Balloon Events Organizer/Director Information

Monroe Balloon Rally Event Director — Matthew J. Urban


“I have been involved in ballooning for the last 29 years.  My experience has ranged from crew, crew chief, observer, observer instructor, event organizer, pilot and event/operations director.  I have attended many events and have developed a 360 degree perspective on what is involved in committing to a ballooning event.”


  • 1987-1994 (8yrs) Volunteered on the Monroe Chamber Balloon Rally Committee serving mainly as the local event announcer.  Among my duties was to attend every briefing and relay the information to the local media and audience.
  • 1994-2007 (13yrs) Hired by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and became the local event organizer who worked with TDS Aviation, Tom Sheppard and Debbie Spaeth, in organizing the Monroe Rally.  From 1997-2006 also co-hosted for nine years the first round of the international      ballooning event, the World Honda Grand Prix organized by Mashasi Kakuda, Tokyo, Japan.  I was part of the event staff and was included in the pre-briefing meetings which led to the decision whether or not to fly and if so what tasks would be called.
  • 2007-PRESENT Served as the Balloon Event/Operations Director for Monroe Rally.  Applied for and received a waiver each year from the Great Lakes Regional office.  Abided by the waiver, the competition manual, and event rule book for the event.


  • 1983-1984 (2yrs) Crewed during the winter months for “Balloon the Rockies” Balloon Company out of Keystone, Colorado.  Flight area was along the western slope of the Continental Divide.
  • 1986 Returned to Monroe the weekend before the first annual Monroe Balloon Rally and was hooked.
  • 1995-2000 (5yrs) Crewed at area events with Mark Liebelt, Friendship, WI.
  • 1998 Served for one week as Crew Chief for John Cook, Jackson, WI at Honda Grand Prix in Sundai, Japan.


  • 1995-1999 (4yrs) Completed observer training and observed at the Wisconsin Dells, Rockford and Motegi, Japan events.
  • 1996 Conducted observer training classes in Monroe in an attempt to provide more local observers to assist with the Monroe ballooning events.


  • 2000 Started training for my Private Lighter than Air Balloon License.  Completed my ground school with Liberty Balloons in the fall of 2000.
  • 2001 Began my training in New Mexico with Mark Liebelt as my instructor.  Completed my training in Wisconsin and passed my check ride with Pete Asp in September 2002.
  • 2002- Present I continue to actively pilot my Lindstrand 90 balloon built in 2002.  I have trained in Raven, Thunder and Colt and Lindstrand Balloons.

For further information please contact:

Matthew J. Urban
Home Address: 2403 7th Street, Monroe WI.  53566
Home Phone: 608-325-7648
Cell Phone: 608-313-4869


Flying High