Leadership Spotlight: David Humm

David Humm is a member of the Board of Trustees of The LifeFlight Foundation and the LifeFlight of Maine Steering Committee.

How a recently retired management consultant from New Zealand came to serve in key leadership positions at both The LifeFlight Foundation and LifeFlight of Maine is not immediately intuitive, but the more you get to know David Humm, the more predetermined it seems.

The LifeFlight Foundation is overseen by a Board of Trustees, on which David currently serves as Treasurer, a member of the executive committee, and chair of the finance committee. He also represents the Foundation on LifeFlight of Maine’s Steering Committee. Members of both boards volunteer their time and expertise to provide valuable oversight and input, as well as assume fiduciary responsibility for the governance of each entity. These are critical leadership roles at LifeFlight.

David was about 17 when he first learned to fly an airplane in Christchurch, New Zealand. Flying around Queenstown as a young adult reminds him more of Maine, though, specifically the mountainous terrain and fickle weather. “Having an understanding of some of the nuances of the air operations has been helpful,” David said in a recent conversation about his experience with LifeFlight.

David Humm and Mary Humphrey hiking in the Shenandoah mountains; photo courtesy of David Humm.

Aviation remained mostly a hobby for David. It was his business career that took off, so to speak. He has lived and worked all over the world: New Zealand where he was born and raised; Australia; the United Kingdom; and the United States. He led a prominent adventure travel company based in New Zealand, where he oversaw operations, client relations, and financial management. When he moved to the U.S., he began working for the National Parks Conversation Association (NPCA) writing and reviewing business plans for 18 national forests in California. “It’s a business like any other commercial business in many ways,” David said. You have sources of funding, costs, and resources to manage. You can analyze that information and make projections about what it will take to sustain those resources over years or decades, he explained.

Based in Virginia’s Shenandoah mountains, David brought his experience with the NPCA to Booz Allen Hamilton, a highly regarded consulting firm with offices around the globe. He consulted on projects in real estate, finance, and budget management for clients including the U.S. Air Force, NASA, the Bureau of Land Management, and numerous programs within the National Park Service.

Since retiring in 2022, David continues to spend the colder months in the Shenandoah mountains. His family comes to Pemaquid, Maine, for the summers, as his wife, Mary Humphrey, and her family have for generations. It’s this connection to Maine that first brought David to LifeFlight. “Maine is a very special place to us. It’s similar to New Zealand in many ways, culturally and geographically,” David said. “And for Mary, it’s a place she has spent time since she was a child.” But it’s his expertise in business analysis and fiscal sustainability that led to an invitation to join the Foundation board.

“David brings his business acumen, a keen and inquisitive eye for detail, and a deep appreciation for the mission to our board,” said Kate O’Halloran, executive director of The LifeFlight Foundation. “We raise several million dollars each year at the Foundation. We have a responsibility to steward those funds carefully to ensure that LifeFlight has what it needs to care for the people of Maine. David understands what it takes to operate aircraft in Maine, and he understands what it takes to sustain an organization with an important public mission. His insights, experience, and dedication to LifeFlight are invaluable.” In terms of raising funds and raising awareness, David is committed both as a board member and as a generous donor. “It is such a critical service to the state, and I hope that will continue to be recognized more and more,” he said.

From the very beginning, LifeFlight of Maine was designed for Maine. As an organization, it was built to be reliable, financially accessible — no one should lose their house because they need an air medical transport — fiscally sustainable, and committed to its values and to the people of Maine. “Our commitment to providing care to everyone in Maine when they need it, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, demands that we manage the resources and assets we have thoughtfully and responsibly,” explained Joe Kellner, CEO of LifeFlight of Maine. “An enormous amount of trust is placed in us every single day by patients and families. We also benefit from the tremendous generosity of our donors to the Foundation. We work hard to be

worthy of the trust placed in our organization, which means we work to provide the best and swiftest care possible, as safely as possible, and as sustainably as possible. David gets that and lends his considerable expertise to that mission.”

“LifeFlight is a public good,” David said. “We have to step up,” he added, referring to the increasing demand for LifeFlight’s critical care and transport services. David will begin his second term as a board member for the Foundation this summer, and he is in his second year serving on the Steering Committee. “Boards need to be productive and efficient. I take that responsibility seriously,” he said. The coming years are critical for LifeFlight as it rapidly expands its ground transport program and navigates the challenges facing the EMS and healthcare systems in Maine. Both boards are well served to have David influencing their decisions and guiding both organizations into the future.