People in Aviation: August 2008

 - July 30, 2008, 9:20 AM

Scott Donnelly has left his position as president and CEO of GE Aviation to take on the role of executive vice president and COO of Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopter. Donnelly spent 19 years at GE, most recently heading
up the company’s jet engine and aircraft systems division. David Joyce, formerly vice president for commercial engines at GE, replaces Donnelly.

Alenia Aeronautica-EADS joint venture ATR North America named Guillaume Gasparri, previously Eurocopter’s vice president of sales in the Southern Asia region, president and CEO. Gasparri will be responsible for all executive issues, including interfacing with current and prospective airlines.

Fred Breidenbach, former president and COO of Gulfstream Aerospace, has joined Epic Aircraft’s Board of Advisors. Breidenbach led a team at Gulfstream credited with the development and certification of the Gulfstream GV.

AOPA president Phil Boyer has announced he will retire at the end of this year after 18 years at the helm of the more than 400,000-member organization. To replace him, AOPA’s board of trustees has selected public affairs executive Craig Fuller. He will be leaving his current post as executive vice president at Washington D.C. public relations firm APCO Worldwide and will assume his AOPA leadership on January 1.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has hired Paul Feldman as vice president for government affairs. Feldman comes to GAMA from APCO Worldwide, where he worked with clients, including GAMA, in the U.S. and Europe on government relations, policy and strategy. Feldman also served as the FAA’s director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The American Association of Airport Executives has elected its slate of officers for 2008-2009. Among the association’s newly chosen governing board are Jim Elwood, chairman; John Duval, first vice chair; Jim Bennett, second vice chair; and Kelly Johnson, secretary-treasurer.

Aerospace manufacturing and services provider Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Holding announced the retirement of Bob Johnson, its group CEO. The company named George Mushahwar its acting CEO. He was previously COO of the Dubai-based Tecom Investments, responsible for managing its global investment portfolio.

Bombardier Aerospace has appointed airline veteran Frederick Reid the new president of its Flexjet and Skyjet fractional ownership and jetcard divisions.

Elmira N.Y.-based charter management and aviation services specialist FirstFlight announced that Richard Hodkinson is joining the company as president of its newly formed West Coast Division in Van Nuys, Calif. The company has added Mark Herzog to the role of senior strategist, and hired Mark Wise to lead the maintenance activities based in Van Nuys. Firstflight also named Ruth Morgan to the newly created position of director of dispatch/charter services at the company’s headquarters.

Schuler Development, which has aviation holdings at the Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, Texas, and the North Texas Regional Airport in Denison, Texas, has appointed Kelly Cannell president of its newly formed aviation group.

Jay Shaw has resigned from the board of directors of Hong Kong-based BAA Jet Management to pursue other interests. In 2007, Shaw relinquished his position as Jet Management’s CEO.

Forrest Colliver, formerly director of business development, commercial aircraft solutions with Thales Aerospace, has joined EMS Satcom as vice president of business development.

Aircraft repair, overhaul and FBO operator West Star Aviation has made several changes to its sales and marketing department, appointing Rick Brainard vice president of sales for the company’s facilities in Grand Junction, Colo.; East Alton, Ill.; Dallas; and Hiawatha, Iowa. The company has also added Dan McKillips as a regional sales manager and Cheryl Galloway as a program sales manager.  In addition, Debi Cunningham joined the company as director of marketing, while Ryan Malutinok has been appointed interior/paint manager for West Star’s East Alton facility.

Ray Miller has been promoted to vice president and general manager of Universal Avionics System’s instrument division, located in Duluth, Ga.

Swiss charter and business aviation management specialist PrivatAir has named Edgar van Schaik vice president for charter sales. He will be responsible for overseeing the ongoing expansion of the charter sales division.

Trip support provider Universal Weather & Aviation has hired Bobby Butler as the new vice president and chief compliance officer for the Houston-based company. Before joining Universal, Butler served in senior compliance roles for ConocoPhillips and Baker Hughes.

Crane Aerospace & Electronics has appointed Joe Bottenfield vice president of microwave systems solutions. Before joining Crane, he was the North American director of avionics for Barco.

San Carlos, Calif.-based private aviation provider XOJet has appointed Adam Komack to the position of chief marketing officer. Most recently, Komack served as chief life-style officer for all-business-class airline Eos.

Michael Bashlor is the new president of Ranger Aerospace’s Texas Aviation Services. He previously served as vice president of operations and director of maintenance for Rotorcraft Leasing.

Hawker Beechcraft named Ronald King v-p and general manager of its Hawker Completions Center in Little Rock, Ark.

Guggenheim Aero Finance Company has hired Jim Crowley as its new managing director. Previously he was the director of Key Equipment Finance’s business aviation finance unit.

Gary Wood has joined Canadian aircraft brokerage and asset management firm John Hopkinson & Associates as director of sales, based out of its Calgary office.

Michael Silverman has been promoted from chief inspector to general manager of jet maintenance at Stevens Aviation’s flagship Greenville, S.C. location. The 10-year veteran began with Stevens as an AMT.

Vista, Calif.-based Sandel Avionics has hired Jerry Henry as director of sales. He replaces Bill Wood, who passed away in 2006. Henry most recently served as senior manager of customer support for Avidyne.

Michigan-based FBO, aircraft charter and management provider Executive Air Transport has hired Terry Boer as director of marketing.

Philippe Gurdjian has resigned from the position of general manager and president of Le Castellet International Airport, which serves the French Riviera in Southern France.

St. Louis-based MRO provider Avmats has named Brian Jansen manager for technical services and Mike Moore its Hawker and Beechjet program manager.

Raisbeck Engineering has added two new staff members: design engineer Davud Kasparov and technical support manager Aaron Jo-Nes. The Seattle-based company also promoted Anne Lockemy to advertising and public relations manager.

Tim Lakata has been promoted by Bombardier Aerospace to director of Learjet sales for the Northeast U.S. Based in Hartford, Conn., Lakata joined Bombardier in 2004 as a demonstration pilot.

Jet Works Air Center has added Gary Freeman and Chris Hicks as regional sales managers, promoting its aircraft maintenance, avionics, paint and interior services for light, medium and heavy turbine business aircraft. The Denton, Texas company also appointed Rick Purcella its new director of avionics.

Tony Cosimano has been named director of helicopter operations for Florida-based Aero Toy Store. Before joining Aero Toy Store, Cosimano served 13 years as chief helicopter pilot and assistant director of corporate aviation for AIG.

Global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings appointed Garrett Hanrahan CEO of its global aviation in North America division.

Jack Tunnell is retiring after a 29-year career as PepsiCo’s manager of aircraft maintenance.

David Chesmore has been named product engineer for Alpharetta, Ga.-based Flight Display Systems, manufacturer of in-flight entertainment systems.

Cowart to Lead Supersonic Work at Gulfstream
Gulfstream Aerospace has promoted 16-year company veteran Robert Cowart to director of supersonic technology development, responsible for developing advanced technologies allowing supersonic flight over land, focusing on sonic-boom suppression. Cowart succeeds Gerard Schkolnik, who was killed on April 13 when his kit-built aircraft crashed soon after takeoff at the annual Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla.