My Personal Top Workplace: An Epic Career

Captain Judy’s Corner

Epic Flight Academy is widely recognized for developing the highest quality and standards to serve students, staff, and the community. Two recognitions include Top Workplace Awards from the Orlando Sentinel and the Daytona News-Journal. I concur. Epic Flight Academy has been a top workplace for me.

Judy Rice Ground School Students
Captain Judy Rice instructed countless ground school students at Epic.

In 2017 when I was seeking employment at a flight school, Epic Flight Academy stood out among all other schools. My tour of the campus, inspection of the airplanes, and conversations with students and staff confirmed Epic Flight Academy was the quality of flight school I was seeking. My employment at Epic led to many friendships and respect for my colleagues. As I retired from Epic and reflected on my time there, it led me to some interesting conversations with my Epic colleagues.

The Epic Family

Danny Perna, founder and CEO, leads his Epic team with care and maintains the highest qualities for students. His message is always “safety first!” Shane Williams began more than 6 years ago as a certified flight instructor before moving into a senior management position. Shane shared that working at Epic is fun and not just a job. I can relate to that.

Ray Altmann, Schoology online learning manager, course manager, and progress pilot shared that Epic is all about the quality of instruction. Simulator instructor Robert Freit enjoys seeing students’ eyes light up after grasping concepts. In scheduling, Monica Bailey appreciates supervisors trusting her judgement.

Samantha Foster, who works as the parts and purchasing coordinator, shared that she loves the stress-free working atmosphere. In line support, Zack Wohlart, appreciates working at Epic to support his flight training. Ground instructor Austin DiCola values the quality of Epic students allowing him to provide a deeper level of learning. The common thread among my colleagues was how much they appreciate Epic as a workplace, just as I have.

When I discovered Epic Flight Academy’s website all those years ago, it seemed too good to be true. I submitted an application and scheduled a tour. Director of Flight Operations Vic Johnson conducted my interview. Vic reviewed my application and offered me the position as the classroom private pilot ground instructor. I instantly felt at home, and Epic staff became my extended family.

Captain Judy Retirement
Captain Judy’s colleagues lined up to hug her at her retirement party.

I began at Epic in 2017 and taught private pilot ground school. I enjoyed helping students reach their flying dreams and considered Epic as my second home. Helping select scholarship recipients and writing articles like this for my column, Captain Judy’s Corner, have also brought me much joy. These are two aspects of my role at Epic I will continue in my retirement.

I always enjoyed the interaction with students and celebrating their achievements with them. Students from all corners of the globe graced my classroom. Many referred to me as their “Epic mom,” which was an honor to hear. Shortly before retirement, I accepted the librarian position at Epic. I couldn’t believe it when I attended my retirement party and learned that Danny and the team had named the library after me! Seeing “Captain Judy Rice Library” on the sign was an incredible honor that I will always cherish. Although I’m no longer on campus every day, Epic remains my own personal top workplace.

By Captain Judy Rice

Captain Judy's Corner Articles

Captain Rice would appreciate your comments and suggestions for future aviation topics.

3 thoughts on “My Personal Top Workplace: An Epic Career”

  1. You’ll always be my Epic mom Captain Judy! Thank you for helping me become the pilot I am today. You are a great mentor and amazing pilot!

  2. Hi Judy – So many amazing pilots have accomplished their dreams because of your patience, caring and all of the knowledge that you share so generously.

    You are simply the best!


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