People in Aviation: November 2019

 - November 2, 2019, 1:52 PM

Robert Rasberry, who co-founded West Star Aviation with the acquisition of Premier Air Center in 2002, is retiring from the MRO provider but will remain chairman emeritus and serve as a senior advisor for West Star’s parent and investment firm Northwest Equity Partners. Rasberry joined Sam Haycraft, Jim Swehla, and Mike Durst in the acquisition of East Alton, Illinois-based Premier Air Center 17 years ago and steered the company from an entity with 150 employees to one that now has more than 1,400 and spans four major MRO centers along with a half-dozen more satellite facilities.

Gerry Block, founder and CEO of Sandel Avionics, stepped down from his post. Block established Sandel in 1998 to bring high-performance color graphics avionics to unserved general aviation customers and is credited as the creative force behind the company’s complete product line, including the original SN3308 ColorMap HSI, 4ATI primary instruments, Commuter Airline TAWS, HeliTaws, and Avilon King Air Cockpit. No reason was given for the move nor were future plans announced.

Teterboro, New Jersey-based aviation services provider Meridian promoted Emil Iannone to chief operating officer of the company’s air charter division. He had served as its director of operations for the past six years.

Kaushal was named COO of Global Jet Capital. He steps into the role formerly held by Dave Labrozzi, who recently became vice chairman. A former chief risk officer for GE Capital Business Aviation Kaushal joined Global Jet in 2015 as it acquired the GE Capital business aircraft portfolio.

FlightSafety International promoted Rick Madarasz to treasurer and chief financial director. Madarasz joined FlightSafety in 2017 as a financial director after holding senior financial positions in various industries, including as CFO for a firm specializing in building commissioning and v-p of accounting and controller for a medical device manufacturer.

Mike Tamkus joined the executive leadership team of Solairus Aviation. Tamkus has more than 20 years of aviation industry experience, most recently as senior v-p of client services and sales for NetJets subsidiary Executive Jet Management.

CHC Group promoted Miguel Carrasco to senior v-p of operations and supply chain. Carrasco, who formerly served with Conoco Phillips and American Airlines, joined CHC in 2016 as v-p of maintenance and supply chain.

EPIC Fuels named Owen Busch senior v-p of sales for both EPIC Fuels and the Signature Select FBO brand. Busch has nearly 20 years of experience in the business and general aviation fuel sector, holding roles with Avfuel, Signature Flight Support, and Atlas Oil before becoming v-p of global sales excellence for World Fuel Services.

The National Air Transportation Association promoted Shannon Chambers to v-p of marketing and communications. Chambers has served with NATA for the past 12 years in various marketing, membership, communications, and public relations roles, and, before that, was director of membership and marketing for the National Aeronautic Association.

Investment firm EnTrust Global brought Matt Meissner on board as vice president focused on investment research. He has more than 15 years of aviation industry experience, most recently founding aircraft lease pricing and maintenance forecasting firm Blue Moon Analytics and before that as v-p for CIT Aerospace.

Heli-One promoted Christian Drouin to v-p, serving as the lead executive for the entire organization. He replaces Eddie Lane, who is leaving Heli-One to pursue another opportunity. Formerly v-p of global operations managing Heli-One’s three global bases, Drouin joined Heli-One this past May after 33 years of military service, rising to the rank of major-general in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Bombardier named Christophe Degoumois v-p of international business aircraft sales, responsible for all regions outside of the Americas. Degoumois, who has more than 20 years of business jet sales experience, joined Bombardier in 2004 as a sales director and most recently was v-p of sales for Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Global communications provider OneWeb appointed Ben Griffin v-p for commercial aviation, focusing on in-flight connectivity solutions through a network that uses low-earth orbit satellites. Griffin previously spent eight years with Inmarsat and has 20 years of aviation experience in all.

Anthony (Tony) Lawson was named v-p and general manager of Cadence Aerospace—Giddens Industries, the Everett, Washington complex part manufacturer. Lawson, who has more than three decades of experience, previously was v-p of operations, quality, and environment, health, and safety, as well as operations manager for the Cadence Tell Tool facility in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Aircraft acquisitions and brokerage specialist Soljets added Michael Parker to its sales team as executive sales director. Parker brings more than two decades of experience to his new role, formerly holding roles with Cessna Aircraft, HondaJet Northwest, and Keystone Aviation, as well as serving as a charter pilot of both turboprop and jet aircraft.

Dassault Aviation named Anne Devilliers Falcon sales director for Great Britain, Ireland, the Balkans, and Greece. Most recently Falcon international sales manager, Devilliers joined Dassault in 2003 at the company’s Dassault Falcon Jet U.S. subsidiary, holding a number of marketing positions before joining the Falcon sales team in 2016.

Chad Edinger joined JET Infrastructure, which owns and manages a portfolio of jet fuel pipelines and terminals across the U.S., as general manager. Edinger previously was v-p of marketing and business development for NuStar Energy LP (formerly Kaneb Pipeline).

John Benoit joined Universal Avionics as director of strategic business development, leading market development activities with airframes and avionics manufacturers, developing product roadmaps, and fostering partnerships. A U.S. Navy veteran, he brings 20 years of aerospace experience to his new role, previously holding posts at Esterline Avionics Systems, Aviage Systems, Performance Software, and Honeywell Aerospace.

Aerovon Risk Advisors, formerly Eastern Aviation Insurance Services, appointed Miller Stallings as an account executive, managing new accounts. A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina who studied at the London School of Economics, Stalling brings a background in FBOs to his new role having grown up in an aviation family

West Star Aviation appointed Rusty Gardner avionics install manager its East Alton (ALN) location. Most recently project manager in West Star’s avionics department Gardner has more than 19 years of aviation experience that also includes positions with Flying Colours, Jet Aviation, Duncan Aviation, and the U.S. Air Force. West Star also appointed Jeremy Turnbough paint program manager at East Alton. Turnbough has served with West Star for more than 15 years, most recently as a paint shop supervisor.

Millennium International Avionics hired Doug Miller as a senior software engineer, responsible for product innovation with a focus on market growth initiatives. Miller previously was a senior engineer for IntelliFarms and has 15 years of technology industry experience.

The Av8 Group added Jeff Favati to its sales team as sales manager. Favati has more than 25 years of aviation industry experience, including MRO and parts sales, operations and component repairs management, along with airline operations.

Kadex Aero Supply brought Colin Mann on board as regional sales manager (West) in Calgary. Mann has  20 years of experience in aviation sales, marketing, aviation management, aviation maintenance, training and development, and parts distribution, and most recently was director of maintenance for Avmax Aviation services.

Uniflight Global named Darryl (DJ) Bates director of maintenance for its flight operations division. Bates has more than 40 years of helicopter maintenance experience and a background in Part 135, serving as director of maintenance with Helicopter Systems, CJ Systems Aviation Group, and Air-Evac Lifeteam.

Millennium International Avionics named Todd Slater business development director. Slater, who will develop commercial air transport and corporate aviation sales and service opportunities, has previously held technical and leadership roles with Absolute Aviation, which is now Wencor.

Skyservice Business Aviation appointed PJ Sharpe director of business development, USA. Sharpe, who will build awareness of the Skyservice brand within the U.S. market, has 22 years of aviation operations, sales, and marketing experience and most recently was senior business development manager for Skyservice.

Avant Aerospace promoted John Hardy to director, based at the company’s East Alton, Illinois (ALN) facility while overseeing all Avant locations. Hardy has been with Avant parent West Star Aviation for 13 years, most recently as director of avionics, accessories, NDT, and aircraft services.

Cutter Aviation promoted Gina Iacolino to chief inspector for Cutter Aviation’s maintenance facility in Denver, Colorado. A former mechanic and crew chief with the U.S. Army, Iacolino has nearly 30 years of experience as an A&P, sheet metal, field maintenance, and shop floor mechanic, as well as a Part 135 aircraft records manager and chief inspector.

FlightSafety International named Daniel Greenhill director of sales for unmanned systems training. Most recently director of sales for Gulfstream training programs, Greenhill has served with FlightSafety since 2004 in a number of roles, overseeing various aspects of marketing, training, center management, business development, and recruiting.

West Star Aviation appointed Larry Marler technical sales manager at its facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Marler, who has served with West Star for a little more than three years, has 35 years of aviation experience, previously holding roles Midcoast, Dassault Falcon Jet, and StandardAero.

Awards and Honors

John Rosanvallon, who is stepping down as CEO and president of Dassault Falcon Jet after a nearly 45-year career with the French manufacturer, and Mary Miller, corporate v-p of industry and government affairs for BBA/Signature Flight Support, are among a slate of six recipients announced for this year’s National Aeronautic Association (NAA) 2019 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Awards.

They join former NAA president and CEO Jonathan Gaffney, U.S. Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein, founding member and former president of the International Aerobatic Club Michael Heuer, and long-time Air Line Pilots Association communications executive Don Skiados as this year’s honorees.

Final Flight

FBO industry veteran Michael Wayne “Mike” Dolphin, 73, died peacefully at his home last month. He was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Florida.

Dolphin's career began with Yankee Airlines in Pittsfield, then he moved to Richmor Aviation in Hudson, New York, and ultimately served as president of Jet Systems at Westchester County Airport (KHPN) in White Plains, New York, until retirement several years ago. Dolphin was well known in New York-area business aviation circles for his hard work, energy, and sense of humor. He was always active in promoting and supporting business aviation and the FBO industry.

A pilot for more than 50 years, Dolphin logged more than 18,000 hours, much of that as a recreational pilot, including in his personal Cessna 210 single. He was also an avid motorcyclist, in addition to enjoying dogs, boating, and cars.