Welcomes New Board Members
Albuquerque, NM- The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, a private nonprofit corporation, announced the election of its 2015 officers and welcomes Barbara Fricke and Doug Schwebach as new board members.
Brigadier General John D. (Mike) Rice USAF Retired is re-elected as President. Rice has been a board member for over 10 years. He is a retired Air Force fighter pilot and has an extensive background in the aviation field including being the former State of New Mexico Director of Aviation and the former Director of the Albuquerque International Airport. Rice served previously as Vice President and as Secretary of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta board and on numerous Balloon Fiesta committees. He is also a pilot of the Spirit of Fiesta II balloon.
Jay Czar is re-elected Vice President and has been on the board since 2004. Czar has a solid history working in government administration and has previously acted as a liaison to the Balloon Fiesta while working for the City of Albuquerque. He joined the Board of Directors to ensure a strong future in the state’s signature event.
Ty Young is re-elected Secretary. Young joined the board in 2009 and has a long history in ballooning, having attended every Balloon Fiesta since the first one in 1972. For the past 20 years he has served as crew chief for several foreign pilots at Balloon Fiesta with his unique 1941 American LaFrance fire truck chase vehicle. Young is currently the managing partner of Albuquerque-based Young Equity Partners, LLC.
Richard W. (Dick) Rice is re-elected as Treasurer and was first appointed to the Board as the Chamber of Commerce liaison to the Mayor’s Committee in the mid-seventies. In the past Rice (no relation to board President Mike Rice) served as the Board’s treasurer and was elected president in 1983. He left the board in 1985 and returned in 2000. He is a certified public accountant and was the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer at Jaynes Corporation for 15 years. Rice is co-owner, with his son Brad, and pilots the Hearts A’Fire balloon.
Barbara Fricke is one of the newly elected members of the Board of Directors. Fricke’s interest in ballooning began in 1982, when she started crewing at Balloon Fiesta. She has served as President of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association (AAAA) in the 90s and chaired the AAAA’s Education Committee. Fricke is a hot air and gas balloon pilot who has participated and won the America’s Challenge Gas Race several times. Fricke is a co-editor of the BFA’s Gas Division Newsletter.
Doug Schwebach is also a new Board member. Schwebach brings 15 years of upper level management to the board, with specialized skills in human resources, finance, sales, and customer service. Schwebach is a co-founder and co-owner of H.R. Consultants, one of state’s largest human resources consulting firms. He is currently the sales manager at La Mesa RV in Albuquerque.
About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.