New members named to NAFI board

Illinois businessman Rick Todd and Congressman Sam Graves have joined the board of directors of the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Graves, R-Missouri, is a pilot and sixth-generation family farmer who serves on the House Transportation Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee, which oversees civil aviation, including the FAA, the Transportation Security Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. He also chairs the Congressional Small Business Committee and is the co-chair of the House General Aviation Caucus.

Graves born in Tarkio, Missouri, attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received a degree in Agronomy from the School of Agriculture. He has three children: two daughters, ages 23 and 17 and a son, age 21. He serves on the board Warbirds of America and flies for the Commemorative Air Force. He holds SEL and MEL commercial certificates and an instrument rating.

“Congressman Graves joining the board of NAFI will provide insight into the legislative and regulatory processes that will benefit our members and, by extension, the entire aviation community,” NAFI Board Chairman Robert Meder said. “Sam is also a very active pilot, flying general aviation and warbird equipment, which adds to his leadership role on the board as we develop initiatives on behalf of the membership.”

Todd works as vice president of the Peterson Electric Panel Manufacturing Co., in Berkeley, Illinois, and was formerly president of Chicago Premier Flight Training in Romeoville, Illinois. He holds SEL and MEL commercial pilot certificates and is a CFII and MEI with Advanced Ground Instructor and Instrument Ground Instructor ratings. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Indiana University and has been a NAFI member since 2008.

“I am pleased to have Rick Todd on our board. Rick’s enthusiasm and new ideas for improving NAFI are infectious,” Meder said. “Rick also has experience in the day-to-day operation of a flight training organization as well as being an active instructor that will be invaluable in helping us shape our programs.”

Todd replaces Phil Poynor, who stepped down from the board. Graves is replacing Harry Riggs, who retired from the board.

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