Mover & Shaker of the Month: Mike Flinn

Michael Flinn

Michael Flinn

 By: Paula Green

Ross Township resident, Mike Flinn recently soared through a special gathering in his honor.  Flinn, a long-time board member and advocate of The National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side has volunteered his time, expertise and financial support for over 20 years.

On July 1, The Aviary held a reception and plaque unveiling in which they named their new bald eagle “Flinn,” in Mike’s honor.  The placard is displayed in The Aviary’s Condor Court near the Bald Eagle exhibit.

“It is quite an honor to have an eagle named after me, and I truly appreciate the staff recognizing me in this manner. I have received so much satisfaction from my involvement with the National Aviary, and take much joy from seeing what this remarkable staff has built. When you see the passion they bring to their mission, it is hard not to do whatever you can to help them realize their vision,” Flinn commented.

Flinn, an attorney for Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, helped The Aviary achieve privatization in 1991.  The facility was in jeopardy of closing its doors due to budget cuts.  At the time, Flinn was doing pro-bono work when the organization turned to him for legal assistance.  Flinn worked as the chief negotiator for the privatization contact.

In 1992, he joined the board of directors at The Aviary and served as its president from 1992-1997. Under his leadership, The Aviary achieved national designation, held their first fundraising initiative and underwent a significant renovation project.

Flinn served a second term as board president from 2007-2010.  During this time, The Aviary undertook a major expansion and doubled its size of visitor space.

“There are so many staff and board members who have done so much for the Aviary and share in this honor. I really want to thank my family for all of their support and their understanding of the time I spent at the Aviary. They are a big part of what has been accomplished at The Aviary,
and share in this honor as well,” Flinn added.

Flinn graduated in 1967 from North Catholic High School, he then earned his bachelor of English degree from Notre Dame in 1971.  Flinn received his law degree in 1974 from the University of Pittsburgh Law School.  He is married to Eileen and has two children – Erin and Kevin and daughter-in-law Megan.

“Flinn” the bald eagle is a four-year old, juvenile that sustained a wing injury in the wild.  He would not be unable to survive on his own due to his adversity.  He is now part of The Aviary’s education collection and is being trained to participate in their educational programs.