2022 CAF General Membership Meeting Information

On June 24th, the CAF Nominating Committee put forth five names to fill positions that are expiring. The nominees being presented by the Nominating Committee are Neils Agather, John Cyrier, Troy Fitting, Gena Linebarger and Eric Zipkin. Nominees will also be accepted from the floor during the Nov. 11th General Membership Meeting.

The 2022 General Membership Meeting will be held in the Victor N. Agather STEM Innovation Hangar in the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center (NAEC), Dallas Executive Airport, Dallas, Texas. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. and eligible voters may pick up a ballot beginning at 3 p.m. on the 11th. If you will be unable to attend and vote in person, you should request an absentee ballot by emailing ctuminaro@cafhq.org with your name and Colonel ID number. To confirm your request has been received, all emails will be acknowledge by HQ. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours, please contact Craig at ctuminaro@cafhq.org or (214) 330-1700, ext.142.

Dates to Remember

  • Nov. 6, 2022 - Last day to Request Absentee Ballots from ctuminaro@cafhq.org
  • Nov. 11, 2022 - Election, 4 p.m. in Victor N. Agather Hangar, Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center (NAEC), Dallas, Texas
  • Nov. 18, 2022 - Absentee Ballots mailed to those requesting one
  • Dec. 12, 2022 - Last date to return Absentee Ballots
  • Jan. 27, 2023 - Election results announced

*If you would like to mail in your request for an absentee ballot, please send to Craig Tuminaro, CAF, P.O. Box 764769, Dallas, TX 75376-4769


NEILS AGATHER vnagather@agathertx.com

Colonel Neils Agather is currently serving on the General Staff and is honored to be nominated again. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Agather began attending CAF events with his parents, Vic and Fifi; he joined the CAF in 1974 when he was finally of age to be a Colonel.

As a prior member of the General Staff, he has served the membership in the capacity of Chief of Staff for three years. Agather is currently Chairman of the American Airpower Heritage Foundation and Chairman of the American Airpower Heritage Museum. Under Agather’s leadership, the Fundraising Committee for the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center successfully exceeded its phase one Capital Campaign goal of $14.1 million and the facility opened on November 11, 2021. Agather also serves on the Flying Museum Board and the Finance Committee for the CAF. He has been active with the B-29/B-24 Squadron for over 45 years, having served as Unit Leader, Finance Officer, and PIO at various times. In 2018, Agather served on the Search Committee that resulted in the hiring of CAF President, Hank Coates. Agather considers the brightest future for the CAF lies in a strong President-led organization with oversight by the General Staff.

Colonel Agather and his wife Elaine live in Fort Worth, Texas, have two daughters. They are all CAF Colonels.

JOHN CYRIER cyrier95@msn.com

Colonel John Cyrier is a Life Member of the CAF and got the aviation bug at the age of eleven when flying in the front seat of his brother’s J-3 Cub. They were flying into a CAF airshow when a Tora plane with smoke flew past them. He was hooked. Cyrier was born and raised in Hurst, TX and went to Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and served as the Commander of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

Cyrier recently sold his commercial construction company that served Central Texas with two offices and 78 employees. John founded and served as CEO of Sabre Commercial (named after the F-86 Sabre) which during his tenure won Best Places to Work and ranked in the Fastest 50 Growing Companies in Central Texas multiple times. He was nominated four times as Best CEO in Central Texas by the Austin Business Journal.

Cyrier is currently a Texas State Representative serving District 17. He is the current Chairman of the General Aviation Caucus, recent Chairman of the Texas Sunset Commission and past Chairman of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. After being appointed and serving on the Caldwell County Commissioner’s Court for three years and as a State Representative for eight, John has decided not to seek re-election for a fifth House term which will end January 2023. He is currently the Chairman of the San Marcos Airport Advisory Board and working on commercial real estate redevelopment projects. Cyrier is a Captain in the Texas State Guard.

Cyrier and his wife Rachelle live on a ranch in Lockhart, TX just South of Austin. There he has a grass runway and keeps his 1941 Stearman he has owned and cared for over sixteen years. He also owns and flies an RV-4, 1964 Baron, Experimental Woody Pusher and is in a partnership with his brother Mark on a T-28C. John is currently an active member of the Central Texas Wing where he sponsors and flies their T-6 Texan and the P-39 Airacobra OLD CROW. John is also a new member of the B-29/ B-24 Squadron where he has gone on tour giving rides in the AT-6 Texan Nella.

With Cyrier’s past experiences and new free time away from the Texas Legislature, he would like to join the General Staff and lead the CAF into the next 65 years.

TROY FITTING troydean69@yahoo.com

Colonel Troy D. Fitting has been a member of the CAF for approximately 17 years and is a life member. He is a member of several different wings, squadrons, and detachments. He has held the positions of the Squadron Leader, Executive Officer, Safety Officer for the CAF Maxine Flournoy Third Coast Squadron, and Detachment Leader for the Flight Line Service Detachment in the past several years.

Fitting’s dedication and devotion to the CAF started in 1973 when his mother Phyllis Fitting, who worked at CAF Headquarters in Harlingen, Texas, took him to his first airshow at the tender age of one. His love for the organization grew over the years with the opportunities to meet CAF legends like Cols Lloyd P. Nolen, Lefty Gardner, Archie Donahue, Eddie May, "Tennessee" Ernie Ford, Ray Norton, and Vic Agather to name a few. He strives to keep the CAF motto, "Lest We Forget" alive by honoring those who gave their all to keep this great nation free, educating our future generations about their sacrifices, and inspiring new members to get involved in this great organization. Fitting's actions to step forward and accept any duty shows his true passion for the CAF.

Fitting also recognizes and supports the CAF’s goals of education, historical preservation, and membership. He would like to help all aspects of the CAF to do a better job of promoting the CAF. Every year the CAF is exposed to millions of potential members and contributors at aviation events and airshows across the country. That is why it is very important to make our message to Educate, Inspire, and Honor very clear to the public. This will encourage potential members to join, and contributors to help support our mission.

Since 1992, Fitting has had a 30+ year career in the family-owned HVAC & Commercial Refrigeration business. His family also owns and operates L&T Farms in Harlingen, Texas. He also serves his community as the Committee Chairmen for the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Rabbit Committee and is a Club Manager of the Circle F 4-H Club in Harlingen. He also serves as Vice Chair on the board of the Cameron County 4-H Council Finance Committee. All of them are non-profit organizations.

Fitting lives in Harlingen, Texas.

GENA LINEBARGER iblast4fun@grandecom.net

Colonel Gena Linebarger joined the CAF in 1997 and is also a Life Member. She has been continuously active with the CAF and currently serves as Wing Leader for High Sky Wing. In her 25 years as a High Sky Wing member, 2022 marks her 12th year in the Wing Leader position. The High Sky Wing experienced tough times when the CAF moved from Midland, but, due to Linebarger’s leadership, the Wing has continued to be successful.

Linebarger belongs to various CAF Units including the Blastards Pyro Unit where she holds the rank of Shooter in Charge. She has served the national organization on the Nominating, Membership and Awards Committees. Linebarger is also Director for the Midland AIRSHO and the Airshow Chairperson for the CAF Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow. She is also active in her community and is serving a 3-year term on the Airport Advisory Board at Midland International Air and Space Port.

Linebarger has a dedicated passion for the CAF and desires to see it continue to grow and remain the leader in the Warbird aviation community. Membership is a vital part of the CAF existence. Being involved in various Units has given Linebarger the understanding from the Unit level to help keep Units engaged in CAF and promote membership and retention. Her goal is to understand and help other CAF Units thrive as she takes their concerns back to the General Staff.

Gena lives in Midland, Texas with her husband David, who is also a CAF Life Member. Their son Jeremy follows in their footsteps and is a CAF Life Member.

Linebarger stated, “It would be an honor and privilege to serve the CAF as a General Staff Member.”

ERIC ZIPKIN ezipkin.flytradewind.com

Colonel Eric Zipkin is currently serving on the General Staff and is honored to be nominated. Eric is currently active with the New England Wing, Central Texas Wing, and the Rhode Island Sea Control Squadron. World War II aviation has run throughout Zipkin’s life. His father served in North Africa and Sicily with the Army Air Corps and later learned to fly under the GI bill and Zipkin’s childhood was steeped in the impact of the Greatest Generation.

As an entrepreneur and professional aviator, Zipkin founded Tradewind Aviation in 2001. He has grown the business to a scheduled private airline with over 25 aircraft, 200 employees and bases in the New York metropolitan area and San Juan, Puerto Rico. www.flytradewind.com

In 2019, Zipkin led the successful effort to honor the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by bringing back a full squadron of C-47s from the United States to Normandy. Thanks to the support of teams like the CAF’s That’s All, Brother and D-Day Doll—he was able to make that project a reality.

Zipkin hopes that he may serve the CAF membership by crafting a long-term path forward that enhances relevance for the future based upon the successes of the past.

Zipkin graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and attended law school at Pace University.

Zipkin lives in Middlebury, Connecticut with his wife Ann and children Luc (17) and Ben (15), all of whom are pilots. They own and fly a J-3 cub, Cessna 170, Cessna 180, Piper Aztec, Socata Epsilon, Husky Amphibian, and Beech C-45.

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