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Meet our board 

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Jim Paris, President Paris was first elected to the Indian Wells Valley Airport District Board of Directors in 2006. He is also a pilot, and for 18 years was part of a co-op with a C172 N1442U at KIYK (Inyokern Airport). He has lived in the Indian Wells Valley for more than 33 years. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he served on the USS Coral Sea and as part of Operation Eagle Claw. He was later stationed at China Lake. Following his active duty, he worked as a contractor and civilian at NAWCWD. He is currently employed as the branch head for the Operation Analysis and Evaluation Test Branch, managing flight test engineers, and serving as an analyst for Operational Test efforts for VX-9, F-35 EDW, and VMX-1. He is also the lead test engineer at VX-9 for F/A-18 Strike Fighter Mission Systems.

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Russ Bates 

Vice President 

“Rusty” Bates spent six years in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam war, and was then in the Naval Reserves for 25 years, retiring as a Captain/Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer. Bates has served on the IWVAD Board since 1991, except for a two-year gap from 1997-99. During that time he has served several terms as president and on various committees of the board. He is currently the IWVAD Vice President. He has been a pilot since 1969, and is a commercial pilot, a flight instructor, commercial glider pilot and has certification for multi-engine and instrument rated. He retired as an aerospace engineer from Naval Air Warfare Center China Lake, where he supported Naval Aviation from 1973- 2010. The last 10 years were spent as a senior flight test engineer at VX-9. Since retiring, he continued to be active in the local soaring club as a tow pilot and occasional glider pilot

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Marshall "Chip" Holloway 


“Chip” Holloway born in Louisiana in 1960 and has never been married. He attended Louisiana State University. His interests in the business and economic development come from his background as an entrepreneur. He is currently owner-operator of Endeavors Unlimited Consulting LLC and the CEO of the Desert Empire Fairgrounds. He is also a licensed realtor. He served four terms on the Ridgecrest City Council, including two terms as mayor. During his time on the council he was an engine for economic development and growth. His other community service includes service on the boards of Desert Valleys FCU, REALMS Charter School, Desert Mountain Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce.

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Mark Storch


Mark Storch was voted-on to the board to fulfill a vacancy in May of 2023.  Mark retired from the Navy after a 31 year career as a Naval Aviator commanding both NAWS China Lake and NAWC Weapons Division.  FAA qualifications include Air Transport Pilot, Airplane Multi Engine Land, Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter, Instrument Helicopter – he currently owns and hangars a private aircraft at Inyokern Airport.   Mark’s prior community service included five years as a trustee on the Kern Community College District.  He looks forward to supporting the Airport District’s safe and effective operations in support of the District’s community.  

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Rich "Padre" Bruce


“Padre” Bruce is a returning director for the Indian Wells Valley Airport District, which he served from 2006-2012. His aviation background is varied and extensive. He is a retired Naval Aviator serving at China Lake in the late 1980s. Upon his retirement from the Navy, he returned to Ridgecrest-China Lake to begin new careers. These range from managing contracts supporting various efforts at China Lake & Point Mugu; managing the local F/A-18 Foreign Military Sales efforts; being the Branch Head for the Air Platform Systems Integration Laboratories; supporting the NAWCWD mission as a civil servant and contractor project test pilot; and as a commercial project test pilot. He is looking forward to another successful endeavor with the IWVWD Board of Directors.

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