March 12, 2010

Alumnus to speak at aviation fraternity banquet

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s nationally recognized aviation program will provide the keynote address for the annual Alpha Eta Rho banquet later this month.

Richard J. Walsh is director of global resiliency for Hewlett-Packard, where he is responsible for “the operational and strategic oversight of seven Gulfstream V aircraft and supplemental lift aircraft” within the company’s flight department.

The banquet is set for 6 p.m., Saturday, March 20, at the Holiday Inn in Carbondale. Tickets cost $30 for faculty and others, and $25 for students. Tickets are available at the weather/dispatch counter at Southern Illinois Airport, and also at the Department of Aviation Management and Flight office in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts Building, room 127, on campus.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the March 20 banquet. To arrange interviews with Richard Walsh, contact David A. NewMyer at 618/453-8898.

Walsh also oversees Hewlett-Packard’s satellite facility operation in McKinney, Texas, according to his biography. Prior to working for Hewlett-Packard, Walsh was vice president of flight operations, business continuity and enterprise risk management with Cardinal Health.

Walsh also spent 20 years in the airline industry, where his last position was director of operations and training with United Airlines. He has 14,000 total flying hours in corporate and large turbojet aircraft. Prior to his start with United Airlines in 1985, Walsh worked for the Federal Aviation Administration and as a contract pilot for corporate aviation.

Walsh said his presentation will focus on areas including a business aviation overview, career development, leadership capabilities, aviation risk management and crisis leadership.

Walsh is a member of the National Business Aviation Association and is currently vice chair of the organization’s safety committee. He was also president and owner of SAFETYPATH Aviation Safety Consultants, which specializes in safety audits, and Centurion Aviation, an air ambulance company.

Walsh earned a degree in aviation management, and he is a member of the Aviation Management and Flight advisory committee. He regularly returns to campus for aviation career days, advisory committees and other events, said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

Walsh “consistently comes back to campus and provides students with the latest information on what is happening in the industry,” NewMyer said. “It’s been very valuable to have him come back and do this.”

Walsh will meet with students on Friday, March 19, and also plans to hold interviews for aviation internships with Hewlett-Packard, NewMyer said.