President: Curt Brown ’78

Curt grew up in southeastern North Carolina. He attended USAFA after high school, majored in Electrical Engineering and graduated in 1978.
Following graduation, attended pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio Texas. After pilot training received assignment to the 353rd TFS
Squadron in Myrtle Beach AFB, SC flying the A-10 Warthog. Following three years at Myrtle Beach, assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson AZ
as an A-10 Instructor pilot. While in Tucson, attended Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada and graduated as a Weapons Instructor
Pilot. After four years at Davis-Monthan AFB, attended the Air Force Test Pilot school at Edwards AFB, CA. After graduating from TPS, assigned to
Eglin AFB, FL as a test pilot in the A-10 and F-16 aircraft. In 1987, applied and was selected to be a Space Shuttle Astronaut. Reported to Johnson
Space Center in August 1987 to begin Astronaut training. While at NASA, flew six Space Shuttle missions between 1992-1999 as pilot and
commander. During his time at NASA, began racing airplanes at the Reno National Championship Air Races in Nevada including both jet and WWII
prop aircraft. In 2000, retired from NASA and the Air Force as a Colonel after 22 years of active duty. After retiring from the Air Force, flew for
American and Sun Country Airlines for 16 years. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall Of Fame in 2013. Currently, he does private flying in fixed
and rotary wing aircraft for private individuals. Currently serves as Chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Vice President: Mike Riess ’67

Mike was born and raised in New Ulm, Minnesota. After graduating from High School in 1962 he joined the Naval Air Reserve and attended Northwestern Preparatory School in Minneapolis. In 1963 he was accepted to the Air Force Academy graduating in 1967. After Pilot Training at Vance AFB Mike was sent to Vietnam to fly the C-7A for the 537th TAS at Phu Cat AB with a mission to support Special Forces in the Central Highlands area. Returning to the U.S. he was then assigned to the 905th ARS flying KC-135’s at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota for SAC. Mike separated from the Air Force in 1972. He was then hired in 1973 as a Corporate Pilot with
3M Company where he flew for 31 years retiring in 2004 as its Chief Pilot. During this time Mike also served as an Air Force Academy Liaison Officer for 25 years and returned to flying with the military as a member of the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard. He retired from the Air Guard in 1997 after serving in his last assignment as the Wing Vice Commander. Mike lost his wife in 2021 and currently lives in Hudson, Wisconsin where 4 kids and 16 grandkids keep him busy in retirement

Treasurer: Rick Knoll ’65 

Colonel (retired) Rick Knoll spent 9 years in Data Automation including assignments in Thailand during the Vietnam War and then the Pentagon.  Then he trained in missiles for 14 years in Strategic Air Command, and his assignments included crew, flight, squadron, group/base, and wing commander positions, finishing as the missile wing and host commander at Grand Forks AFB, from which he retired from the AF.  He was Plant Manager for Bausch & Lomb, then National Sales Director for the School Picture Division of Josten’s, then Senior Project Director for UnitedHealth Group.  Rick is retired, helping his children become entrepreneurs, and he currently provides business management support to two of his children.  

Secretary: Ed (Skip) Wipson ’88

Edward “Skip” Wipson graduated in the Class of ‘88. On active duty he attended UPT at Laughlin AFB followed by assignment as an instructor pilot. He then served as a reserve officer, while attending graduate school and during his civilian career in management consulting and investment banking. Mr. Wipson also mentored USAFA applicants for 15 years as a Minnesota Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO).

 President Emeritus: Tom Wilson ’61

President Emeritus:  Brevet Colonel; Retired as a Lt. Colonel for family reasons. A Command Pilot with over 5,200 flying hours, including 833 combat hours in Vietnam. Served as an AOC at the U. S. Air Force Academy. His final assignment was Deputy Base Commander and Logistics Squadron Commander at Duluth AFB. He was the Director of Store Development for CUB Foods until SuperValu acquired CUB, after which he worked as a Marketing Director in commercial construction and then formed his own company as a Manufacturer’s Representative. He co-founded the Stillwater Area Baseball Association and coached youth baseball for 23 years. One son (’84) and 2 grandchildren (’13) have graduated from the Air Force Academy. Another son attended (’91) but was medically discharged due to asthma. Tom has an MBA from the U. of Southern California. Tom lost his wife and soulmate Judy, on 27 December, 2019, after 58+ years of marriage.    

Board of Directors

Tom Wilson ‘61, Term expires 2024

Mike Riess, ’67 Term expires 2026

Bob Hockman ’89, Term expires 2024

Bob grew up in Denver. After UPT at Williams, he flew C-141s at McChord and C-20s at Andrews. After separating from active duty, flew C-141s at McGuire in the Reserves for 2 years, and moved to Minneapolis with Northwest Airlines. Bob transferred to the C-130 Reserves in MSP shortly after moving to MN. After 6 years, 2 furloughs and the bankruptcy at Northwest, Bob left for UPS where he has been for the last 18 years based in CA, Anchorage and currently in Louisville on the B757/B767. He spent the last 12 of his 25 years in the Air Force in the C-130 MSP Reserves Flying Vikings, retiring in 2014. He is married to Christine, also from Denver. He has three great kids, Kathryn, Shannon (USAFA 21, T-6 IP at Vance) and William. Bob resides in Savage MN.

Pete Swanson ’95, Term expires 2024

Pete Swanson grew up in Minnesota and graduated from USAFA in 1995, a class that makes many people’s “Best of USAFA” list. He served as an Acquisition Officer while on active duty. He continues to serve in the AF Reserves as an IMA to the First Air Force NSEP Program and also serves as an Admissions Liaison Officer for USAFA. Pete is a Partner and Portfolio Manager at ST Capital in Minnetonka. Pete holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and his memberships include the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of MN, and Costco. Pete and his wife Angie reside in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities with their two twenty-something boomerang children who returned home after college graduation.

Zach Turcotte ‘00, Term expires 2024

Zach grew up in Roseville and was an All-Conference heavyweight wrestler.  He flew the KC-135 in Operations Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom with a permanent base at Grand Forks AFB.  He then joined the North Dakota Air National Guard and flew the Predator drone for four years.  For the past two years, Zach has been a financial advisor for AXA Advisors where he helps individuals and small businesses build, implement and maintain a financial plan which helps them achieve their financial goals.  Zach met Jessica while traveling in Europe after graduating from the U. S. Air Force Academy – they have a daughter, Zoe and a son, Liam.  He has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the U. of Minnesota.

Terry Flowers ‘64, Term expires 2025

After completing pilot training Terry instructed in the T-33 and T-38 aircraft. Following a medical retirement, he went on to get his MS and PhD degrees at the University of Wyoming. From 1979 until his retirement in 2012,  Terry was a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at St. Catherine University. He chaired the department and held the Endowed Chair in Science. He left for a year to serve as a Visiting Professor of Physics at the U. S. Air Force Academy. He owns and operates Big River Stables and is an active pilot with Minnesota Soaring Club, flying gliders and the tow plane. He is President of both the Minnesota Association of Scholars and the Twin Cities Republican Association. He was elected to three terms on the Hastings, MN School Board and represented District 16 on the Metropolitan Council. Additionally he has been inducted into the Aerospace Educators Hall of Fame.

Rick Knoll ‘65, Term expires 2025

Ed (Skip) Wipson ‘88, Term expires 2026

Denny Sultany ’64, Term expires 2026

Committee Chairs

Advanced Education, Terry Flower ’64

ALO Program/Diversity Recruit, Ed Zarembo ’07

Challenger Center, Terry Flower ’64

Congressional Liaison, Terry Flower ’64 / Charlie Nelson ’96

Financial & Budget, Rick Knoll ’65/Terry Flower ’64

Fundraising and Strategic Planning, Open

Membership, Zach Turcotte ’00

MN Parents’ Club Coordinator, Bob ’89 and Christine Hockman

Newsletter, Open

Program, Jason VanOverbeke ’03, Open

Tri-Service Employment Hub, Dan Dorson ’99
In the Air Force, Dan flew the B-1 over Afghanistan and around Guam, taught the T-37, then the T-6 to US and Europeans at ENJJPT, and coordinated exercises for the Air Force Global Strike Command. Now working as a project manager here in the Twin Cities, Dan likes to connect with others new to the area or looking for employment. Visit for good transition tips and employment advice.


Content of this web site is not an official publication of the United States Air Force Academy or the Association of Graduates. Information presented here does not represent policies of the United States Air Force or its associated organizations.
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