When did you graduate, and what was your major?
Spring 2001; Aviation
Why did you choose Henderson?
When I was in the sixth grade, I first flew in an airplane, and from that point forward I knew I wanted to be a pilot. Henderson State University was the most logical choice to earn both a great liberal arts education and to gain the experience I needed to be a professional pilot.
Who were your best friends while attending Henderson, and are you still friends with them today?
Matt Disch and Daniel McGhee. Both are still great friends and I talk to both frequently.
Who were your favorite professors?
Dr. Jerry Robinson and Richard Miller from the Department of Aviation.
What is your current occupation? I am currently the manager of the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office in Little Rock. I oversee around 25 aviation safety inspectors and administrative personnel to help ensure the highest level of safety to the flying public. Prior to my career in the FAA, I spent almost 10 years at HSU as a faculty member in the Department of Aviation. I loved my time at HSU, and I sincerely miss the campus atmosphere and the interaction with the students.
How did Henderson prepare you for your career?
Without the tools and education I received from HSU, I would have never been prepared for my current career. Not only did I receive a top notch aviation education, but I gained the necessary liberal arts education to be a well-rounded person. My experiences throughout the extent of my undergraduate education made me realize that I had to work hard to achieve my goals. It also made me understand that what I could gain mostly depended upon what kind of effort I wanted to give.
What is your favorite memory of Henderson?
Hmmm…that’s a tough one. Although I had a great time and made many memories as a student, the majority of my best memories came as a faculty member. My greatest memories were receiving messages from former students about the impact I had on their lives and careers.
When’s the last time you have been on the Henderson campus?
Mr. Troy Hogue invited me last semester to speak to one of his Aviation Legislation classes. It was a pleasure for me to be able to be back on campus in that role, and I appreciate the Department of Aviation’s priority to make alumni available to its students.
What other job do you think you’d be really good at?
I don’t know how good I would be, but I think being a bartender at a beachfront bar sounds nice right now. In all seriousness, I love to teach and make an impact on people so anything that would afford me that ability, I think I could succeed.
How do you relax after a hard day?
I come home to my loving wife, Sarah (‘00, ‘12) and my two children. They have a way to make the crazy days at work seem small in comparison to the real priorities of life.
Who do you or did you admire the most, and why?
My Mother… I know this sounds cliché, but it’s true. She taught me at an early age to never judge a book by its cover and to accept people that may be different from me. Without trying, she draws people close to her and she has the ability to give of herself even when it seems she has no more to give. She’s smart, humble, and selfless… traits I try every day to embody. I love you, Mom!
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Give yourself to something and expect absolutely nothing in return.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
Be adaptable and prepare yourself for the unexpected. I had every intention of being a professional pilot for the entirety of my career. I got to the point of starting that journey with an airline right around the time of September 11, 2001. No airlines were hiring pilots for a considerable time after that tragic day. I had to be flexible and creative to make myself marketable for other types of jobs.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I’ve had one hole-in-one in golf in my life.
If your life was a book, what would its title be?
Life for Dummies
If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?