OUR TEAM

Catherine Weber, Owner/Operator

Al Rice, Chief Flight Instructor

 

Chris O'Donnell, Assistant Chief Fixed Wing Instructor

Alisha Sweeney, Director of Sales and Marketing

Timothy Elroy, Director of Operations and Maintenance

Mad Peters, Accountant

Kayla DeRuyter, Student Billing and DOT Manager

Nicole Huntington, Director of Admissions

Mollie Ingram Petty, Admin Assistant

Rachel Espil, Office Assistant 

Megan Brocke, Office Assistant 

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ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

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CATHERINE WEBER

Catherine is the owner and operator of Silverhawk. She was born and raised in Cottonwood, Idaho, and lived in a few different states before calling the Treasure Valley home. Catherine and her former partner founded the company in 1998 and, although she is in the office nearly daily, she has many hobbies. She and her husband Nick have horses, chickens, dogs, cats, four children, and four grandkids. They are very involved in their community and church... needless to say, she is busy!

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ALISHA SWEENEY

Alisha is Silverhawk's Director of Sales and Marketing. She attended three universities, Seattle Pacific, Arizona State and the University of Idaho, where she received her BS in Advertising and Business. After a year of working in Spain, Alisha moved back to Boise to work at Silverhawk. During her free time you can find Alisha with her fiancé (and sometimes their fur fam) visiting hot springs, wineries, or traveling. 

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TIMOTHY ELROY

Raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Timothy grew up around aviation helping his father fly from the many villages of interior Alaska delivering food, mail, and even sled dogs for the Iditarod! Timothy started his career in aviation at a young age and has worked on everything from tube and fabric bush planes to multi-engine turboprop aircraft. Shortly after high school, he served in the Alaska Army National Guard as a military police officer. He enjoys camping, snowmobiling, snowboarding, and fly fishing. Timothy is the Director of Operations and Maintenance.

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KAYLA DE RUYTER

Kayla is Silverhawk Aviation Academy's Student Billing and DOT Manager. A Boise native, Kayla is a lover of rescue animals, traveling, and food... specifically cake! Previously Kayla worked for a law office in San Diego after completing her bachelor's degree at Point Loma Nazarene University. Her favorite part about her job is working with local charities to provide donations on Silverhawk's behalf. Fun fact, Kayla and her husband had their first child Eloise in July 2021!

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RACHEL ESPIL

Not only is Rachel the Office Assistant at Silverhawk, she is a full-time fixed wing student working toward her CFII. Rachel grew up ranching sheep and cattle in Reno, NV, and Northern California. She has a Bachelor's in Music, Opera, was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, and she is an avid antique and vintage clothing collector. After a career in corporate retail, Rachel found the sky was where she is meant to be. Fun fact, she had to sing songs in French, German, and Italian for her collegiate senior recital!

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KIM WALKER

Kim is the Admin Assistant in Ontario, Oregon.

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NICOLE HUNTINGTON

Nicole is the Director of Admissions. She is a California native, but has lived all over: Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Virginia. She wasn't in the military herself, however she is the only daughter of a Navy Captain. Fun fact about Nicole, Barbie bought her first car!

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MOLLIE INGRAM PETTY

Mollie is the Silverhawk Admin Assistant. After moving to Chicago and getting a Master’s Degree in Theater Arts from Northwestern University, she taught middle school and high school drama for 12 years. She has sung in over 35 musical stage performances and narrates audiobooks! Fun facts about Mollie: she, her husband, and their two teenage daughters visited Spice Island of Grenada, which became her favorite city. They live with a one-eyed rescue terrier named Charlie and Indiana Jones, a butterscotch-marshmallow striped tabby cat. She loves Trivia Nights at 2C Family Brewing, “Aloha” tacos at Mesa Tacos, the automatic car wash, music by Sia, jumping on the trampoline, and hiking. From age six, Mollie knew she would be a pilot. Flying is "sheer bliss to me because of the mental challenge, humbling personal responsibility required, and the breathtaking views"!

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BEAU

Certified Office Fluff. Beau has been meandering the Silverhawk hallways begging for food and looking for the perfect nap spot for years. He typically eats one kibble at a time, runs like a bunny, and leaves tastefully-placed "accidents" when his owners are away from home for too long. Recently, Beau attended a seminar on the future of digital media and aviation operations. Be sure to give him your card to talk strategy or to taste test treats.

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MAD PETERS

Mad is the accountant for Silverhawk. She loves animals, especially our office fluff Beau, and spending time with her husband!

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MEGAN BROCKE

Megan is the Saturday Admin Assistant in Caldwell. She is from Kendrick, Idaho, and loves to hunt, fish, ride dirt bikes, and be outdoors! Her favorite place to go camping is the beautiful North Fork. Megan's interest in aviation came from her dad, he took flight lessons and always loved aviation. When Megan was in high school her dad began building an Avid airplane; for her senior project she chose him as her mentor and helped him build the airplane. Megan always knew she wanted to get her pilot's license, but her dad helped make this dream a reality. A fun fact about Megan, she has two different colored eyes!

CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS

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AL RICE

Born in Winnemucca, Nevada, Al earned his private pilot certificate in 1969, and graduated from the US Army Flight School in 1972. Both his father and uncle were pilots, so naturally he followed in their footsteps, and was a US Army Aviator in the military. Al has years and years of experience flying both airplanes and helicopters along with 18 years in US Department of Interior Aviation Program. He is Silverhawk Aviation Academy's Chief Flight Instructor. 

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CHRIS O'DONNELL

Chris is the Assistant Chief Fixed Wing Instructor. In 1986 Chris watched Top Gun for the first time. Since then he's been hooked on the idea of flying. A Southern California native, Chris retired from the police department and soon thereafter became a fixed wing CFI. He has found he loves teaching and showing students the life as a pilot.

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JASON SPICKELMIRE

Jason bounced between small town Riggins, Idaho, and big city life in Denver, Colorado. He felt well equipped to live anywhere, so he joined the US Navy and traveled the world for 20 years. He was a Gas Turbine Systems Technician Mechanic and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. After working in the Landing Craft Air Cushion community his dream of flying led him to Silverhawk. Jason is a helicopter CFI, "helping others attain their goals and dreams", enjoys the outdoors, and spending time with his wife and three kids. 

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MIKE WALRATH

Mike is a helicopter CFI from Laramie, Wyoming. He is married, has two dogs, and has lived in the Boise area for over ten years. Before becoming a helicopter pilot, he was working behind a computer as a Program Manager and felt he needed a change. During a rafting trip he saw a helicopter drop off a group of hotshot firefighters and was super inspired. After his discovery flight, he was hooked! He loves the outdoors, holds the 800 meter indoor track and field record for BSU, proposed to his wife after a helicopter tour, and got married in Ireland! 

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JOHN GAMPEL

John is a helicopter CFI.

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DARRELL CEREGHINO

Darrell and his father moved to Homedale, Idaho, about ten years ago. He played varsity football and ran track at Greenleaf Friends Academy. Darrell joined the US Air Force for five years; three of those years were spend in Guam where he worked with helicopters. He feels there is nothing better than teaching and seeing the lightbulb moment with his helicopter students. Darrell is from long lost Italian royalty and he knows how to surf and scuba dive!

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RICKEY CULP

Originally from Sheridan, WY, Rickey, alongside his wife and their daughter, is a self proclaimed fan of Southwest Idaho and everything it has to offer. As an aircrew member on the CH-46 and the MV-22 in the Marine Corps, he was regularly exposed to the thrills of flying. When he left the military this fire drove him to Silverhawk to begin flight training. As a helicopter CFI, he loves taking passengers and students flying for the first time and seeing that blissful smile! Fun facts, Rickey was a personal trainer and enjoys playing the acoustic guitar.

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SITARA MOHR

Sitara was raised in Kauai, Hawaii, yet spent a lot of time back and forth between Boise and Kauai, she considers both home. Travelling is her passion, but she loves the outdoors, house plants, and cooking, as well! Sitara's dad is a helicopter pilot, so she was able to tag along throughout her life and loved being in the air. After college, she did a discovery flight and fell in love. She love the views from above and watching others reach their aviation goals. Fun fact, she's been to 12 countries and her pup's name is Pickles!

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ALEX SNYDER

Alex is a helicopter CFI.

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ROSS FORTKAMP

A Santa Rosa, California, native, Ross played baseball and basketball throughout his life, and worked as a firefighter for eight years. Ross feels this is the first time he has felt a sense of purpose and direction in his life since being a firefighter. He loves helping others succeed and seeing that "light bulb" moment as a helicopter flight instructor. Fun fact, Ross play's the guitar! 

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KYLE WAGENAAR

Kyle is a helicopter CFI born in Walla Walla and raised in a rural farming community Athena, OR. He joined the Air Force in 1999 as a munitions specialist and spent 20 years going where they sent him. Kyle and his high school sweetheart stay very busy with their two daughters, sports, and the cherished motorcycle rides. Once he found he could use his veterans benefits toward flight training, he jumped at the opportunity. Fun fact, Kyle was his high school mascot and won best mascot in 1998 at cheer camp!

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JORDAN SEAMAN

Jordan is a helicopter CFI.

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HANNA LONG

Born in Hampton, Virginia, and raised in Okinawa, Japan, Hanna is a self proclaimed "military brat" who loves to travel! She competed in Track and Field for seven years, enjoys true crime documentaries, chocolate, makeup, and flying helicopters. She has a German Shepherd, has been to three countries and 25 states, and cannot wait to travel all over Europe one day. Ciao Europa!

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JACOB MURRAY

Jacob is a helicopter CFI from Columbia, Missouri. He moved out to Idaho in 2019 to pursue flight training at Silverhawk. He is an avid outdoorsman and frequent backpacker; when not in the air he is in the mountains or on the water. He worked in healthcare for five years before starting his career at Silverhawk. Being able to teach people new things and encourage their passions are the best parts of his job as a CFI. If you didn't know, Jacob has a 120 pound Bernese Mountain dog/horse!

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GARETH ANDERSON

Gareth is a helicopter CFI.

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JIMMY HOWARD

Jimmy was raised in Redding, CA, by parents who imparted a love of adventure. There wasn't a year they didn't visit the Redwood Forrest or go hunting in the mountains. He joined the Air Force and became an Aircrew Egress Systems Mechanic. During his 20 years of service, Jimmy worked on seven different airframes, spent three years in Japan, two years in England, and a year in South Korea. After retirement, he began flight training at Silverhawk and became a helicopter CFI! Fun fact, because he was only 17 years old when he joined the Air Force he needed parental approval, so he tricked his mom into signing and three months later he was off to basic training.

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BRYANT BILLET

Bryant, a helicopter CFI, graduated from Boise State in 2013 with a bachelors in Criminal Justice; you can find him on his off time reading books, pack rafting rivers, or running trails. In the military, he was an Officer/ Captain and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician (Bomb Squad) for six years. He decided to learn to fly because he loves the freedom. Fun fact, Bryant has met and protected a few US Presidents, they might even be friends.

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NEIL MERCER

Neil is a fixed wing CFI.

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BRENDEN HUBELE

Brenden is a FW CFI in Ontario, OR. He was born in Moscow, Idaho, and raised in Weiser. He likes to run, ski, hike, make/listen to music, and cook. He learned how to fly because his father and grandfather are both pilots. It can also be very thrilling (and challenging) at times. Brenden is a bugler in the military and his first job was trapping gophers. Fun fact, his dad was a former Silverhawk helicopter instructor!

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DARREN TROUDT

Darren is a fixed wing CFI. He and his wife, and high school sweetheart, became new parents October 2021!

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DAWSON KENNON

Dawson is a fixed wing CFI from Union, OR. He grew up an outdoorsman and was involved in athletics all the way through college. Dawson wanted a rewarding career, so he learned how to fly! He feels the best part is helping students feel the same sense of accomplishment he felt while going through training! In 2017, Dawson was a State Champion Javelin Thrower and a two time national qualifier at the collegiate level. He will possibly compete in the outdoor 2022 season. His older brother Johnny, who Dawson said "is an excellent role model in his life" is a former Silverhawk helicopter CFI. Now we have met the entire Kennon family!

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KALEB MAY

A Dubois, ID, native, Kaleb grew up in a town of 600 people and loved football, basketball... "anything with competition"! Kaleb loves business and specialized in marketing. He has started three businesses and continues running one of those. After selling a company, his cousin convinced him to fly and he was hooked. As a fixed wing CFI, he loves the daily interaction and helping others work toward their goals. Fun fact about Kaleb, "I have the world's cutest two year old boy!"

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SAM FRITSCHLE

Sam is a fixed wing CFI. She lived in Florida most of her life and recently moved to Idaho after falling in love with the mountains. When Sam isn't at Silverhawk, she's hiking, camping, at the gym, or playing a gig (primarily bass guitar). She is a long time member of the 99s International Organization of Women Pilots, EAA, and AOPA. Her dad, uncle, grandfather, and great uncle are all private pilots, so she was exposed to aviation from a young age. As her post-college career began, she was managing laundromats and started asking herself, "what have I always wanted to do but never really believed it was possible?" And for her, that was flying. She booked a discovery flight, fell in love, and spent the next five years earning her ratings. Sam's hope is to pass along as much information as she can - not just superior flying skills and ground knowledge, but also share the resources and industry knowledge she gained along the way. 

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HERB SWEENEY

Herb is a fixed wing instructor.

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KATIE KIRKPATRICK

Katie is a fixed wing CFI from our lovely neighbor Boise. She loves to workout, ski and go hiking with her dog! After one discovery flight, she fell in love and didn’t want do anything else! Katie graduated from Boise State and managed a gym where she was a personal trainer and taught yoga classes. She lived and studied abroad in France and speaks French! She aspired to be a CFI to share her passion with other people!

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ZACH MUNDS

Zach grew up in Caldwell, Idaho, learning to explore the outdoors. He loves camping, capturing the perfect sunset with his drone, and snowboarding in the winters. In high-school he had the opportunity to take flight and his eyes have been skyward ever since. Prior to instructing, he worked as a carpenter building cedar products for homes in the valley. When Zach is not flying you can find him restoring his classic car or vintage camper trailers. He was a competitive swimmer for 12 years and competed at State Championships all 4 years of high-school. Zach wanted to be a CFI to have the same impact on his students his instructors had on him!

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TAYLOR SHERMAN

Taylor is a fixed wing CFI from Redding, California. He enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, fishing, and is always looking for the next adventure! Taylor had never been in an airplane before he was 22 years old when he went skydiving. "The flight up was equally cool as jumping out." The second time he was in a plane he had the opportunity to fly it with a friend... he signed up for the ground school the minute wheels touched down. Fun fact, Taylor played competitive soccer growing up.

MAINTENANCE CREW

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ZACH BANNER

Born and raised in Star, Idaho, Zach and his wife are proud parents to their two kids. When he's not working on aircraft, Zach likes to fish, golf, hunt, and fly helicopters! Before Silverhawk, he was an Avionics Electrical Technician for seven years in the US Coast Guard. Zach flew as a crew member on USCG aircrafts conducting law enforcement, counter drug operations, and search and rescue. Zach loves the challenge his job presents and he is left handed!

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SHELBY TRITTHART

Shelby is the Head Mechanic and a helicopter CFI at Silverhawk Aviation Academy. Shelby used to fight forest fires on a helitack crew, and the helicopters were her favorite part of the job. She worked in group sales after college at a ski resort, but after two years of sitting at a desk, she wanted a change, and pursued a career with helicopters! 

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TOM SPILLNER

Tom is a retired police officer from Danville, California. He and his wife have "two awesome kiddos and somehow keep collecting animals"! He has many hobbies, but his favorites are golf, baseball, and fabricating. Tom was interested in aviation and he enjoys learning and continuous  problem solving, so once he retired he knew it was time for something new. 

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TARA CHAMBERLAIN

Tara, our meticulous Parts Manager, is from Challis, Idaho.

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DAVID BLACK

David is an A&P mechanic from Marshall, Minnesota. He was homeschooled through his sophomore year, then attended Minnesota West Technical College. He was "a part of speech and robotics, and actively involved in church. [He] loved learning and building new things..." David earned his degree in mechatronic engineering and fluid power, while working on wind towers; upon graduating he worked for a corn processing plant. He has his fixed wing PPL and worked as a blacksmith through school!

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BUD ARNOLD

Bud is the Fuel Manager in Ontario. 

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JACK KNUTSON

Jack was born in Columbia, Missouri. He currently serves in the Idaho Army National Guard as a '15T' UH-60 Crew Chief. Jack is passionate about aviation and worked for a FBO in Northern Idaho as a line service technician before training and working at Silverhawk. He loves flying and his favorite drink is milk! When asked what he enjoys most about Silverhawk he said, "The people. Being apart of Silverhawk really makes me feel like I have another family." 

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SETH BERKENMEIER

Seth was born in Boise and is the youngest of four boys in his family. He is an A&P mechanic who loves aviation! When he isn't working on an aircraft, he is outside, riding dirt bikes, camping, fishing, or boating. Or, perhaps studying, as he is a full-time engineering student!

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TANNER LYMAN 

Tanner was raised on a family owned and operated ranch on the southern Arizona border. He received a BA from the University of Arizona in Agriculture Technology and Management. Tanner was able to ride in a helicopter used to gather cattle and discovered his love for aviation! His dad always said find something you like to do, then find someone to pay you to do it and you will never work a day in your life. Currently, Tanner is in flight school working toward a career he can be proud of and enjoy. Fun fact, Tanner competed on the U of A rodeo team!

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MATT PERKINS

Matt is an apprentice on the Silverhawk maintenance team. He is from Paradise, California, and worked as a fisheries tech before joining the Silverhawk team. Interesting fact, Matt's grandfather was competitive aerobatic pilot!

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NOLAN MCQUEEN

Nolan is an A&P on the Silverhawk maintenance team.