Dave has been involved in ballooning since the late 1970’s and owned his first balloon with his brother, John, in 1990. He has been active ever since. It has been a family affair for him and his wife, Jessica, and two kids, Erin and Andrew. Dave grew up in Albuquerque and was involved with the Fiesta as passenger, pilot, and volunteer. His introduction to ballooning was primarily through his parents, Ray and Carol, and crewing at Fiesta.
Dave is commercially rated for both hot air and gas balloons. He got his hot air private certificate in 1989, commercial in 1991 and the gas rating in 2003. The gas rating came from a trip to Germany to learn from world record holder, Wilhelm Eimers.
With nearly 1,000 flight hours in balloons, Dave continues to fly as a hobby, as a casual competitor, for commercial rides, and as a flight instructor in Colorado Springs. Currently, Dave is the Balloonmeister for the Colorado Springs Labor Day Liftoff Event.
Dave has served in the Gas Ballooning environment for several years as a volunteer and then director of the Gas Command Center for AIBF. This included running the command center for five years, including two Gordon Bennett races held in Albuquerque. During this time, the command center increased its ability to track and communicate the balloon’s position during the race. This encouraged more competitive knowledge as well as a much stronger spectator involvement.
Dave has an interest in competitive flying and has participated in several BFA sanctioned events as pilot, crew, or observer. BFA event participation includes the New Mexico State Championships, Balunar Liftoff in Houston, National Team Championships in Battle Creek, and our local Colorado Competition group.
In “real life”, Dave has made a career in business focused on large scale organizational change and process improvements. For years, he worked to improve maintenance and operations in heavy industry clients such as oil refining, power generation, and manufacturing. Dave is currently an engineering manager for Formstack, a digital data-gathering and management firm based in Indianapolis and Colorado springs with staff all over the world.
Dave is certified in change management, project management, Agile software development, and communications, and trains others in those areas in small groups or public speaking engagements.