2014 SAFE Board Elections – Polls Open May 12 – May 26


“Member-driven” is one of SAFE’s founding tenets. This is your organization, and we hope you will exercise your right to vote for those who you believe will represent you as our organization continues to grow and evolve. We are pleased to announce that we have four qualified nominees running for three seats. Please take time to read their responses to the questions asked of them. Each candidate’s email address has been provided in the event you should have further questions. Please be respectful of each of these individuals time as you would your own. Read the nominee profiles below.

All members in good standing will be receiving one or more email notifications from “votingplace.net” along with a link to the voting site. The verification process will ask for your email address and member ID. If you have difficulty locating this information, please take the following steps:

Login to the safepilots.org website, click on manage your account, scroll down to “membership info” and your ID is your member ID (S0000XXX). The email address you are registered under will also appear in the manage your account section under “contact info”.  If you have troubles logging in, please visit our frequently asked questions page, under “login questions”.  If you still need assistance, please contact us.

Please be sure your spam filter is configured to allow emails from “votingplace.net” to be directed into your Inbox. If you encounter any difficulty in casting your vote, please do not hesitate to let us know and we will make sure the problem is corrected. It is our sincere hope that there will be strong participation in this democratic process.

If you were due to renew your membership prior to the end of May and have not yet done so, please renew your membership now to ensure your right to vote in these important elections!


2014 SAFE Board Elections - Candidate statements

Sherry Knight Rossiter

ssrossiter@aol.com

1)      Why do you want to serve on the SAFE Board of Directors?

I’ve been actively involved in SAFE since its founding and received the SAFE Service Award in 2012.   I served on the SAFE Governance Committee for 3 years, so I have a working knowledge of SAFE’s Bylaws and operational challenges.  I’ve chaired the SAFE Membership Committee since June 2012 and understand the importance of SAFE remaining a member-driven organization.  In January 2013, I led the SAFE Board through their first strategic planning session, so I have a good understanding of SAFE’s mission and strategic goals.  Due to a second career, I have a great deal of personal experience in non-profit operations, organizational development, and fundraising, which I would put to good use as a SAFE Board member.

2)      How will your aviation and professional background, special talents, and leadership skills help to further SAFE’s mission and goals?  Please be specific.

My aviation background includes managing my own aviation training business for 18 years, conducting FAA-approved Flight Instructor Recertification Courses (FIRCs) nationwide for 10 years, writing numerous aviation training manuals, teaching live and online for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for 7 years, and holding an ATP, CFI, and CFI-I in both airplanes and helicopters.  My lifelong passion for excellence and innovation in aviation education allows me to wholeheartedly embrace SAFE’s mission and vision.  I believe my business background and leadership skills would be an asset to the SAFE Board.

3)      What do you see as the most pressing concerns and/or tasks for SAFE and for SAFE’s Board of Directors in the next 3 years based on SAFE’s current mission and vision statements?

I believe the top priorities for SAFE in the next 3 years should be as follows:

(1)    Continue targeted campaigns to increase and broaden the SAFE member base;

(2)    Develop a realistic, line item, zero sum, operating budget;

(3)    Develop new programs to benefit SAFE members and re-evaluate current programs;

(4)    Continue to forge strong relationships with aviation industry partners and/or sponsors.


 

 Donna Wilt

dfwilt@aol.com

1)      Why do you want to serve on the SAFE Board of Directors?

I believe in a strong, active aviation educator organization.  Fostering professionalism and safety is critical to meeting the future education demands.  I believe SAFE has the potential to deliver on improving safety and professionalism in aviation and I want to be a part of that at the highest level.

2)      How will your aviation and professional background, special talents, and leadership skills help to further SAFE’s mission and goals?  Please be specific.

I represent several facets of the aviation education industry. I bring the perspective of a collegiate faculty member and head of a flight education program.  I have experience both with a small university that uses an FBO for their training and a large university that owns their own flight program. I am an active flight instructor, aircraft owner, do my own maintenance, am active in EAA and 99s, and experienced in avionics manufacturing.

I have experience with several non-profit groups. This knowledge is very useful in weighing options during board meetings.

3)      What do you see as the most pressing concerns and/or tasks for SAFE and for SAFE’s Board of Directors in the next 3 years based on SAFE’s current mission and vision statements?

“The most pressing task is delivering on the mission to provide support to members including the mentoring program and professional accreditation.

SAFE’s support for its members can take many different forms.  For example, SAFE needs to support member flight instructors and help them provide quality instruction. This includes CFIs whose primary purpose in teaching is to build time before moving in their career.

Also, SAFE needs to support aviation instructors other than CFIs, who are crucial to the aviation industry. SAFE needs to provide resources and support that help span between the different aspects of aviation.

Finally, SAFE needs to support members by advocating for them and representing them at FAA/Industry working groups, on proposed changes, and in the greater community. To deliver on this mission requires members being active and participating in the process. Getting members to participate is an ongoing task for the board.”


 

Kenneth F. “Ken” Wittekiend

ken@promarkaviation.net

1)      Why do you want to serve on the SAFE Board of Directors?

I would appreciate the opportunity to serve on the SAFE Board of Directors in order to help advance the organization’s efforts as delineated in the Mission Statement. As a Charter Member, I have enjoyed watching and helping SAFE become the pre-eminent voice for the aviation training community. The resources, contacts and mentoring that SAFE members provide are critical to improving the professionalism of the instructor cadre. Serving on the Board allows an opportunity to help shape the future of the organization and to explore new ways to provide additional services to members.

2)      How will your aviation and professional background, special talents, and leadership skills help to further SAFE’s mission and goals?  Please be specific.

As a full time aviation educator and Designated Pilot Examiner, I am immersed in the general aviation training profession. Just as I have benefitted from the resources others have provided, I would like to add my expertise to the organization. As a DPE, I see many applicants who are well trained and properly prepared to operate safely in the National Airspace System. However, I also sometimes see areas of weakness that are the result of shortcomings at the instructor level. By sharing my personal experience, I hope to help other instructors become more competent educators.

3)      What do you see as the most pressing concerns and/or tasks for SAFE and for SAFE’s Board of Directors in the next 3 years based on SAFE’s current mission and vision statements?

Membership growth and retention are always an important concern so I hope we can find additional “value added” elements that SAFE can offer. Another area of interest is to help educators share the “fun and adventure” of GA flying. By helping our members provide mentoring and continuing education programs for their pilot clients, we can help assure them of a more stable business model and give pilots more reasons to fly.

The SAFE Pilot Proficiency Program is well underway. It offers pilots a professional training experience in an interesting and challenging format. I would love to see a similar program created for instructors where they could learn innovative teaching techniques, improve their understanding of key concepts and issues and learn customer service and modern marketing and business practices.

There are many aviation type clubs, pilot associations and interest groups who might be interested in aligning with our organization. Finding a way to share thoughts, suggestions, ideas and expertise might lead to additional collaboration or synergies that we have not yet considered.


 

John S. Mahany

j.mahany@charter.net

1)      Why do you want to serve on the SAFE Board of Directors?

I am a charter member of SAFE, and am interested in taking a more active role in the organization, so I am applying once again for a position as a member of the BoD. I want to contribute to the future of SAFE. This includes working to find solutions to the many issues that face us today.

2)      How will your aviation and professional background, special talents, and leadership skills help to further SAFE’s mission and goals?  Please be specific.

Since becoming a CFI thirty four years ago, I have gained experience and expertise in many facets of aviation. I have held leadership positions with local organizations, both aviation and non-aviation related. It is important to recognize and meet the many needs of SAFE’s membership. This includes both business needs as well as other resources to enable ‘aviation educators’ to do their jobs better. This will in turn help to attract new members.

3)      What do you see as the most pressing concerns and/or tasks for SAFE and for SAFE’s Board of Directors in the next 3 years based on SAFE’s current mission and vision statements?

What sets SAFE apart is that it is proactive, not reactive, and has taken a leadership role on key issues. It needs to continue to take the lead on addressing the important issues facing the CFI and the broader aviation education community.

  • SAFE needs to provide the vision and leadership to raise the bar in aviation safety.
  • It needs to provide the necessary tools for instructors, so they can do their jobs better, which it is doing through the resources of its’ online library.
  • Continue working to make the professional aviation educator a viable career choice, via professional accreditation.
  • The ultimate goal is safer skies, and seeking a reduction in aviation accidents.
  • Continue working to improve safety through better training of pilots and instructors.