People In Aviation: August 2016

 - August 4, 2016, 11:15 AM

Ross Aviation appointed John (Cy) Farmer COO, Steve Gampp CFO and Steve Lee director of business development. Farmer, who has 40 years of FBO experience, previously served with Hawker Beechcraft, Signature Flight Support and most recently Landmark Aviation as v-p of European operations and special projects. Gampp brings 36 years of finance experience to his new role, having previously served with Jones International, Nu-West Industries, Quinoco Petroleum, Home Petroleum and Davis Oil, along with the Ross Aviation chain. Lee, who has consulted with several private equity firms in the aviation industry, has held a number of management positions with Signature Flight Support, including president.

Kathryn Purwin was named CEO of Helinet Aviation Services. Purwin, a jet and helicopter pilot, takes over the helm of the company that her late husband, Alan Purwin, founded in 1987 and built into a diversified aviation transportation services and technology firm with 16 helicopters.

Embraer appointed John Slattery president and CEO of its Commercial Aviation business. Slattery joined the airframer in 2011 as v-p of customer finance and asset management and most recently was chief commercial officer for Commercial Aviation.

HeliTrak appointed Chris Nehls president. Nehls has 25 years of aviation industry experience, having spent the last seven years as v-p of engineering and chief engineer at MD Helicopters and before that 18 years with Honeywell Aerospace.

Erickson hired David Lancelot to serve as CFO. Lancelot has held a number of senior management and financial roles, including CEO of Outdoor Reservation Management Group, president of Enerjet and senior v-p and CFO for Spirit Airlines, along with positions with AirTran Airways and Atlas Air.

Russ Piggott joined Guardian Jet as v-p West Coast. Piggot, a former fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force and current pilot with the California Air National Guard, most recently was a v-p for Boston Jet Search and also has been a business process consultant for Afterburner.

Field Aviation appointed Robert Baseggio v-p business development. Baseggio previously spent 17 years with Boeing Commercial Aircraft, where he held both sales and contract roles.

Vortek Aviation named Mike Neder v-p sales and marketing. Neder brings a long aviation background to his new role, having specialized in avionics sales and aircraft modifications with companies including DAC International and ASIG.

Global Jet Capital appointed Jolie Howard v-p Asia sales. Howard previously led CIT’s business aircraft finance practice in Asia and also spent seven years as director of business development at TAG Aviation Asia.

Asian Sky Group named Mark Thibault v-p Southeast Asia. Thibault has 35 years of industry experience, including stints as COO of Metrojet, COO of Hongkong Jet and CEO of Mjets.

Hawker Pacific appointed Mathew Hardy general manager of helicopter sales and support across Asia-Pacific. Hardy has 10 years of helicopter industry experience, spending the past three as a rotary sales manager. Hawker Pacific also recently named Chris Barry to lead its aircraft sales activities throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific. Barry has 20 years of various industry experience, including serving as national sales and marketing manager for Flightline Aviation.

Duncan Aviation promoted Ed Reeve to manager of its St. Louis satellite avionics facility at Chesterfield Airport in Missouri. Reeve takes over that role from Jeff Aman, who remains manager of the Duncan Aviation satellite shop in Kansas City. Reeve, a second-generation avionics tech, joined Duncan in 2011 after serving with Executive Beechcraft/Signature TechnicAir and Midcoast Aviation.

Wipaire named Steve Fuchs senior director of aircraft services. Fuchs is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he flew the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Super Hornet, T-45 Goshawk and C-130 Hercules.

 Gulfstream Aerospace named two executives to new roles in its sales team. Mike West was appointed sales director metro New York, and Jeff Cole sales director Northeast U.S. and Eastern Canada. West, who joined Gulfstream in 1999, has served as a fleet account sales manager and a product support regional sales manager. Cole, who joined Gulfstream in 1998, has served as sales director pre-owned aircraft sales; v-p pre-owned aircraft sales; and sales director new business Southeast.

Shelly Simi was named director of corporate communications and public affairs for Aurora Flight Sciences. Simi has 27 years of industry experience, having previously held media, communications and public relations roles for Boeing/Jeppesen, Adam Aircraft and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Carey Miller was promoted to director corporate programs and business development for Universal Avionics. Miller joined Universal Avionics in 2009 as the U.S. Western regional sales manager and was promoted to manager of business development in 2011.

The Giles Group named Michael Anderson director of business development. Anderson has 30 years of aviation management experience with Boeing, Lockheed Aircraft, Haeco Americas and Mobile Aerospace Engineering.

Gogo named Dave Perry UK sales manager. Perry brings 20 years of satellite network service international sales and business development experience to his new role.

Constant Aviation appointed Jeremy Snider Gulfstream fleet sales manager. Snider has 25 years of aviation industry experience, having most recently served as a regional sales manager for Gulfstream Aerospace.

Columbia Aircraft Sales appointed Clay Hammond Piper program manager. Hammond, who has logged time in 80 makes and models of aircraft, has held roles with Piper and Cub Crafters.

GlobalGround Transport, a ground transportation company serving aviation clients, named Wade Beyer director of sales. Beyer has 17 years of aviation industry sales and marketing experience, most recently as a senior regional sales manager for Rockwell Collins.

Western Aircraft added Vincent Jimenez and Larry Holifield to its sales organization. Jimenez, who is Hawker/Challenger sales manager, was previously a regional sales manager for Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Ga. Holifield, who joined Western Aircraft as Falcon MRO regional sales manager, was previously a completions sales executive for Gulfstream Aerospace.

Jet Quest appointed Steve Gerlinger sales representative for the western U.S. Gerlinger brings 20 years of aircraft sales experience to his new role, having previously held positions with Charlie Bravo Aviation, Century Acquisitions, Cannon Aviation Group and Gantt Aviation.

Executive AirShare added two executives and named a third to a new role. Mark Whitman was named senior sales director for Texas. Whitman has 30 years of aviation sales experience, most recently as director of sales for Nextant Aerospace. Jim Witkosky joined Executive AirShare as director of safety and quality assurance. Formerly Witkosky was the director of base maintenance for Republic Airways Holdings’ Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh facilities. Scot Logan moved from a pilot position to sales director. Logan had flown Executive AirShare’s Learjet 45XRs, Embraer Phenom 300s and 100s from the company’s base in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) has named Rocky Zhang and Greg Martin as head of Mainland China Committee and lead of Thailand, respectively. Zhang, v-p government affairs at Textron China, steps in for Ty Dubay, who is returning to the U.S. as senior v-p charter sales and customer experience at NetJets. Martin is CEO of Siam Land Flying in Bangkok. o

 Final Flights

Mary Feik, the first woman to receive the FAA Taylor Master Mechanic Award and a 1994 Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame inductee, died June 10. She was 92. Born in 1924, Feik overhauled her first auto engine at the age of 13 and became a maintenance instructor for the U.S. Army Air Corps. She was the first woman engineer in research and development for the Air Technical Service Command and flew more than 5,000 hours as a B-29 flight engineer, engineering observer and pilot in fighter, attack, bomber, cargo and training aircraft.

Feik later became a professional restorer of antique and classic aircraft, working at the National Air and Space Museum Paul E. Garber Restoration Facility. In addition, she has been an ambassador for the Civil Air Patrol.

“I’ve known Mary for 35 years and was always impressed with her love of aviation and her level of expertise on the aircraft she helped restore,” said WAI president Peggy Chabrian. “Her work and involvement with youth through the Civil Air Patrol and her work in aviation education touched the lives of many.”

Charles Spence, a long-time aviation journalist and former senior v-p of public relations for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, died June 23. He was 94. Spence became involved in newspapers as a teenager, beginning with the Louisville Courier-Journal and Times and then the Cincinnati Enquirer. He served in the U.S. Marines during World War II and later worked at a number of Hearst publications, including the New York Mirror, then the nation’s second largest newspaper.

 A pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings, Spence began his aviation journalism career with Flying magazine. He ultimately moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Utility Airplane Council, the forerunner of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and joined AOPA in 1968. He served with the association until 1983 and subsequently continued as an aviation journalist. Spence retired at the end of 2014. At the time he was covering aviation for General Aviation News.

He is the father of Craig Spence, the secretary general of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations and advisor to AOPA on security issues.

“Charlie was a vocal advocate for pilots and AOPA members, and a true believer in the value and importance of general aviation,” said AOPA president Mark Baker. “Never afraid to do battle for what he believed, Charlie had a way of getting straight to the point and distilling complex issues to their essence.”

Helicopter pilot Charles Aaron, 35, died in a motorcycle accident near Malibu, Calif., on June 13. Aaron was the son of retired Red Bull helicopter airshow pilot Chuck Aaron and worked with his father on the airshow circuit for years before joining him recently at FX Helicopters in Camarillo, Calif. Aaron also was a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. HAI president Matt Zuccaro called Aaron a “consummate professional in the exercise of his duties and activities as a helicopter pilot,” and “a true gentleman and wonderful person who always offered his assistance to those in need.”