People in Aviation

 - November 1, 2021, 8:18 AM

PCX Aerostructures has promoted Thomas Holzthum to CEO. He succeeds Jeff Frisby, who has taken the title of executive chairman. Frisby has served on the PCX board of directors since February 2016 and as president and CEO since April 2017. Holzthum, who joined the PCX board in 2019 and was named COO in January, previously served as executive v-p of integrated systems for Triumph Group.

NBAA has named Sean Lee, global v-p at the Coca-Cola Company, to its board of directors. Lee, who leads Coca-Cola’s Global Operations and Workplace Services team, is the accountable executive for the aviation department and flew for the U.S. Air Force. He has also held positions with MassMutual Financial Group and Hewlett Packard.

Mente Group has promoted Jim Lewis to senior managing director. A 46-year aviation veteran, Lewis has served as an airline, freight, charter, demonstration, and chief pilot and has held senior sales roles with Galaxy/Gulfstream and Embraer. Mente has also named Steve Main v-p of transactions. Main, who has more than 6,000 hours of flight time, has served as a chief pilot for a Gulfstream operator, captain and line pilot for Atlantic Southeast Airlines, and a flight instructor for FlightSafety International. Finally, Mente Group has named Chris Prokopeas v-p of marketing based in Dallas. Most recently chief marketing officer for Gesa Credit Union, Prokopeas has more than 25 years of experience across a range of industries, including with DFW International Airport, Dickies, Capital One, Dean Foods, and Kraft Foods.

Airshare has hired Josh Johnson to serve as CFO. Johnson joins Airshare from NIC, where he was v-p and corporate controller. He previously held financial leadership positions with YRC Freight, Collective Brands, and Deloitte & Touche.

FlyExclusive has named Chuck Williams CFO and Rich Ropp senior v-p of enterprise sales. Williams joins flyExclusive after serving as chief transformation officer with McKinsey & Company and also has held roles with J.P. Morgan and Bank of America. Ropp previously was president of Jet Linx St. Louis.

Brian Sinkule has been named CFO of King Aerospace Companies. Most recently CFO of L3Harris Technologies' Greenville division, he has a 30-year financial background, primarily in areas focused on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) integration and missionization programs along with VVIP interior and aircraft services programs.

Bombardier is realigning its leadership team, naming Anthony Cox v-p of customer support. He succeeds Andy Nureddin, who moved into the role of fleet leader for the Global 7500 and is supporting a transition leading up to his planned retirement next year. Cox has served with Bombardier since 2006, beginning as a field service representative. Nureddin, who joined Bombardier in 1998 as director of technical publications for regional aircraft, had led customer support for 14 years. In addition to the promotion of Cox, Bombardier promoted Jason Schick, a nearly 28-year company veteran, to serve as senior director of technical services with the responsibility for training services along with technical services and publications. Meanwhile, Chris Milligan, v-p of preowned aircraft services, is now steering flight operations. He has spent the last 20 years with Bombardier and Flexjet.

Embraer has named Mark Van Zwoll v-p of fleet and special missions. Van Zwoll has 15 years of business aviation experience at Gulfstream Aerospace, where he most recently was the G450/G550 program director.

Jet Linx has appointed Cara King as regional v-p of aircraft management sales. King, who has 22 years of industry experience, joined the company a little more than a year ago after serving as a senior aviation sales advisor for XOJet and holding pilot roles for NetJets, Executive Jet Management, and Jet Access Aviation.

JetAviva has added three executives to its team: Michael Simmen as v-p of operations, Mickea Smith as sales director, and Egan Rzonca sales operations specialist. Simmen joins jetAviva with a background in aviation operations, having previously held a management role in CRM and customer experience at Embraer. Smith has more than a decade of experience, including a six-year tenure at Van Bortel Aircraft. Rzonca previously held an aircraft sales role with Embraer and also has served with Elliott Jets.

Amber Langhart has been appointed director of marketing for SolJets. Langhart previously spent 10 years as marketing manager of advertising and promotions for Pilatus Aircraft.

Ralph Henschen has joined Traxxall as regional sales director for the European region covering an area from Germany to Russia and Scandinavia to Turkey. Henschen, who previously was senior sales manager for EMEA at RocketRoute and continues to serve as a flight instructor for Airbus, also has held leadership roles with King Airlines and Arik Air.

West Star Aviation has named Michael Smith as Embraer team lead at its Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. Smith previously served with Boeing and Embraer.

Duncan Aviation has named Steve Ward as manager of its satellite avionics shop in Dallas and of the avionics repair station in Fort Worth. Ward joined the Dallas satellite shop 22 years ago and has more than 35 years of aviation industry experience.

Penny Pitts has been named marketing manager for EPIC Fuels. Pitts has a 15-year background working on regional, nationwide, and international marketing projects with global brands such as Verizon, FedEx, and the American Heart Association, as well as a range of start-up and midsize businesses.

Elliott Aviation has hired Gerrod Andresen as director of aviation products and programs at its headquarters in Moline, Illinois. Andresen brings 25 years of aviation experience in engineering and product development at Boeing, most recently as a systems engineer in the innovation and portfolio management office. Elliott has also hired Sorel Groesbeck to serve as a talent acquisition specialist. Sorel has a background in recruiting in a number of industries, including higher education, manufacturing, and insurance, and most recently worked with a large healthcare company.

Pat Searle has joined Elliott Jets as executive sales director. Searle, who brings 30 years of aircraft experience to his new role, most recently served as president and co-owner of Wetzel Aviation and before that as co-owner of Front Range Aviation.

Elite Jets has added four pilots—Kevin Johnson, Allen Mounts, Tom Taylor, and Michael Grebb—as well as executive charter consultant Josh Simpson. A Legacy 500 captain, Johnson previously worked for TWA Express and U.S. Air Express, as well as serving as a contract pilot with the U.S. Department of Defense. A Phenom 300 captain, Mounts was a personal pilot for a family owning a Phenom 300. A pilot since 1988 and also a Phenom 300 captain, Taylor has flown professionally since 2000 for charters, commercial airlines, corporations, and freight haulers. Grebb, who captains the Phenom 300 and Hawker 850XP, has served as a corporate and charter pilot, as well as a flight instructor, and has flown internationally. Simpson has served as an operations manager for a law firm, line technician at Naples Airport, and manager of a municipal airport, among other roles.

Duncan Aviation has appointed Brian Foersch as Bombardier service sales representative at its facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Foersch has served with Duncan for seven years, holding engine lead tech and engine line team leader roles with responsibility for Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Williams engines.

Cutter Aviation has named Nels Peterson customer relations manager at its Phoenix facility. Peterson, who previously worked at a flight school and on technician crews with the airlines, initially joined Cutter as a technician and later moved into team lead and inspector roles.

Awards and Honors

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has selected seven aviation leaders for 2021 Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesmen and Stateswomen of Aviation awards, including NBAA COO Steve Brown, Tailwinds Communications proprietor and long-time business aviation advocate Cassandra Bosco, and aviation safety expert and former National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia.

Also being recognized are Angela Gittens, who retired last year as director-general of the Airports Council International; famed “Berlin Candy Bomber” Col. Gail Seymour “Hal” Halvorsen, USAF (ret.); long-time GE Aviation executive Jean Lydon-Rodgers; and Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force.

Brown, who in addition to serving at NBAA has held leadership roles at NAA, AOPA, and the FAA, is recognized for his “four-decade-long career in aviation defined by passion, service, inspiration, innovation, and selfless leadership.” Bosco, meanwhile, was selected in recognition of 35 years of service in the aviation industry in communications and education that have been marked by “her passionate industry advocacy and commitment to the advancement of women in all aviation-related fields.”

Goglia is being honored for “his lifetime of passion and dedication to aviation safety.” NAA further is recognizing Angela Gittens for exemplary vision and leadership while at ACI. Halvorsen, a pilot who joined the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1942 and participated in the post-war Berlin Airlift, distinguished himself “through acts of goodwill, bravery, and determination as the "Berlin Candy Bomber.”

Jean Lydon-Rodgers, who most recently was president and CEO of GE Aviation Service, is being honored for her leadership over nearly four decades at GE Aviation. Raymond served in the U.S. Air Force for 35 years and played an integral role in standing up the Space Force.