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Entrepreneurs sweep FAA national awards

The FAA presented National General Aviation Awards to three entrepreneurs at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

FAA General Aviation Awards Program staff members join national winners on the stage at EAA AirVenture. Left to right, winners holding plaques are Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year Gary Reeves; FAASTeam Representative of the Year Karen Kalishek; and Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year Dave Monti. Photo by Adrian Eichhorn.

Gary Reeves, founder and owner of, was named Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year; Dave Monti, owner of Rebuilt Aircraft, received the Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year award; and Karen Ann Kalishek, an independent CFI, was named FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year.

Reeves, an airline transport pilot and Master Instructor, founded in 2012 as a training organization offering free and low-cost educational programs nationally. He also provides intensive instruction courses in avionics systems from Avidyne, Garmin, ForeFlight, and Genesis, among others. He speaks at events across the country, including many AOPA Regional Fly-Ins.

Monti, an A&P mechanic with inspection authorization, is an icon in the Beechcraft maintenance world, having participated in specialized training programs for Bonanzas and Barons for more than 30 years. Members of the Beech community with maintenance questions know that he is only a phone call way. His company, Rebuilt Aircraft in Minden, Nevada, stocks thousands of airframe parts for numerous models of aircraft in addition to servicing Beechcraft models.

Kalishek started KAL Consulting and Training in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area in 1995. She is an FAA Gold Seal Instructor and Master Instructor and holds a master's degree in business administration with additional postgraduate study in intercultural management. She has been a FAASTeam representative since 2013 and was named Lead Representative in the Milwaukee region in 2015. She is a captain in the Civil Air Patrol, has mentored other FAASTeam representatives, and was recently named to a new position with the Wings Pro program. She also created a training program for aviation first responders.

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines

Editor in Chief
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
Topics: Awards and Records, EAA AirVenture

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