People in Aviation: December 2016

 - December 6, 2016, 12:54 PM

USAIG chairman and CEO David McKay plans to retire on April 3 after four decades with the company. Upon his departure, John Brogan, president and COO at parent company United States Aviation Underwriters, will become president and CEO at USAIG. Brogan currently serves on the Flight Safety Foundation’s business advisory committee and is a certified aviation insurance professional.

Shawn Vick has taken the role of CEO for Global Jet Capital. Previously executive director and chairman of the executive committee of Global Jet Capital, Vick has been and will remain a partner at AE Industry Partners. He has held senior positions with Gulfstream, Bombardier, British Aerospace, Hawker Beechcraft and Landmark Aviation. The company also appointed Graeme Shanks sales director for Northern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently Shanks was v-p for sales, Business Aircraft Finance for CIT, where he was responsible for sales and origination activities across the Middle East and Africa.

Inmarsat named Jason Smith COO. Smith joins Inmarsat from Rolls-Royce, where he had been COO and president for the nuclear business and president of the submarine business.

Quest Aircraft promoted Jason Eddy to the newly created position of COO. Most recently senior v-p of operations, Eddy worked for Intel before joining Quest in 2009.

Jeffrey Lee has joined FlightSafety International as executive director, business aviation development. Lee has spent his career managing large flight departments, most recently as v-p of aviation for American Express and before that 30 years as director of flight operations for IBM. He has served on the NBAA board of directors for 12 years, including a stint as chairman from 2007 to 2009. The company also named Ted Bowlds chief information officer (CIO) and Joe Warakomski deputy CIO. Bowlds joined FlightSafety with three decades of experience leading strategy, planning, administration and organizational development for commercial and military organizations, including serving as commander and CEO of the Electronic Systems Center and Air Force Research Laboratories. Warakomski joined FlightSafety in 2005 as business systems security manager and has led FlightSafety’s technology and digital strategy as executive director of information technology since 2014.

In addition, FlightSafety International promoted Brady Peikert to assistant manager of the training facility in Orlando, Fla. Peikert, who formerly held various roles with Republic Airlines, joined FlightSafety at the St. Louis learning center in 2007 as an instructor for the Embraer E170/E190 and Saab 340 and most recently was assistant director of standards. The company also promoted Willy Vargas to director of sales for Latin America and the Caribbean. Vargas joined FlightSafety in 2004 and has held a number of positions, among them product marketing representative for Bell training programs, regional marketing manager for South America and most recently managing director of sales for Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia and Peru.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) elected Simon Caldecott, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft, as its chairman for 2017. Phil Straub, managing director of aviation and v-p of Garmin International, will become vice chairman. The GAMA board further named Nicolas Chabbert, senior v-p of Daher’s airplane business, as chairman of the association’s Safety and Accident Investigation Committee.

L-3 Communications appointed Charles (C.R.) Davis senior v-p of strategy for the company’s Aerospace Systems business. Davis, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, brings 30 years of aerospace and defense experience to his new role, most recently as president and CEO of Seabury Global Aerospace and Defense Consulting.

Synergy Aviation added Dave Edwards and Tom Wells to its board of directors. Edwards was formerly executive v-p of Qatar Airways and managing director for the Middle East and Asia at Gama Aviation. Wells was formerly managing director for Europe at Gama Aviation.

Professional Resources In System Management (Prism), a wholly owned subsidiary of Argus, named John Illson senior v-p of certification services and regulatory assistance. Illson has 35 years of experience working with airlines, regulatory authorities and international aviation organizations, among them US Airways, the International Air Transport Association, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Airlines for America.

Gulfstream Aerospace appointed Robert Glasscock v-p and lead Organizational Designation Authorization (ODA) administrator. Glasscock has worked for Gulfstream for 10 years, leading the certification activity on the G650 as well as the G500 and G600, and also has held roles with the FAA, Piper and Bombardier Aerospace. Gulfstream also named Thomas Anderson v-p and general manager of its service and completions centers in Long Beach, Calif. Anderson, who has been with the company for 14 years, has held positions in both Savannah and Long Beach that included director of product support, director of final-phase operations for the G550/G450, senior manager of final-phase operations, manager of the premium furniture workshop and manager of final phase.

FDS Avionics named Jerome Conway v-p of engineering. Conway has 25 years of aerospace, defense and technology experience, most recently as senior director for independent research and development at L-3 Communications Display Systems.

West Coast Aviation Services appointed Laura Trenerry v-p of flight operations. In addition, Jerry Hansen returned to West Coast as director of operations. Trenerry has served with West Coast since 2004 in multiple roles, most recently as business operations management, and also helped in the development of West Coast affiliate KMR Aviation. Hansen, a 28-year industry veteran, has also served with Schubach Aviation and Jimsair.

Mike Harkins has joined Jet East Aviation as v-p of sales development. Harkins has 30 years of aviation industry experience, including stints with the U.S. Air Force, a turbine engine repair and overhaul company and a major charter operator.

Jet Aviation St. Louis appointed Shannon Adams as a regional sales representative for the Western region of the U.S. and Canada and Mike Meglio as a regional sales representative for the Mid-Atlantic region in the U.S. Adams has a 25-year background in aviation, beginning as an aviation electrician in the U.S. Air Force in 1989 and subsequently as a lead technician and operations manager on a number of business, military and general aviation aircraft. He spent seven years as a director of maintenance for Shotgun Ranch Aviation. Meglio worked as a regional sales manager in St. Louis for three years before joining Jet Aviation St. Louis in 2008.

Richard Pearson launched Avion Law, a Newport Beach, Calif. law firm specializing in aviation. Pearson, who has 30 years of experience working in the commercial and business aviation sector, is a licensed English solicitor as well as attorney admitted to the State Bar of California, which enables him to advise clients on multi-jurisdictional aspects of cross-border transactions.

Air 7 hired Michelle Morrison to serve as accounting manager. Morrison has held controller and senior accountant positions with Channel Islands Logistics, New Indy Containerboard and Cal Amp Technologies.

Andrew Thorson has joined Executive AirShare as senior sales director for Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. Thorson, who has a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management, has a 15-year background in working with clients in equity and commodities trading.

TAG Aviation Geneva appointed Adelaide Rispoli area sales manager for Southern Europe (the South of France, Monaco and Italy). Rispoli joined TAG Aviation in 2013 as a charter sales consultant and later became area sales manager for Geneva, Switzerland.

Duncan Aviation promoted Travis Grimsley to manager of customer service at its facility in Battle Creek, Mich. Grimsley joined Duncan Aviation in 2005 as a line service representative and more recently was manager of FBO services.

Priester Aviation has expanded its sales team with the additions of Michael Giordano as vice president of Northeast charter sales and Wade Beyer as vice president of charter sales for the Southwest. Giordano was a founding partner of the helicopter app Blade and most recently led a White Plains-based Pilatus PC-12 shuttle program known as the Boston Shuttle. Beyer brings 20 years of business aviation experience to Priester, previously serving as Midwest director of sales for Rockwell Collins.

AirMed International named Steven McNeely as safety and security executive officer. McNeeley has 40 years of aviation and safety experience, including 26 years in the U.S. Air Force and Navy, and most recently served with Era Helicopters and Jet Metro Aviation named Lee Johnston regional aviation manager for the Midwest. Lee, who has been an EMS Pilot since 2001, joined Metro Aviation in 2011 as a lead pilot and later became site manager for MedFlight of Ohio. 

Lindsay Allmon joined Blackhawk Modifications as marketing coordinator. Allmon, who will be responsible for the coordination of day-to-day marketing activities, obtained a bachelor’s of business administration in marketing from Texas State University, graduating with honors.

Awards and Honors

Bombardier recognized National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt with the 2016 Safety Standdown Award. Sumwalt was honored for his “outstanding commitment to aviation safety and his continuous efforts to develop more robust safety programs within the aviation industry,” Bombardier said. He has served as a member of the NTSB since August 2006, and spent two years as vice chairman.

Final Flights

Theodora (Teddy) Edelman, an icon in the design world and co-founder of aircraft interior leather producer Edelman Leather, died October 4 in Ridgefield, Conn. She was 88. Born Theodora Joffe in 1928 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Edelman attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she met her husband, Arthur. After school, the couple joined her father’s tannery business, Fleming-Joffe, which made leathers for the fashion industry. While there, the Edelmans became known for their creations and designed leathers for Clarence House, Jack Larson and Karl Springer. They also hired then-unknown artist Andy Warhol. In the 1970s they moved on to work for Dupont and started a short-lived business, Lighthouse Footwear. But in 1981 they returned to their roots of producing high-end leathers, founding Edelman Leather. The company has expanded across multiple industries, including aircraft interiors. Teddy and Arthur Edelman retired in 2010.

William Watt, an aviation pioneer who co-founded one of the earliest aircraft management firms, died on October 3. He was 97. Watt, who became a pilot as a teenager in Oregon, trained North American B-25 bomber pilots during World War II. After the war he became International Telephone and Telegraph’s first chief pilot and test flew the company’s radar and ILS equipment. In 1949 he flew a Douglas DC-3 on autopilot from San Francisco to White Plains. That is believed to be the first transcontinental hands-free flight, NBAA said. He later became chief pilot for Hoover, AT&T and Atlantic Aviation. In 1965 he joined forces with Matthew Weisman to found Executive Air Fleet, an aircraft management firm based at Teterboro Airport in N.J. Watt was active in industry advocacy, becoming involved in NBAA in the 1960s and serving on its Associate Membership Advisory Council.