EAA Chapter 180 of Manasota

Serving Sarasota / Bradenton, Florida

Board of Directors

The EAA180 Board of Directors listed below is the new Board for 2024.  They meet the first Tuesday of each month. All EAA180 members are welcomed to join us. See the Calendar for details.

Ray Deer - President


Ray earned his pilot's license at age 17 and has been an aviation enthusiast his entire life. He joined Civil Air Patrol at age 16 and earned his Spaatz award at age 20, marking as far as you can go in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program. As an adult Civil Air Patrol member and local squadron commander, Ray became involved with EAA Chapter 180 in advocating general aviation with the SRQ airport authority.  Upon completing his Civil Air Patrol service, Ray joined the chapter board in 2021 to remain close to the local general aviation community. Ray is the Chief Technology Officer at his employer of over 20 years focusing on the research and development, promotion, and manufacture of intelligent transportation systems and products.

Ed Ripper - Vice President

EAAIn 1959 Ed enrolled in the Professional Pilot and Airframe and Powerplant program at the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation campus located at the Champaign, IL airport.  He graduated in 1961 with a Commercial ASEL, CFI, and A&P cert’s., then worked for several months at a couple of small FBO’s.  Being very eligible for the Selective Service draft which he wanted to avoid, Ed instead applied for and was accepted into the U.S. Navy’s NACAD (Naval Aviation Cadet) program and thus was going to learn how to fly the Navy’s way.  After 18 months of training Ed became a commissioned officer and Naval Aviator and was assigned to VP-46 at NAS Moffett Field, CA flying the P-3 Orion (Lockheed Electra 4 engine land based turbo prop) aircraft in support of Anti-Submarine Warfare and Maritime Patrol missions.  Upon being discharged from the Navy in 1967 Ed was hired as a Flight Officer for United Airlines, where he started out as Flight Engineer on the DC-6 and 34 years later retired as a Captain on the B-767, having served on the DC-8, B-727, B-737, DC-10, and B-757 in between.  Since retirement Ed has not done any flying, but is currently enjoying serving as a volunteer mentor with the EAA Chapter 180 Teen Aircraft Build program.

Ron Handley - Treasurer

EAARon serves as the EAA180 Treasurer.  Ron is a pilot and one of the mentors who lead the TAFM teens in building RV-12 aircraft.  He is actively involved in the build of TAFM's fifth RV-12 airplane that is currently underway.  Ron has also built an RV7A along with six other owners, which was completed in October 2023. 


Ute Kegel - Secretary

EAAUte joined TAFM as a volunteer for the Sarasota Police Department and fell in love with the program immediately. What could be more exciting than building an airplane? Originally from Germany, Ute has worked as a technical and medical translator of manuals, documentation, marketing and training materials for 30 years. She has a lifelong passion for all things technical, and her profession has given her an extensive background in safety, best practices, technical understanding, and attention to detail — and she enjoys passing on this knowledge to our students.

Bob Jones - Webmaster

EAABob serves as the EAA Chapter 180 Webmaster.  Bob is a Commercial pilot with instrument rating and lifelong aviation enthusiast.  Bob served eight years in the Air Force  before joining the FAA.  Bob worked as Tower Controller, Approach RADAR controller, Automation Specialist, Area Supervisor, Tower Manager, and District Manager before retiring in June of 2012.  Bob is co-owner of an RV12-ULS and an RV7A, both hangared next to the EAA hangars.   Bob was one of the builders of the RV7A, along with six other owners, which was completed in October 2023.


Susie Majesky - Membership Coordinator

EAASusie serves on the EAA180 Board as the Membership Coordinator.  Susie began working at Regal Ware in Kewaskum, Wisconsin and worked her way up to Senior Buyer.  She left Regal Ware and moved to California where she worked as a scheduler for for firemen working the movie sets in Hollywood. Moving to Florida, Susie worked at the Van Wezel as a Volunteer Usher, then Captain, then Asst. Head Usher, and finally Head Usher and Volunteer Coordinator. She currently supports her husband in his passion of flying and the EAA180 family as the Membership Coordinator. 

Jaime Robledo - Director

EAAJaime serves on the EAA180 Board.  An aviation enthusiast and Private Pilot, Jaime joined the EAA180 in April 2018 when he relocated to Sarasota after spending 22 years around the world helping patients while working for Bristol Myers Squibb.  Jaime wanted to serve on the EAA180 BOD as he is an admirer of how EAA members support each other while having fun and enjoys participating in the various EAA180 programs.


Jim Allen - Director


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