Senior Vice President for External Relations & Chief Marketing Officer
Bill Hampton is the Senior Vice President for External Relations & Chief Marketing Officer at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University providing strategic leadership to expand the reach, understanding and capabilities of Embry-Riddle internally, externally, locally and globally.
The division comprises the areas of Corporate and Government Relations, Development, Alumni Relations, Marketing, Communications and Enrollment Management with the goals of establishing strategic partnerships, entrepreneurial endeavors, philanthropic support and influencing enrollment performance.
During more than 10 years with Embry-Riddle, he has served in various roles, including Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Enrollment at the Worldwide Campus, Director of Development, and Director of International and Graduate Admissions.
An aviator since age 16, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration, both from Embry-Riddle. His career has been dedicated to higher education and training through the development and execution of marketing and enrollment management strategies aimed at driving interest in the fields of aeronautics, engineering, the sciences, and business.
Bill is a frequent national contributor and speaker on the power of synergizing marketing, technology, and enrollment resources to meet institutional goals. He has extensive student recruitment experience throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including a three-year assignment in the United Arab Emirates with the state-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and MIT’s MASDAR Institute in Abu Dhabi.
Richard Heist, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost
Richard Heist was named Embry-Riddle's Provost and Senior Vice President in July 2007. He is also a professor of engineering. On Jan. 1, 2009, he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of the Daytona Beach Campus. In January 2012, he assumed the duties of Chancellor for the Daytona Beach Campus; and, in January 2013, he was named the Chief Academic Officer for the Daytona Beach Campus of Embry-Riddle.
At Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach, he oversees all academic, instructional, and research matters for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. His responsibilities include all academic programs at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. levels including the appointment, evaluation, management, and promotion of faculty; the evaluation and development of curricula; the growth of scholarly research; and the growth and oversight of Centers for research on the Daytona Beach campus. He also works with the Prescott and Worldwide campuses in establishing and maintaining the quality of university-wide academic activities, ensuring accreditation compliance and sound academic policies. He works with the President, other university officers, campus office directors, and faculty to provide strategic direction for the campus and the University.
Most recently, Heist was with Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y., where he was the Dean of the School of Engineering, Director of the Nucleation Laboratory, and a professor of chemical engineering.
Before joining Manhattan College, Heist spent 26 years at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where he was the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as a professor of chemical engineering and Director of the Center for Nucleation Research.
Heist has a solid record of research and scholarship in nucleation, nucleation-related phenomena, cavitation, aerosols and other ultrafine particles, and educational applications of microcomputers. In addition, Dr. Heist has received many awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
He holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University, where his thesis research was in the fields of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, and a B.A. from Catawba College, where he majored in Chemistry.
Randall Howard, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Randy Howard joined Embry-Riddle as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in September 2014.
During his 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force, he held a variety of positions, including Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Administration at the Naval Postgraduate School, Comptroller Squadron Commander for Ellsworth Air Force Base, Senior Financial Economist for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Cost and Economics, and Chief Financial Officer of the Air Force Academy.
After retiring from the Air Force in 2006, Howard joined Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., as Associate Vice President of Finance and Assistant Treasurer. Three years later he was promoted to his most recent position, Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer. In that role, he was involved in all the business and financial operations of the university, responsible for budgets totaling more than $500 million. Howard supervised finance and business services, state and federal government relations, human resources, internal audit and advisory services, auxiliary services, facilities master planning, and building construction. He was also a member of the Ball State University Foundation board.
Howard holds a Ph.D. in Finance and Business Administration from the University of Georgia, an M.S. in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Birmingham-Southern College.
John Watret, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Dr. John R. Watret was named Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Embry-Riddle in January of 2015. He provides leadership for all operational aspects of the Daytona Beach, Prescott, and Worldwide campuses, as well as Information Technology, Institutional Research, Strategic Planning and Analysis, and the Singapore Campus.
Watret was named Chancellor of the Worldwide Campus in 2010. As Chancellor, he oversaw all academic and operational functions of the campus, which is composed of more than 150 classroom locations in the United States and internationally, and provides services for more than 23,000 students annually through both traditional and online instruction.
Watret joined Embry-Riddle in 1989 and over the years has held several management and faculty positions at the Daytona Beach campus, including associate provost, associate chancellor, associate dean of academics, and full professor of mathematics. In the early 1990s, he took a brief leave of absence to serve as head of the department of mathematics for Texas A&M’s branch campus in northern Japan. In 2006, Watret became the associate vice president and chief academic officer for the Worldwide Campus.
During his tenure as a faculty member in the mathematics department, Watret was known as a dedicated and skilled instructor and was recognized by his peers with Embry-Riddle’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996. He has authored several publications and participated as a lead faculty member, developing the Integrated Curriculum in Engineering (ICE) program through a grant from the Boeing Company.
Watret continues to be active both nationally and internationally in the aviation industry and serves as a board member for the UF Online Campus as appointed by the Florida Board of Governors. He has also served as a member of an onsite re-affirmation visiting team for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Additionally, Watret serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Asia, Ltd. in Singapore and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS).
Watret holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Mathematics, both from Texas A&M University, as well as a B.Sc. in Mathematics (honors) from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. He also has a private pilot’s license.
Vice President, Administration
Rodney Cruise joined ERAU in March of 2013. He provides leadership and direction for Institutional Efficiency, and Facilities and Capital Planning Departments at the University Administration level. He also supports Plant Operations, Housing Operation and Campus Safety for the Daytona Beach Campus.
Rodney joined ERAU from Sodexo, where he held multiple leadership positions. His last role with Sodexo was Vice President of Business Development. During his tenure with Sodexo, he served on multiple national and international teams that included complex efficiency and IT projects. He also served as the National Chairperson for the Sodexo Organization of Latinos and supported multiple diversity initiatives.
Locally, Rodney has served on the board of Halifax Habitat for Humanity. During his tenure on the board, he was recognized as Board Member of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Daytona Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, Rodney was recognized in 2011 as Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Volusia and Flagler County. He also was presented the Community Legacy Award in 2013 by the Community Foundation of Volusia and Flagler.
Vice President, Corporate Relations & Government Affairs
Louis C. Seno joined the university’s senior management team in January 2014 as Vice President for Corporate Relations and Government Affairs. In this role he will connect Embry-Riddle with the general aviation and aerospace industries as well as maintain the university’s interests on Capitol Hill.
Previously president and CEO of Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI), Seno remains chairman emeritus and special advisor to the company’s Board of Directors. Prior to becoming a founding shareholder of JSSI, Seno held top management positions with the business aircraft units of Boeing Capital Corp. and G.E. Capital Solutions.
Seno has helped guide Embry-Riddle since 2001, when he joined the President’s Advisory Board. In 2009 he advanced to the university’s Board of Trustees, where he was chair of the Development Committee and a member of the Student Life and Flight Safety & Education committees until his recent hiring as vice president.
In addition to his new duties at Embry-Riddle, Seno will continue in various roles beneficial to general aviation – he is a member of the Board of Directors of both Duncan Aviation and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Aircraft Resale Association. In the past he served on the Board of Governors of the Flight Safety Foundation, where he represented the business aviation community.
Seno is a 6,000-hour pilot with an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and a Cessna Citation Jet type rating who has owned several single-engine and twin-engine piston aircraft, including the one he flies today, a Beechcraft Bonanza Model F33A.
Brandon L. Young
Vice President, Human Resources
Brandon Young was named Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer in August 2013. He provides leadership and strategic direction for the operations of the university Human Resources team that supports over 3,000 employees throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Young has been with Embry-Riddle since 1998. His career at the university began in the Daytona Beach Financial Aid office and led him to Human Resources in 2000, where he held various roles, including Manager of Employee Relations, Executive Director, and Associate Vice President. He is also an adjunct professor for the College of Business at both the Daytona Beach and Worldwide Campuses.
Young holds a B.S. in Accounting, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, and has a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute.
He is very involved in the community and advancing the Human Resources profession. He serves as Vice Mayor for the City of South Daytona, the Board of Regents for the Duvall Home in DeLand, the Board of Directors for One Voice of Volusia, the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Volusia County, and is a Past President of the Volusia/Flagler Society for Human Resource Management. He is a graduate of Leadership Daytona, Class XXX, and was named one of the area’s “Young Professionals of the Year in 2008” by the Volusia/Flagler Business Journal.
Frank Ayers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, Prescott Campus
Dr. Frank Ayers is the chancellor of the Prescott Arizona campus, of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. As chancellor, he is responsible for leading more than 2,000 students, and more than 350 employees. He oversees a full range of academic, operational and professional activities, and sets strategic direction in academics, business operations, enrollment management, academic support, financial aid and student life. His other responsibilities include leadership at the University Cabinet level, philanthropic initiatives and external relationships with government and industry. He is also a professor of aeronautical science.
Previously, he was chairman of the flight training department at the University's Daytona Beach, Florida Campus. In that position, he managed a staff of 250 personnel, training more than 1,000 students annually, and flying more than 70,000 flight hours per year.
From 2003-2005, Ayers was principal investigator for the FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) research program. In that capacity, he supervised a team of researchers at Embry-Riddle and the University of North Dakota, partnering with industry to develop scenario-based and flight training-based curricula. The FITS curriculum has been adopted by the FAA as the standard for general aviation training in the United States. For his efforts, Ayers was named the recipient of the University Aviation Association's 2005 Frank E. Sorenson Award, for "the professional educator who has made substantial contributions to the field of aviation research and scholarship."
Prior to joining Embry-Riddle, Ayers was in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, serving as a B-52 instructor pilot, commander of a B-52 Training Squadron, group commander and chief of Joint Military Education Policy at the Pentagon, among other assignments. He earned an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, with type ratings in the Boeing 757 and 767, and is a certified flight instructor. Ayers has logged more than 6,000 flight hours in a wide variety of aircraft types.
Ayers received a B.A. in History from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Ayers is the 2013 inductee in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Aviation Hall of Fame, for notable achievement in the fields of aerospace and aviation.
Brad Sims, Ph.D.
Chancellor, Worldwide Campus
Dr. Brad Sims has either worked in education or industry since graduating in 1990 from Purdue University. He currently works for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he is the Chancellor for the Worldwide Campus.
In his prior position as the Chief Academic Officer for the Worldwide campus, he managed global academics and led the expansion of academics into Brazil, Morocco, and the UK. Prior to coming to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he was the Dean of the College of Technology at Indiana State University where he managed a 75% growth in enrollment, creation of several new degree programs, the establishment of a new flight school, and an unmanned systems center. Dr. Sims was also the founder of a new degree program at Western Carolina University in 2002. This program grew to 400 students in its first five years and obtained an industry endowment of 10 million dollars from Joe Kimmel of Kimmel and Associates in Asheville, NC. Prior to this position, Dr. Sims was working in The Netherlands for the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building Construction (CIB) as their Assistant Secretary General. There he was involved with organizations from all over the world and would travel to support over 50 commissions of experts performing research. Dr. Sims has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida and a Graduate Instructor at Purdue University.
Dr. Sims also has worked for three different private companies. One was Cherne Contracting Corporation where he was involved in Industrial Construction project management at the ARCO refinery in Southern California. Another company was Badger Engineers in Massachusetts where he focused on cost issues of ongoing global projects in Industrial Design and Construction. He also worked for the DOD subcontractor Westinghouse Savannah River Site in South Carolina on waste and environmental projects. He spent the summer of 2000 consulting on Lean Construction principles with Graycor Construction Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. He holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctorate from Purdue University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Florida.