Meet the NAFI Board of Directors

Robert Meder Chairman headshot

Robert Meder, Chairman - Email: [email protected]

Robert Meder is a CFI with single- and multi-engine and instrument privileges. He was recently named the St. Louis FSDO 2009 CFI of the year, the Lincoln 2010 FSDO CFI of the year, and the 2010 Central Region CFI of the Year. He has been a check airman for a 141 operation, an active FAASTeam Lead Rep. He is active in volunteer activities at EAA AirVenture each year. Robert serves on the board of the National Association of Flight Instructors and is also an operating department manager with one of the largest railroads in the United States.

Carl Fry NAFI Board Secretary

Carl Fry - Email: [email protected] 

Carl B. Fry is from Columbus, Ohio. He was admitted to the Bar in 1974 to practice before the United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit; United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and the United States District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio. Mr. Fry represents clients in both state and federal courts in Ohio and other states. 

O'Mara NAFI Director
Craig O’Mara - Email: [email protected]

Craig O'Mara currently is a B747-400 Captain/Check Airman for United Air Lines, flies Citations and King Airs part-time for a St. Louis charter company and teaches in light airplanes for a local FBO. He also flies a B-25 and L-3 for the Commemorative Air Force as well as an AC-47 gunship for the American Flight Museum. He spent 26 years in the U.S. Air Force and Reserves where he retired as a C-9A (DC-9-32F) Flight Examiner/Instructor Pilot. He said the most enjoyable time that he has spent in aviation is his 
time as a CFI, making his 747 Check Airman position a dream come true. "I still get to flight instruct for a living," he said. O'Mara said he hopes to use the background he has gained in his 36 years as a CFI to help other CFIs, through NAFI, realize that they hold the future of piloting in their hands.
Radke

Eric Radtke - Email: [email protected]

Radtke was first exposed to aviation as a part of a family vacation at age seven. Today he manages Sporty’s Academy, a Part 141 school that employs 20 flight instructors and produces a complete line of aviation educational products. He learned to fly at Sporty’s in 1996 as part of the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Program, an initiative he now directs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Radtke is an Airline Transport Pilot, with a CE-500 type rating and a B727SIC qualification. In addition, he is a Master Flight Instructor and
Advanced Ground Instructor. He credits his decision to become a pilot to an experience he had while boarding a flight when he was young. While doing so, a flight attendant noticed his interest in the cockpit and urged him to go talk to the pilot. “He took the time to talk to me for five minutes, pointing things out," Radtke said, and credits that pilot with his career choice. He added: “I’ll always remember that. We never know when we can make that same impression on someone else.” There is no doubt that Radtke's role as an instructor and his new role with NAFI offer him continued opportunity to make impressions of his own on those he introduces to aviation.
Jim MacKay NAFI Treasurer

Jim MacKay, Treasurer - Email: [email protected] 

Jim’s first exposure to aviation occurred when his grandfather took him to Philadelphia International Airport just to “watch the planes”. This interest in aircraft continued in the Marine Corps, and as an Aviation Electronics Technician maintaining A-6’s and F-4’s. In 1996, Jim earned his Private Pilot at a Cessna Pilot Center in San Diego. The desire to continually improve as a pilot, and wanting to convey the knowledge to others, prompted Jim to achieve his CFI in 2005. Having worked part time for flight training companies, he decided to align with Plus One Flyers, the largest flying club in the country, and teach as an independent flight
instructor. He is an Airline Transport Pilot with single and multi-engine privileges, and also is an Instrument Ground Instructor, Instrument Flight Instructor, and a Multi-engine Flight Instructor.

Professionally, he has been a senior financial executive in aerospace and pharmaceutical industries and holds a BA and MBA in Accounting and Taxation. King Schools, and in particularly John and Martha King were generous in allowing Jim to gain a detailed understanding of the marketing and the trade shows operations. Jim recently retired as CFO of King Schools Inc.

Ken Hoffman Chairman Emeritus

Ken Hoffman, Chairman Emeritus - Email: [email protected]

Ken’s first job as a CFI was in 1962 for Kensair Corporation at Jeffco Airport near Denver. In 1963, he became an instructor and then Flight Training Clinic Director for the AOPA and wrote the original AOPA Mountain Flying Course. He was a part of the group who conceived the idea of forming a professional organization representing flight instructors that became the birth of NAFI. Ken has over 19,000 hours flight time and his ATP shows eight type ratings (Fairchild FA-27, Learjet, Gulfstream G159, Cessna Citation CE 500, Westwind IA-JET, Hawker HS-125, Gulfstream G-1159, and Beechcraft 1900). His Commercial Privileges

include ASEL,ASES, Rotorcraft-Helicopter, L-B34 type rating (Howard Super  Ventura), and Glider. In his 49th year as a CFI with over 6,000 instruction hours given, his certificate shows Gold Seal, ASME, Instrument-Airplane, Rotorcraft-Helicopter, and Glider. Ken served as a Designated Pilot Examiner for over 25 years, which included approvals for Private, Commercial, ATP, CFI, ASEL, AMEL (with as many as 5 LOAs for different models), Helicopter, and Learjet. He has owned or operated flight schools under FAR Part 61, 141, and 142 and served as Evaluator in the Beechcraft 1900 for the 142 training center he founded.

Ken enjoys sailing his 22 foot Catalina (vintage 1976) at his home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas and his 29 foot Ericson sailboat (1974 vintage) that he keeps at NAFI’s founder Jack Eggspuehler’s home in Cape Coral, Florida. Ken says, “I find that I now spend almost as much time reading sailing magazines as I do aviation magazines.”  

“NAFI has a proud past and we have a very talented and dedicated board of directors and staff who are working hard to take our organization to the next level. I am proud to be a part of that effort.” Photo: Ken Hoffman and favorite student Kristin Nicole Hoffman flying Harry Mertz's Varga.

 Rick Todd NAFI President

 Rick Todd - Email: [email protected]

Since he was 8 years old, Rick has been fascinated by flight. Due to that passion, he loves to teach and talk about flying. Rick holds a Certified Flight Instructor and Instrument Instructor certificate as well as Multi Engine Instructor Certificate. In addition to flight certificates, Rick is also an Advanced and Instrument Ground instructor. 

In October 2011 he became a FAA Safety Team Representative. Rick believes in using the tools provided by the FAA as much as possible and is a strong supporter of the FAASTeam WINGS program and FITS program.  Recently Rick was invited to speak about transition training in aircraft
at the NTSB National Safety Seminar at their Training Center.  in 2016 he was voted into the President position to support the Chairmain and run the business of NAFI.

 Bob Snyder NAFI director

Robert Snyder - Email: [email protected]

Bob started flying in July of 1973 and obtained his private license in April of 1974. Bob became interested in the lighter side of aviation in 2003 by building and flying a Challenger II aircraft. Obtaining a seaplane rating in 2005 and converting the Challenger II to amphibious operations renewed a passion for flying while opening new experiences. Bob began teaching Sport Pilot and Ultra light flying in 2006. Currently an EAA Chapter president, Bob has completed three experimental aircraft and is currently building his fourth - the RV7. Teaching people to fly has been one of the most rewarding aviation experiences for Bob.

Reb Sam Graves NAFI Director

Congressman Sam Graves

Congressman Sam Graves is a life long resident of Missouri's Sixth Congressional District. As a small businessman and a sixth-generation, full-time family farmer, Sam spent his life working to make Missouri a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

In Congress, Sam serves as the Chairman of the Small Business Committee. Sam also serves on the Transportation Committee where he continues to fight for Missouri roads, bridges, rail lines and airports.

 Congressman Graves was born in Tarkio, Missouri on November 7, 1963.
He graduated from Tarkio High School in 1982 and attended college at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received his degree in Agronomy from the School of Agriculture. In 1992, Sam won his first race for State Representative. In 1994, Sam was elected as State Senator for the 12th Senatorial District and was subsequently re-elected in 1998. Sam's leadership has not only been recognized by his constituents, but from organizations like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Corporation, and the Missouri State Medical Association.

As a father, farmer, businessman, and former State legislator, Sam knows first hand the values, hopes, and beliefs of the hard-working families of the Sixth District, and will continue to work tirelessly for them in the United States House of Representatives.
Ted Sanders Director Ted Sanders - Email: [email protected]

Sanders’ friends say he wanted to fly before he was born. In first grade Sanders started building and flying U-Line controlled gas powered model airplanes. He was competing in combat and rat race competitions through 4th grade. Sanders joined the United States Marine Corps in 1969 and became a CH-53D Crew Chief flying in excess of 1200 hrs. Upon return to the states in 1972 Sanders took flying lessons at the base flying club earning his Private License on July 4, 1973. He returned home and used his GI benefits to earn his Instrument Rating and Commercial License. 
In January 2002, Sanders returned to flying and since then he has gone
from an  800hr. pilot with those ratings to a Commercial Pilot with ASEL, ASES, AMEL and, Glider. He also is a CFI, CFII, MEI, CFI-G, Gold Seal Instructor, NAFI Master Instructor and FAAST team Representative. For three years Sanders flew freight for Northeast Aviation as a Captain and Training Airman. Sanders has logged in excess of 6000+ hrs.

In addition to joining the NAFI Board, Sanders chairs/participates on several NAFI Committees. Sanders enjoys his obligations as a member of the NAFI Board of Directors.

 Tom Turner NAFI Director

Tom Turner - Email: [email protected]

Tom Turner has been a flight instructor since 1988, after serving as an officer in the United States Air Force. He has served aviation in a variety of roles, most recently as Executive Director of the ABS Air Safety Foundation. In his tenure there, Turner developed programs such as the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program and the ABS Flight Instructor Academy. These programs educate and standardize both instructors and pilots in the techniques of flying Beech aircraft, drawing on the collective experience of American Bonanza Society instructors over the past three decades.
In addition to his duties at ABS, Turner has been a FAASTeam Lead Representative since the program's inception, and earned the 2010 award as the Safety Team Representative of the Year, serves on safety committees with NBAA, has presents forums at Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, and founder of EAA's Type Club Coalition, among other services to the community. He authored of three books: Weather Patterns and the Phenomena: A Pilot's Guide; Cockpit Resource Management: The Private Pilot's Guide; and Controlling Pilot Error: Checklists and Compliance, all published by McGraw-Hill. Turner also writes the FLYING LESSONS weekly safety e-newsletter available by free subscription at www.mastery-flight-training.com.
Paul Preidecker NAFI Board Member

Paul Preidecker

Paul Preidecker has been a flight instructor for more than 25 years and is now the Chief Flight Instructor/Examiner for Air Wisconsin Airlines and manages its pilot training program. He has served as a member of a FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee, and chairs the Flight Training Committee of the Regional Airline Association. He is active in the development of curriculum for its pilot training program and was involved in creating the curriculum for its ATP Certified Training Program.
Preidecker is a member of the Professional Development Committee for NAFI. He owned a company that specialized in developing and delivering seminars for GA pilots and was VP of marketing for a company that manufactured biomedical instrumentation.

Karen Kalishek

Karen Kalishek is a CFI, CFII, MEI, CFI-G, AGI, IGI, NAFI Master Instructor, FAA Gold Seal Instructor and  FAASTeam Lead Representative. She holds an ATP certificate and has ASES and Glider Commercial privileges. She has held officer positions in and is actively involved with several aviation organizations. She is also a captain in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a CAP volunteer flight instructor, check pilot, mission pilot and cadet orientation pilot. She is an independent flight instructor, has a particular fondness for
antique aircraft and enjoys spending quality time with her RV-6. Before becoming a full-time flight instructor, she was an executive in the banking industry, taught graduate school, and as president of her own corporation spent over 20 years providing international consulting services in 37 countries.