Friday's Fabulous Flyer!
Michael V Mazzoni
I was born in the Chicago area July 17, 1989 and raised on the south side and suburbs of the city. Family has always played a huge part in my life and I’m proud to say that I was raised in an amazing family with two wonderful parents. Through their shared experiences, they taught me that hard work and determination are two huge keys to success. These two qualities helped form who I am, my integrity, and my work ethic.
I am also very close with my extended family and they introduced me to aviation at an early age. My grandfather, who was a nose gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber in World War II, took me to my first Oshkosh air show when I was about 5 years old and it was our annual summer trip until I entered high school. When we first started going to shows all I wanted to do was watch the planes fly and listen to all the different engine sounds. Being small at the time, I could barely keep up with everyone, but as the years went by there was no stopping me. Filled with excitement, there was so much to do and see! Sadly, our last trip was in 2004 as my grandfather passed during my sophomore year in high school. I didn’t realize it back then, but he really was one of the greatest influences in my life.
The summer trips stopped in high school because I began to participate in extracurricular programs. Being a percussionist drumline was my focus and the rigorous summer practice schedule occupied a majority of my time. Towards the end of my high school career, I thought about what I wanted to do and decided to pursue aviation influenced by the love that my grandfather shared with me. I applied to Lewis University and was accepted into their Flight Management Program.
Aviation can yield many life-changing experiences. During my time at Lewis, I met many great people. One of them was my friend Nick who had always wanted to go flying. He chose the day, we planned it out, and once the wheels left the ground he instantly fell in love. That summer he went out and obtained his private pilot certificate. He is now an air traffic controller and I look forward to the day he gets to guide me along my skyward journey. Additionally, while attending Lewis I joined the international aviation fraternity, Alpha Eta Rho. Not only did I now have a camaraderie, but also inspiration and unending support.
I graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Aviation Administration Management and my Commercial Pilot’s License. I had no immediate job prospects so I continued to work at Burkhardt Services Ltd as an Assistant Practice Manager while I looked for a job within the aviation industry. Before I found employment, I relocated to Memphis, TN where I started a career in logistics.
I started at ReTrans Precision Logistics in 2012 completely green, but learned fast and strived to create success. Working my way up through different positions over the course of about 4 years, I became a manager presiding over the account that I originally started on. In the beginning of the summer of 2016, I was present with a unique opportunity through a network of friends for a position at AIT Worldwide Logistics based back home near Chicago. After many interviews over the course of 3 months, they presented me with an offer and I accepted a position as a Global Key Account Specialist where I have remained for the past 7 months.
In the beginning of 2016, a good friend of mine, Joe Burlas, contacted me about a big idea he wanted to share. A few days later, I jumped into a meeting with many other close friends where The Hope 100 officially began. This project is the byproduct of the unfortunate losses from cancer we all faced in life. Joe lost his father to it, I lost my grandfather, and everyone else involved has suffered from cancer whether friend or family. We have a goal to break the flight endurance record while simultaneously raising money to fight cancer. The Hope 100 is a firm foundation from which we will inspire all generations with the power and beauty of aviation. Just as it inspired me many years ago."
Enjoy the Journey!