Duncan Aviation Plans Midyear Leadership Transition

 - February 13, 2020, 4:25 PM
Duncan Aviation president Aaron Hilkemann will transition on July 1 to CEO and chairman of the board of advisors, a newly created part-time position. (Photo: Duncan Aviation)

Duncan Aviation president Aaron Hilkemann is expected to begin easing into retirement starting this summer, according to the MRO provider. On July 1, Hilkemann will transition to CEO and chairman of the board of advisors, a newly created part-time position. Jeff Lake, COO for Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska facility, will succeed Hilkemann as president.

“Aaron has been a transformative leader for Duncan Aviation and leaves a remarkable legacy,” said Duncan Aviation chairman Todd Duncan. “His servant-leadership style and integrity instilled a formal, consistent leadership structure that allowed the company’s culture to flourish.”

Duncan also credits Hilkemann with increasing professionalism at the company and has a decision-making style that was “strategic and compassionate.” Hilkemann joined the company in 1996 as executive v-p and COO and was appointed president a year later.

His semi-retirement plan is part of a company-developed succession plan that includes semi-retirement positions, which Duncan said allow the company “to tap into the knowledge and experience of its long-term senior leaders” during a transition in leaders.

Jeff Lake will become Duncan Aviation president on July 1.

Lake, who has been with the company since 1993, started as controller. He was promoted to CFO in 1998, and in 2008 became COO of Duncan's Lincoln headquarters facility.

“During my career here, I was provided a wonderful opportunity to build the senior management team, and I believe they are the finest team of professionals in the industry,” Hilkemann said. “With Jeff’s experience on this team, I am confident that Duncan Aviation will continue to provide excellent services for business aircraft operators and be a great place to work for our team members.”