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People In Aviation: March 2017

06 March 2017

People In Aviation: March 2017

Quest Aircraft has selected Robert Wells to take the helm as CEO. Wells succeeds Sam Hill, who retired from the role after a 50-year career in the aviation industry. Hill will remain as an advisor to the company and member of the board of directors. Wells, who brings 40 years of aviation experience to Quest, most recently spent 15 years with TAG Aviation, where he had been CEO of the holding company.

Dart Aerospace promoted Alain Madore to president and CEO. Most recently v-p of commercial operations and aftermarket services, Madore succeeds Bill Beckett, who is retiring. In addition Steve Ghaleb, formerly director of sales, was promoted to v-p of commercial operations; Ryan Williamson, formerly general manager of the Eugene facility, has been appointed v-p and general manager of the Hawkesbury, Eugene and Calgary facilities; Gordon Hill, formerly v-p and general manager of the San Diego facility, has added the Broussard facility to his responsibilities; and Emmanuel Paillier has joined the firm as v-p of product strategy and business development.

Alex Overstrom was named to head PNC Aviation Finance. He succeeds Wayne Starling, who is retiring after a 40-year career in business aircraft financing. Formerly COO of PNC Corporate Banking, Overstrom joined PNCfrom Goldman Sachs eight years ago.

Jon Taylor was promoted to president of JB&A Aviation. He succeeds Jerry Smith, who becomes chairman emeritus after serving as president since 1997. Most recently vice president, Taylor joined JB&A in 1983 after serving with CVT Machine Tool in Dallas.

Stu Willcuts returned to the position of president and CEO of Air Serv International. Willcuts stepped in for Dave Carlstrom, who held the role from 2009-2016 and helped steer the organization through financial difficulties and expand its humanitarian reach. Willcuts has 30 years of humanitarian experience, and previously was president and CEO of Air Serv from 2000-2006.

Jon Cobin was promoted to executive v-p and chief commercial officer for Gogo. Cobin most recently was senior v-p of project and operations management for Gogo.

Piper Aircraft named Drew McEwen v-p of international and direct sales. McEwen, a 30-year industry veteran, joined Piper in 2010 as director of sales for the Americas and later held the roles of head of global sales and business development and v-p of sales and marketing. In addition, Ron Gunnarson joined the company as v-p of sales, marketing and customer support. Gunnarson has 28 years of aviation experience, most recently as v-p of marketing at Textron Aviation.

Eagle Cap Software hired Gary Minard to serve as v-p of business development. Previously Minard was director of sales and service at Jeppesen.

Mente Group appointed Vincent Restivo as vice president. Restivo spent 25 years with Gulfstream Aerospace and also has served with Hawker Beechcraft and his own firm, Addo Virtus Advisors.

Traxxall Technologies named Rich Anzalone v-p of customer experience. Anzalone joins Traxxall from Camp Systems, where he spent 34 years and most recently was v-p of customer support and sales.

Chris DeGuise joined Simhawk as chief technology officer. DeGuise was a co-founder of Pragmatic Technologies, an IT consulting company located in Burlington, Vt., and has held leadership roles at and Dealertrack after they acquired Pragmatic Technologies.

Gulfstream Aerospace appointed Bin Zhang general manager of the service center in Beijing. Zhang has previously served as director of business development and general manager for Morgan Advanced Materials in China and general manager of the Goodrich Aerostructures (now United Technologies) facility for nacelles and thrust reversers in Tianjin, China, in addition to holding roles with DuPont Fluorochemicals in Wilmington, Del., China North Chemical Industries Group in Beijing and China Wanbao Engineering in Tehran, Iran.

Scott Macpherson, founder and president of, was appointed chairman of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) governing board. A pilot and manager in corporate aviation for 25 years, Macpherson has been the Canadian Business Aviation Association representative to IBAC since 2012 and vice chairman of the IBAC board since 2014.. In addition, Ali Ahmed Alnaqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), was elected to a three-year term as vice chairman of the IBAC governing board. Alnaqbi was previously treasurer of the governing board.

SkyQuest International has named Eugene Prenzler director of sales and Steve Zinda aircraft sales consultant. Prenzler formerly served with SkyQuest as a Quest Kodiak sales subagent and pilot in Africa. Zinda has a 35-year aviation background with the U.S. Air Force, Raytheon Aircraft, Hawker Beechcraft, Honda and most recently with Quest Aircraft.

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