation Foundation for twelve years, served as its New Mexico State Liaison and as co-founder of the New Mexico Pilots Association's Recreational Aviation Committee, and also informally as RAF's Southwest Region coordinator. He is now Director Emeritus of the RAF.
From 1989 through 2000 Rol worked as a management and media consultant and as the Southern California, and then as the Northeastern Regional Representative for the 400,000 member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), advising elected officials and agencies and assisting pilots, owners, and aviation groups in a seven state area ranging from New York to Maine.
Subsequently AOPA President Phil Boyer asked Rol to serve on the founding board of the new Alliance for Aviation Across America during its initial phases, in order to emphasize the value of charitable aviation in service to the Nation.
Currently Rol serves as Executive Director of the Wolf Aviation Fund, a nonprofit foundation which provides grants and disseminates information supporting general aviation and improving the public's understanding of it. Almost 400 grants have been awarded to date.
Other: Rol earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles Motion Picture and Television Division and an M.B.A. in Entertainment Management and Management Information Systems from U.C.L.A.'s Anderson Graduate School of Management. He also attended Santa Monica College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a 3,600 plus hour pilot and has earned commercial, flight instructor, and glider certificates. He flies a restored 1958 Cessna 172. He grew up in West Los Angeles, lived for many years in Venice Beach and Rancho Park, then in Storrs, Connecticut and the former thread mill town of Willimantic, Connecticut while working for AOPA.
Now - thanks to the communications capabilities of the internet and flexible airplane travel - since 2005 he lives and works in the ranching community of Gavilan, on the Continental Divide in Northern New Mexico, where he maintains a grass airstrip (NM99 on the charts) adjacent to the Santa Fe National Forest for the enjoyment of others who fly through the area. He has a wonderful son Jacob, who with his family lives and works making music and musical instruments in Talcville, Vermont.
Additional information posted periodically: send an email and we'll notify you of changes!
Balancing Rock - Murrow Ranch
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