Head of Elevate, Uber Technologies, Inc.
Eric Allison is the Head of Elevate at Uber, leading the Elevate initiative to re-imagine urban transportation through the air. Previously, Eric spent eight years at Zee Aero leading the development of the Cora vehicle, a two-place self-piloted air taxi. He was part of the founding team at Zee and served as CEO from 2015 to 2018. Throughout this time, Eric has been at the forefront of aerospace research, development, and manufacturing advances in electric propulsion, energy storage, vehicle autonomy, and composite structures. Eric received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, studying under a Stanford Graduate Fellowship. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the Ballhaus prize for best Ph.D. Thesis and the grand prize at the Stanford BASES E-Challenge competition, and he currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council Aeronautics Committee. Eric lives with his wife and young daughter in Mountain View, CA and enjoys hiking and re-discovering the area through the eyes of his child.
Carolina Anderson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, FL
Dr. Carolina Anderson is an Associate Professor of Aeronautical Science in the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Dr. Anderson holds a Ph.D. in Aviation from ERAU, and became the first woman with a Ph.D. in Aviation. Dr. Anderson holds an ATP and Commercial Pilot certificates in single engine, multi-engine, instrument airplanes, gliders and seaplanes; CFI in gliders, Instrument, single and multi-engine airplanes with over 4,000 hours of flight time. Dr. Anderson is very passionate about promoting aviation, aerospace and STEM education among young students; she spends most of her free time volunteering for recreational aviation organizations.
Richard (Ricky) R. Arnold II was selected as an astronaut by NASA in May 2004. The veteran of two space flights most recently served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expeditions 55 and 56. During the mission, Arnold and his crew completed hundreds of experiments and participated in dozens of educational events as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, reaching more than 200,000 students in 29 states. Prior to joining NASA, the Maryland native worked in the marine sciences and as a teacher in his home state, as well as in countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
Chair and CEO, retired, Alaska Air Group, WA
Bill Ayer is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air. Bill began his career with Piper Aircraft Company and founded Air Olympia, a small commuter airline in Washington State. He joined Horizon Air in 1982, then Alaska Airlines in 1995 as vice president of marketing and planning, and subsequently held the posts of senior vice president, chief operating officer, and president. He became the carrier's chief executive officer in 2002 and was appointed chairman in 2003. Bill on serves on many boards, including the University of Washington Board of Regents, Honeywell, the Museum of Flight, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Business Aviation Association, and AOPA. Bill owns a Piper Malibu and holds ATP and flight instructor certificates with over 5,000 hours of flight time.
President & CEO, AOPA
Mark R. Baker is a longtime general aviation (GA) pilot and only the fifth president in the 80-year history of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest civil aviation organization. A native Minnesotan, Mark earned his pilot certificate in his twenties and has logged more than 7,500 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from light seaplanes to turbines and helicopters. He has welcomed numerous friends and family members, including his father, son, and two sons-in-law, into the pilot community. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Mark has also served on numerous corporate boards, and has taken leadership roles with several nonprofit organizations.
Engineering instructor, Central Florida Aerospace Academy, FL
Joel Bresler is the engineering instructor at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) in Lakeland, FL. He has a BSME from the University of Florida and later earned his MBA and JD degrees. Since joining the faculty in 2015, he developed a successful four-year engineering curriculum and helped to create the first high school drone club authorized to conduct regular flight operations at an active airport in the United States. Joel is a 2019 recipient of the AOPA Teacher Flight Training Scholarship. Currently he is helping to develop and implement a new four-year Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) curriculum at CFAA.
Program Manager, National Aviation and Space Education (AVSED), FAA
James Brough was an educator for 21 years and joined the FAA in 2008 as the FAA’s National Aviation and Space Education Program Manager. Jim provides national leadership to prepare students to enter the aerospace industry workforce. He is also a private pilot and aircraft owner, which brings a unique perspective to his position as the National STEM AVSED Program Manager. He has received numerous awards for his aerospace education initiatives including, the Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical Award and an Excellence in Education Award by the state of New Hampshire. In 2001, Jim was inducted was into the New Hampshire Teacher’s Hall of Fame.
Vice President, Training & Professional Services, Boeing Global Services
Keith Cooper is vice president of Training & Professional Services for Boeing Global Services. His team provides commercial, military and government training systems, services and support, including pilot training, digital learning solutions and software, to customers around the world. Keith grew up in Alaska and fell in love with aviation at a young age, learning to fly while in high school. He holds degrees from West Point, the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Phoenix and the National Defense University.
Director, Aerospace Program, Polk State College, FL
Eric Crump loves all things aviation. He started flight training at 13 and soloed on his 16th birthday. After completing his undergraduate degree at Middle Tennessee State University, Crump worked in the training department there as a check instructor and Chief Ground Instructor before beginning a career in corporate aviation in Atlanta, GA. Eric later became the Aviation Content Manager and Chief Instructor for Gleim Publications in Gainesville, FL. Six years ago, Eric joined Polk State College in Lakeland, FL, to helm its new Aerospace program and currently serves as the Aerospace Program Director.
STEM teacher, Ada High School, OK
Chris Eckler is a high school STEM teacher at Ada High School in Ada, OK. Chris currently teaches Aviation II and Aviation III at Ada High School where he is field testing the AOPA Curriculum. In 2016, he was named the Oklahoma/Arkansas Middle School Math Teacher of the Year by the Mathematical Association of America and is currently the Ada City School District’s Teacher of the Year.
Vice President of Education/The Museum of Flight & Founding CEO/Principal of Raisbeck Aviation High School, WA
As Vice President of Education at the Museum of Flight in Seattle WA, Reba Gilman leads the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, which is the umbrella for The Museum’s extensive education programs. The Academy’s mission is to inspire and prepare students for education and career pathways in flight, engineering, and space. Reba is also the founding Principal/CEO of Raisbeck Aviation High School, a nationally recognized STEM school, which resides on the campus of the Museum of Flight. Reba has served on the AOPA High School Steering Committee since its inception in 2014 and is a strong advocate for enhancing aviation education across the country.
Assistant Director of Education, School Programs, National Air and Space Museum
Barbara Gruber, PhD CETL, is the Assistant Director of Education, School Programs at the National Air and Space Museum. Her programs focus on student and educator experiences with the Museum. She holds a Virginia Postgraduate Professional License in chemistry, administration, and supervision preK-12. She holds a student pilot’s certificate and flies a 1957 Cessna Skyhawk. She is a Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) from The Consortium of School Networks (CoSN) and was named by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) as a "20 to Watch" Educational Technology Leader in 2014.
Cindy Hasselbring (Invited)
Senior Policy Advisor and Assistant Director, STEM Education, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House
Cindy serves as the Assistant Director for STEM education at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, (OSTP). In this role, she works with all federal agencies as they implement the federal STEM education strategic plan. Prior to joining OSTP, Cindy initiated and led the You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative at AOPA. A 16-year veteran high school mathematics teacher, Cindy earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation. Cindy also worked at the Maryland State Department of Education, where she led STEM initiatives for the state. Cindy is a private pilot with a seaplane rating.
Sr. Medical Certification Specialist, Pilot Information Center, AOPA
Marianne Hays has been involved in aviation for over 45 years. Her husband is a pilot, and they have owned an airplane for most of their lives. Marianne is a Senior Medical Specialist with AOPA for 12 years, where she has cultivated a close association with FAA’s aero-medical branch in Oklahoma City. Daily, she works with FAA specialists and FAA designated medical examiners to stay current on regulations and requirements for all medical certifications with FAA. Most of her workday is spent reviewing medical records for members, answering questions, and advising pilots and prospective pilots on FAA Medical Clearance. She travels the U.S. interacting with aviators interested in preserving their ability to fly.
President, California Aeronautical University, CA
Matthew A. Johnston has over 23 years of experience serving in various roles in education and is currently serving as the President of California Aeronautical University. He maintains memberships and is a supporting participant with several aviation associations including University Aviation Association, Regional Airline Association, AOPA, NBAA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program. He is proud of his collaboration with airlines, aviation businesses, and individual aviation professionals who are working with him to develop California Aeronautical University as a leader in educating aviation professionals.
Executive Director, Academics and Instruction, Ada City Schools, OK
Paula Kedy is a career educator who is currently serving as the Executive Director of Academics and Instruction for the Ada City School in Ada, OK. Paula is currently working in collaboration with the City of Ada, the Ada Regional Airport, and members of EAA Chapter 1005 to develop and implement a comprehensive aviation program for the Ada City School District. In addition to the aviation awareness program that was launched in 2016-2017, the school district is field testing the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Curriculum and is currently offering the 9, 10 and 11 grade courses. Paula is also a member of the AOPA High School Aviation Steering Committee.
Aviation and History teacher, Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, MA
Steve Kelley has taught history at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton, MA, since 2002. He is a field test teacher for the AOPA Aviation STEM curriculum. Steve earned his private pilot certificate at age 17. While attending the University of New Hampshire, he participated in Air Force ROTC and then served as an intelligence officer in Japan. Following active duty, he graduated from Northeastern University School of Law. Life’s commitments drew him away from flying, but a gift certificate from his daughters for a flying lesson brought him back as a rusty pilot. Steve currently flies a 1946 Aeronca Champ and a Cessna 172N. He also holds a remote pilot certificate.
Agriculture and Aviation teacher, Joseph Charter School, OR
Toby Koehn has been an educator for 25 years and in that time has worked in CTE education implementing programs in Horticulture, Construction, Agriculture, and Aviation. Toby has been active as a leader in CTE education and the past three years served as Oregon Agriculture Teachers Association president. Toby acquired his private pilot’s license in 1985 and was in and out of airplanes raising a family and working however never owning a plane of his own, but always wanting to build one. That opportunity appeared three years ago when a community group approached the school about starting an aviation program.
Professor, Associate Chair, Aviation and Aerospace Science, Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO
Professor Kevin Kuhlmann is the Associate Chair of Aviation and Aerospace Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Professor Kuhlmann holds multiple Federal Aviation Administration pilot certifications including Flight Instructor and Airline Transport Pilot. He worked as a commercial airline pilot for Horizon Air. A 30-year Air Force enlisted and officer veteran, Lieutenant Colonel Kuhlmann spent seven years as an Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot for the F-111A/D/F Aardvark, a supersonic variable swept wing tactical fighter. Professor Kuhlmann holds a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Training and Management from Southern Illinois University.
Director of Education, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, CO
April Lanotte has been an aerospace educator at the formal, informal, and federal agency levels for nearly twenty years. Currently the Director of Education at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, CO, April also supports NASA education and outreach. Projects include sUAV (drone) education activities, lessons on upcoming space technologies, a book chapter on STEM and literacy, NASA activity guides, development team for AOPA’s high school aviation curriculum, and lessons that support ShareSpace Foundation’s Giant Moon Map. She has also contributed science content for the Challenger Center for Space Science and Disney’s Youth Experiences in Science.
Vice President, Government Affairs, National Business Aviation Association
Christa Lucas serves as vice president, government affairs for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). In this position, she oversees NBAA’s outreach to the U.S. Congress, the federal administration, state and local governments, the aviation community and grassroots programs, working to ensure the safety, efficiency and acceptance of business aviation. Lucas came to NBAA from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where she was the associate administrator for airports. While there, she oversaw a $3.35 billion annual federal airport grants program and passenger facility charge collections totaling $2 billion. She also managed programs for national airport planning and development, including safety standards, design and engineering, certification, environmental processing and financing.
Coordinator, Youth Development and Air Force Association Programs, Civil Air Patrol, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
Susan Broderick Mallett is a retired teacher, principal, and university instructor with an educational tenure of 31 years in Alabama schools. As a public school principal, she led a nationally and internationally-recognized elementary school that integrated the aerospace theme throughout the curriculum. Since 2006 she has served as the Youth Development and Air Force Association (AFA) Programs Coordinator at the National HQ of the Civil Air Patrol at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Susan serves as the Vice President/Aerospace Education for the Air Force Association at the chapter, state, and region levels, and is a member of the national AFA’s Aerospace Education Council.
Captain Michael McCasky
Managing Director, Flight Training, United Airlines
Captain Mike McCasky is the Managing Director – Flight Training for United Airlines. The Training organization is responsible for pilot recruiting, pilot hiring and provides Initial, Transition, and Recurrent training to 12,500 pilots, with a fleet of 45 Flight Simulation Training Devices and 800 support staff. Mike currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the IATA “pilot training task force” and has recently served as the Chairman of the Airlines for American (A4A) Training Committee. Mike is a former industry “Trustee” for the University Aviation Association (UAA) board and a member of the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). Mike holds type ratings on the 727, 737, A320 and Convair 580 airplanes. Before his career at the airlines, Mike flew for several corporate operators, including Mitsubishi Aircraft, Whittle Communications, and Kroger Foods while exercising his CFII/MEII privileges at the same time.
Vice President, Education, Commemorative Air Force, TX
Educator Nancy McGee has lived a life of adventure and diversity. In a career spanning 34 years, she has served as classroom teacher, coach, campus and district-level administrator. Nancy recently retired as the Director of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) K-12 for a public school system. She is now taking her skills to the non-profit sector to educate, honor and inspire students through the Commemorative Air Force tools for living history. In her spare time, Nancy is an explorer and filmmaker. The Explorers Club recognized her with a Fellowship for contributions and she also was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
Sr. Director, Flight Training Initiative, AOPA
Chris Moser is the Sr. Director, Flight Training Initiative at AOPA. As part of the You Can Fly team, he manages and supports AOPA’s programs, events, and initiatives related to growing and strengthening the pilot population. This includes the Rusty Pilots program and Flight Training Experience Survey & Awards in addition to developing programs to support and enhance flight training operations. Chris has been a professional educator for over 20 years including being a high school teacher, flight instructor, and freight pilot.
Teacher, United Christian Academy, MN
Gene Poole graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Mathematics Education. After teaching math at Lynchburg Christian Academy for one year he enrolled in graduate school at the University of Virginia obtaining a master’s and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. After a career in high performance computing that began at NASA and included working for Cray Research and two engineering software companies over the years from 1986 – 2014, he returned to his teaching roots. He is currently employed at United Christian Academy in Bloomington, MN where he teaches high school math and aviation.
Science teacher, Karnes City Independent School District, TX
David Purser is a secondary science teacher for the Karnes City Independent School District. His role includes Honors Physics, Conceptual Physics, and Aviation Science. He has been a Texas certified composite science teacher for over 10 years. In addition to teaching, David is currently a student pilot. He and his wife also own a private chemical company. Prior to teaching, David worked 16 years in Scientific Services for the HEB Grocery Company. David holds a B.S. and an M.S. degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
Senior Vice President, Flight Operations, United Airlines
Bryan Quigley serves as the Senior Vice President of Flight Operations for United Airlines. He leads over 12,600 pilots in global flight operations. Bryan joined United in 1995 as a first officer on the Boeing 737 and has flown all of United’s current aircraft except the 787. He currently flies the Airbus 319/320 as a Captain. In addition to his current role, he has served as the Vice President of Hub Operations in San Francisco, United’s premier west coast hub, as the Managing Director and System Chief Pilot, and as the Managing Director of Flight Operations overseeing flight ops technology, current, contingency and emergency operations as well as regulatory compliance and quality control. Before joining United, Bryan was a counter narcotics pilot for US Customs. Bryan also served in the US Navy as a Naval Aviator. He commanded VP-62 in Jacksonville, FL and retired from the Navy Reserve as a Captain.
Teacher, Lake Placid High School, FL
John Rousch has been an educator for over 48 years, serving as a classroom teacher and school administrator in Career and Technical Education. He is a pilot and currently leads a community youth aviation education program in Highlands County, FL. He is an AOPA member and President of EAA Chapter 1240 in Sebring, FL. The School Board of Highlands County conducts the AOPA High School Aviation Curriculum at the EAA Chapter 1240 Aviation Development Center located on the flightline of the Sebring Regional Airport.
Teacher, Marion Regional Center, IN
Scott Simpson is a 35 year veteran educator. He is dual certified in math and science. He currently teaches in the aviation program at the Marion Regional Career Center in Marion, IN. Scott has been involved with field testing the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Curriculum since its inception.
Executive Director, You Can Fly, AOPA
As Executive Director of You Can Fly, Elizabeth Tennyson is responsible for programs designed to get people flying and keep them flying. You Can Fly comprises four initiatives aimed at introducing high school students to aviation careers, improving the flight training experience, making flying more accessible through flying clubs, and returning lapsed pilots to the cockpit. Elizabeth joined AOPA in 1998 and has held positions that included managing editor of Flight Training magazine, executive editor of Pilot magazine, vice president of publications, vice president of e-media, vice president of aviation program operations, and senior director of communications. She is an instrument-rated private pilot and a hang glider pilot.
National Director, Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life
Dr. Diane E. Thornton is national director of the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life program. In this position, she oversees the in-school Learning for Life program which provides character education curriculum to schools nationwide. She also leads the Exploring program, including Aviation Exploring, which offers exciting activities and one-on-one mentoring for girls and boys through age 20. Dr. Thornton brings to her role years of experience as both a classroom teacher and university professor as well as various positions in academic management and curriculum development. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Sarasota.
President, Azimuth Aerospace Solutions, MI
William is a career aircraft electronics technician and engineer who learned avionics in the US Air Force. Following his military service, William worked as a bench technician and avionics installer for a Part 145 avionics shop in Michigan then joined Goodrich Avionics as a Field Service Engineer. William is passionate about aviation education and started an aircraft electronics program at his local high school career technical center. He started his own company developing curriculum and manufacturing the popular CES electronics trainers used in schools around the world. William is an NCATT-certified AET, FAA-licensed A&P Mechanic, & Private Pilot.
Physics and Aviation teacher, Mason County High School, KY
Josh is the physics and aviation teacher at Mason County High School in Maysville, KY. He is currently in his 19th year of teaching and is Nationally Board Certified. He is a past president of the Kentucky Science Teachers Association and was a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2011. During his tenure, he has taught all areas of physical science for grades 7-12. He started teaching aviation courses three years ago when his district expanded their course offerings. Josh has been a field test teacher for the AOPA 9th and 10th grade curriculum and is currently field testing the 11th grade curriculum.
Lt. Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost
United States Air Force
Lt. Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost is the Director of Staff, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this role, she synchronizes and integrates policy, plans, positions, procedures and cross functional issues for the headquarters staff. Prior to assuming her current position, General Van Ovost was the Vice Director, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this role, she assisted the Director of the Joint Staff and provided oversight to Joint Staff support activities, including administration and action management, budget, support services and security. General Van Ovost has commanded an air refueling squadron, flying training wing, and the Presidential Airlift Wing. She also served as the Director of Mobility Forces, U.S. Central Command, and as the Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center. General Van Ovost graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988. She is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours in over 30 aircraft including the C–32A, C–17A, C– 141B and KC–135R.
Owner, Aviate Flight Academy, MN
Dillon Washburn is the owner of Aviate Flight Academy in Minneapolis, MN. In two years, he revamped a struggling airplane and helicopter flight school and turned it into one the most successful aviation programs in the state. Dillon began his colligate studies with a focus in secondary education before transitioning towards a career in aviation. In 2018, he married his two passions, aviation and education, through a partnership with United Christian Academy, a K-12 school. They worked in tandem to develop a high school aviation program utilizing the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Curriculum.
Vice President, GA Telesis
Eddo Weijer is VP and Head of Engine Transactions at GA Telesis. In this role, has been responsible for sales, acquisitions and engine leasing of new, mature, and part-out engines and has been praised for his substantial knowledge of a wide range of assets. He has specialised in engine transactions, liaising closely with airlines, MROs, OEMs and the lessor community and has transacted on more than 400 engines in his career. Prior to joining GA Telesis, Eddo worked as Director of Business Development at Willis Lease where he worked on strategic expansions including the establishment of the Willis Mitsui JV in Ireland, the formation of a leasing entity in China, and other engine transactions and partnerships.
Senior Manager, Pilot Recruiting, United Airlines
Susan White joined United Airlines in her early career out of college as a flight attendant before quickly moving into leadership positions in training and staff positions at United corporate headquarters. Shortly after, Susan held leadership positions at O’Hare where she led in the Inflight and Customer Service environment. An interest in Human Resources brought her to Denver where she served as a Senior HR Business Partner and Senior Manager Pilot Recruiting, all in support of Flight Operations. Currently, Susan holds the position of Senior Manager Pilot Hiring programs where she has responsibility for all pilot hiring at United. In her spare time, Susan enjoys hiking the mountain trails in the Colorado Rockies, travel, and spending time with her daughter who is a Senior at Vanderbilt University.
Vice President, Sporty's Pilot Shop, OH
Mark Wiesenhahn is a vice president at Sporty's Pilot Shop, where he has worked for the past 28 years. In addition to his administrative duties managing Sporty's dealers and vendors and directing media relations and trade show participation, Mark works closely with Sporty's partnerships within the industry including AOPA and EAA. Mark is actively involved in promoting Aviation Exploring and has been an Exploring advisor for more than 20 years. He serves on the Executive Committee of Learning for Life Organization as the Exploring Chair. Mark is a recreational pilot.