MOVE Tech Talk - Jan 2024 - Flight to End Polio

#training, #MOVE #disaster #USA #STEM #WIE

John Ockenfels and Peter Teahen’s Flight to End Polio took three months to circumnavigate the globe.  Getting their single engine Cessna 210 off the ground took three years.

In our April 2023 Tech Talk, John Ockenfels and Peter Teahen gave a presentation on the preparations for the flight.  In this month’s Tech Talk, they will give a presentation on the three-month trip to circumnavigate the globe. 

On 30 July, after traveling about 26,000 miles, Teahen and Ockenfels landed safely at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. Along the course of their flight, they had participated in 24 fundraisers (the money raised there has yet to be tallied).

I hope you can join us for an update on A Flight to Fight Polio >>

Both Peter and John are pilots, Rotarians, and members of the Fellowship of Flying Rotarians. Polio eradication has been a primary focus of Rotary for over 35 years and continues to be a major initiative. While the end of polio may be near, no child anywhere is safe until every child has been vaccinated.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 23 Jan 2024
  • Time: 08:00 PM to 09:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
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  • Co-sponsored by IEEE-USA MOVE Program
  • Starts 01 January 2024 01:00 AM
  • Ends 23 January 2024 09:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
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John has been piloting small aircraft for almost 50 years.  Along with Peter Teahen, he is half owner of the 1977 Cessna T210 that together they flew around the world to raise funds to eradicate Polio.  He also owns and maintains a PT17 Stearman, trainer airplane from World War II in his free time and has been the proud owner of several WWII war birds.

​He is a member of the Iowa City, Iowa A.M. Rotary Club and also served as District Governor for Rotary District 6000. He has served on many District, Zone, and International Rotary committees over many years.   John is also a member of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians and serves as the North Central Chair for the Americas Region. He is also an adjunct member of the E-Aviation worldwide Club.

John attended the University of Iowa and then served in the United States Air Force from 1972 to 1976. John is now retired, having spent his career working with his brothers in their family business, City Carton Recycling, based in Iowa City, Iowa, where he served as President then CEO.

John and his wife Deb have been active Community and Rotary volunteers for many years.



Peter is an experienced pilot and has been piloting small aircraft for over 51 years. He is a member of the Cedar Rapids West Rotary Club and of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians.

​Peter is a Funeral Director and President of Teahen Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids.  He is an author, and a mental health professional.  He was awarded the designation of Diplomate from the National Center for Crisis Management and the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Peter serves on the faculty at the University of Iowa.

Peter has served in leadership roles on seventy-five major disasters throughout the world including the September 11th World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina, Indonesian Tsunami in 2004, the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 and the Genocide in the Darfur Region of Sudan in 2007 .  He is recognized for his work on aviation disasters and is internationally known for his work in critical incident stress management and the psycho-social impact of disasters.

Peter is the recipient of numerous national awards of distinction that includes the National Public Spirit Award. American Legion Auxiliary.  Previous recipients include Ronald Reagan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ann Landers, and Dr. Robert Schuller.