Decorated hero flew four missions to outer space, commanded Space Shuttle Endeavour on final mission
ARLINGTON, TexasThe Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), bowling s premier trade association and the leading voice of the bowling industry, today announced Captain Mark Kelly (USN, Ret.) and commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour s final mission will be the featured speaker at International Bowl Expo (IBE12) when it meets June 24-28, 2012 in Reno, Nevada. Capt. Kelly will deliver his remarks Wednesday morning, June 27 during the bowling industry s annual convention and trade show.
Kelly, who recently retired from the U.S. Navy and NASA, is an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War and has been decorated with the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He flew the first of his four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same shuttle he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. He also led the mission team aboard the shuttle Discovery and is only one of two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.
Captain Kelly is an American hero who inspires others to be their best while remaining true to their core values, said Steve Johnson, executive director of the BPAA. He exemplifies leadership, the importance of teamwork and courage under pressure all applicable to business owners in today s world. He is a role model for all who have aspirations and dreams.
Already a celebrated American, Kelly was thrust into the international spotlight after the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Kelly and congresswoman Giffords forthcoming memoir Gabby which shares their story of hope and resilience will be released November 15.
Kelly s identical twin brother, Scott, is also an astronaut who served as commander of both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. They share the distinction of being the only siblings who have traveled in space.
With over 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft, 375 aircraft carrier landings, 39 combat missions and more than 50 days in space, Kelly is one of America s more experienced pilots.
"Bowling and flying in space share some similarities, said Capt. Kelly. Whether it is throwing a bowling ball down a lane or flying a spacecraft to a touchdown on a runway, there is an enormous amount of concentration involved. Neither are easy. I'm looking forward to speaking to the bowling industry and getting some tips on how to keep it out of the gutter."
Kelly received his B.S. degree in marine engineering and nautical science from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1986 and in 1994 he was awarded his M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He retired from the U.S. Navy and NASA in October 2011.
During Bowl Expo week, for the first time ever, Bowling s U.S. Women s Open, bowling s preeminent professional women s tournament, will hold its finals at night under the famous Reno Arch on Virginia Street. Also the first-ever Senior U.S. Women s Open will be held and a champion crowned. The championships, scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN s family of networks, are all part of an American celebration fitting for the nation s number one participatory sport complete with fireworks and numerous other surprises.