HAI Convention News

New team takes the field at MDHI

 - September 28, 2006, 11:07 AM

Under the direction of a new parent company, private investment firm Patriarch Partners, MD Helicopters has made more changes to its senior executive team. The company has named Peter Hokanson chief financial officer and acting CEO as the search for a permanent chief executive continues. Hokanson most recently served as vice president of business administration and information technology at Garrett Aviation. Interim CEO Robert Rene has left the company, along with other former MDHI executives.

Also announced, joining the company as chief technology officer, Andy Logan will lead development of product enhancements, safety programs, quality assurance and the light utility helicopter program. An aerodynamics expert, Logan has more than 35 years’ experience in helicopter technology development and holds three helicopter technology patents–including one of the original three covering the Notar anti-torque system.

Jeffrey Snyder is the company’s new general manager of spare parts and service. He previously held senior customer service management positions at Raytheon Aircraft, Dassault Falcon Jet and B/E Aerospace.

Charles (Chuck) Vehlow’s last job was as v-p and general manager for Boeing’s helicopter division as well as v-p of the Apache helicopter program. He is now director of operations for Patriarch Partners, the investment firm that now holds a controlling interest in MDHI, as well as joint interim COO. Vehlow brings more than 35 years of corporate, defense and management experience to MDHI and will provide consultancy services, the helicopter maker announced.

David Langenhuizen, the only current MDHI employee among the recent senior-level reshuffling, has been promoted to general manager of operations. For the time being he will also share COO duties with Vehlow after interim COO Randy Kesterson’s departure from the company.

Samuel Coleman is now director of supply chain management, also for Patriarch Partners, and will provide supply chain support to MDHI. Before joining Patriarch, Coleman was a plant manager for General Electric and a supply chain general manager for Florida Power and Light.

In announcing the appointments, Patriarch Partners CEO Lynn Tilton noted, “We continue to make enormous progress at MDH. We are aggressively focused on working with existing customers in all areas. In particular we have improved spare part fill rates while reducing AOG [incidents]. The results speak for themselves. Our spare part order fill rate has increased to 80 percent while reducing AOG by almost 70 percent over the last three months.”

Patriarch Partners bailed out struggling MDHI last year and has moved swiftly to replace the entire senior executive team, which got the blame for much of the helicopter maker’s troubles.