CommuteAir benefits from the best executive leadership available, and their impacts enhance the experience of every passenger and employee. 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 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.
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.
Chief Operating Officer & EVP
Joel Raymond began his career at CommuteAir over 25 years ago. Serving as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President since 2008, he has brought a strong focus on CommuteAir’s values to his job. Always prioritizing safety, Joel has become known as a dependable resource for flight safety and aircraft maintenance, overseeing all such operations at CommuteAir. His penchant for strategic planning has brought sharpness and efficiency to the regional airline, helping it rise even higher.
Chief Financial Officer & Sr. VP
Sean Frick is a world-class Certified Management Accountant (CMA) with over 15 years of experience. He has helped CommuteAir upgrade its analytical capabilities to effectively scale the business. He is skilled at leveraging data to help the company create relevant metrics, benchmark against competitors, and act quickly and effectively in the market. In addition to his proficiency with numbers, Sean is known to attract and grow the right talent to support the regional airline’s growth.
Chief Technology Officer
Starting his career as an Operations Supervisor for Piedmont Airlines in Newark, New Jersey, in 1981 - 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 most recently at Lynx Air as their Chief Technology Officer. Rick brings an educational background as storied as his professional experience. With a Bachelor of Science in Management from Kean College of New Jersey, he also has a Master of Business Administration from both Montclair State University and Rutgers University, as well as a Ph.D. in Management from Rutgers University. When he isn’t thinking about aviation, Rick likes to spend his time exploring in his hometown of Denver with his wife and three dogs.
Vice President of Human Resources
Laura Prince has over 20 years of Human Resource experience and for over 6 years she has been an indispensable asset to CommuteAir. She serves as Vice President of Human Resources, making her a strategic partner to the leadership team with direct oversight and tactical support in all areas of human resources including recruitment, benefits, payroll, corporate training, communications and marketing, and employee relations. She has helped CommuteAir in developing a diverse and inclusive work environment by evolving programs for hiring and retaining all of our talented employees.
David W. Fitzgerald
Senior Vice President of Flight Operations
Captain David Fitzgerald brings immense flight experience and industry knowledge to his role as Senior Vice President of Flight Operations. Formerly CommuteAir’s FAR 119 Chief Pilot, David moved into his new role in 2018, and also serves as the Company’s FAR 119 Director of Operations. Before joining CommuteAir in 2015, he held pilot leadership positions at another large regional airline and has amassed over 12,500 flight hours throughout his career. He graduated from DePauw University and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland.
Vice President of Maintenance
Lon Ziegler serves CommuteAir with distinction as its Vice President of Maintenance and Technical Services and has overseen the tripling of its fleet. Having helped induct over 75 Embraer 145 aircraft, his commitment to excellence has helped the airline successfully grow. Lon served as CommuteAir’s Director of Maintenance and was previously with ExpressJet Airlines where he was the Director of Maintenance with responsibility of the airline's Part 119 DOM position with more than 400 aircraft and 1,300 technical operations employees. His background includes work for Bar Harbor Airlines as an A&P mechanic as well as the U.S. Air Force. Lon received an AS in Aviation Technology and his A&P License from Williamsport Area Community College in 1985.
Vice President of Enterprise Optimization
Justin Botts has served CommuteAir for over six years, now as the Vice President of Enterprise Optimization. He has over 15 years of experience in the airline industry, primarily in finance roles. His expertise spans across all financial functions and in using data to drive decision making throughout the company. Justin led several key strategic initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic to position CommuteAir for long term success. He has proven his ability to lead well by turning the most important metrics into meaningful action items for the team.
Vice President of Inflight & Airport Operations
René DeLange has been a member of the CommuteAir management team since 2008. René came to CommuteAir with an extensive background in both people management and aviation. His career began in his home country of Canada for Canadian Airlines and then at regional airlines Chautauqua and Republic Airways. René has excelled in multiple roles at CommuteAir including Director of Airport Operations and Training until 2017 when he moved into crew management as Managing Director of Crew Resources and Scheduling, and most recently as Managing Director of Inflight and Customer Experience. Since then, he’s continued his proven track record that At CommuteAir, René first served as Director of Airport Operations and Training until 2017 when he moved into crew management as Managing Director of Crew Resources and Scheduling, and most recently as Managing Director of Inflight and Customer Experience.