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WHERE YOUR DREAMS TAKE FLIGHT

MEET THE TEAM

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Patrick Nelson

Executive Director

Providing an opportunity

Patrick Nelson is a Kansas City Kansas native. Some of his many accomplishments include Gospel Playwright, Sound Engineer and Mobile D.J.
 
Patrick Graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, Kansas City, Kansas. Attended Pittsburg State University majored in Electronics Engineering Technology. Also attended Columbia School of Broadcasting.

Patrick has served in roles such as Campus Director, Director of Admissions, Community Outreach Coordinator, for post secondary educational institutions. Red Tail Academy Board of Directors, Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board of Directors and 2023 Chairman of the Board for Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. 

Patrick established the first of its kind FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician dual credit STEM program in the country. Theatrical productions performed live locally and Atlanta, Georgia. Master of ceremonies for various events Judge for F.I.R.S.T. Robotics. Keynote speaker for college commencements.

Patrick is a father of six, and a grandfather of ten.

Sharing our blessings

Jeffery Bolden, born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, was introduced to aviation at an early age. His father was part owner of an FBO from Jeff's early childhood years until well after college. Jeff graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1990 with a B.S. degree in Aerospace. His first airline job was with American Eagle, and three years later he was hired at Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta Airlines in 2008.

Jeff is currently a Captain with Delta Airlines flying the B-737. His love of airplanes and flying has given him an opportunity to fly nearly every type of aircraft in Delta's fleet. 

Jeff met his wife Brenda at age 19 while working as a flight instructor in Topeka, KS. Brenda went on to get her private and instrument ratings before deciding on a career as an air traffic controller, retiring after 23 years of service. Both Jeff and Brenda feel they have been extremely blessed and have wanted to share their blessing and love of aviation with others. After finding like-minded individuals in the local area, they teamed up to create the Red Tail Academy. Their desire is to expose, educate, and help provide a clear and achievable pathway to underrepresented youth to the various opportunities available in aviation.

Jeff greatly appreciates the aviation opportunities his father provided for him and would like to do the same for other youths in the community who share the same passion, but do not necessarily have the means to make their dreams a reality.

Jeff and Brenda have been married for 27 years and have an 18-year-old son, Trevor, who is currently taking lessons to earn his pilot certificate.
 

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Jeff Bolden

Founder & Board Member

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david Toliver

Founder

Opening the gate to aviation.

David Toliver was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Computer Science & Mathematics. He earned a Master's degree in Engineering Management from Marshall University. After many years of serving in various management and consulting roles, David retired in 2017.  David has been actively involved in the community his whole life. He has served on many non-profit boards, coached youth athletic teams, mentored numerous youth and adults, and volunteered a great deal of time to community organizations.  In addition to the Redtail Academy, David serves on the board of the Black Pilots of America and the Tuskegee Eagles (St Joe MO). He is also the Treasurer of the Kansas City Chapter Black Pilots of America.

David earned his initial pilot certificate in 1975. He has subsequently earned Commercial Pilot and Advanced Ground instructor certificates. He holds multiengine and instrument ratings. David owns and operates a Cessna 172 on a regular basis.

He has been married to his wife Natalie for 42 years. They have two children – Alayna and David Jr. and six grandchildren.

Bringing more people into the aviation community that look like me.

Kerry Gooch was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. Growing up in an aviation family, aviation has always played a large role in his life. Kerry is a Kansas State University alumni and has held various political and government positions.

Although he doesn’t fly for a career, Kerry has always enjoyed bringing new people into the aviation community. He enjoys being able to take people up for a ride in their first general aviation airplane.

Kerry has been married to his wife Karmen for three years. They live in Lawrence, Kansas with their dog Peanut.

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Kerry gooch

Founder & Board Member

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Sam White

 Chairman of the Board

Inspiring the next generation

Colonel (ret) Samuel W. White III is a 757/767 First Officer for
Delta Airlines and an adjunct professor of mathematics at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Worldwide Campus). He retired from active duty in 2017 after over 25 years of service. Col White has served in various positions to include test engineer, B-52H instructor pilot, B-2A instructor/evaluator pilot, senior leader personnel division chief, AF Element Commander at the Army Command and General Staff College and USCENTCOM planner.


He commanded a B-2A bomber squadron as well as an operations group where he led B-52, B-1, B-2, KC-135, F-16, and RQ-4 squadrons.  Col White is a Command Pilot and Airline Transport Pilot with over 5,200 hours in the B-2A, B-52H, T-38A, KC-135R, F-16B, 757-200/300, 767-300ER, MD-88 and MD-90.

Colonel White was commissioned through the USAF Academy in 1992 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical
Engineering. He also holds Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering (Fresno State) and Systems Engineering (AFIT). He is married to the former Chareda Evans and they have four children.

I am so grateful to be a part of Red Tail Academy!

Wynn Weeks grew up on farms in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. She has spent many years around aviation. Her father was a spray pilot, and her husband was an air crew member on both KC-135’s and C-130’s in the USAF.
Wynn is a nurse by education but has spent most of her life in sales and leadership development, both as a successful business owner and executive consultant. Specializing in business development, leadership, and start-ups.


After relocating to KCMO she worked in accounting and received her real estate license. Wynn’s passion remains in leadership development and working to make a difference in the life of others as a John Maxwell coach, trainer, and keynote speaker.  Her desire and passion to make a difference is what brought her to Red Tail Academy.


“I am so grateful to be a part of Red Tail Academy and to serve as Project Coordinator. To see the excitement and possibilities in the eyes of our youth as they explore their future in aviation is truly rewarding. Red Tail Academy is creating a new reality for developing aviation leaders of the future.”


Wynn is married to her high school sweetheart, Scott. They have 3 sons and 3 granddaughters.

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Wynn Weeks

Program Coordinator

Jim Bogle

 Board Member

My passion to help others is driven by my personal experiences of growing up in the inter-city of Kansas City, to Blue/Union parents. 

Jim Bogle has a long history of devoting his time to various organizations. Most recently with Newhouse Domestic Violence Shelter – Abused Women and Children.
 
“My passion to help others is driven by my personal experiences of growing up in the inter-city of Kansas City, to Blue/Union parents. They did not have skills to help mentor me in my quest to break the poverty cycle.  I was very fortunate to get early, professional people to mentor me on my road to a better future. I use my many years of experience in business from small companies to multi-billion-dollar companies.”
 

To contribute her knowledge and experience in working with disadvantaged youth to enhance and cultivate the shared vision and mission of the organization.   

Rhonda M. Ewing holds a (BSW) in Social Work and has over twenty years’ experience working with families and individuals.  
Since 2002 Rhonda has demonstrated her passion for serving and empowering those who face life challenges through her work with families and individuals.  She has worked in this role specifically to identify child abuse indicators within the family unit as to determine and aide family members in the development of action steps and strategies needed to achieve skills in areas of healthy and effective parenting. 


For over eight years Rhonda engaged in the role of the Workforce Innovative Opportunity Act Youth Program Director.  In this position she cultivated new ideas and the application of proven experience in the development and implementation of strategic and forward-thinking youth activities that resulted in positive youth experiences and healthy lifestyles choices.  


Rhonda is currently employed with the Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City in the role of Manager of Supportive Services, as she continues to work with families and individuals who are low-income and face life challenges.


Rhonda joined Red Tail Academy as a board member in 2021. Her purpose - to contribute her knowledge and experience in working with disadvantaged youth to enhance and cultivate the shared vision and mission of the organization.   

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Rhonda M. Ewing 

 Board Member

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Raj Nair 

 Board Member

He has been invited to be an advisor on the board of local universities to help shape their curriculum to match industry evolution.

Raj Nair is a recognized expert and a successful entrepreneur in the field of Big Data. He has helped several clients scale their data infrastructure and applications from legacy systems to modern cloud-based data platforms. He was the founding and core committee member of the Kansas City Big Data Summit that was held for four years and is known for pioneering applications of Big Data in the Kansas City metro.

 

He has been invited to be an advisor on the board of local universities to help shape their curriculum to match industry evolution. He has held several leadership positions in IBM, Informa and was the CEO of Yotabites LLC. He lives in Overland Park, KS with his wife.
 

Red Tail Academy is the perfect organization that provides a platform to help the next generation see the many exciting opportunities within the field of aviation.

Jeff White has 3 decades of financial and banking experience. Starting as a teller with a community bank, he worked for several years in many roles including becoming the President/CEO.  It was paramount to him to give back to the community through serving on many boards while being involved with organizations that helped everyone regardless of their background and circumstances.   He received his Professional Pilot and Business Management degree from UCM.  


“Having a passion for aviation and the desire to give back to the community, Red Tail Academy is the perfect organization that provides a platform to help the next generation see the many exciting opportunities within the field of aviation.”

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Jeff White

 Board Member

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