Jersey Aero Club President: Vincent DiPrenda
Just like every pilot I’ve ever known, I’ve always wanted to fly and can’t think of a time, even from early childhood I didn’t think about being a pilot. But it seemed so far out of reach. My career path led me through the rigor of engineering and then software design but flying was always in the back of my mind. In the early 80’s I dared set foot into Caldwell Airport's Cessna Pilot Learning Center, Mustang Aviation. The owner, Barry Landy, saw me through and helped me earn my Private Pilot Certificate. Not too long after, I bought my first plane, a good old Cherokee 140. I had a couple of partners, and we eventually moved on and bought a Mooney.
My transition to complex and high performance (in 1990, 200hp was high performance) I somehow ended up being trained by Paul Bertorelli, the then editor of IFR Magazine. We flew to AOPA headquarters where I watched and proofread his presentation to Phil Boyer and the AOPA Board of Directors. It was a surreal experience, and it was also the last piece of prep before I earned my IFR rating.
Well, the years went on, and so came the kids college expenses. I thought it was the end of my flying career, and was happy knowing that at least I had experienced aviation for part of my life. In 2018, after the last college bill was paid, I decided to look for flying clubs, and stumbled on JAC.. And the club had a Mooney! I attended the first meeting, and immediately felt at home. The politics seemed boring, and the need to attend meetings seemed like a small penalty to be able to fly such beautiful planes.
Somewhere along the line, I saw how impassioned people were about the club, how it was run and their genuine love for he organization. I think the founders knew what the heck they were doing with the probationary requirements, because I really felt like I wanted to contribute and thought I could have a positive effect on the club. I spent two years on the Board of Directors and this will be my year to serve this great club as president.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen so many people earn their Private Pilot License and move up into CFI positions or even into the airlines. These people inspire me so much, and I hope to follow in their footsteps. Nothing could be more rewarding than being a CFI, and it’s one of my goals.
In terms of my other interests, well, I’ve had a couple. In the 80’s I competed as a body builder and was in several local contests. I did okay, but for the most part, lost badly! But I learned a lot about discipline and I still carry some of those lessons.
I’m also a jazz guitarist. I’ve been playing for several years and a milestone for me was playing with “Samba Meets Jazz” in 2019 in Palermo Italy’s premier jazz club Tatum Art with my lifelong idol, Dave Stryker.
For the upcoming year, I and our Board of Directors have a lot planned. We’ll be releasing our agenda over the coming weeks. But the theme of the administration will be “Safety and Innovation.” We have a lot of great stuff planned, so stay tuned, and more importantly, I urge everyone to participate.
In closing, I just want everyone to know how proud I am of being part of this great organization. I’ve learned so much, and I’m truly blessed to with all of you on this journey. I’m excited about the upcoming year, and look forward to the new challenges and adventures.
Jersey Aero Club Vice President: Matt Cavalier
I’d first like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to serve as JAC VP for 2022. It will be my privilege to work tirelessly for the benefit of the club, supporting our President by working to get N8211C across the finish line and simplifying the operational/administrative procedures for flying our aircraft. Further, I sincerely promise to personally serve as an impartial point of contact within the club leadership, so each and every member can feel secure and heard when expressing his or her opinion in club matters. To help achieve that end and to help the membership get to know me better in general, I’d like to tell you all a bit about myself.
I grew up spending summers at the beach, tinkering with boats and engines, fishing on the bay, swimming at the beach, or, my favorite, watching planes at Miller Airpark. When I was 11, I took my first flight in a small plane (a 172) through the EAA Young Eagles program, and I spent most free moments after that flying around in Microsoft Flight Simulator or reading anything I could about aviation, all while I dreamed of flying professionally or privately, though both were out of reach financially.
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a teaching certification, but I took a job with Bristol-Myers Squibb and leaned the pharmaceutical regulatory trade before taking better opportunity in the therapeutic area of regulatory affairs at Novo Nordisk. At a high level, I advise subject-matter experts in the execution and documentation of clinical, nonclinical, and chemistry, manufacturing, and control processes, and I subsequently submit the resulting documentation to—and interact with—FDA to clear investigational new drug applications and approve new drug and biological licensing applications.
While working at Novo Nordisk, I unexpectedly found myself in a position where getting my private pilot license was actually a possibility, I joined JAC and, after about a year or so, I found myself back at KMJX where I took that first small plane ride 21 years earlier, and it was there that I officially earned my PPL in N40JA. Since then, I’ve continued flying as often as possible, and I’ve served JAC first as a member and then as chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, where I implemented a number of processes and procedures to increase financial transparency to the membership and assure the club remains free of any conflicts of interest.
Outside of JAC, I currently live with my wife of five years, our three cats, and our numerous koi in our home of six years in the Pine Lake Park neighborhood on the Manchester/Toms River border. Aside from flying, I have a ton of other hobbies, including astrophotography, bonsai, travel, sea glass, light engineering, swimming, home improvement, woodworking, boating, hiking, fishing, and I’m deeply interested in cosmology, astrophysics, astronomy, science in general, and all of human history.
Secretary: Phil Zollner
Treasurer: Dave Williamson
Super Trustee: Guy Virone
Board of Directors:
Jeffry DuBois, Alex Justo, Cheryl Pappa, Walt Szablowski, Sonja Wosnitzer