Trustees Named for Newly Activated Civil Air Patrol Foundation
Three trustees, including a new chair, have been selected for the Civil Air Patrol Foundation, intended to be a repository of gifts meant for investment in CAP’s future.
Paul Graziani, a former member of CAP’s Board of Governors; Col. Raj Kothari, commander of the Michigan Wing; and Lt. Col. Richard Flowers of the Florida Wing were approved Wednesday at a foundation meeting at the site of CAP's national conference in Baltimore, which begins today. The trustees’ service on the 15-member board begins immediately, said Kristina Jones, CAP’s chief of philanthropy and executive director of the CAP Foundation.
“The foundation has a three-fold purpose,” Jones said, “to provide general support for Civil Air Patrol and its programs and missions, to provide direct financial support to CAP’s operations and to provide scholarships to CAP members.”
Graziani will lead the board. “It’s a privilege to have been asked to serve as the first chairman of the newly activated Civil Air Patrol Foundation board of trustees,” he said. “CAP is an organization I’ve been passionate about for a long time, since I was a cadet. We have some great work ahead seeking gifts and endowments to benefit a multitude of programs and operations. I look forward to building the foundation for the future.”
Graziani is the CEO and co-founder of the software development company Analytical Graphics Inc. For more than 20 years, he has championed the use of commercial software in the national security and space industries. Today, AGI’s flagship product, STK, is used in more than 50,000 worldwide installations by aerospace, defense and intelligence professionals.
From the company’s early start in Graziani’s living room in 1989 through today's 80,000-square-foot headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, he has spearheaded work practices that have earned AGI local, state and national recognition for its innovative work environment and game-changing software and has been nominated for and received a number of entrepreneurial excellence awards at both local and national levels.
Graziani currently sits on the boards of directors of Passur Aerospace, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and Federation of Galaxy Explorers. In addition to serving on CAP’s governing board from 2007-2015, he was also a member of the Aerospace Industries Association. He formerly served on the Advisory Board for Penn State Great Valley and is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. After fulfilling his board tenure, he was recently elected to the honorary position of life director of The Space Foundation.
In addition to his CAP wing command duties, Kothari is managing director and co-founder of Cascade Partners LLC, a private investment and investment banking firm with offices in Southfield, Michigan, and Cleveland that assists companies with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other corporate finance activities. Cascade Partners makes a variety of control and non-control investment in companies in the business service, high-value manufacturing, technology and healthcare sectors.
Kothari draws on nearly 25 years of experience as an investor, a financial adviser and an entrepreneur. Before forming Cascade Partners, he was a co-founder of Seneca Partners Inc., a similar investment banking and private investment firm where he completed nearly 40 transactions or investments. He continues to manage Seneca Health Partners, a healthcare venture capital fund he co-founded.
Like Graziani, Kothari has extensive board service, including Priority Health, Micro Machine Company LLC (chair), MedBio Inc., Amicas, Computer Dynamics, Active Health Management, VerNova, Providence Health Foundation, and is a board observer for Critical Signal Technologies and RedPath Integrated Pathology. In addition, his committee work has included the Investment Committee for Automation Alley and for Civil Air Patrol and the Finance Committee (chair) for Priority Health, St. John Provident Health System and the Village of Wolverine Lake, Michigan.
Kothari is an active member of a variety of trade and community organizations, including past service on boards of TiE Detroit, Michigan Venture Capital Association and the Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest. He is a former council member for Wolverine Lake and was honored as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’s 40 Under 40 honorees.
Kothari has served in CAP for over 35 years and is in his second year as commander of the Michigan Wing. He’s also a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and served as an adjunct instructor at the university
Retired from the general practice of law and living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Flowers is a certified flight instructor with a commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating for single-engine land and glider aircraft. A former U.S. Marine with 12 years of service from 1968-1980 as a tank officer, legal officer and executive officer, he retired with the rank of captain. He is an aircrew member for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in addition to his glider duties with CAP.
Flowers was admitted to the Ohio and federal bars in 1996, following graduation from the Ohio Northern University Pettit School of Law. Before that, he was a former vice president of Difco Inc., a manufacturer of specialized railroad cars in Ohio that became part of Trinity Industries in the late 1990s. As part of his work with Difco, Flowers is a retired professional engineer who holds a patent on improvements in railroad car design.
He is a member of the boards of the Black Swamp Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and H. Fort Flowers Foundation Inc., Virginia Military Institute Foundation Inc. and Sentinel Trust of Houston.
More information about the Civil Air Patrol Foundation can be found here.