Director Elections 2016: June 10-20

Election process: Voting will begin June 10 “VotingPlace.net/safe” (e-mail notification). Please recover your member # if you have forgotten it!

The 2016 election process is nearing its end. This is the point where all members of SAFE are asked to virtually meet the 8 nominees and begin to develop your conclusions as to who to vote for.  Please read the candidates responses to three questions asked by the SAFE Governance Committee.

2016 Board Candidates

This introduction phase will continue until Monday, June 10 at which time the polls will open at 9AM EDT for a 10-day voting period. All current SAFE members will receive an email announcing the poll opening and providing details for the voting process. You need your full member number to vote. The polls will close at 21:00 EDT on Wednesday, June 20.  SAFE is a member-driven organization, so please take this opportunity to VOTE for THREE new Directors.

You will need your SAFE member number to access the voting website. This is on your membership card available on upon member login. See: The SAFE Voting Process (Made Easy!) Please enter your full number (with zeros)!


Parvez Dara

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

I am currently serving as Treasurer on the SAFE Board of Directors after being appointed to the Board in July 2015 to complete a one year term. As Treasurer, my accomplishments include writing a Business Plan for the organization and creating a more dynamic mechanism to increase organization membership. I also am responsible for providing a monthly Treasurer’s Report to the Board of Directors after completing a Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet analysis. In addition, I serve on the SAFE Membership Committee wherein I analyze and tabulate membership data on a monthly basis to track SAFE’s growth. I would like to be re-elected to a full term as a SAFE Director in order to continue to work I’ve been doing to put SAFE on a more sustainable financial path.

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

In addition to a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), I am also a physician with expertise in oncology and cancer genetics. I have utilized my MBA to help improve the financial status of the organization and enhance SAFE’s brand and image.  I have been particularly involved in activities to increase membership and improve member retention because this brings sustainability to the organization.  I’ve utilized my medical background to exposure members and non-members to human factors issues such as fatigue, which can affect safety of flight.  SAFE is a wonderful organization created to support the aviation education and training industry and I believe my professional background as a flight instructor and former FAA aeromedical examiner can help further SAFE’s mission and goals.

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

The most pressing needs of the organization are growth in membership and exposure of the timely and well-articulated message of Aviation Safety to reach the eyes of the members and non-member community of aviators and educators. With new rules implementation in both the Student Pilot certification process and the Aviation Certification Standards, the aviation community must be educated about these changes and SAFE should play a key role in that education.


Mark Ducorsky

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

It’s my belief that those who have benefitted from aviation should give back to aviation. Aviation has always been a big part of my life and it would seem that my being part of this Board would be beneficial to others in aviation. In addition, understanding some of the other entities I work with it appears that there could be some interesting synergies between S.A.F.E. and certain of these entities. And lastly, most importantly, safety in aviation is at the top of my list of importance and if my time can help lead to helping even one person be a safer pilot I’m all for it.

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

Mixing aviation and my professional life is something I’ve done since I was in summer camp at Camp Solo as a 14 year old. A lemonade stand on the ramp between lessons was a way to help fund my lessons. Without aviation I would not have succeeded professionally and vice versa. My experiences include but are not limited to starting a variety of businesses from the ground up, including starting and completing many projects, some small, some large.

Prior life experiences have caused me to be a very well rounded goal oriented individual with a tenacity for learning, finding solutions to difficult matters and reaching high for success. In addition I have been involved in a various facets of aviation since getting involved in aviation. Traveling throughout North America in a twin almost always solo and training hundreds of people have help round out my aviation experiences.

My last business had in excess of 1400 everyday employees with a seasonal high of 1700 people scattered over three countries. Overcoming challenges, the odds and adversity are my best skills and I’d like to use them for the benefit of S.A.F.E. and its members.

In 40+ years of flight I’ve not had an accident, incident or violation. I feel I can help others achieve similar results and would be privileged to share what I have learned.

Summing things up, the aforementioned skillset and experiences, my contacts in the aviation industry, philanthropic world and business realm would be beneficial for S.A.F.E., its members and help further S.A.F.E.’s mission.

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

Bringing youth/new pilots into aviation, raising the bar on flight training and increasing the airmanship skills of both pleasure and professional pilots appear to be some of the challenges faced by S.A.F.E. in the coming years.


T.M. “Mike” Garrison

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

General aviation has been a major part of my life for over 57 years and I want to see it continue to grow and nurture future generations. I want to give back to the profession that I love and hopefully preserve it, help it grow to an even better level than it is now, and prepare for a future we can’t even conceive of at this time. My vision for SAFE is to continue to support its role as a major player in the development of aviation education, resulting in future pilots and those that support aviation’s future.

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



Most of my adult life has been in a leadership role. I would hope that I will continue to keep applying this to aviation and make sure that SAFE continues to be a central figure in the future of aviation. The Navy paid for a major part of my engineering degree and I served as a Naval Officer on a Destroyer during the Cuban Missile Crisis. My leadership skills were honed at a very early age. Throughout my 40 year career in engineering I applied the technical skills from a Bachelors and Masters degrees to become a senior manager and part owner of a 300 person engineering firm in the Kansas City area. Parallel to this I utilized these leadership skills to promote and support aviation education, the advancement of this wonderful profession, and to support the growth of our pilot population. I saw the value of SAFE from the very beginning by becoming a Charter Silver Member and have maintained that every year since. I continue to support our Mission and Goals by volunteering at both Sun N Fun and AirVenture to work the SAFE tent, to promote our Member Driven foundation, and to make sure the flight instructor community is aware of SAFE and all we contribute to the profession. I strongly recommend SAFE membership to each and every Flight Instructor Applicant that I examine.

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

General Aviation is under constant attack from numerous directions. The current administration keeps bringing up User Fees which would be devastating to GA. The pressure to eliminate leaded fuels will have a serious impact on GA. The decline in the pilot population is perhaps our greatest challenge and the many threats to the future of the FAA such as privatizing ATC and many more will have serious consequences. SAFE has proven we are a leader in this theater of operations and must continue to play a major role in these and other threats to GA that will continue to face our profession. I look forward to the opportunity to participate in working on these challenges and hopefully to continue to be part of the major role that SAFE plays in the future of GA.


Eric Hake

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

Aviation Educators find themselves faced with an increasingly complex set of technologies and training methods.  I believe that an organization like SAFE, which strives to provide leadership and direction to address the needs of the membership, is benefited by a board of directors with a diverse skill set.
My background is in technology and I started at ForeFlight LLC in 2009 as Employee #1.  In 2015, I launched my own company, “The Modern Pilot” (http://TheModernPilot.com), a training portal and multimedia content creator. I would like to serve on the SAFE Board of Directors to provide assistance to the leadership team where requested and appropriate.

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



The mission of The Modern Pilot is to explore modern technology in the cockpit. The production of training videos and web based content will integrate well into the mission and goals of SAFE and provide an important benefit to the membership, going forward.

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

One of the most pressing concerns I have observed is the teaching of millennials, who have been raised with technology and are immediately at ease with iPads, web based flight planning, glass cockpits and more. True to SAFE’s mission is the need for enhanced educational resources and other benefits for the membership. Focusing on these changing times and the needs and learning styles of future aviators, I believe, is a critical need for SAFE to address.


Lowell Hinchee

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

I’m currently an assistant professor of aviation at Middle Georgia State University.  Prior to my professorship, I was already heavily engaged in aviation education when I owned and operated two flight schools. One of the flight schools specialized in unusual attitude recovery training using a Cessna 152 Aerobat and a Mudry CAP-10B.  I successfully trained flight students from around the world in unusual attitude recovery and basic aerobatics using a program that I developed which required 10 hours of flight training and four hours of ground school.  It was during this time that I became involved with SAFE as I was giving numerous seminars on stalls and spins at the FAA studios in Lakeland, Florida.  Also during this time, I became a Master CFI in Aerobatics.  Becoming an active member of SAFE was a logical extension of my work as an aviation educator and continues to be an important resource after moving to the academic world.

  1. 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 education experience is very broad and ranges from providing ag-aviation instruction to managing a flight school in Saudi Arabia. I created my Unusual Attitude Recovery Training program and moved into the college classroom for the very purpose of SAFE’s mission statement — “to create a safer aviation environment”.  The college classroom is an excellent place to promote learning and inspire professionalism in the next generation of aviators.  It also gives me an opportunity to share information with other local aviation educators and promote aviation to the general public through university community service.  In addition, the professional aviation organizations I belong to give me the opportunity to communicate with industry and other aviation educators to promote SAFE’s mission and goals.

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

My first concern/task:  The quality of flight instruction at the most basic levels, Private Pilot, Instrument and Commercial, is and has been an often neglected area that relies on relatively low-paid, low-time pilots whose focus in their position as Flight Instructor is to build hours rather than provide quality flight instruction.

My second concern/task:  I see a strong need to better connect aviation educators with the aviation industry so we can better prepare our students for an aviation career. The competitiveness, the high cost, the amount of federal regulation, and the ever-changing economics of the aviation industry make a career in aviation difficult unless the student is well-guided along the way.


Kevin D Murphy

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

SAFE has established itself as a major force in advancing aviation education, both in the cockpit and in public and private school classrooms throughout the nation.  For the last three years, I’ve been a part of that advancement as a member of the SAFE Board of Directors and I’d like to continue my work there.

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

In previous lives, I’ve been a newspaper reporter and editor, radio announcer and radio news director, classroom ground school instructor and provided PR and news for several of AOPA’s mission areas.  During those times I’ve learned the value of accurate and efficient communication with members of the aviation community, both instructors and those laboring to encourage future generations to join the GA community.

As part of AOPA’s aviation education school outreach, I designed some classroom materials useful to teachers working to inculcate the value of aviation – particularly GA – in elementary and secondary students.

To further accuracy on the part of reporters creating general aviation stories, I wrote a manual for members of the media focusing on getting the story straight, whether it was news of an aviation accident or a more uplifting story about contributions of GA to the community.  Since an essential part of SAFE’s mission involves education, I’ve been applying my knowledge and skills to that task as a Board member for the past three years.

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

As a relatively young organization, SAFE must continue ‘beating the drum’ for recognition of its contributions to not only GA instructional excellence but also classroom aviation education.

As a virtually all-volunteer organization, SAFE must rely on its members to spread the gospel of aviation safety and aviation education nationwide.  Getting members involved is a key element for success for the organization and that must continue.

Even with enthusiastic and hardworking volunteers, SAFE still needs money to accomplish its goals.  The completely revamped and user-friendly SAFE web site is being constructed with volunteer and work by skilled web professionals who are contributing their time and expertise for far below market rates.


H.C. “Hobie” Tomlinson

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

I am interested in serving on the SAFE Board of Directors because I was very fortunate to have had mentors from the pilot group who flew during WW II.  They willingly shared their knowledge and expertise during my formative years and I would like to “pass it on” by being in a position to be a positive influence on the next generation of aviation educators.

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

I have spent my career as a professional aviator and have always ended up teaching in whatever type of operation I was active in.  I feel this broad teaching experience will be an asset in helping accomplish SAFE’s mission and goals of assisting in the development of the next generation of aviation educators

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

I see one of the most pressing concerns and/or tasks for SAFE’s Board of Directors during the next three years as the need to devise ways to interest more young instructors in staying active in teaching, increasing their professionalism, and being active in supporting the improvement of general aviation flight training experience and quality.


Bill Wilson

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

            I am managing a national loss of control reduction program, called SAFELOC, which has been approved by the SAFE board of directors.  For a while I have felt strongly that SAFE needed a signature national program to address a major training issue in aviation for which SAFE members would be uniquely qualified to contribute.  SAFELOC provides this avenue. I believe that as a board member I can provide valuable leadership on multiple levels to make the program successful.

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

I have concentrated my instruction in two areas; a) tailwheel endorsements, and b) flight reviews.  In this process I have been alarmed at the number of pilots who believe their skill level is adequate for modern aviation challenges, but who are sorely deficient.  These people are a clear and present danger to themselves and their passengers, especially in situations which challenge their ability to stay in control of aircraft while under duress.  That is how SAFELOC was born.  To make it a successful national program recognized as a significant contributor to aviation safety, will require a strong entrepreneurial effort, skill at communicating with diverse audiences, the ability to attract sponsors, large scale organizational ability and the vision to see how this program fits into the national search for loss of control solutions.  My background includes work history in all of the critical areas required, from the big picture view of a major market television news director, to start-up and 24 year operation of a successful multi-media production company with clients ranging from international Fortune 500 firms local non-profits, to a career as a military public affairs officer with command responsibilities in postings across America.  Leadership opportunities have always been central to my career path and I would bring these talents to the SAFE board.

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

            SAFE stands for excellence in aviation education. That is what SAFELOC represents.  It provides an action agenda to answer calls from all corners of aviation for a meaningful way to address this serious fatal accident rate issue. SAFELOC is to be owned and administered by SAFE, disseminated by uniquely qualified members of the Master Instructor community and then implemented by instructors at all levels of flight training when pilot’s come to them for flight reviews.  It will refresh rusty pilots, train those who never experienced some of its curriculum scenarios and provide a common experience across aviation aimed at preventing loss of control situations.  SAFELOC will provide SAFE with the kind of high profile aviation safety program which will be relevant for years.  Along the way we will have made a contribution to aviation safety with obvious beneficial impact for our members and the aviation public.