Randy L. Coller, A.A.E., D.P.E,Â Jackson, Michigan
As a teen, I had no clue as to what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I was fortunate to get a job at the local airport mowing grass and plowing snow. It didnâ€™t take me long to figure out that there was a good future in aviation and thanks to the local pilots who took me under their wing (no pun intended) I realized that I needed to straighten out my personal life if I wanted to continue in the field.
Over the next several years, I worked at most of the jobs found on an airport, from janitor, to equipment operator, to front desk clerk at the flight school. I pumped gas and polished airplanes for flying lessons. I bought my first airplane before I received my private certificate.
My current employment is with the State of Michigan where I am the Chief Airport Inspector. I am also responsible for the production of the state VFR aeronautical chart and airport directory. The FAA contracts with me to conduct training of state and FAA airport inspectors nationwide.
As part of my job, Iâ€™ve conducted safety seminars for agricultural and helicopter operators, skydivers, airport managers, airport inspectors, contractors, designated pilot examiners, and pilots. My public speaking background includes serving as announcer at balloon events, MC for an 18 piece big band and serving as liturgist and certified lay leader in the Methodist Church where Iâ€™ve taught Christian education classes and filled in during the absence of the minister.
Iâ€™ve taught Aviation Management and Meteorology for Aviators at Oakland Community College, Meteorology at Schoolcraft College and assisted Schoolcraft in developing an online, two year aviation management degree program.
My experience in working with city, township, county, state and federal government agencies during my entire aviation career gives me the knowledge and insight needed when dealing with governmental agencies. My working relationship with the FAA at all levels, from the local ATC to the various FSDOs and FAA headquarters has been excellent.
My passion and career is in aviation and my personal mission statement is to â€śfoster and promote aviationâ€ť at all levels. With the considerable experience I have received in a lifelong career in aviation, I feel that I can contribute to the betterment of the sport and profession of ballooning.
My focus if elected, would be on improving our safety record and increasing our members commitment to safe operations. We must reduce accidents because every time there is a balloon accident, it costs the rest of us in increased insurance premiums and a lowered perception of the safety of our sport by the public.
Reaching the goal of reduced accidents and increased safety awareness would be achieved through educational efforts on the national and local level.
I would be honored to serve on the board for the BFA and commit to directing my efforts to improving our safety record and increasing the numbers of participants in our wonderful sport. I still donâ€™t know what I want to be when I grow up, but Iâ€™d like to serve on the BFA Board of Directors while I try to figure it out.
Randy L. Coller Credentials:
State of Michigan, Bureau of Aeronautics 25 years
Chief Airport Inspector - inspect airports, flight schools, heliports. Publish & edit the â€śMichigan Aeronautical Chartâ€ť & supervise production of â€śMichigan Airport Directoryâ€ť Manage state owned airports Interim Airport Director, Southwest Michigan Regional and Jackson County Airports
Prior to Bureau of AeronauticsÂ Â Â Jackson County Airport, Airport Manager
Education & Certificates
Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) 1981 by the American Assoc. of Airport Executives Attended Jackson Community College Attended FAA Academy, Oklahoma City Graduated, Jackson Leadership Academy
Bachelor of Science, Central Michigan University, 1994
Michigan FAA Safety Team Representative of the year, 2009 Great Lakes Region Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year, 2006 Presidentâ€™s Award, Southeastern Michigan Balloon Association, 2002 Directorâ€™s Award, Michigan Department of Transportation, 2000-2001 Airport Manager of the Year, Michigan Assoc. of Airport Executives 1978
Schoolcraft College Aviation Advisory Committee, 2006-present FAA Safety Team Lead Representative, Safety Seminar Presenter, President 2007-2008 Aviation Safety Counselor, Detroit Flight Standards Office 2005 Past President, Michigan Aviation Association and Michigan Association of Airport Executives Freelance reporter/photographer, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Ballooning Magazine, SEMBA News Announcer for Michigan area balloon festivals & aviation events Served on the Hot Air Jubilee Board of Directors Served on Eastern Michigan University Aviation Advisory Committee, 1985-1987 President, Michigan Association of Airport Executives, 1983
Schoolcraft College, Aviation Management & Meteorology Oakland Community College, Aviation Management & Meteorology (1994-2006)
FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, Private & Commercial LTA since 2001 Private pilot, single engine land, instrument rating. Commercial pilot LTA Flown balloons competitively in U.S., Canada, & France. Aircraft owner, Cessna 182, Cameron Z-77
Musician, owner / business manager of an 18 piece big band Extensive European travel including several solely by bicycle Full of hot air (balloon pilot) Passionate about flying
Avid bicyclist - falls off occasionally Mentor: Snoopy