Meet the NAFI Board of Directors

 Karen Kalishek, NAFI Chair

Karen Kalishek, Chair

Karen Kalishek is a Designated Pilot Examiner, four time NAFI Master Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI, CFI-G, AGI, IGI, FAA Gold Seal Instructor and FAASTeam Lead Representative. She holds an ATP certificate and has ASES and Glider Commercial privileges. In 2019, Karen was honored to received the National FAASTeam Representative of the Year award. She has held officer positions in and is actively involved with several aviation organizations. She is also a Major in the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a CAP volunteer flight instructor, check pilot, examiner, 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 J. Preidecker, President

Paul J. Preidecker has been a flight instructor for almost 30 years. He recently retired from Air Wisconsin Airlines, where he held the positions of Chief Flight Instructor and captain. In those roles, he served as an Aircrew Program Designee, Line Check Airman, and was qualified as a simulator and ground school instructor.

Paul has served as a member of an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee, was an invited speaker at the NTSB Symposium on Professionalism and moderated the regional airline program at the World Aviation Training Summit for several years. He is a co-host of FAA Safety Briefing Live and

has made several presentations for NAFI MentorLive. In addition to serving on the NAFI Board, Paul is a member of NAFI’s Professional Development Committee.

Paul is president of his own company, FlightDeck Insights, where he develops and promotes best practices and SOPs for the general aviation pilot.

Adam Magee NAFI Board

Adam Magee, Treasurer

Adam Magee is a Commercial hot air balloon pilot/Flight Instructor, NAFI Elite Balloon Instructor, Designated Pilot Examiner, and active FAA Safety Team Lead Representative. He serves NAFI as a member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance Committee. In 2021, Adam was honored to receive the National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year Award from the FAA Administrator at a ceremony during AirVenture. In 2019 Adam was honored to receive the District and Central Region FAA Flight Instructor of the Year awards. Adam is co-founder and President of The Balloon Training Academy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to training new balloon pilots and providing safety and educational resources to balloon pilots and instructors.

Since its beginning, Adam has helped train hundreds of balloon pilots in the USA and provided thousands of continuing education WINGS Credits through his incredibly popular LTA Outreach Series Webinars hosting many high ranking FAA employees including the FAA Administrator, FAA Federal Air Surgeon, Director of the Office of Rulemaking, and many other FAA subject matter experts.

He is also a frequent writer in the FAA Safety Briefing Magazine on hot air balloon safety. Adam often says that “safety is our freedom to fly” and he takes great pride in working collaboratively with the FAA to challenge the status quo and lead strategic change of the FAA and ballooning community to improve safety for generations to come.

Adam received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri and is a Certified Public Accountant working as a Financial Reporting Officer for a community bank.

J.D. DeBoskey, Secretary

J.D. was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and attended college at Kent State University (KSU). While at Kent, he earned his FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFIA) certificate. He taught as part of the KSU flight instructor staff as part his degree. In August 1988, J.D. earned a BS (cum laude) in Aerospace Flight Technology from KSU and was commissioned as an AFROTC Distinguished Graduate into the United States Air Force (USAF).

J.D. attended USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training in Del Rio, Texas where he flew the T37 and T38 aircraft and transitioned into the C-130 Hercules with over 20 years of distinguished flying. He was part of the initial cadre that brought Night Vision goggles to the C130 operational environment and flew over 600 combat hours in Desert Storm, Bosnia, Haiti and Iraq. His accomplishments also include 15 years as a military instructor. His service earned him USAF Air Medals, Air Commendation Medals, USAF Safety Awards, and the USAF “Well Done Award.”

J.D. was hired by American Airlines (AAL) in 1999 and he is based out of Miami, FL. He has flown the B727, B737, B757/767, B777 and is currently a Captain on the A320. In 2008, he and his crew were awarded The Order of Daedalions / Airline Award for heroic actions that took place at night 500+ miles off the coast of Florida. In 2010, he and his crew were awarded the AAL Chief Pilots Award and were credited with saving a B767 with multiple emergencies off the coast of the Dominican Republic. He served for three years the Allied Pilots Association (AAL union) Safety Chairman in Miami and has worked with union and management to find many commonsense solutions to chronic safety problems in that plagued the AAL MIA flight operation.

J.D. has been an active FAA CFIA, CFII and MEI since 1988 and has provided over 5000 hours of safe and accident free “dual given” to students from every walk of life, in a wide range of aircraft.

In addition, he is the lead instructor for Aviator College in the CRJ. Also, he is currently an instructor pilot for Boeing on the B777 and the B737Max at the worldwide training campus in Miami. He volunteers for the Miami FAA FSDO and the Lead Rep for FAAST team at the North County Airport (F45) in Palm Beach County, FL. He is currently collaborating with Gleim publications, helping to create a fun, comprehensive and broad reaching STEM program for future Pilots, AMTs, Air Traffic Controllers, Aerospace Engineers and Dispatchers and serves on the Board Of Directors to the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI).

J.D. is the founder of the Future Flyers Foundation of Florida (F4) and this year there are 16 high school students enrolled in the F4 FAA Private Pilot Ground School, who will take their FAA written exams next Spring!

J.D.’s biggest hope to is create a path for our next gen of aviators. “F4…we grow pilots”.

Robert Meder Chairman headshot

Robert Meder, Chair Emeritus

Robert “Bob” Meder completed his initial flight training in 1995 and earned his CFI in 2006. He went on to add single-engine and multi-engine instrument certificates. Recently he retired from a 40+ year career at a major railroad as the Director of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). While in this position, he worked directly with the FAA on regulatory issues for Drones and critical infrastructure companies. During this time, he continued to instruct.

Bob has over 6,000 hours of dual instruction and enjoys training new flight instructors, challenging them to recognize the distinction between skill and

critical thinking. He emphasizes that superior risk management, not just skill, is the key to safe flight training. He is a FAASTeam Lead Rep at the St Louis FSDO and was honored as the district and regional flight instructor of the year in 2009 and 2010. After nearly ten years as chair, Bob currently serves as Chair Emeritus on the NAFI board of directors.
Aaron Dabney NAFI BOD

Aaron Dabney

Aaron Dabney was born and raised in Victoria, Texas, where he spent his weekends at the feet of World War II veterans and plant workers in the coffee circle at the local grass strip, Ball Airport. He earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in education at Baylor University.

Since 2010, Dabney has served as adjunct faculty in that institution’s Aviation Science program, teaching freshman and upper-level courses and serving as an assistant chief ground instructor. Before leaving for college,

Dabney soloed in his family’s 1946 Piper Cub, and he is now proud to be the caretaker of that airplane.

An active flight instructor since 2009 and a Master Flight Instructor since 2013, Dabney and his wife of 17 years, Alisa, owned Waco Flight Training in Waco, Texas. He prides himself on training staff instructors to marry “old school” stick-and-rudder flying to modern pedagogy and considers building the general aviation community in his area to be an essential part of his mission.

Dabney is an active NAFI volunteer in multiple capacities, including serving on the Master CFI reviewer board, leadership on the volunteer team, and assisting with MentorLIVE production. In addition, he is a proud Lifetime Member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. When he’s not flying or teaching, Dabney and his wife love to travel and share their passion for small business ownership with others.

Brian Schiff

Brian Schiff is a captain for a major US airline and is type-rated on the Airbus A320, Boeing 727, 757, 767, DC-9 (MD-80), CL-65, LR-JET, and G-V. Schiff’s roots are deeply planted in general aviation where he has flown a wide variety of aircraft (95 types). His total flying time is over 20,000 hours. He is a Gold Seal flight instructor and FAA Safety Team Representative and holds several flight instructor ratings. He is recognized for his enthusiasm and ability to teach in way that simplifies complex procedures and concepts. He has been actively instructing since earning his flight and ground instructor certificates in 1985. Schiff also has been an FAA-designated examiner. He attended San Jose State University, and earned
his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his Master of Science Degree in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri. He regularly teaches and conducts seminars about aviation safety and techniques to student and professional pilots alike.
 George Allen

George Allen

George Charles Allen is an experienced aviator, consultant, and educator. At age 1 ½, George was strapped into a Cessna 172 alongside his father in what would be an inauguration to a lifetime of defying the earthly bonds of gravity. By age 5, he took his first formal flight lesson.

A short twenty-two years later, after traveling abroad and studying philosophy in one of Scotland’s ancient universities, the philosophical son returned to open a flight academy alongside his father, where he would take wing as a second-generation aviation educator.

As an educator, George infuses subtle humor, rugged realism, and pragmatic philosophy—the Socratic method and stoicism—while cultivating his aviators-in-training with genuine stick and rudder flying, seat-of-the-pants energy management, and ‘calmfident’ decision-making.

As a leader, his family-owned AeroVenture has won more than 15 national and regional awards for their dedication and service to the flight training industry and remains the only school twice awarded distinction as National Best Flight School by The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

In 2018, George was bestowed the Dr. Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award for leadership excellence in the field of aerospace education, presented by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)—the largest professional science organization in the world.

George is also a recipient of the Civil Air Patrol’s Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Yeager Aerospace Education Award for excellence in educating the general public about the knowledge and skills required for understanding and advancing aerospace activities and the total impact of air and space technology upon society. In addition, he was duly elected Member of the British Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) based in London—the oldest aeronautical society in the world.

He formerly served as a member of the AOPA Flight Training Advisory Board, Vice Chair of the Flight School Association of North America's (FSANA) Aircraft Manufacturers Committee, and has presented at and moderated several national symposia. George also served on the board of various nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.

George holds honors degrees in classics and philosophy from Clark University and The University of Edinburgh, and a master's in aeronautics and space science—with distinction—from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

When not flying his classroom in the sky, George can be found on the world’s stage as a competitive chess player, keeping up his other instrument rating as a classical pianist, reading voraciously, translating Plato from Ancient Greek, authoring works of literature and philosophy, and seeking nautical adventures along the rocky coasts of New England.
Gregory Feith

Gregory Feith

Gregory Feith is a former Senior Air Safety Investigator and “Go-Team” captain with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and has investigated well over 2500 general aviation, business/corporate and air transport (commercial air carrier) aircraft incidents and accidents worldwide during his 40 years as an aircraft accident investigator and aviation safety expert. Greg spent more than 21 years with the NTSB, serving as the Investigator-In-Charge or U.S. Accredited Representative for the investigation of numerous high profile aircraft accidents which included the Valujet DC-9 in-flight fire in the Florida Everglades;

the American Eagle ATR 72 in- flight icing crash at Roselawn, Indiana, the Korean Air Boeing 747-300 CFIT crash at Guam, the American Airlines MD-83 runway overrun at Little Rock, and numerous other notable accidents world-wide. He led a team of mountain climbers and Sherpas to 21,000 feet on Mt. Illimani in Bolivia to investigate Eastern Airlines Flight 980, the highest aviation controlled-flight into terrain (CFIT) accident in history.

Greg received a BS degree in Aeronautical Studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and holds Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and Instrument Instructor (CFII) certificates as well as Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor, and Small Unmanned Vehicles certificates. He has won numerous NTSB and aviation industry awards including the Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurel Award in 1996 for his leadership in the investigation of the ValuJet DC-9 crash, the 2001 ERAU Distinguished Alumni Award for "extraordinary distinction and success in the field of aviation and achievements;" and the SAFE Association, Michael R. Grost Award for “outstanding contribution in the field of accident investigation.”

Greg is the Co-Inventor of the LapKidz (, an aviation child safety restraint (ACSD) device for infant/toddlers under the age of 24 months that are carried as lap children on general aviation and commercial aircraft. In addition, he is also an advisor at In-Flight Labs ( where he contributes to the development and marketing of aviation-related safety devices which currently include SMART ELT, a continuous aircraft tracking system, as well as other safety related systems such as SMART FDR, SMART CVR, and SMART ADS-B.

Greg conducts safety lectures world-wide and is a guest instructor in various aviation venues including his alma mater ERAU. He regularly appears in a variety of aviation safety-related television programs such as MAYDAY, Seconds to Disaster, and Why Airplanes Crash that air on the Discovery channel, TLC, the History Channel, National Geographic, and MSNBC. In addition, he is the Aviation Safety Analyst for NBC News and he recently won a National Emmy Award for his expertise as part of the NBC News team coverage of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Shootdown. In addition to Greg’s recognition as an expert in the field of Aviation and Aerospace  Safety, he was inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation in January 2016, an elite group of professionals who have made significant contributions in aviation and aerospace. Finally, Greg is the Co-Host of Flight Safety Detectives internet podcast (

Although Greg calls Golden, Colorado home, he spends a good majority of his time navigating through airports and traveling on the world’s safest mode of transportation.

H.G. "Gus" Putsche

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 eighth 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.”

John Gagliano

John Gagliano is a former U.S. Navy pilot with an ATP Certificate, a CE-525S Type Rating and current CFI, CFII and MEI Certificates.  John deployed to Afghanistan onboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT in the days after 9/11 and he deployed to the Middle East again onboard USS ENTERPRISE in 2003.  After his overseas deployments, John served as a Navy Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) flight instructor for over three years. 

John was Honorably discharged from the Navy, attended law school as a civilian, and he has been a practicing aviation lawyer since 2010.  John started his own law practice in 2018 and, despite a busy schedule, he still finds the time to fly regularly.

In addition to his work on the NAFI Board, John is a volunteer board member of the Naval Air Station Wildwood Museum located at the WWD airport in Cape May, NJ.  The museum boasts a rich Naval Aviation history dating back to World War II and it has some extraordinarily historic Navy aircraft on display including an F-14 Tomcat, an F6F Hellcat and a TBM Avenger.  CFI’s are encouraged to fly-in, park on the WWD ramp on the south side of Runway 10/28 and visit the museum with their students or families.  There is also a flight deck diner next to the ramp and other great food options within walking distance.

Tom Dorl

Tom Dorl has been flying since he was 16 years old and learned to fly at an Air Force base in New Jersey.  It was at this aero club, flying C-152s, that Tom cemented his love for flying.  He attend an aviation university in Ohio and secured a commission in the USAF along with a degree in Aerospace Technology.  Tom completed fixed wing and rotary wing pilot training flying the T-37, T-38, UH-1 and HH-60G and was one of the first operational USAF pilots to fly the HH-60G PaveHawk.  Tom served over 25 years in the USAF flying mainly combat search and rescue missions in many overseas
locations saving the lives of others; additionally he taught powered flight to USAF Academy Cadets in the Cirrus 20 (T-53).  He has been an active and dual rated flight instructor for over 22 years, is an active FAASTeam Representative and presenter, CAP member and published author.  He holds a CMEL, CFI, CFII in both single engine airplanes and helicopters as well as a Pt 107 UAS Commercial certificate. 

Victor Vogel

Dr. Victor Vogel is a board-certified and fellowship-trained medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer prevention and treatment. He obtained his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and his fellowship in medical oncology at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. Dr. Vogel has also served as the National Vice President for Research at the American Cancer Society.
He became a private pilot in 1980, progressing to CFI in 2019 and CFII in 2020. Dr. Vogel is also an AGI and IGI. He has owned a Beech Sierra in the past and most recently a Cirrus SR22 for the past 15 years. He has flown to 40 of the 50 states and serves as a FAASTeam Representative for the Harrisburg FSDO. He is a member of the IFR Magazine Editorial Board. Nearing retirement, Dr. Vogel plans to become a full-time flight instructor and is the founder of Susquehanna STEM to the Skies, an educational foundation that will utilize a full-motion advanced aviation training device as a means to introduce high school youth to aviation as a career opportunity.