Experience Matters

CommuteAir Leadership

CommuteAir benefits from more than 90 years of combined executive leadership experience in the regional airline industry. While technological innovation and business success drive our team to new heights, an emphasis on personal connection is what helps us soar. Read ahead to learn about the leaders who work to elevate CommuteAir every day.

John Sullivan

Executive Chairman

John Sullivan is one of CommuteAir’s founders. Serving as Executive Chairman, he has led its rise to new altitudes and now oversees the business in its current, exciting state. John has spent the past 45 years operating regional airlines, developing rich expertise to accompany his personal touch. His experience spans a variety of airlines contracted to major U.S. carriers including stints at Brockway Air and Northeast Airline Services. John’s love for aviation, passion for exploration, and belief in enriching his employees' lives position him to lead CommuteAir into its bold and vibrant future.

Rick Hoefling

President & Chief Executive Officer

Rick Hoefling has served as CommuteAir’s President and CEO since early 2019. He has helped establish the business as one of the few growing regional airlines in the United States. His guidance enabled CommuteAir to become the sole provider of EMB-145XR operations as part of United Airlines’ United Next strategy. Despite the financial and regulatory costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rick saw CommuteAir open two additional maintenance base locations and two crew bases in Houston and Denver during that time, doubling the size of the fleet in the process. Rick emphasizes the CommuteAir culture and its family atmosphere throughout his work.

Joel Raymond

Chief Operating Officer & EVP

Joel Raymond is the Chief Operating Officer and EVP for CommuteAir. He began his career at CommuteAir in 1997 as a Customer Service Agent, accepting his current position in 2008. Since then, Raymond has become known as a dependable resource for flight safety and aircraft maintenance, overseeing all such operations. He has successfully navigated impactful industry events over the past two decades while maintaining a focus on fostering CommuteAir’s family culture. In his free time, Raymond loves to travel with his wife and two children as well as play golf.

Sean Frick

Chief Financial Officer & EVP

Sean Frick serves CommuteAir as its Chief Financial Officer and EVP. Starting in 2016 as Senior Vice President of Planning, Frick is now responsible for finance, accounting, legal, treasury, real estate, marketing and communications. Before CommuteAir, he held senior positions in finance, strategy, planning and marketing at ATA Airlines, World Airways, North American Airlines and Bombardier Aerospace. During his incumbency, Frick helped CommuteAir improve its budgeting, forecasting and financial controls. When not attached to his computer, he enjoys running, kayaking, and spending time with his wife, two sons and three dogs.

Rick Zeni

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Rick Zeni has been serving CommuteAir as its Chief Technology Officer since 2023. Zeni has known he wanted a career in aviation since working as a janitor at the Newark airport in college, and since then he has done just that. He has succeeded in pushing the information technology envelope in the aviation industry for a number of airlines including US Air, US Airways, jetBlue, Frontier and Lynx Air. Zeni directly aided in CommuteAir’s attainment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) level 2 cybersecurity compliance. When he isn’t thinking about aviation, he likes to spend time exploring his hometown of Denver and finding new hobbies, including the piano and woodworking.

David W. Fitzgerald

Senior Vice President of Flight Operations

Captain David Fitzgerald brings immense flight experience and industry knowledge to CommuteAir in his role as Senior Vice President of Flight Operations. After working two years in security sales at Edward Jones, he accrued five hours of pilot flight time and realized it was time to switch to aviation where he then worked with Mesa Airlines for 18 years. Today, he has amassed over 12,500 flight hours over his career. Formerly CommuteAir’s FAR 119 Chief Pilot, Fitzgerald moved into his current role in 2018, also serving as the company’s FAR 119 Director of Operations. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his family and three children, as well as play competitive tennis.

Laura Prince

Vice President of Human Resources

Laura Prince is an indispensable asset to CommuteAir, serving as its Vice President of Human Resources. With over 30 years of human resource experience and a degree in Industrial Psychology, she is a strategic partner to the leadership team. Prince oversees all things recruitment, benefits, payroll, corporate training, employee relations and communications and marketing. During her tenure, she aided in the implementation of the SCORE program, negotiated two flight attendant contracts and one pilot contract, among other countless contributions. Prince is passionate about travel, and her career at CommuteAir successfully tied together her love for people and for travel.

Lon Ziegler

Vice President of Maintenance

Lon Ziegler is the Vice President of Maintenance and Technical Services at CommuteAir. Having helped induct over 70 Embraer 145 aircraft, his commitment to excellence has helped the airline successfully grow. As the Vice President of Maintenance and Technical Services, Ziegler oversees CommuteAir’s fleet of ERJ-145 and maintenance crew. Before his time with CommuteAir, he served as the Director of Maintenance for ExpressJet Airlines where he was responsible for the airline’s Part 119 DOM position in addition to more than 400 aircraft and 1,300 technical operations employees. In his free time, Ziegler likes drag racing and restoration of classic cars.

Rene DeLange

Vice President of Inflight & Airport Operations

Rene DeLange is CommuteAir’s Vice President of In-flight & Airport Operations and has been with the company in Airport Operations since 2008. During his tenure, DeLange has had the privilege of overseeing In-flight Operations, Airport Operations, and Crew Resources and Scheduling. Prior to CommuteAir, DeLange served a team of over 250 people ensuring quality customer service within the airline industry. When he is not travelling for work, he loves to check new destinations off his bucket list.

Rob Emrich

Vice President of Enterprise Optimization

As Vice President of Enterprise Optimization, Rob Emrich oversees strategic project management and evaluation, resource planning optimization, network operations, analysis, planning, and integration. Emrich brings years of airline experience to CommuteAir, having started his career with American Airlines in the early 2000s. There, he played a pivotal role in building the industry’s first network forecasting model. Emrich earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics, holds data analytics certifications, and has been published in the International Journal of Revenue Management. In his free time, Emrich loves boxing, kickboxing, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Kyle Vasiloff

Vice President of Finance

Kyle most recently served as CommuteAir’s Managing Director of Finance, supervising the financial planning and analysis team, company budgets and forecasts, and capital project business cases. He joined the company in 2017 as financial controller for the maintenance division. In this role, he worked closely with maintenance leadership to implement finance materials processes in Aircraft Maintenance and Operational Support (AMOS), the newly established ERJ145 materials programs, and the Dash-8 fleet wind-down. Vasiloff was subsequently promoted to Corporate Controller and managed the company’s accounting functions, including receivables, payables and general ledger. Vasiloff holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting, both from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.