People in Aviation: June 2016

 - June 4, 2016, 10:24 AM

Esterline named Michel Potvin president of its avionics business, which includes CMC Electronics and the newly acquired Simulation Visual Systems. Potvin succeeds Greg Yeldon, who has left Esterline after more than 22 years with the company. Potvin has served with Esterline for five years, first as president of control systems and later as v-p of corporate marketing and strategy for the enterprise, based in Bellevue, Wash.

Pan Am International Flight Academy named Takeshi Negishi president and CEO. Negishi previously served as senior v-p of the Aerospace & Electronics Company at ANA Trading and before that was general manager in the aircraft department at ANA.

Latitude Technologies appointed Brad Smith COO. In addition, the company has expanded its sales team, naming Carlos Monsalve as v-p of air transportation sales; and Wayne Hundsdorfer as director of business aviation sales. Rounding out the sales team are David Thomas, who is now director of helicopter/general aviation sales; and Jeff Taberner, now director of military/government sales.

Global Jet Capital appointed David Henderson managing director of Asia sales. Henderson has 20 years of aviation finance experience, most recently leading GE Capital’s Asia Corporate Aviation business in Hong Kong and serving as an aviation finance consultant for Asian Sky Group. The company also appointed Greg Babcock as v-p of Central U.S. sales. Babcock has sold $1.6 billion worth of aircraft with Embraer, Cessna, GE Capital, US Bank and Key Equipment Finance.

Acass named Herb Chahal managing director for Asia. Chahal brings a 40-year background in aviation, with experience in aircraft maintenance and operations, accident investigation, flight engineering, field service and sales.

AeroMod International, an avionics and airplane structural modification and repair services company that recently relocated to Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Florida, named Gary Girard president. Girard has three decades of aviation leadership experience.

Ron Gunnarson joined Sullivan Higdon & Sink as practice director for aviation, aerospace and defense. Gunnarson has a 26-year career in aviation marketing at Beechcraft, Hawker, Travel Air and Cessna, and has expertise in pre-owned aircraft, FBOs, fractional ownership, MRO and special-mission/military aircraft.

L-3 Communications president and COO Christopher Kubasik was elected to the board of governors of The Wings Club Foundation. Kubasik has 30 years of experience in aerospace and defense and served as president and CEO of Seabury Advisory Group before joining L-3 last year.

Alerion Aviation COO Suran Wijayawardana has become chairman of the National Air Transportation Association’s Air Charter Committee. Wijayawardana, who has served on the committee for nearly a decade, helped establish the newly branded Alerion following the 2015 merger of his charter and management firm, ACP Jets, and JFI Jets.

Lufthansa Technik is expanding its VIP and special-mission services sales presence in Asia, naming Stelios Panitsas to head a new Singapore office and Jan Grube to lead the Hong Kong office. Panitsas joined Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg in 2006, initially serving as a sales executive for VIP and government services. Grube began his career with Lufthansa Technik as an aircraft engineer in 1990 and has been leading the Asia sales team since 2014.

Blackhawk Modifications promoted Donnie Holder to v-p of marketing. Holder has served with Blackhawk since 2004, most recently as v-p of information technology.

Professional Aircraft Accessories named Alain Berube v-p of technical operations. Previously Berube was v-p/general manager of turboprops, airlines and fleets for Standard Aero’s Winnipeg facility and before that was senior v-p of asset management and operations for Volvo Aero Services. The company also hired Mark Smith to serve as operations director for its Miami facility. Smith has previously held roles as the FAA production manager for Jet Aviation Specialists and operations plant manager for L-3 Communications in Crestview, Fla., along with positions at GE.

Duncan Aviation named Austin Chambers Gulfstream/Embraer airframe service sales representative at its facility in Battle Creek, Mich. Chambers has served with Duncan since 2010, beginning as a customer account representative in Lincoln, Neb., and later as a business development specialist for the parts and rotables sales team.

TVPX added three people to its trust division: Arge Feotis, Brittany King and Josh Eyre. All three formerly served with the Bank of Utah Corporate Trust group. Feotis has 20 years of experience managing and administering trust accounts. King and Eyre each have a background in customer service and managing portfolios with assets ranging from aircraft to life insurance policies.

Ogarajets named Dane McGuffee executive sales director. McGuffee has 30 years of fixed- and rotary-wing experience, and most recently was with Textron Lycoming.

Baldwin Aviation appointed Carolyn Marino director of global sales. Marino joins Baldwin after 20 years with Associated Aircraft, where she helped develop the Sikorsky Shares program after Sikorsky acquired Associated Aircraft in 2006.

Traxxall Technologies named Blair Henderson regional sales director for the newly opened Europe, Middle East and Asia office. Henderson, who had been based in the UK for the past three years, brings 10 years of experience in the financial services and technology sectors.

Awards and Honors

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) named the recipients of its Industry Excellence Awards, which will be presented June 9 during its Aviation Business Conference. The association’s top awards will be presented in honor of the late James Christiansen and also to Mark Willey, CEO of Napa Jet Center. Christiansen will be honored with the William Bill Ong Memorial Award in recognition of his 50-year career as an aviator, business leader and industry advocate. A former chairman of NATA and the Air Charter Safety Foundation, he held senior roles for several aviation businesses, among them Executive Jet Aviation, Wayfarer Ketch, NetJets and Hawker Beechcraft. Willey will receive the Distinguished Service Award. He has 25 years of senior management experience and has been actively involved in advocacy work, serving on the board of NATA and various NBAA committees.

Mark Jensen, director of maintenance and managing partner at Bakersfield Jet Center by Loyd’s Aviation, was selected for the ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award in recognition of his 47 years of maintenance service. Mark Davidson at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, N.C., was selected for the NATA Airport Executive Partnership Award in recognition of efforts to foster relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators.

NATA’s Excellence In Pilot Training Award winner is Ben Gabriel, director of training at ATP Flight School. NATA’s FAA Service Excellence Award will be presented to the Phoenix Tracon, and Ratu Tuuhetoka, lead operations specialist at Alliance Aviation Services, will receive the Safety 1st Certified Line Service Professional Award.