People in Aviation: March 2005

 - March 15, 2007, 6:50 AM

McKinney Aerospace recently announced several personnel changes. Rick Brainard, formerly v-p of sales and marketing, is now v-p of engineering, certification and quality. Billy McDonald, formerly director of interior completions, has been promoted to v-p of completions. Stephen McNally, formerly director of maintenance, was promoted to v-p of maintenance.

Chesterfield, Mo.-based JetBrokers named Timothy Keeney v-p of sales. He was most recently v-p of Business Aircraft Solutions in East Alton, Ill.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based SheltAir Aviation Services named Allen Pichon Jr. regional vice president with oversight of the Orlando Executive and Clearwater/St. Petersburg facilities. He was most recently v-p of Aircraft Services International and Signature Flight Support.

Peter Wendt was promoted to v-p of business development for Teterboro, N.J.-based Aircraft Service Group. He was director of flight operations. Patrick Cassidy, formerly chief pilot, was promoted to director of flight operations.

West Chester, Pa.-based Keystone Helicopter named Jim Munda v-p of engineering and Darrell Jones v-p of completions.

Executive Jet Management promoted Marietta French to v-p and general manager and named Devin Piacente and Donald Scanlon operations managers.

James Day has joined the sales team of Aerodynamics. He was previously a sales representative for Embraer Legacys.

David Baddams
was promoted to sales director of Britten-Norman Pty Ltd. in Tamworth, New South Wales.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Jet Source named Deborah Shepard to executive charter sales. She was most recently charter sales and marketing manager for Jimsair.

Robert Beck is the new chief pilot at Texas Instruments. He succeeds Durwood Heinrich, who retired.

Midcoast Aviation named Thomas Hilboldt director of technical services. Hilboldt joined Midcoast in 1978 and was most recently manager of technical services.

Montreal Jet Center named John Liotta regional sales manager for aircraft technical services.

Olga Razzhivina has joined the aviation consultancy team at London-based Airclaims.

Nissen Davis has been elected president of the Southern California Aeronautic Association. He succeeds Keith Mew.

Mike Zonnefeld formed an aviation-consulting firm called ZonnAir. Zonnefeld can be reached at (520) 749-3575 or via e-mail at

Hugh McElroy, v-p of Dallas Airmotive and chairman of the Millville Army Airfield Museum, was reappointed chairman of the New Jersey Aviation Association.

Florida Jet promoted Jim Long to director of maintenance sales; Kelle Godwin to director of charter sales for Florida Jet Service, the company’s charter division; and Steve Ratkowski to director of parts sales.

Nicolas Chabbert was named v-p of customer support for EADS Socata. He replaces Bernard Veyssiere.

Dallas Airmotive named Ronald Worley Jr. director of sales for Rolls-Royce Spey/Tay programs.

Don Peterson was promoted to director of aircraft sales for Kansas City Aviation Center. He was most recently the company’s Midwest regional sales manager for Pilatus.

Executive Jet Management promoted Pete Djordjevic to chief pilot. He joined the company in 1985 as a first officer and was most recently a Challenger 604 captain.

Awards & Honors

The recipients of the 2005 NBAA Corporate Aviation Management Scholarships are David Clark, A.B. Flight services; Victoria Collom, ZP Aviation; Wendi Gavigan, Citigroup Corporate Aviation; Lara Greenwood, Alpha Flying; and Bradley Houck, Pfizer.

The Robert J. Collier Trophy was awarded last month to the SpaceShipOne team “for the greatest achievement in aviation in America.” SpaceShipOne went into space for the first time on June 21, 2004.

Don Bateman, the Canadian-born engineer who fathered (for his employer, Honeywell) both GPWS and its successor, the enhanced ground proximity warning system, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame at the organization’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, on May 14.

Virgil Williams, retired aviation director of pharmaceutical company Upjohn, received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the FAA for having a perfect flying record for the past 54 years. A former NBAA board member, Williams is the manager of the Plainwell Municipal Airport in Michigan.

The William F. Shea Award for Distinguished Contributions to Aviation was presented to former NBAA president Jack Olcott by the University of Nebraska “in recognition of extraordinary contributions in the field of air transportation.” Olcott, who is president of General Aero at Morristown Airport in New Jersey, was also named president of the New Jersey Aviation Association’s board of directors.

Avitat Westchester honored three of its staff members with employee of the year awards. Terry Delorenzo, accounting; Charlie Assalty, line supervisor; and Jackie Perser, customer service representative, were each awarded a cruise to Bermuda.

Final Flights

Frank Jensen, who served as executive director and then president of the Helicopter Association International from 1982 to 1998, died on February 12 at the age of 76. Jensen joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 while only 15 years old and became a combat radioman/gunner on dive bombers and patrol bombers. After World War II he joined the U.S. Army and served as a parachutist in the Korean War. For the five years before he joined HAI, Jensen was chairman and CEO of the RTCA. Last year Jensen celebrated 50 years of marriage to his wife, Leda, who survives him, along with two sisters and a brother, five children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His colleagues at HAI paid tribute to Jensen: “Frank truly loved the helicopter industry and will be missed by all.”
Fraser Elliott, former chairman and director of CAE, died January 26. Elliott was one of two founding partners of law firm Stikeman Elliott.