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NGPA Board of Directors and Executive Staff

 

David Pettet — Executive Director (Minneapolis, MN)

 
David’s passion and dream to be a pilot started at a very young age, when his parents would take him to CLE (Cleveland Hopkins Airport) to B concourse observation deck and watch airplanes. That passion and determination to fly never stopped and upon graduation, David left direct to Florida to embark on his dreams.
 
David excelled through his aviation education quickly, becoming a flight instructor at the age of 18, and then flying for his first Part 121 air carrier at 19 years old, becoming one of the youngest airline pilots. Through out his first 5 years of flying, and several regional aircraft and airlines due to the economic downturn, he landed his break at the age of 23 as a First Officer on the 757/767 at Omni Air International, fulfilling a childhood dream of piloting his favorite airplane. In 2012, at the age of 25 David joined the Hawaiian Airlines ohana (family) where he was a First Officer on the Airbus 330 and Boeing 717 based in Honolulu, HI. In late 2016, he returned to the mainland full-time to join American Airlines as a First Officer. 
 
David Pettet joined NGPA in 2008 while attending his first Winter Warm-Up in Palm Springs, CA, and quickly became involved serving on committee’s and joining the Board of Directors in 2010. In 2014, David served as Vice-Chairman of the board along side Chairman Scott Shatzer, and was elected as NGPA’s Executive Director late 2014. During David's tenure at NGPA, the membership has nearly quadrupled, and with the help of the leadership and volunteers, has brought on dozens of sponsors to support the vision and mission of NGPA.
 
David resides in Minneapolis, where his partner of over five years, Brandon Richards, primarily lives and works as a Senior IT Consultant.

 

Kyle Morgan — Chair (South Weymouth, MA)
 

Kyle’s love of aviation began at a very young age at the DuBois-Jefferson County Airport in DuBois, Pennsylvania. It was at DUJ that Kyle was able to spend vast amounts of time with his grandfather whose coal mining company, Hepburnia Coal Sales Corporation operated DUJ’s fixed based operator, Beechwoods Flying Service. It was this exposure to rotary and fixed wing aircraft that led him to begin flight training and obtain his private pilots license.

Kyle went on to attend the Pennsylvania State University where he obtained a dual Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors in Economics and Political Science, with a concentration in Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy and Banking. His undergraduate thesis which studied the airline industry was awarded the P.A. Klein Award for Research in Economics by the Schreyer Honors College and Penn State’s Department of Economics.

Since graduation from Penn State, Kyle has attended graduate programs at Harvard University and executive education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Kyle has been a member of the NGPA board of directors since 2014 and vice-chairman since 2015-16 before being elected Chairman in 2017. Kyle is a resident of South Weymouth, Massachusetts and serves as Vice President of one of the nations largest investment management firms. Kyle is also President of Beechwoods Flying Service, LLC and Beechwood Hangars, Inc. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Society of New York, the Saturn Club of Buffalo, New York, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art of Boston, the Investment Management Consultants Association, the Clearfield County Historical Society, the Penn State Alumni Association and also served as a member of the vestry at the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in South Weymouth, Massachusetts from 2015-17.
Gregg Smith — Vice-Chair (Norfolk, VA)

Gregg has spent 12 years as a board member and officer in the NGPA and the Education Fund, most recently as chair of the Education Fund. Gregg grew up a Navy brat and called half-dozen cities across the country home before attending the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
 
After college, Gregg earned his wings as a Navy Pilot and spent a decade flying helicopters for the Navy and Coast Guard. Flying mostly off small ships, Gregg flew search and rescue and anti-submarine missions in a variety of aircraft. He was awarded Pilot of the Year in his Squadron in 1983. After earning his Master degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, he came back to Norfolk, flying off of helicopter carriers.
 
He left the Navy in 1987 and become a private wealth adviser and franchise owner of Ameriprise Financial. He didn't resume flying again until 2000, after encouragement from a friend and CFI. He bought a Cessna 182 in 2006 (N65PK), and has logged about 4500 hours flying for both business and pleasure. Gregg has logged many hours doing non-profit work and support various causes, including Access AIDS Care in Norfolk, Equality Virginia, and Hampton Roads Pride.
 
While on the ground, he lives in Norfolk with his partner of 25 years, Troy, and their pet: a 95-pound Weimaraner named Cooper. They are avid boaters and spend a lot of quality time on the rivers and Chesapeake Bay surrounding Norfolk. Gregg's favorite aspect of NGPA: strong, effective mentorship. Several NGPA members have logged time in his airplane gaining hours toward their ratings and eventual aviation careers! Favorite event: Provincetown Cape Cod Classic.
 
Kevin Sperling — Treasurer (Minneapolis, MN)
 
Kevin got his start with NGPA after becoming the lucky recipient of two of our scholarships during his time at the University of North Dakota, where he majored in Commercial Aviation. Aviation, he says, is in his blood—his great-grandfather, grandfather, and grandmother were all pilots! He started flying in his grandfather’s home-built airplanes at an early age, and began flight lessons at the age of 13.
 
After obtaining his ratings, Kevin has worked as a CFI, regional airline First Officer, Captain and Flight Operations Manager.  Kevin now works as a pilot for United Airlines, and lives in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN with his husband Tyler and their yellow lab, Tobias. Kevin also remains active in the General Aviation community, and is proud partner in a 1973 Cessna Cardinal RG,
 

Dave Gosnell — Secretary (Dallas, TX)

 
Dave was born and raised outside of Baltimore, MD, not far from BWI airport. His parents said he always pointed up a the airplanes passing overhead, and his love of aviation has only grown since then. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Administration from Purdue University and went onto what has become a 23-year career with Southwest Airlines.
 
He currently serves as a Flight Dispatch Trainer for Southwest, and lives in a Dallas suburb with his partner, Alex.  They share their home in a Dallas suburb with 3 dogs, Coal, Ellie and Zeus the moose.  When he’s not at work, you may find him playing one of his 1980’s standup arcade games, like PacMan. 

Mark Schmid — Membership Chair (Philadelphia, PA)

 
Mark first joined NGPA after landing his first airline job, but his love of aviation has been a lifelong journey. Raised in southern New Jersey, Mark says he learned to fly the old-fashioned way: by cutting grass and washing planes in exchange for flight time. He talked his way into a job at a local airport as soon as he was of working age, and spent most of his adolescence working or trying to convince someone to take him flying. He bought his first airplane at just 18, a 1939 Aeronca Chief, which he had to rebuild just to get into the air. Now Mark is a proud owner of Stearman and Cessna 140.
 
He currently works as a pilot for Virgin America Airlines, and says he’s the biggest aviation geek you’ll ever meet, as an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and Young Eagles, as well as an avid radio control airplane enthusiast. “The longer I spend with NGPA, the more I realize what an extended family you have all become to me,” he says. 
Kyle Szary — Events Chair (Boston, MA)
 
Kyle first heard of NGPA after receiving a scholarship in 1999 during his studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. He later got involved within the organization's event planning, and subsequently as a member of the Board of Directors.
 
Born and raised in Grinnell, IA, Kyle’s family used to fly to Ft. Lauderdale, FL each year to visit family, which is where his fascination with airlines and airplanes likely began. He still has very fond memories of the Eastern A300s and Delta L-1011s that flew him to Ft. Lauderdale.
 
Kyle was a pilot for American Eagle for just over five years, and now works as an Air Traffic Control Specialist at Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center in Nashua, NH. He maintains currency on a Piper Seminole.
 
Kyle lives in Boston's South End with his husband, Max, a Spanish professor. In his spare time, Kyle loves to take photos—especially of airplanes—and enjoys playing the piano and pipe organ.

John Burdick — IT Chair (Boston, MA)

 

John has been a member of NGPA since his first event in Provincetown in 1999. He was fascinated with airplanes as a young kid, often dreaming of being a pilot. His great uncle, who was a captain for TWA, explained to a slightly-discouraged John that in order to become a pilot, ’you have to be good at math'. John improved his math skills and studied hard, and he has now been a pilot at United for 27 years, and he hasn’t used math since.

 

John attended Cornell University and Daniel Webster College, where he earned his bachelors degree in Aviation Management and Flight Operations. He was then a flight instructor in New England after which he flew a Dornier 228 for an Eastern Express carrier out of Rutland, Vermont. He then flew as a Flight Engineer on the L-1011 for TWA before landing his dream job with United in 1989.  John has flown the Cessna 150, 152, 172, 182, Mooney M20J, Mudry Cap10, Grob motor glider, Piper Seminole, Grumman Tiger and Cougar, Dornier 228, B727, B737, B757, B767 and B777 as well as a flight engineer on the L-1011. 

 
He lived in Chicago for 27 years, and now he and his husband live in Boston. He loves photography, cooking and is a health and nutrition nut.  His favorite things to do is to pop open a bottle of wine over a good meal with good friends.

Tom Morin — Governance Chair (Hopkinton, NH)

 
Tom has been enamored with airplanes for longer than he can remember. While he started with pilot training at Daniel Webster College, he ultimately decided he would rather be on the other side of the mic, and switched to the air traffic control program, entering into a work-study program with the FAA while in college. Later, he obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and wove his two educational paths together. He worked as an air traffic controller for the FAA nearly 28 years.
 
After obtaining his Master’s degree in 1994, Tom assumed a collateral duty that same year to include the development and implementation of the Critical Incident Stress Management Program for this nation’s air traffic controllers. CISM is now an integral part of Air Traffic Control work culture.
 
Retired since 2014, Tom lives in Hopkinton, NH and remains deeply connected to the aviation industry through his union, NATCA, and his fellow NGPAers.

Brooks Beaudoin — Advocacy Chair (Long Beach, CA)

Brooks was used to seeing large civilian and military aircraft from his hometown of Great Falls, Montana which included Malmstrom Air Force Base, and Great Falls International Aiport serving as a high-winds test airport for Boeing. After a trip on a Boeing 737 when he was eight, Brooks was fascinated by flying and saw no other path for his future career.
 
After high school, Brooks studied Aviation and French at the University of North Dakota, soloing in a Piper Cadet three weeks after arriving on campus. After graduating from UND, Brooks taught flying for a few years before being hired by PSA and then Mesaba Airlines before leaving the industry "temporarily" to attain a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

After a 15-year hiatus, Brooks has returned to the flight deck and is currently flying as a first officer for Compass Airlines based at LAX. Since April 2016, Brooks has served as the chair of the NGPA Advocacy Committee, to which he brings several years of LGBT advocacy experience from his work on the internal inclusiveness efforts at Ernst & Young, and his work with non-profit LGBT organizations in Toronto.

Dean Sela (Toronto, ON)

 
Dean's passion for flying goes back to his childhood of traveling between Israel (his birthplace) and Canada (where he grew up). He began flight lessons at 16, and earned his private before he could legally drive a car. Dean went on to Seneca College where he obtained a degree in Applied Technology (Flight). After working as a flight instructor, he joined the ranks at Air Georgian, and then Sky Regional, before he was picked up by Air Canada, his current employer. Since joing the ranks at Air Canada, Dean has enjoyed flying the Airbus 320, Embraer 190, and most recently, the Boeing 787.
 
Dean joined the NGPA in 2007, just as he was coming out. It wasn't until 2013 that he attended his first event in Palm Springs, where Steven Moore was quick to introduce him to an organization he fell in love with. In the ensuing years, Dean has volunteered at NGPA events, and has been instrumental in the development of Canadian Aviation Pride, an organizations that supports, encourages, and connect LGBTQ aviation enthusiasts across Canada.

Kathy Dulson (Santa Barbara, CA)

 
Kathy Dulson dreamed of being a pilot from the age of 12 when she took her first flight. Her drams were briefly dashed when a high school counselor told her that there weren't female pilots. Not knowing otherwise, Kathy was discouraged for a short time, but ultimately pursued her dreams.
 
Kathy has been in the aviation industry for over 28 years with four different airlines. She started in customer service and operation with American Airlines. While working for American, she met many female pilots and realized she could make her dream come true. She is now a pilot for United Airlines on the Boeing 757/767.
 
Kathy was introduced to the NGPA in 2000 at a WAI conference, where some women she met were having an NGPA meet-up. For the past several years, she has volunteered to work the NGPA booth at WAI conferences. She has made many invaluable connections, and lifelong friendships through the NGPA. Kathy looks forward to contributing more to this great organization as a member of the board.
 
After spending most of her life in Chicago, Kathy now resides in Santa Barbara, California with her wife, Leslie Altman. They spend much of their free time traveling around the world and hanging out with their dog Kia.

 

Hunter Chumbley (Seattle, WA)

 

As an Air Force child living abroad until he was 13, aviation was ingrained in Hunter's early life. This immersion led to a lifelong love for flight, undampened to this day.  He recently retired from his job as a Firefighter Paramedic after being active for over 17 years.  He now works for Horizon Airlines as a First Officer in the E175 out of Seattle. When he's not working his full-time job as a firefighter/paramedic, Hunter owns a partnership in four airplanes and is a current CFI, CII, MEI, and Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot. Hunter holds a bachelors in Paramedicine from Central Washington University, and for the past 14 years has been involved in non-profit work in many capacities. 

 
Hunter joined the NGPA in 2014 when he was searching the internet for a gay aviation group. He has been the recipient of an NGPA scholarship, and is anxious to apply his experience with 501(c)(3) organizations to the NGPA as a new board member. In 2014, Hunter created a 501(c)(3) from the ground up to serve the community within his fire district.
 
Hunter resides in the Greater Seattle area.  Anyone who visits the area is invited to go flying with him. He insists that the views are amazing!

Brian Gambino — Director Corporate Relations (Boston, MA)

 

Growing up close to New York's Kennedy Airport Brian always had his eyes turned skyward as various aircraft roared overhead on their approach to runway 22L. Brian proclaimed from the young age of five that he surely wanted to be an Airline Pilot when he grew up! That dream became a reality in 2007 after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University when he started his airline career as a pilot for Mesa Airlines. After a furlough in 2010, Brian joined Air Wisconsin as a First Officer on the CRJ-200. A few year later Brian finally landed his dream job with JetBlue Airways in the fall of 2014 as a First Officer on the Embraer 190 based out of Boston. Brian was commuting to Chicago for years, but has recently relocated to Boston, MA where he currently resides with his boyfriend Jon.

 

Brian joined the NGPA in January of 2008 and began as Industry Expo Director in 2015. Brian is proud to be a part of an organization that has seen such tremendous growth and support throughout the industry we know and love. Brian looks forward to continuing to serve the organization going forward and developing many more friendships as we continue to see our membership grow! 

Jason Seider — Contrails Editor-In-Chief (Denton, TX)

 

Jason describes himself as a romantic with an old soul. Having grandparents that worked for TWA during the golden age of air travel, he grew up mesmerized by the stories of yesteryear, and a longing to travel the world in an airplane. After his first flight lesson at 18, he knew he had discovered one of his deepest passions. After graduation, Jason went to work for American Eagle Airlines, and spent 9 years there. Most recently, Jason landed his dream job at American Airlines, and currently flies the 737 out of LAX.

 

Aside from his love for flying, Jason has always enjoyed reading and writing; a passion that remained on the back burner since his high school newspaper days. In 2014, Jason joined the NGPA, and immediately fell in love with the organization. Jason first volunteered on the scholarship selection committee, and expressed that he would be interested in helping out with the magazine. He became Editor-In-Chief in December 2015, and now enjoys both roles. When he’s not flying, writing, or reading scholarship essays, Jason enjoys spending time with his husband Steve, and their son Kyle.

Justin Demer — Executive Assistant (Houston, TX)


Justin Demer’s love of aviation was evident from an early age. In high school Justin pursued an internship at Lone Star Airlines. He worked at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, learning about the airline industry while still in his teens. He learned valuable lessons about ground operations, airline ticketing, revenue management, and customer service, while gaining insight into an industry that has dominated his life and aviation interests ever since.

At the age of nineteen, Justin interviewed for a position with Southwest Airlines, where he worked as a customer service training coordinator. He has also worked in many different airline capacities, including in-flight services. He was hired with Northwest Airlines in 1998. In 2000, Justin was promoted to purser with Northwest Airlines. Justin was Northwest’s youngest purser and he began working on his private pilot certificate, which he completed in 2001 at Fort Myers Page Field.

Justin continued his career at Northwest, all the while advancing his education and working on his instrument rating and commercial certificates to continue toward his goal of becoming an airline pilot. In 2006, Justin became a First Officer at ExpressJet Airlines. He upgraded to Captain in 2011. During his time at ExpressJet, he has also learned about many managerial aspects of the airline industry working in pilot recruiting and hiring. One of his passions has been to encourage workplace diversity and inclusion in the airline industry, furthering this goal by participating in the National Gay Pilots Association where he joined the team as an executive assistant in 2016. During his off time, Justin loves photography and also traveling to Europe, Asia, and Brazil, as well as taking language and cultural classes. Justin currently resides in Houston, Texas.

Steve Shanks — Registration Manager & Website (Denton, TX)

 
A native Texan, Steve has always had a fascination for aviation. Growing up, family trips were mostly traveled by air for the convenience.  Steve always wanted to learn how to fly, but believed that all airline pilots came from the military. With this misinformation, Steve didn't pursue flying, but his passion for it never left him.

Step forward several years, Steve went on to be a project manager in the technology sector, and is now working in the IT world.  Steve met his husband Jason on an unexpected night out with friends, and now almost 9 years later, they are married, and happily raising their son Kyle.

Steve's first NGPA event was the Cape Cod Classic in 2014. Primarily there to support Jason, Steve ended up helping where he could, and envisioned a time when he could use his skill set to better the NGPA down the road. At the next NGPA event in Palm Springs, Steve got busy assisting with the registration table, and quickly made the impression that he was someone that the NGPA could use. 

Steven now works as our registration manager, helping the events committee organize and plan. Most recently, Steven has taken a role in helping with our new website. Steven absolutely loves the work that he does, and enjoys having a role in a pilot organization, even though he's not yet a pilot himself. His goal is to one day get his license, although he's not so sure if he wants his husband to be his instructor. Until then, Steve remains dedicated and hard at work as a pilot spouse.

 

  
 
Scott Shatzer—Chairman Emeritus

Scott has enjoyed a very successful career in both commercial and private aviation since obtaining a degree in aviation management from Central Penn College where he graduated from in 1991. His experience first began with a wholly owned regional airline of the parent USAir, Pennsylvania Airlines which completed a merger with during his early years of his career and became Allegheny Airlines. He was then recruited by the parent company and worked in the USAirways corporate offices for several more years just outside of Washington, D.C. until he left the airline sector of the business in 1998 when he made the strategic move to work for an aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier, and relocated to Chicago in early 1998. After a few years, he took an opportunity with Bombardier-owned Flexjet and moved to Dallas where he dived deep into the operations side of the business, as an operations manager in the early 2000's until he felt he had tackled his interest in the logistics piece of the business. Then in 2004 he moved from operations to sales where he has been a highly functioning, very successful producer for Flexjet from 2004- 2008, then again recruited away by a competitor. Recruited by the CEO of Flight Options in late 2008, he joined a team which worked tirelessly for a few years to salvage the Flight Options brand. Once back on track, the parent company of Flight Options acquired Flexjet from Bombardier in late 2018 bringing really a nearly 20-year career full circle and with 25 years of combined aviation experience.

Scott is Regional Sales Director of the Midwest for Flexjet, and handles sales for the customers in the states of IA, IN, MI, MN, & WI. He has had a successful and proven track record over his combined career of both operations and sales and attributes this to his combined passion for aviation and to many great mentors along the way. His experience is a uniquely mixed resume of combined commercial and business aviation including FAR Part 91, 91K, 121, & 135 operations.

Scott's resides in Chicago, IL and during his personal time, enjoys traveling the world, snow skiing, and during the summer months, he's the captain of a Sea Ray 440 as part of being a member in a yacht sharing program for the past six years. He has been a member of NGPA since XXXX and has served on the board of directors for 3 years holding the chairman of the board seat for the past 2 years. He also is very involved in creating scholarships for others back at the college he attended and has started three in total to date, those being in his aviation professors name, and one in each his fathers and grandfathers names; as a tribute to the significance each of them had in shaping who he is today. It's easy to see why one of the most important reasons Scott enjoys NGPA is the giving back which the Education Fund makes possible each year through scholarship recipients.
 
 
 
 

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