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Alumni Association Board Of Directors
The Alumni Association is managed by a board of directors, composed of alumni who represent various university constituencies and geographical areas. All alumni in good standing are eligible to be considered for appointment to the board. The Alumni Board meets semi-annually, once in the spring and once in the fall during Homecoming.
If you would like to be considered for board membership, please submit the Application for Nomination to the Board of Directors.
Fin Bonset is a ’96 and ’99 Florida Tech Graduate with both his degrees in the field of airport management and development. He is also an adjunct professor for the College of Aeronautics and also obtained his commercial instrument pilot licenses at FIT Aviation. He is currently the Director of Aviation Services for VHB where he oversees the company’s national aviation practice specializing in airport planning, design, environmental, and sustainability/resiliency services. He also serves as the Chairman of the Aruba Airport Authority Board of Supervisory Directors and the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society, the latter promoting scholarships for high school and college students interested in commercial aviation.
Sherry Acanfora-Ruohomaki is the President and Owner of two companies: K9 Kampus, a luxury Dog Daycare & Boarding Facility in Melbourne, Florida, that expands traditional pet daycare, boarding, and grooming services to encompass agility and training in a spotless, safe, and secure environment; and Facets Consulting Group, which provides expertise in technology start-ups, lean manufacturing principles, business development, and organizational health.
Sherry earned B.S. degrees in both Computer and Electrical Engineering, as well as an M.S. in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Florida Tech. She also received an Executive MBA from the University of Central Florida. Sherry was the Director of Operations for Florida TechStart on the campus of Florida Tech, a technology accelerator funded by a 2-year grant from the National Science Foundation in collaboration with UCF’s highly successful Technology Incubator. Sherry co-founded XL TechGroup, which focuses on technology innovation & company creation.
Dr. Warren Pittorie is a three-time graduate of the College of Aeronautics at Florida Tech, earning his B.S. in 2015, M.S. in 2018, and Ph.D. in 2022. During his time in college, Warren was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, the Student Government Association, and Residence Life. Warren became a faculty member of the COA back in 2019 and is the current Flight Education Chair. Warren also trained at FIT Aviation, where he earned his commercial pilot certificate and multiple flight instructor ratings. He still works at FIT Aviation as a part-time instructor and teaches tailwheel and aerobatics courses. Warren joined the FTAA’s Board of Directors in 2020 and remains a proud alumnus!
Jim Carleton is retired from the aerospace industry at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) after 40 years of service. He supported all 135 Space Shuttle launches as well as several other missile launches. Jim worked at United Space Alliance (USA), a prime contractor for the Space Shuttle Program, most recently as the Solid Rocket Booster Program Manager. Jim served in several roles in the USA, including Director of Space Shuttle Upgrades and Director of Manufacturing Operations. Prior to the USA, he was an Engineering Manager and Program Manager for United Technologies Corporation, USBI. Jim is a Certified Manager with the Institute of Certified Professional Managers and a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology Certified Manager curriculum. Jim retired from the United States Marine Corps and is a Vietnam Veteran, receiving several decorations including the Purple Heart. After retiring from KSC, Mr. Carleton started a successful business, Chematics of the South. As the CEO of this Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, he won and completed contracts at KSC, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Patrick Space Force Base, and Port Canaveral. Jim is currently enjoying a slower pace as the CEO of Old Dead Eye Golf, selling golf products and playing the grand old game. Jim is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Brevard Veterans Council. He is the past Chairman of the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Support Committee. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Marian Dionne has over 30 years of software design, development, and programming experience, working for Harris Controls, E-Systems Inc., and Florida Power Corporation before starting Apogee Engineering Associates, a software consulting firm in 1985. Her firm specialized in implementing a patented data visualization technique called Graphical Interface For Intensive Care (GIFIC) used at Holmes Regional Medical Center. GIFIC was also featured in several medical journals and on a CNN Science and Technology segment hosted by former astronaut Jim Lovell.
Marian earned both her Master of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Management Science from Florida Tech. Marian currently teaches computer science classes at Eastern Florida State College.
Chris Fernando is an experienced leader, mobility researcher, and consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry. His primary background is in aviation and airport operations with a focus on emerging aviation technologies, policy development, and airport and environmental planning. He is a recognized subject matter expert in these fields and his expertise in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), urban air mobility (UAM), and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has resulted in multiple engagements with Federal clients and multiple airports in the U.S. to support integration efforts. He has an extensive network and strategic partnerships with the industry and has leveraged these relationships to plan and host successful workshops, stakeholder engagement roundtables, and conferences related to the future of aviation.
He is currently a Principal at Hovecon in Raleigh, NC, an advisor to the mobility group at Ernst and Young, an AAM consultant to the FAA and NASA, and an adjunct professor at Florida Institute of Technology where he teaches graduate courses on the UAM Ecosystem and Infrastructure Planning for AAM. He is a board member of the Florida Tech Alumni Association, a member of the College of Aero Advisory Council, an advisory board member of the Jet Perfect Foundation, and a founding member and advisor to the Coalition of Advanced Health Mobility. He is also the co-host of the No U-Turn Podcast, which is a podcast focused on the future of transportation, emerging technologies, and the workforce of the future. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Solutions and Sales Enablement Engineer, Hitachi Vantara, LLC
Al serves as an engineering liaison to the global community including – solutions\sales consultants, global delivery teams, product management, program management and product marketing for Hitachi Network Attached Storage. Al’s background includes Storage Attached Networking (SAN) and Network Attach Storage (NAS) file applications protocol implementations along with technical training and education. And in a former life was a rocket scientist at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and worked on satellite instrument integration and testing.
Al serves on several Home Owner Association board and enjoys rounds of disc golf. His interests include: Skiing, road cycling, gym workouts, the occasional surf session, annual Brevard Public Schools Science Fair judging and of course many events that take place at Florida Tech.
Regional Sales Leader, Amazon Web Services
Manish brings a diverse background in multiple industries, technologies, and roles played throughout his career. In his current & previous roles, Manish is responsible for managing customer relationships to bring 10x growth and win new customer logos. He comes in handy with a strong technical solution mindset, program execution, and onshoring/ offshoring delivery models. Manish has a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Florida Tech and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. During his academic, Manish did extensive research work with NASA Glenn Research Lab & Florida Hydrogen Research Center and published several technical papers. He likes to help students prepare for transitioning from student to working professionals by mentoring and coaching them.
Manish currently lives near Dallas (Texas) with his wife (Mahima) and two boys (Manav and Arnev).
Publisher, Al Dia Today
Communication, BS'81 | Global Strategic Communication, MS'13
Javier Molinares came to the United States in 1991. His first job was as a cargo handler. He then drove trucks for 4 years before joining the US Army as a paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division. During his time in the 82nd Airborne, he completed his Associate in Arts, moved back to Palm Bay and enrolled in the communication program of Florida Institute of Technology. In 2003, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and recorded his own music CD, Vallecumbia. He later wrote for Florida Today’s business section and ultimately started the bilingual newspaper Al Día Today eight years ago.
Ameen Sarkees has over 30 years of experience in the test and operations discipline. His background includes activation and operations of pneumatic & propellant cryogenic systems for the Space Shuttle External Tank ground & vehicle support systems, Lockheed Martin’s X-33, Atlas V, and Orion Programs. Ameen is presently supporting Lockheed Martin’s Fleet Ballistic Missile Program for the US Navy as a Staff Mechanical Test Engineer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Ameen received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1989. Ameen has worked with Lockheed Martin Space Division for 39 years and Planning Research Corporation for 3 years prior to Lockheed Martin. Ameen serves on Florida Tech’s Alumni Association Board as a Director and keeps close ties with the University.
Allyn has over 40 years of experience in the Supply Chain function. His career has included materials planner, material analyst, buyer, subcontracts manager, corporate contracts manager and program manager. The majority of his career was with Harris Government Systems (now L3Harris) in Melbourne and Palm Bay working on DOD contracts across multiple programs. He now works with Leonardo DRS, Network & Imaging Systems, LLC, as a Sr. Subcontract Manager in their Land Electronics business unit where they design and manufacture ruggedized communications hardware for DOD customers.
Conley & Assocs, Inc.
Frank Tricomi has held progressively responsible executive positions in the military and in public, private and non-profit enterprises. His experience includes the management of complex organizations, strategic planning, Congressional interface, operations, manufacturing, program management, contracting, procurement, finance, turn-around strategies, entrepreneurship, mergers and acquisitions and e-commerce. His diverse background spans supply chain, logistics, and marketing management. Presently, he is the Chief Operating Officer for Conley and Associates, Inc., and has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of a multi-divisional product support company with business units and offices located throughout the U.S. and the Middle East. He manages all aspects of the business, including business development, P&L, finance and accounting, purchasing, contracting, personnel management, customer relationships, strategic planning, organizational and structural decisions and capital investment strategies. Prior to coming to Conley, he created, launched and was President of ESSIbuy.com, Inc., a subsidiary of a publically held corporation, Engineered Support Systems, Inc. (ESSI). ESSIbuy delivered supply chain management, web-based purchasing and sourcing, inventory, warehousing, training, software solutions, technical and field services, and other technology, logistics, and product support services to both military and commercial customers around the world.
Before starting ESSIbuy, he was the Director of Program Management at Engineered Air Systems, another ESSI subsidiary, and was responsible for the management of major programs, directing all aspects of program development, engineering, design, prototyping, testing, transition to production, manufacturing, performance, schedule, and P&L. Immediately after retirement from the military, he held the position of Executive Director of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute, a non-profit corporation which assisted Wisconsin companies to capture government business. WPI provided marketing, proposal preparation, grant writing, government contracting, quality assurance and finance and accounting consulting services to companies state-wide. One of his primary responsibilities was to act as a liaison between Wisconsin companies, the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, and government purchasing activities to resolve various contract issues.
Prior to an extensive career in industry, his military service extended more than 27 years. After receiving a commission in the U.S. Army, he served in Viet Nam as an infantry platoon leader and subsequently commanded troops at the company and Battalion levels, culminating in selection as commander of the Army’s only Watercraft Battalion. Prior to retirement from the U.S. Army, he held a number of executive positions, including Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement), the Commander of the Defense Contract Management Area Operations, headquartered in St. Louis, and Director of the Procurement Center and Contracting at the Army’s Aviation and Troop Command.
He was a member of and served as the President of the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind Industries and was the Executive Director of St. Louis Federal Executive Board Small Disadvantage Business Opportunity Council. He was an Adjunct Professor in the Lindenwood University School of Business MBA Program and advised in the St. Louis University’s Entrepreneurship Program. He received a BA in Political Science from John Carroll University, an MS in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and an MA in National Security Planning and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. He also participated in the Harvard University Negotiation Project and is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University’s Program Management School. He was selected as a Distinguished Member of the Transportation Corps, was awarded the St. Louis Federal Executive Board Leadership Award and chosen as a 1994 Federal Executive of the Year.