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.


Brian Schafer - Email: [email protected]

Brian Schafer has been an instructor pilot since he was a 20-year-old at the United States Air Force Academy teaching other cadets how to fly gliders. He currently holds an ATP certificate and a CFI rating with single- and multi-engine and instrument privileges, as well as the remote pilot designation. He has dedicated his adult life to the advancement of aviation through a 24-year Air Force career instructing both young and “seasoned” military pilots.

Schafer has had the privilege of leading multiple flying organizations, flying a wide variety of military aircraft including the F-15A/B/C/D/E, F-16, B-1, B-2, B-52, as well as the T-37, T-38, T-6 and MC-12. He also shares his passion for flying as an independent flight instructor in various Beechcraft, Cessna, Diamond and Piper aircraft.

He says he enjoys passing on his knowledge and a disciplined approach to aviation to those willing to accept the responsibility of flying.

Schafer serves on the USAFA Rugby Affinity Board and, in addition to flying, says his hobbies include rugby, traveling and being a collegiate sports fan. He is married with two sons and shares time between homes in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Hampton, Virginia.

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.

H.G. "Gus" Putsche Email: [email protected]

H.G. “Gus” Putsche started flying in 1971, became a private pilot in 1975 and became a CFI in 1979. He currently holds a commercial certificate and is instrument rated in single and multi-engine aircraft. His flight instructor ratings include CFII single and multi-engine aircraft, AGI and IGI. Gus holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation.

He retired as the Director of Train Management from the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) in 2014 after a railroad career that began in 1971 with the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railway, which was absorbed by UPRR.

Putsche is an avid trombonist and has played for various symphonies and jazz ensembles.

This year will mark Gus's fourth year managing scheduling and lodging for 90 volunteer flight instructors for the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center and the NAFI Professional Development Center at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

He said he is “looking forward to helping NAFI continue to grow and improve the information available to help CFIs be better at our craft.”

Karen Kalishek - Email: [email protected]

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.
Paul Preidecker NAFI Board Member

Paul Preidecker - Email: [email protected]

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.

Robert Bash - Email: [email protected]

Robert R. Bash holds a master’s in healthcare administration from Duke University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Ohio State University. He has worked as a CEO and administrator in the healthcare industry including stints at hospitals and medical centers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama.

He has served on various volunteer boards, including the Arkansas Hospital Association for 10 years, with two years as chairman; the Arkansas River Valley Rural Health Co-op as chairman; and the Louisiana Hospital Association. He also served 25 years in Rotary, in five clubs — twice as president.

Bash served as pilot/captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps after 

graduating from the U.S. Army Flight School with a rotary wing-commercial certificate in 1969.

He attended the Army instrument course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and added a rotary wing-instrument certificate in 1971, earned his commercial fixed-wing certificate and instrument rating in 1972, and earned his certificated flight instructor and instrument instructor certificates in 1974. He has more than 6,000 total hours in fixed-wings and helicopters, including 800 hours of combat flying.

 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.