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Jeff Bolden

Board Member

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.

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.


Kerry gooch

Board Member

David T.jpg

david Toliver

Board Member

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.

Providing an opportunity

Patrick Nelson is a Kansas City Kansas native current position Community Outreach Representative for the Aviation Institute of Maintenance.  Some of his many accomplishments include; Gospel Playwright, sound engineer and mobile D.J.


Patrick Graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, KCK and attended Pittsburg State University majored in Electronics Engineering Technology. Also attended Columbia School of Broadcasting.


He established the first of it's 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 married to Linda, and is a father of six, and a grandfather of seven


Patrick Nelson

Board Member


Sam White

Board Member

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.

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