Mark E. Gale ('87, DB) was named the aviation department director for Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Gale recently left Philadelphia International Airport, after serving as the airport's chief executive officer for seven of his nearly 28 years there.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael R. Moeller ('84, WW) is the commencement speaker for the May 7, 2016, Worldwide Campus commencement ceremony. He is deputy chief of staff for Strategic Plans and Programs at U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Moeller leads the development and integration of the Air Force's long-range plans and the five-year, $604 billion U.S. Air Force Future Years Defense Program.
Moriba Jah ('99, PC) recently visited Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus to give a presentation to students. Jah is the director of the Space Object Behavioral Sciences program at the University of Arizona. Previously, he was the director of the Advanced Science and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Jah (left) is pictured with Ron Madler, dean of the College of Engineering at the Prescott Campus.
Ziva Arifin ('03, DB), who is the Embry-Riddle Jakarta Alumni Network Leader, recently visited the Daytona Beach Campus to speak with Indonesian students about his experience as a student, the opportunities Embry-Riddle offers and the current aviation industry in Indonesia. Ziva is president director/commissioner of Aviatory Indonesia.
Jason LaShelle ('15, WW) is production manager of Greensea Systems Inc., a subsea robotics company. LaShelle formerly served with the U.S. Coast Guard, where he was in charge of systems integration and quality assurance.
Aaron P. Hascher ('10, WW) was promoted to the position of operations duty manager with the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority at Memphis International Airport.
Rob Baran ('99, PC, '08, WW) retired from the Air Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal-rated officer and civil engineer and has accepted a position as a research and development engineer for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Maj. Gen. Stayce D. Harris ('87, WW) was a featured speaker at the National Society of Black Engineers annual convention in Boston, Mass., on March 23–27, 2016. In 2009, she became the first African-American female aviator to attain the rank of brigadier general in the Air Force. Last year, she was named the first female in the Air Force Reserve to lead a numbered air force when she was named the commander of 22nd Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command. Read more about her here: http://lift.erau.edu/trailblazer/ Maj. Dana Novinskie (’04, PC) became the first-ever female instructor pilot for the 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn. She earned her private pilot’s license while studying engineering at Embry-Riddle, then went into specialized undergraduate pilot training in 2004. Novinskie has since deployed and flown many missions supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn. She has accumulated over 670 combat and combat support sorties and has been awarded the Air Medal six times. Natalie Thompson (’09, DB), who is an automation engineer for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, was chosen for the 2016 Young Technical Professionals National Member on the Move Award - 1st Place at the National Society of Black Engineers Convention in Boston. She is also a diversity and inclusion ambassador for Gulfstream. Thompson is president and co-founder of the Savannah Coastal Empire Professional Chapter of NSBE and a member of Society of Women Engineers, where she is the nominations chair and on the outreach committee.
Dan Brooks (‘14, WW) was promoted to manager of customer support of CAMP Systems International. He has been with CAMP since 2014 and has been involved in aviation for the past 20 years. Brooks serves as an FAA FAASTeam lead representative and AOPA airport representative for the Brookhaven Airport since 2014 and is the Long Island Alumni Network Leader.
Xavier Samuels (’96, DB), a United Airlines first officer, was named one of the airline’s 2015 Pilots of the Year. Each year, United chief pilots select one captain and one first officer who best represent their base. Pilots of the Year are selected for exemplifying the highest standards of professionalism. Samuels is a 2012 ERAU Alumni Volunteer Award winner. Brigitte Lakah (‘86, DB) works as a pilot for UPS. At the age of 40, she earned her International Captain's seat on the B-75/76 and flies around the world. She lives in Clearwater Beach, Fla. and is based in Louisville, Ky. U.S. Army LTC Tim Timmons ('13, WW) retired January 1, 2014 after a 21-year career in the U.S. Army. He recently earned his FAA ATP certificate and was appointed as assistant chief flight instructor for Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz. Donald "DJ" Blatnik III ('08, DB), , who works at Central Florida TRACON in Orlando, Fla., was awarded the Southern Region's Archie Medal of Safety for Air Traffic Control and the President's Award.
On a busy day in April 2015, Blatnik was credited for saving the lives of three people on a plane having mechanical issues. He cleared the airspace of many airplanes, while helping the pilot of the small aircraft stay calm enough to land after declaring an emergency.
The Archie League Medal is given to controllers who have shown a great "save" in helping out pilots. The President's Award is given to nominees who had the "best save" or one that showed remarkable situational awareness, quick thinking, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. The awards were presented in March during the Communicating for Safety convention in Las Vegas.
Leo Treggi (‘09, ’10, ’12, WW) is the new director of Winter Haven Municipal Airport (GIF) in Winter Haven, Fla. Click here to see his recent profile in the Winter Haven Ledger newspaper. Darren Tumelson ('05, '15, WW), an FAA air traffic controller at the Memphis Center in Tennessee, was recognized by the FAA in February for his role in a pilot assist on Jan. 14, 2016. A pilot, who was traveling with his wife and two children, in a twin-engine Piper Cheyenne, put in a distress call after experiencing engine trouble during ascent. Tumelson provided navigational assistance and airport information to the pilot, who ultimately landed the aircraft safely, with only one engine operating, at the Cleveland, Miss., airport. Jeff Smith (’07, DB), an air traffic controller in Cleveland, has received a Flight Assist Commendation from the AOPA Air Safety Institute. Capt. Arnold W. Quast (’90, DB), who is a pilot at United Airlines, was featured in the recent March 25th Flight Operations Update at United Airlines for mentoring a teen who wanted to become a pilot for many years. Ricky L. Nelson (‘14, WW) is graduating May 7, 2106 with a Master of Divinity degree from Assemblies of God – Theological Seminary in Springfield, Mo. Richard J. Greenwood ('94, DB) and his wife Lesa, announce the birth of their daughter Isabella Joy on March 8, 2016. Richard was recently promoted to program manager for the new Citation Soverign Program at FlightSafety International's Atlanta Learning Center. Mark Phillips (’80, DB) is retiring in June 2016 after 33 years with the Northrop Grumman Corporation. He worked as engineer/program manager mostly on the B-2 bomber and E-2 programs. He began his career at Boeing as a flight test engineer on the 757 program. Devon May (’01, DB) was promoted to senior vice president – finance of the American Airlines Group Inc. Previously Vice President - Financial Planning & Analysis, May will retain those duties and assume the additional responsibilities of the Division Controllers, Purchasing and Insurance.
Captain Joseph Stenger (’06, DB)
received the National Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration. The award, which recognizes outstanding public servants for extraordinary leadership in economic development and intergovernmental relations, was given to Stenger March 21 at ASPA's Annual Conference in Seattle.
Stenger, a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, has worked to improve the circumstances of Afghan widows and orphans living in Parwan Provence, Afghanistan, since 2011. While deployed to Bagram Air Base, he helped Afghan women form the not-for-profit business Flying Scarfs. To read about a Lift article about Stenger and the Flying Scarves, click here
Richard Muir (’83, PC) has been promoted to managing director of flight operations at United Airlines’ corporate headquarters in Chicago. Previously, he was director of current, contingency and emergency operations. Jonathan Velazquez ('16, DB), a 36-year-old professor at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, is the first Puerto Rican and the first person from the Caribbean region to obtain a Ph.D. in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Velazquez was hooded and received his Ph.D. at Embry-Riddle’s commencement ceremony held May 10, 2016, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. John “J.C.” Coffey (’94, WW) was named the 2015 Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Member of the Year. Coffey is the executive director of unmanned systems for Cherokee Nation Technologies (CNT). Active in the local Washington, D.C. AUVSI chapter, the award recognizes his dedication to advancing unmanned systems through industry innovation and member recruitment. A retired naval aviator and Department of Defense acquisition professional, Coffey joined CNT in 2014. Richard Zaher (’99, DB), founder and CEO of Paramount Business Jets, was recently elected chairman of the Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA). He also was invited to the White House recently to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lester E. Preston (’86, ’96, DB) is American Jet International’s executive vice president of charter operations. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, Preston became a first officer for AirTran Airways. He left AirTran at the end of 2008 to become a flight instructor and later, chief pilot and site manager for L-3 Communications, Link Simulation and Training. Bryant Francis (’98, DB) is the new director of Oakland International Airport. Previously, he was director of Long Beach Airport, where he was hired in January 2015. Francis has been director of airports in Shreveport, La., and also served in executive capacities at airports in Boise, Detroit and Palm Springs. He began his career in Atlanta. Francis is a member of the Airports Council International - North America Board of Directors and is also the American Association of Airport Executives Diversity Committee Chair.
Karl Jahnke (’10, DB; ’14, WW) is a system engineer at Virgin America headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an MBA-Aviation from Embry-Riddle. On the engineering team, he develops and implements the maintenance program and manages regulatory changes to ensure fleet safety and compliance. He specializes in the landing gear, hydraulic systems, fuel system, fuel tank inerting system, ice and rain protection systems, and maintaining compliance to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Aircraft Drinking Water Rule. Lt. Scott "Snooki" Brazelton ('07,DB) visited Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus on April 22. Arriving in a EA-18G Growler, he met with students, showed them around the jet and toured campus.
Luc Bausch (’82, DB; ’89, PC), president of Aero Racers Inc., received the Industry Person of the Year Award from the Los Angeles County Industrial and Technology Education Association at its May 21, 2016, awards banquet. Bausch, who develops educational projects for teachers and students, has hosted in the past summer camps at the Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus, teaching students how to create glider/fliers. He has also provided a glider building activity for the children of alumni at OctoberWest Alumni Homecoming Weekends. Jim Zurales ('81, DB) was appointed chief of standardization/evaluation for the Minnesota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). As a 42-year CAP member, he also serves as an orientation pilot, flight instructor, check pilot, and search mission pilot. A captain at Delta Airlines, he flies the Boeing 757 and 767. Kevin Garland (‘12, DB) works for Latitude Engineering as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilot flying the HQ-40 VTOL aircraft. Latitude Engineering is known for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft in the UAV industry. He is a company representative for BNSF Railway’s Federal Aviation Administration Pathfinder Project dealing with Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations flying in the U.S. airspace. Before getting involved with the BNSF project, Garland flew more than 900 hours as an UAV test pilot, flying the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Tiger Shark UAV. Luis de Bono Paula (’95, DB; ’01, WW) and his wife Lisa are co-founders of Spirit Monkey, LLC in San Antonio, Texas. Spirit Monkey, which specializes in the design, manufacture and sale of embroidered employee and student recognition products, made the 2015 Inc. Magazine 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in America at No. 134. Before starting his most recent company, Luis was a flight instructor in the U.S. Air Force and flew combat missions in Afghanistan. He completed his MBA at the University of Texas at Austin and he also earned a law degree with honors. Luis and Lisa have been married for 27 years and have four children, the oldest of which is proudly serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Truman. Aaron Glassman (’06, WW) and Nicole Du Flo were married Feb. 27, 2016, at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va. Aaron is an assistant professor in the College of Business and chair of the department of management and technology at the Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus in Norfolk, Va. Nicole is the associate campus director at the Norfolk Campus. Worldwide faculty and staff were among the guests in attendance. Staff Sgt. Christian Bojorquez (’09, PC) was honored recently as an Outstanding Airman of the Year by the 452nd Air Mobility Wing and 4th Air Force. Bojorquez is a security forces specialist with the 452nd Security Forces Squadron at March Air Reserve Base in California. He is pictured with Maj. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, commander of the 10th Air Force. Yusuke Ishikawa (’08, ’10, DB) is the co-founder of Skoshbox, an online retail service that delivers assortments of Japanese snacks and candies on a monthly subscription basis.
Charles Aybar (’87, PC), who is an aircraft sales manager at Blackhawk Modifications Inc., is competing at the 2016 USA Roller Sports National Championships in Lincoln, Neb., set for July 26 through Aug. 4, 2016. He will compete in the open free dance event with partner Megan Hendrix. The pair placed fourth last year. Jason Hendrix ('98, DB) was appointed senior vice president for the aerospace specialty at JLT Specialty USA, a U.S. subsidiary of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT). JLT is a specialty-focused provider of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits-related advice, brokerage and associated services. Based in Dallas, Texas, Hendrix is part of the aerospace management team. He joins JLT following seven years as an aviation broker for Aon. Lt. Col. Garrett Hogan (’01, PC; ’06, WW) received the NATO Meritorious Service Medal from the Supreme Allied Commander Europe for meritorious achievement in the areas of allied electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planning and cross domain operational level exercise reform. The NATO Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to commend NATO staff whose personal initiative and dedication extend beyond their duty to make a difference both to their colleagues and to NATO as an organization. Christopher Salley (’15, WW) is the head of sales and marketing for National Jets Inc., a fixed base operator at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Fla. In this role he manages property management, fuel sales, ground support and marketing. Additionally, he has served as the vice president of the South Florida Business Aviation Association for the past four years. Alex Vacha (’11, DB) is the director of the Lake Wales Municipal Airport in Lake Wales, Fla. Vacha is the city's first airport manager. Rick Owen (’04, WW) is the president/CEO of United Way of Okaloosa/Walton County in Florida. Owen is a 27-year U.S. Air Force veteran who recently served as Okaloosa County's administrative manager and RESTORE Act coordinator. Owen retired as a chief master sergeant. His military career culminated with nearly three years of service as the aircraft maintenance director for an Air Force unit in Germany. Michael Nortier (’00, WW) is the executive director of Island Transit, a public transit system serving Whidbey and Camano Islands in Washington’s Puget Sound. Nortier, who has more than 20 years experience as a naval officer, was previously the commanding officer of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Wash. Shelbey Hooker (’12, WW) was awarded the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) 2016 Baldwin Business Aviation Management Scholarship at NBAA's 2016 Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The scholarship benefits individuals seeking to become NBAA Certified Aviation Managers. Hooker left Cutter Aviation for a short time to fly Predator unmanned aircraft systems in the Middle East, before returning to Cutter as the HondaJet Southwest customer relations manager.
Todd Gibbs (’01, WW) is the director of operations at Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Gibbs, who joined the regional airport in 2012 as operations coordinator, served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a major. William B. Collier Jr. (’11, DB) is an associate at Fish & Richardson, joining the Intellectual Property (IP) Litigation Group at the firm’s Dallas, Texas, office. He is admitted to practice in Texas and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. Todd Engelman (’93, DB) was appointed the engineering lead and senior technical adviser to the Air Force Research Laboratory's Advanced Structural Concepts branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where he will help develop and transition new aircraft technologies.