People in Aviation: November 2018

 - November 2, 2018, 1:23 PM

ST Engineering named Tom Vecchiolla president and CEO of VT Systems, the company’s U.S. headquarters. Vecchiolla has 24 years of public and military sector experience and served as president of Raytheon International before forming his own consultancy.

Greg Heine has been named president of Flightdocs after serving as the company’s COO. The company has also named April Stercula chief of staff and Mike Winer CFO. Flightdocs announced additional organizational changes, including Christian Timol as chief revenue officer, promotion of Kent Pickard to vice president of product development, Patrick Davis as director of software engineering, and promotion of Steve Tubbs to director of customer success.

Safran appointed Frédéric Henrion executive vice president of human resources. Henrion previously served as senior vice president of human resources development for the Suez group. 

GrandView Aviation has hired Robert Hollander as executive vice president of business development. Hollander recently worked for Embraer Executive Aircraft as U.S. sales director after working at Cessna as the company’s Asia sales director.

Jet Aviation has appointed Joe Reckling senior vice president for regional operations APAC and David Best senior vice president of strategic global growth, to succeed Johannes Turzer. Reckling served as CFO for Hawker Pacific, and Best joined Jet Aviation last year as vice president of business development, where he has helped to facilitate the integration of Hawker Pacific. Turzer previously served as vice president and general manager of the company’s operations in Germany and, upon retirement from his current position, he will continue in an advisory capacity.

Flying Colours has appointed Debbie Ammann to senior vice president of finance and administration. Ammann previously served as the company’s CFO, a position that will be filled by Alysia Carter. Ammann has been with Flying Colours for more than 30 years, and Carter has more than 25 years of accounting and financial experience.

Robert Garrymore has been appointed vice president of South Central for Guardian Jet. Garrymore previously served as president of corporate sales for Wheels Up and will be responsible for leading sales in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico in his new role.

SyberJet has named Rich Reisberg vice president of engineering and product development and Mark Fairchild vice president of customer experience. Resiberg previously served as the company’s engineering director, and Fairchild was general manager and sales, marketing, and customer service director. Resiberg and Fairchild have been with the SJ30 program for more than 20 years.

Tom Wilson was named divisional vice president and business manager for Ametek’s maintenance, repair, and, overhaul business in Europe and Asia. Wilson has more than 35 years of aerospace and MRO experience and recently served as president of Airinmar.

Pete Mendez has joined Aviation Maintenance Professionals as vice president of sales. Mendez has more than 38 years of industry experience, having held roles at Gulfstream, Dallas Jet International, Galaxy Aerospace, and Signature Aviation Services.

Air 7 announced Ron Gottschalk as vice president of business development for aircraft acquisitions. Gottschalk will be based in Wichita and has more than 38 years of experience in the aviation industry.

Charles Cunningham has joined Argus as vice president of sales and marketing. Cunningham was previously marketing manager for Flatiron Solutions and has more than 10 years of sales and marketing experience.

Ulrich Gehling has been named CEO of Inairvation, where he will focus on integrated cabin development. Gehling previously worked for Pilatus Aircraft, Grob Aerospace, and Ruag Aviation.

StandardAero has announced Keith Moss as operations director for airframe and avionics in Augusta, Georgia, and Jerry Sanders as director of avionics program management and business development for business aviation. Moss has more than 30 years of aviation experience, and Sanders recently served as director of avionics business development at Constant Aviation.

StandardAero has tapped Jamie Gardner as director of engines and Dennis Kaney as engine sales manager. Gardner will oversee all engine operations and has more than 31 years of industry experience, while Kaney recently served as regional engine manager at Dallas Airmotive.

Welsch Aviation has hired Chris Baillargeon as director of business development. Baillargeon has more than a decade of industry experience and will be responsible for developing new clients and tracking aircraft market activity.

Elliott Aviation has hired Michael Kelker as director of project management organization at the company’s Moline, Illinois location. Kelker previously served as director of customer project management organization and senior director of operations and customer experience for Dassault Aircraft Services.

Avcorp announced Cedric Savineau as general manager of its Delta facility and Tony Kelsey as general manager of the company’s Gardena facility. Savineau has more than 20 years of international transport sector experience and Kelsey previously lead operations at Goodrich Aerostructures, Ducommun Aerostructures, and Esterline.

Cutter Aviation has appointed Will D. Cutter client relationship manager in support of Piper Aircraft clients. Cutter previously served as a marketing analyst for Piper’s digital marketing division.

Metrojet appointed Wesley Slate general manager of Metrojet Engineering Clark. Slate has more than 20 years of aviation experience and previously worked at Jet Aviation Singapore and Gulfstream.

Asian Sky Group named Serena Lui the firm’s charter services manager. Lui recently worked for L’Voyage as an account manager after serving as an aircraft charter operations officer for the company.

Ametek has appointed of Tom Rogers aftermarket sales manager. Rogers will support the company’s service centers in Binghamton, New York, and Wichita. Rogers was previously Ametek’s aftermarket account manager for the company’s sensors and fluid management business unit.

Joshua Hebert has been named vice chairman of the Air Charter Safety Foundation. Hebert is the founder and CEO of Magellan Jets and the first charter broker to hold the position of vice chairman on the ACSF board.

Amanda Gilley joined the Scott Group Studio’s aviation sales team. Gilley previously served in leadership roles at carpet and veneer makers and will focus on aviation refurbishment market business development in her new role.

Mark Brega has been appointed executive chef for On Air Dining. Brega brings a background in luxury catering and menu development for British Airways to the newly created role.


Annie B. Andrews was inducted in the 2018 National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame in the government and law category. Andrews is the FAA assistant administrator for human resource management and served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years. Andrews is the third African-American female in U.S. Navy history to hold the rank of rear admiral.

NBAA announced its 2018 business aviation top 40 under 40 awardees. The list recognizes young professionals selected by NBAA’s YoPro Council for their career accomplishments. Recipients were selected for categories including airport business, brokerage and sales, business management, maintenance, cabin attendants, marketing, pilots, schedulers and dispatchers. A list of the recipient can be found on NBAA’s website.

Senator Richard C. Shelby has been presented with the Wings of Liberty award by the Aerospace Industries Association. The annual award is given to members of Congress who have made significant contributions to support aerospace and national defense. Shelby currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and chairs the Defense Subcommittee.


Jim Huddleston died at the age of 85 after dedicating 58 years to corporate aviation. Huddleston accumulated more than 33,000 flight hours and retired from flying at the age of 80. Huddleston authored an article called “Fly the Plate and You Won’t Get Hurt” for AIN in 2012. 

William Louis “Bill” Mack died September 24, age 92. Before his retirement in 1991, he had a storied career, first in the military and later as an early member of the business aviation community.

His first flight as a youngster was a sightseeing ride in the Goodyear blimp from Holmes Airport a block away from his family’s apartment in Jackson Heights, New York. In 1942, at age 16, he altered his birth certificate and entered the U.S. Navy, where he trained as an aviation machinist mate, radar operator, and aerial gunner, serving on the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. He later maintained aircraft on Okinawa, but his plans to apply for a commission as a naval aviator came to a halt with the end of the war.

He went to work for American Overseas Airlines, converting military Lockheed Constellations and Douglas C-54s to civilian configuration, while also serving in the Air National Guard. In 1952, he qualified as an Air Force pilot, and was assigned to fly F-51 Mustang fighters at Spaatz Field, in Reading, Pa. While there, he accepted a position with Federal Telephone Laboratory flying research missions developing airborne electronics, including early tests on Tacan.

He joined National Distillers and Chemical Corporation as a captain in 1960, flying its brand new Gulfstream G-1 turboprop. He stayed with the company flight department for the next 31 years, culminating with a pair of record flights in GIII N100P, nicknamed the “Spirit of America.” They flew around the world in 47 hours; 38 minutes; 41 seconds; January 8-10, 1982, followed 12 days later with a record flight between San Diego and New York in four hours; 14 minutes at an average speed of 559.26 mph.

Mack was a founding member of the Teterboro (New Jersey) User Group (TUG) and won numerous awards from the FAA; National Aeronautic Association, and NBAA. He also wrote articles for business aviation publications, including AIN. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Quiet Birdmen and was inducted into the Teterboro Aviation Hall of Fame in 2011. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Lou, children Barbara, Stacey, Kim, and William as well as seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.