Mission Statement

Velocity R Aviation Foundation is a coalition of aviation and career development professionals whose aim is to provide guidance and serve as advisors and mentors for those with an interest in seeking career opportunities in the aviation industry.

  • Introduce the many and varied career opportunities available within the aviation industry.
  • Facilitate connections with the appropriate support organizations, schools, and scholarship opportunities.
  • Provide strategies for navigating the various pathways to find success.
Our group of dedicated volunteers are here to help you along your path to a successful career.

Board of Directors

Mark Cronin - Founder and CEO of Velocity R Aviation

Mark S. Cronin​


Mark is a retired airline captain from American Airlines. He established the Velocity R Aviation Foundation back in 2019 to assist individuals who are seeking a better understanding of what careers are available in aviation and to provide information, mentorship, and guidance. During his 40+ year career in aviation, he served in the USAF as both an A-10 pilot and Instructor pilot. His 32 year career at American Airlines has included positions as a line pilot on the 727, 757, 767, S-80, 737, A330, and A320. Additionally he served in management as a Chief Pilot, Director of Flight, and Managing Director of Line Operations.

Colleen Ryan


Colonel Colleen Ryan, retired from the USAF in 2008. Throughout her 25+ year career, she held various positions of leadership, commanding at the Squadron, Group, and Wing levels, culminating her career as the 88th Air Base Wing Commander, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH. The 88 ABW is a critical unit that supports one of the largest and most important bases in the USAF, playing a key role in acquisition, logistics operations and administration to support the missions of the base and its tenant units, including HQ Air Force Materiel Command. Colleen was a Command Navigator, with over 3500 flying hours, an examiner navigator and also led the Air Force Presidential Advance Agent Program, overseeing worldwide support to the President of the United States and the crew of Air Force One as they traveled. Following retirement from the AF, Colleen served as Vice President, Aerospace and Defense for the Dayton Development Coalition, a regional economic development organization, where she was responsible for strengthening connections between community, business, industry and WPAFB and recruiting aerospace and aerospace-related businesses to the Dayton Region. For nine years, Colleen was President, Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, the natural gas utility serving 17 counties in southwest Ohio. In that role she was the “face of Vectren”, demonstrating in a tangible way Vectren’s commitment to community and relationships within Vectren’s service area and with the Public Utility Commission of Ohio. Colleen is also a Registered Veterinary Technician, who is currently enjoying retired life but serves on Boards and volunteers for several Dayton region nonprofits.

Tony Dettorre

Director, Scholarship Committee Chair

Tony is recently retired from American Airlines as its Northeast Regional Director of Flight and Chief Pilot for the New York and Boston crew bases. Prior to entering the management ranks, Tony flew the B-727, DC9-80, DC-10, MD-11, Airbus 300-600, B-757/767 and the B-777, amassing over 23,000 hours in both domestic and international operations, as well as serving as a B-757/767 check pilot. Tony started his aviation career at Beverly, Ma Airport where he flight instructed, flew Part 135 corporate charters and served on the municipal Airport Commission for 12 years. Tony attended the North Shore Community College Aviation Sciences program.
Tony lives in Beverly, Massachusetts and is the father of three children, Andrea, Brian and Allison.

John Frankhouser - board of directors at VelocityR Aviation

John Frankhouser

Director of Military Guidance

John Frankhouser is a life-long aviation enthusiast who is excited to share that passion and drive with the next generation of aviation professionals.  John graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1990, and immediately went to Naval Flight School.  After attaining his “Wings of Gold,” John excelled as a P-3C maritime patrol pilot in multiple tours.  He did 3 deployments to the far East and Arabian Gulf.  He was an instructor pilot, and senior evaluator.  After 10 years of active duty, John accepted a position as a pilot with American Airlines, and transitioned to being a drilling reservist in the Navy Reserve.  John’s career at American has seen him as a Flight Engineer and First Officer on the B-727, First Officer on the B-737, B-757, B-767, B-777, A-330, and Captain on the A-320.  During his 22 years at American, John did multiple recalls to active duty- first with the Navy, and later, with the Air National Guard as a MQ-9 Reaper (Drone) pilot.  He retired from the Air National Guard in 2018. 

John is an active mentor for several pilots pursuing both military and civilian careers.  He can help design a custom plan to help individual perspective pilots achieve their goals.

John has been married to his beautiful wife, Jennifer, for 31 years and they are the proud parents of 3 children. 


Tom Dowd

Director of Career Development

Tom Dowd is a career development educator and career coach with more than 15 years of experience creating and delivering career programs for diverse audiences in higher education, nonprofit, and corporate environments. Prior to his current role as senior manager of career coaching at Guild Education, Tom worked in higher education career services and workforce development. Tom's experiences have enabled him to work with a wide range of people on advancing their careers. He received his undergraduate degree from Dickinson College and his master’s degree in instructional design & technology from Lehigh University. Tom also has done additional coursework in organizational development at Temple University.

Larry Rooney- board of directors at VelocityR Aviation

Larry Rooney

Director Industry Affairs

Captain Larry Rooney is a 40-year veteran of the Airline Industry with an extensive background in Aviation Safety, Training, Security, and Domestic and International Flight Operations. He brings real-world, hands-on experience and perspective on current and future aviation centrist issues in his frequent interactions with US Regulators.
He has served as a designated representative on various Aviation Rule Making Committees (ARCs), including the Air Carrier Training ARC, Passenger Hazardous Materials Notification ARC, Harmonized FAA/ICAO Loss of Control Avoidance and Recovery (LOCART) ARC, and the FAA Management Advisory Counsel in addition to being a trained, accident investigator.
An Airline Transport rated pilot and former Airbus Check Pilot and Human Factors instructor for a major US Airline, he has logged over 17,000 flight hours and is type rated on the Airbus 319, 320, 321, and the Boeing 737, 757, and 767.

Rocco Beltrami

Director - Legal Affairs

Rocco is a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley, and currently resides in Bethlehem, PA. After graduating from Moravian College in 2019, Rocco received his J.D. from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. While at Villanova, he served as a teaching assistant and Student Works Editor for the Villanova Law Review. Rocco currently practices in Allentown, PA, with a focus on business, real estate transactions, and municipal law. As a member of the Velocity R team, Rocco provides strategic counsel on organizational policies and procedures in furtherance of Velocity R’s mission.


Mark Cronin - Founder and CEO of Velocity R Aviation

Mark S. Cronin​

President, Treasurer

Mark is a retired airline captain from American Airlines. He established the Velocity R Aviation Foundation back in 2019 to assist individuals who are seeking a better understanding of what careers are available in aviation and to provide information, mentorship, and guidance. During his 40+ year career in aviation, he served in the USAF as both an A-10 pilot and Instructor pilot. His 32 year career at American Airlines has included positions as a line pilot on the 727, 757, 767, S-80, 737, A330, and A320. Additionally he served in management as a Chief Pilot, Director of Flight, and Managing Director of Line Operations.

Chatesha Samsoondhar


Chatesha Samsoondhar was born and raised in Guyana, South America. Her parents were rice farmers. She immigrated to Queens, N.Y, at the age of 16 with her parents and siblings to pursue the American dream. It was a blessed opportunity for those who came to this beautiful country. She completed her education at Queens College in Flushing, N.Y., with a Bachelor's in Accounting. After graduating, she started working for U.S. Airways, which merged with American Airlines, which is now the largest airline in the world. She worked as a Baggage Service Agent, advancing with new opportunities and promotions. She loved helping people; it was the most rewarding job she began. During her 11 years at American Airlines, she was a Customer Service Agent, Financial Auditor, Supervisor, Customer Service Manager, and Manager on Duty Customer Care JFK. She looked forward and enjoyed her daily walks through the terminal, where she could engage with team members and peers. She loved having meaningful career-developing conversations and sharing her humble beginnings. In 2018 she was nominated as an American Airlines Corporate Emerging Leader by Managing Director Mike Mckanna; this gave her a great foundation of what a leader truly is and how to be a great leader.

In March 2021, without her even knowing, her Pilot chapter began. She had the pleasure of meeting Flight Operations Manager Neil Titus. He was greeting and farewelling a captain on his last flight after a long amazing, and successful career. Neil and Chatesha began to chat, and he asked her whether she had ever thought of flying as a pilot. She told him she had but did not know how to go about it. That conversation was the beginning of her Pilot dream. A year later, Chatesha is now an Instrument Rated Commercial Pilot at the American Airlines Cadet Academy, where she continues working hard to complete the program. Her goal is to become a Captain for the World's Largest Airline, proudly wearing the American Airlines Pilot Uniform. Chatesha wants to mentor others to follow their dreams in this incredible and rewarding career. She's excited to become a mentor at VelocityR Aviation Foundation and can't wait to meet all the emerging professional aviators.

Advisory Board

Bernard "Jamie" Jameson advisor at VelocityR Aviaition

Bernard Jameson


Bernard "Jamie" Jameson was born and raised in Washington DC. Coming from humble beginnings, his family exposed him to air travel at an early age. After high school Jamie joined the Navy, where he served four years on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) as an aircraft electrician based at NAS Alameda. Jamie attended college while onboard the aircraft carrier and later attended the College of Alameda. Jamie started flying in 1992 and joined OBAP in 1994. He received numerous scholarships to complete his ratings and was also the recipient of the US Airways B737 Type Rating Scholarship. Jamie flew the B1900 for GP Express and later that same year the EMB-120 for Great Lakes Aviation. In 1998 he upgraded to captain on the B1900 and later that year hired by American Airlines as a flight engineer on the B727. Currently, Captain Jameson is a Check Pilot and Designee on theA320 based in Los Angeles when flying the aircraft and Dallas Fort Worth when instructing in the simulator. Jamie has previously flown the B777 B757/767 and B737 aircraft both internationally and domestic. Jamie has been mentoring for more than twenty years and is and has served previously as Chairman of the Aviation Professional Development Program with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. He has also served on the Professional Standards Committee (Allied Pilots Association) for American Airlines. Jamie is married to Patricia Jameson who is also a pilot for United Airlines and has one son, Jamie Jett Jameson.

Harold “Justin” Green advisor at VelocityR Aviaition

Harold Green


Harold “Justin” Green, 36 years old has been a life-long aviation enthusiast. He is the son of a former Vietnam War helicopter pilot. Justin soloed in his father’s Cessna 150 at age 16 and a year later received his private pilot’s certificate. Always tinkering with equipment Justin decided to go to the Pennsylvania College of Technology to become a certified airframe and powerplant mechanic, also pursuing and receiving a commercial pilot certificate. After graduating in 2008 he started working at TML Aircraft in Honesdale Pennsylvania as an airframe and powerplant mechanic. Growing up with a helicopter pilot father Justin was interested in rotary wing flight which led him to add a helicopter rating to his pilot’s certificate and also other ratings like Single and multi-engine seaplane, flight instructor and an inspection authorization “IA” to his A&P. When the opportunity presented itself, Justin decided to go back to school at Marywood University in Scranton Pennsylvania where he graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management. He lives with his wife Marchel and Labrador retriever KoKo.

Ryan Nugent advisor at VelocityR Aviaition

Ryan Nugent


Ryan Nugent is a third-generation aviation professional and New England native. He was fortunate to have countless mentors guide him in the pursuit of a flying career and he is eager to offer that same support to others. Ryan’s path started in 1996 at Daniel Webster College; studying and flying during the day while offsetting the cost of his education working line service at night. Graduating with a degree in Aviation Flight Operations, he went on to fly a Pilatus PC-12 for PlaneSense, followed by a career flying Falcon and Gulfstream aircraft worldwide for Liberty Mutual Insurance and then on to American Airlines in the Boeing 737. Today, Ryan serves as the Director of Aviation for a corporate flight department operating the Gulfstream GVII. Ryan had always desired to serve his country in addition to his civilian flying career which is why, in the weeks following September 11th, he enlisted in the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He was later selected for a commission in the USAF and graduated from the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT). For the next 21 years, Ryan flew in five combat deployments to Afghanistan and the Middle East, held multiple command positions, graduated from the US Naval War College and left the Guard as a Colonel and Group Commander for the 143rd Operations Group of the Rhode Island Air National Guard. He is still serving actively in the USAF Reserves. Ryan and his wife Katie enjoy raising their three kids in New Hampshire where you can find them enjoying the lakes in the summer or alpine ski racing all winter.

Eric Zimmerman


Eric was born and raised in Arlington, TX growing up in and around the aviation industry as his Father and Grandfather were dispatchers at American Airlines, he was always in awe of the profession and the industry. After graduating from Arlington High School in 2012 he went on to Texas State University to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement. He graduated in 2016 after becoming the president for his criminal justice fraternity, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, his senior year. Post graduation, Eric found a new love for aviation and started the process of becoming a flight dispatcher. In the Summer of 2017, Eric went to IFOD in Irving, TX to earn his certificate from the FAA. Shortly after that in October 2017 he was hired as a dispatcher at Envoy Airlines. Roughly 9 months later he was hired to start at his dream Airline, American Airlines! Since starting at American, he's really found a true passion for helping other dispatchers and sharing knowledge learned along the way with his fellow dispatchers as well as other departments. He is currently a Chief Dispatcher serving his fellow dispatchers and helping merge the gap between management and the dispatch workgroup.

Justin Whetstone


Justin has been a lifelong lover of aviation. Always wanting to be an airline pilot he earned his ratings with that intent. However, after 9/11/2001 Justin realized he needed to get a backup to flying and joined the United States Air Force as an air traffic controller. After serving for 6 years he left the Air Force and became a first officer for American Eagle Airlines on the ERJ-145. Due to furloughs he took a position with the FAA as a controller and has been there since 2009. Justin has been certified at Tucson, Phoenix, and now Detroit TRACONs. Knowledge of both sides of the radio has been extremely helpful and will serve to help you in your path no matter what side you want to go to!

Roland Kushner


Roland Kushner is a Professor of Business Administration at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. While his aviation industry experience is limited to being a commercial airline passenger, he follows the aviation industries to support his teaching of management, strategy, and HR. He inherited an interest in aviation from his grandfather, who was in the Czech squadrons of the British Royal Air Force during WWII, and was one of the founders of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Roland's professional activities include research and consulting in nonprofit management, strategy, and governance. He has supported VelocityR since its inception. Additional information at www.rjkushner.com.

Craighton Miller


Craighton has been a lifelong #avgeek, there isn’t a plane flying overhead that he doesn’t take a second to look at. Growing up in the Seattle area it’s only natural that he would be immersed in aviation. Craighton graduated from Washington State University, and while he didn’t graduate with an aviation-based degree, during his time there he was invited to the FAA ATC Academy and went straight from college into the academy. Unfortunately, Air Traffic Control didn’t suit him, instead falling in love with airline operations, and soon after the academy obtained his Flight Dispatch certificate from Jeppesen. Craighton’s first airline was Endeavor Air, where he learned all of his practical dispatching skills and eventually became a Sector Supervisor managing day-to-day aircraft operations. Three and a half years later he was invited to the majors and now works as a Flight Superintendent at Delta Air Lines in International Flight Control.

Bryan “Doc” Holliday, advisor at Velocity R Aviation.

Bryan “Doc” Holliday


Born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma, Bryan “Doc” Holliday grew up with flying in his family. His father and both grandfathers were licensed pilots as well as aircraft owners, so aviation was a big part of his upbringing. Doc begin his flying at Oklahoma State University and upon completion took a job as a CFI, CFII and MEI in Addison Texas. From there he worked for Express Airlines I (d/b/a Northwest Airlink), flying the Saab 340 and Jetstream 3100. 1998 saw Doc realize his dream job after being hired at American Airlines. In his 25 plus years there he has flown the DC9-80, B727, B737, B757, B767, B777 and B787. Additionally, Doc was based in Tulsa for a time as one of American’s test pilots on the B777 and B737. From there he accepted a position as a Chief Pilot in DFW followed by a job as Senior Manager Programing and Flight Operations. After his time in management, Doc moved into a role as a Check Pilot on the B737, a position he is currently serving in today. He also volunteered as a member of the Allied Pilots Association Safety team as an ASAP committee member and served as party representative on high profile NTSB investigation. Throughout his career, Doc has made himself available to work with and mentor anyone excited about pursuing an aviation career. Having mentored many people from high school, through their journey to airlines or corporate jobs, Doc has a proven track record of giving back and improving the profession and industry. He is married to Karen, who worked as a flight attendant for 12 years, and they split their time between Texas and Colorado. Together they have two grown children, twins, Garrett and Grace.

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All Available
Aviation Scholarships List

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Privacy Policy for Velocity R Aviation Foundation

Privacy Policy for Velocity R Aviation Foundation

Last Updated: 9/15/2023

Welcome to Velocity R Aviation Foundation (“we,” “our,” or “us”). We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring the security of your personal information. This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, use, and safeguard your data when you visit our website located at [Website URL] (“Website”). By accessing or using our Website, you consent to the practices described in this Privacy Policy.

1. Website Name and Type:

  • Website Name: Velocity R Aviation Foundation
  • Type of Website: Information

2. Data Collection:

  • We may collect the following types of personal information from users who voluntarily provide it:
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3. Data Processing Practices:

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4. Third-Party Vendor Involvement:

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5. Location:

  • Our operations are located in Bethlehem, PA, USA.

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7. Security Measures:

  • We have implemented security measures to protect user information from unauthorized access or disclosure. These measures include encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. However, please be aware that no method of data transmission over the internet is entirely secure, and we cannot guarantee absolute security.

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  • We respect your rights with regards to your personal information, which include:
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How to Exercise Your Rights:

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Changes to this Privacy Policy:

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Contact Us:

  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Policy or our data practices, please contact us at:
    • Velocity R Aviation Foundation
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By using our Website, you agree to the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy. We value your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal information to the best of our ability. Thank you for visiting Velocity R Aviation Foundation.

Terms Of Use for Velocity R Aviation Foundation

Terms of Use for Velocity R Aviation Foundation

Last Updated: 9/15/2023

Welcome to Velocity R Aviation Foundation (“we,” “our,” or “us”). These Terms of Use (“Terms”) govern your use of our website located at [Website URL] (“Website”). Please read these Terms carefully before accessing or using our Website. By using our Website, you agree to comply with and be bound by these Terms.

1. Acceptance of Terms:

  • By using our Website, you agree to these Terms, our Privacy Policy, and any other policies or guidelines posted on our Website. If you do not agree with any of these terms, please do not use our Website.

2. Use of the Website:

  • You may use our Website for informational purposes only. You may not use our Website for any unlawful or unauthorized purpose.

3. Data Collection and Privacy:

  • Your use of our Website is also governed by our Privacy Policy. By using our Website, you consent to the collection, processing, and storage of your data as described in our Privacy Policy.

4. User Conduct:

  • You agree to use our Website in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. You may not:
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5. Intellectual Property:

  • All content on our Website, including but not limited to text, graphics, logos, images, audio clips, and software, is the property of Velocity R Aviation Foundation or its licensors and is protected by intellectual property laws. You may not use, copy, reproduce, distribute, or create derivative works from our content without our express written consent.

6. Links to Third-Party Websites:

  • Our Website may contain links to third-party websites for your convenience. We do not endorse or control these websites and are not responsible for their content. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk.

7. Disclaimer of Warranties:

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8. Limitation of Liability:

  • To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, we shall not be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages, or any loss of profits or revenues, whether incurred directly or indirectly, or any loss of data, use, goodwill, or other intangible losses, resulting from your use or inability to use our Website.

9. Changes to Terms:

  • We may update these Terms from time to time without prior notice. The most recent version will be posted on our Website with the “Last Updated” date. Your continued use of our Website after any changes to these Terms constitutes your acceptance of the updated Terms.

10. Governing Law and Jurisdiction: – These Terms are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of [State] and the United States. Any legal actions or proceedings arising out of these Terms shall be brought exclusively in the state or federal courts located in [City, State], and you consent to the personal jurisdiction of such courts.

11. Contact Us: – If you have any questions or concerns regarding these Terms, please contact us at: – Velocity R Aviation Foundation – mark.cronin@velocityr.org

Thank you for using Velocity R Aviation Foundation’s Website. We hope you find it informative and valuable. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about these Terms or your use of our Website.