Meet the Team
Dave Hopkins — Chief Executive Officer
The CEO position focus is on ATBD strategic customers and partnerships in the US and international markets.
During his more than 25 years of experience in the air transport business, Dave Hopkins has been responsible for selling, leasing and acquiring over US$18 billion in 250 jet transports and 730 jet engines. These transactions included the additional support services of training, modifications, overhaul, financing and asset disposition. Starting his career with Airbus in Toulouse in 1983 as an airline analyst, producing aircraft performance, economics and financial analysis he was progressively promoted and transferred to Airbus North America in 1987 as Area Sales Director. He marketed the A300/A310/A330/A340 and numerous variants and projects against all competitor aircraft. Hopkins sold 185 A320, A300-600R and A300-600F aircraft to American Airlines, Braniff and Federal Express during a five-year period. All were new customers for Airbus.
Recruited to Rolls-Royce North America in 1992 as Director of Airline Marketing, Hopkins proceeded to sell Rolls engines to Midway II, AMR Eagle, and American Airlines; during which time he was instrumental in leasing the Boeing 757-200 to National Airlines. With principal responsibility for the AMR Group at Rolls, Hopkins sold engines for the 757 and two new programs for Rolls; the Trent engine on the 777, and the RR-Allison engine on the Embraer 145. Both the 777 and EMB-145 were breakthrough wins for RR and its partners. AMR Group went from #5 Rolls-Royce global customer to #2 by dollar value under Hopkins' tenure.
Recruited in 1999 to publicly quoted engine and aircraft lessor Willis Lease Finance, based in Sausalito, California as Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Hopkins led a team of ten direct reports leasing engines and aircraft to a worldwide customer base. A key achievement was increasing lease portfolio utilization from the low 90% range to above 98%. Aircraft and engines were leased to AeroMexico and Piedmont Aviation.
Moving to Long Beach based aircraft lessor Tombo Aviation, Hopkins quickly leased two, new 737-800 aircraft to charter operator Miami Air on five-year terms. Tombo started winding down its operations in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, leading Hopkins to found Air Transport Business Development (ATBD) on July 8, 2002 and incorporated the business in January 2005. Dave Hopkins served as ATBD CEO from 2002 to 2012.
Since July 2002, ATBD has grown from one founder to more than forty airline professionals and two support staff. ATBD has completed contract assignments for a cross-section of the airline business including, Volvo, Eos, Boeing, Copa, AeroRepublica, CIT, webjet, Volaris and Deutche Bank. Notable achievements include marketing cockpit upgrade services and aircraft upgrades for Boeing Commercial Aircraft. In the start-up airline space, ATBD led aircraft programs at Eos, with 757s, Skybus with the initial fleet of eighty-one A319s, two E-170's for California Pacific and three PC-12 for Surf Air along with all necessary maintenance and support contracts.
Hopkins holds an Honors Degree in Education from Sussex University, U.K., a Masters Degree in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University, U.K. and an FAA Airline Transport Pilot License with instructors rating. In 4,000 plus pilot hours, he has flown more than thirty types of aircraft including gliders, seaplanes, piston singles, twins, turbo-props and jets. Dave is now a US citizen and a resident of Santa Monica, California. He enjoys flight instructing, introducing the next generation of aviators to the rewards of flight.
Dave Hopkins is CEO of ATBD, having served as it's founder and CEO between 2002 and 2012 and Executive Chairman between January 2012 and July 2016.
Contact Dave Hopkins
See and hear Dave Hopkins
Bill Kostel — VP Planning
Bill Kostel's aviation planning and marketing experience spans more than 20 years. He served as lead negotiator on eight purchase agreements for the acquisition of over 500 aircraft, worth a combined US$10 billion. Kostel's Fleet Planning activities restructured the fleets of two airlines. In addition, he has been responsible for strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, marketing & advertising, scheduling, revenue forecasting, codeshare relations and pricing/yield management.
Kostel started his career as an industrial engineer designing F-16 military aircraft manufacturing processes. He began an airline career at American Airlines where he handled pricing and yield management. At AMR's American Eagle affiliate, Kostel created and implemented Eagle's transition from turbo-prop aircraft to regional jets as director of fleet planning. When he moved to Mesa Airlines as vice president of planning and marketing, he was instrumental to Mesa's early 2000s financial turn-around, expanding Mesa's RJ fleet and negotiating codeshare agreements with US Airways, America West and Frontier Airlines. Kostel was also responsible for all of Mesa's scheduling and forecasting activities. Additionally, he helped launch a Chicago-based start-up, Indigo Air, as vice president for marketing and planning.
Kostel served as ATBD's Vice President of Planning from 2006 through 2012. While on the ATBD team, Kostel has negotiated component maintenance agreements, created financial models, performed due diligence analysis and conducted market research/segmentation studies. He was named ATBD CEO in January 2013.
Kostel received an MBA from Texas Christian University and has an undergraduate engineering degree from Iowa State University. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and son and enjoys hiking, camping and long distance running.
He was named ATBD CEO in January 2013 to July 2016. In July 2016, he resumed his position as VP Planning with the company.
Contact Bill Kostel
See and hear Bill Kostel
Bill Barzelay — VP Fleet, Route, Facility Planning and Flight Operations
Bill Barzelay has 34 years of airline experience with American Airlines from 1977 to 2011.
Starting as a financial analyst in 1977, Bill was involved with new, existing and charter route profitability studies. He also was responsible for producing the annual earnings forecast preview for the company in advance of the corporate budget.
When American Airlines relocated its Headquarters from New York City to Dallas/Fort Worth in 1979, Bill got an opportunity to join the Fleet and Route Planning Department. Bill spent 9 years in Fleet and Route Planning becoming the Director in the early 1980s. Major accomplishments include producing the 1986-1995 Fleet and Route Plan that served as the major infrastructure road map (capital budget) for the company. The plan detailed the number of aircraft, size/range class and best economic candidates for acquisition. Since the plan was done at the time of day level of detail, a corporate real estate/gate/hangar plan was also developed. Bill was a key contributor in the acquisition of the MD-80, B767-200/300 extended range and A300-600R fleet initiatives.
Bill was identified as a flight department management candidate in the mid 1980s in addition to serving as Director of Fleet and Route Planning. He became a pilot crew member concurrent with his Fleet and Route Planning responsibilities. In 1988 Bill moved from Headquarters Staff to Flight Department Staff. There he worked in the Flight Operations Technical area, which developed policy and procedure for flight crews. Major accomplishments included cost reduction initiatives, one of which was reducing the amount of aircraft reserve fuel carried using a statistical planning approach. During the early 1990s, American acquired the Central and South American route authority from Eastern Airlines. Bill was chosen to lead the integration effort for the Flight Department.
Concurrent with serving in the Flight Operations Technical function, Bill had the opportunity to train as a MD-80 Captain and subsequently become a Check Airman instructing crews in the simulator.
Bill became a Line Captain as a result of an economic slow down (too many check airmen) and gained front line experience from 1995 to 2011. He has over 17,000 hours of airline flight time. During this time, he was hired by Sabre Consulting on a project basis concurrent with flying his schedule. At Sabre, Bill worked on Fleet Plans for foreign carriers. He also had the opportunity to be a key analyst on the NASA funded supersonic HSCT (high speed civil transport) project. The HSCT project involved developing a methodology to estimate how many HSCTs may be economically viable world wide, as the main deliverable.
Bill's formal education includes BA in Physics from Bradley University and an MBA from Boston University prior to joining American Airlines. Bill served as a Captain in the USAF flying the T-38 as a student instructor pilot and later as an instructor check pilot. He was based at Williams AFB, Arizona from 1970-75. He has over 1,200 hours of military jet time. He now resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas suburbs and a family home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Hobbies include sailing and biking.
Contact Bill Barzelay
Pete McGlade — VP Airline Planning, Scheduling and Revenue Management
Pete's air carrier industry experience spans more than thirty years, with a focus on industry innovators like Northwest, Air Cal, PSA and Southwest Airlines. Pete is thoroughly grounded in air carrier operations that enable him to plan and schedule an airline's day-to-day and strategic, long-term operations. Pete has planned and scheduled airline fleets from twenty to five hundred aircraft, with an emphasis on safety, reliability and efficiency.
Much of Southwest's profitable schedule growth over the years 1994 to 2011 can be attributed to Pete's planning and strategic acumen.
At Southwest Pete was primarily responsible for the design and evolution of the Southwest Airlines network model, which has continued to be strongly profitable despite increased cost pressures. This commercial success was accomplished while creating an operational environment that supported a strong corporate culture. He evolved industry-leading performance by adapting to the major environmental challenges. Techniques developed have produced sustainable competitive advantages for Southwest.
Among Pete's notable achievements at Southwest have been:
- Developing all capacity, network and strategic planning used by Southwest Airlines for last twenty-five years
- Designed and initiated southwest's Revenue Management system and staffing
- Designed and implemented over twenty-five years, Southwest Airlines Brand via market research in all the cities served. Southwest is the number 1 or 2 carrier in virtually all cities served.
Over his career, Pete has become expert in planning and scheduling different kinds of aircraft in differing operational and market environments. These aircraft include 737, MD80, DC10, L1011 and BAe146.
Pete graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Management.
He now resides in South Carolina with his family. He enjoys the beach, golf and travel.
Contact Pete McGlade
Kurt Jensen — Vice President
Kurt Jensen has almost 30-years of sales and marketing experience for a wide-range of aviation products and services. He has led the launch of numerous new products and services to the airline and corporate aviation industry. Much of his experience has been for international companies headquartered outside the U.S.
He began his career at the start of the contemporary regional airline industry at Beech Aircraft (Raytheon) marketing C-99s and 1900s. At Beech he also served as Product Representative for the Bonanza line of aircraft, flying demonstration flights and guiding product attributes.
While head of sales and marketing for a new-start aircraft manufacturer, Kurt created the company's Sales & Marketing Plan for a corporate pusher turbo-prop. His expertise also includes creating and executing sales strategies to potential institutional and private investors.
As Manager of the Regional Airline Marketing department for Allied-Signal's Bendix/King Avionics Division (Honeywell) he supervised all current and potential customer relationships. This also included the introduction of both mandatory and "enhanced" avionics systems to the airlines.
At Rolls Royce as Marketing Director, he specialized in low-cost and regional airlines, as well as the products from the Rolls Royce Deutschland division.
Most recently, Kurt was responsible for all sales and marketing of CF34 engine MRO services in North America for MTU Berlin-Brandenburg, GmbH. While at MTU, he developed a number of new and unique structures for hourly engine maintenance plans that were adopted by the company and customers.
Jensen is President of the University of North Dakota (UND), Aerospace Alumni Advisory Board.
Kurt has a B.S. in Business Administration with an Aviation Administration Major from the University of North Dakota. He is a Single and Multi-engine Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor. Kurt and his wife live in Fox Point, Wisconsin where he enjoys building furniture, classic cars and kayaking.
Contact Kurt Jensen
Brian Cimaglia — Vice President Airline Information Technology
Brian Cimaglia has more than 17 years of experience in international airline business consulting, strategic technology application and software development. He has held senior positions in the airline industry and information technology industry, managing global implementation and development, including extensive experience with new business ventures.
Prior to founding fareENOUGH, Cimaglia led the reservations line of business for a major airlines services provider. His client roster included low-cost/low-fare successes JetBlue, AirTran, Ryanair, Virgin Blue, bmiBaby, WestJet, Gol and Air Asia. Under his direction, the business achieved annual growth exceeding 100 percent.
Previously, Cimaglia established and led the travel practice for a global professional services firm, contributing over US$20 million annually to top line revenues. In addition, he worked with several large legacy carriers providing Web development, Web hosting and business process reengineering, as well as technology strategies for several large reservations systems. He has significant experience migrating reservations systems to newer networking protocols. Additional customers include United, Lufthansa, Continental, America West, Cathay Pacific, Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus, Qantas, EDS, Mexicana, and AeroMexico.
Cimaglia holds a B.S. in Computational Mathematics from Arizona State University and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
Contact Brian Cimaglia
See and hear Brian Cimaglia
Natalie Torin — Director of Marketing
Natalie Torin has eight years of experience in the domestic and international travel industries, almost five years of which have been spent in private aviation in both the California and European markets.
After starting her career in travel at Lonely Planet, Natalie became an early employee at subscription private air club Surf Air in Los Angeles, joining shortly following its 2013 launch stateside.
Natalie became the lead revenue-producing salesperson in the California company before moving efforts to London as the second employee at Surf Air Europe, building clientele and corporate partnerships on the ground in the UK, Switzerland and the south of France/Monaco.
Natalie is now a business development consultant for luxury brands, events and aviation providers, specializing in international expansion, fundraising and connecting companies with relevant partnerships/sponsorship and key clients.
Natalie holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
She spends her time between Los Angeles and London and enjoys very long transatlantic flights.
Contact Natalie Torin
Xavier Bethune — Vice President Business Operations
Xavier Bethune has more than 25 years of experience in the US airline industry. He started his career at Braniff Airlines in 1982 and later joined the Piedmont Airlines management team to oversee repair and overhaul of components, landing gears and engines.
When USAir merged with Piedmont, his responsibilities expanded to procurement for USAir's 445-jet fleet. Later, he joined Rolls Royce and assumed increasing responsibilities in the Engine MRO Business Group and OEM Sales and Marketing divisions.
Recruited to Continental in 1994, Bethune held positions of increasing responsibility in procurement materials management, engine maintenance and operations. While with Continental he was stationed in Japan, Guam and Houston, Texas. He finished his career at Continental as senior director - procurement and operations, directing both technical procurement and operations, including all aspects of airframe heavy maintenance, engines and component business, as well as all other material related to system-wide support activities. He joined ATBD in April 2007.
Bethune attended North Texas State University Business Management School. Mr. Bethune takes pleasure in learning foreign languages and is conversational in both French and Japanese. He is an antique automobile collector, private pilot and resides on his ranch near Caldwell, Texas where he also enjoys cattle, fish and wildlife management.
Contact Xavier Bethune
Linda Small — Vice President Customer Service
Linda Small has over 25 years experience in the airline industry. She has successfully managed all aspects of large stations and hub operations in Seattle, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New York, and as a Regional Director she was responsible for the operation of 13 stations. Linda is also highly experienced in Call Center operations and was responsible for multiple reservation sales offices with hundreds of personnel and direct reports. She is a subject matter expert in the implementation of leadership development programs, assessing quality and productivity, defining required processes and resources for specific operational outcomes.
Linda has extensive background in the construction of call centers, terminals, gates and private airline clubs. As hub manager for Delta Air Lines at JFK New York she played a critical role in transitioning the hub from Pan Am to Delta and re-engineering the operation both above and below the wing while managing an operation comprised of hundreds of employees providing customer service to 17 contract airlines and 5 codeshare partners. She is highly experienced in emergency management and irregular operations.
Linda was employed by Western Airlines and Delta Air Lines for the majority of her career. She holds a commercial, instrument, multi-engine rating and a helicopter rating; she has a BA in marketing from the University of Miami. Linda lives in central Florida and spends her leisure time traveling and playing golf.
Contact Linda Small
Doug Sutton — Vice President Aircraft Transactions and Programs
Doug Sutton is a seasoned aerospace sales and marketing executive with more than 29 years experience and $16 billion aircraft transactions track record. He is well qualified and experienced in aircraft technical and commercial areas, and skilled in an international business environment.
In 1979, Doug began his career as an Aerodynamic Engineer with McDonnell Douglas. He progressed through several technical, commercial, and program management positions. Doug marketed the entire range of MDC aircraft including MD-80, DC10 and various projects. In 1991, Doug was recruited to Airbus in Toulouse as an airline marketing specialist producing numerous aircraft performance, economics, and financial analysis in support of A300/A310/320/330/350 sales campaigns in the US to all types of passenger, freighter and charter operators.
Doug was promoted and transferred to Sales Director at Airbus Americas in 1992 based in Herndon, Virginia. He successfully sold and closed multiple aircraft transactions to Northwest, American, Air Transat, and Independence Air. During his time at Airbus, Doug was adept at turning problem accounts into new airplane deals. His sales count at Airbus North America was 150+ A330, A319 and A310 valued at more than $8 billion. In 2005, Doug was recruited to BAE Systems, Inc., directing marketing and sales campaigns for commercial avionic systems valued at more than $500 million. Doug also developed new markets for BAE's product line of flight controls and display products in the US.
Doug has an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, specializing in business management and a Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He has continued his professional education with more than 15 courses ranging from aircraft systems and economics to financing and communications.
Doug is based in Brea, in Southern California, and enjoys staying fit by running and cycling, and has been an avid golfer for 40 years.
Contact Doug Sutton
Barbara Banks — Project Management - Software Development and Systems Integration
Barbara has almost 40 years of airline and aerospace experience as a specialist in Information Technology.
Barbara began her career at Continental Airlines, which spanned nearly twenty years. Her first position was working as a teletype operator in the Flight Planning group, supplying pilots with weather and flight information. From Flight Operations, she moved to the computer room, where she held various positions as a librarian, records clerk and computer operator. After eight years in these positions, she was selected to be trained as a COBOL and ASSEMBLER language Programmer. Working a further three years as a Programmer for Materials Management and Flight Planning groups.
Barbara was promoted and joined the Continental Airlines management team as a Supervisor of Software Support Services, supervising three technicians responsible for software upgrades, data security and integrity. Continental also contracted to perform online reservation system services for eighteen additional airlines. A further promotion followed to Manager of Production Control, running a 24/7 production environment, directing three Supervisors and twenty-six employees reporting to her. Barbara held this position for four years, until she was recruited to a similar position at United Airlines Mileage Plus organization in Marina Del Rey, California.
After her time at United, Barbara accepted a new position with Hughes Aircraft in their Military Tactical Division in El Segundo, California. She worked as a Software Quality Assurance Analyst, providing compliance verification of software code and testing, in accordance with military standard requirements. Another company move took her to Software Recording Corporation (SRC) in Dallas TX, then developing a new software suite of AUTOTESTER being planned for introduction at The Boeing Company facility in Renton, Washington. After a short stint as a Boeing contract employee, Barbara was offered a full-time position as a subject matter expert, utilizing the AUTOTESTER software, and remained a Boeing employee for the next eighteen years.
Boeing valued and utilized Barbara's airline experience in the roles of Computer Systems Analyst, Software Process Analyst, Project Manager, Governance Process Coach and Business Operations Specialist. Over her career, she earned various certifications, like the Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) certification, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University and the Project Management Professional (PMP) qualification, sponsored by the Project Management Institute. She also obtained a Stanford University Advanced Project Management certification in 2008. Barbara retired from The Boeing Company in 2009.
She earned her degree at San Jose State College (now University) in General Business, with a minor in German. She enjoys the alpacas she owns and working with her daughter in her web development business.
Contact Barbara Banks
Fred Williams — VP Marketing - Europe Middle East and Africa
Fred Williams has 30-years of professional experience within major European industrial and banking groups. His specialism is with airlines, air transport operators, lessors and banks. Fred's dual expertise with technical and financial matters has enabled him to bridge the divide between these two air transport disciplines, encompassing customers, their suppliers and the financiers.
Fred's career started with Airbus in 1982, holding various positions within the Freighter task force, future projects and marketing. Fred was instrumental in the definition and launch of the first freighter versions of Airbus aircraft, laying the foundation for later Airbus success with Express operators Fed EX and UPS, with a combined 200+ Airbus fleet of A300/A310 freighters.
Recruited to leading French bank Crédit Agricole's aviation finance department he developed business with airlines and corporate aviation worldwide worth over $750m. Recruited to French multi-national Alstom Transport to head their Sales and corporate finance department during which time the department arranged numerous equipment lease packages valued in excess of $500.
Since 2004 Fred has provided his experience as a financial and technical consultant to various airline, corporate operators for aircraft including Airbus, Bombardier and Boeing aircraft, for example CRJ50, 737, 767, 747 and various helicopters. His experience includes export finance, marketing support for suppliers of industrial goods and services, corporate restructuring, the creation / validation of business planning and the interim management of companies.
Fred maintains an extensive contact and relationship network within major European banks, export credit agencies, airlines and original equipment manufacturers.
Fred holds a B.Sc (Hons) in aeronautical engineering from Bath University, UK, an MSc in Air Transport Engineering from Cranfield (UK). Fred is fluently bi-lingual in French and English and speaks conversational German. Fred also holds an EASA Private Pilots licenses. He has done business in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Fred is based in Paris, France and likes to spend time recreational flying and being with his family.
Contact Frédéric Williams
Richard P. Van Balen — Vice President
Dick Van Balen is 30 year veteran of the commercial airline industry, with both airlines and airline suppliers. Dick has honed his commercial, interpersonal skills and communication abilities with Delta, Western and Eastern Airlines, Douglas, Fokker and Airbus. Dick has a strong track record in continuously delivering positive results, whether in building a competitive sales edge, or in managing people, processes, and budgets.
Dick's career began with his work as a regulatory economist, representing Delta, Eastern, and Western Air Lines before the Civil Aeronautics Board. After de-regulation in 1978, Dick joined Douglas Aircraft as a Marketing Project Manager and was instrumental in MD-80 sales to PSA, TWA, American (over 300 units delivered), and several other airlines. He was recruited by Fokker Aircraft USA in 1986 to be VP-Marketing. Dick's marketing team directed the sale of 75 firm and 75 option Fokker 100s to American, at the time the largest single industrial order ever by a Netherlands-based company. Other responsibilities at Fokker included publishing studies, directing press interviews, and being recruited as a panelist or speaker at industry conferences to enhance corporate image and build winning product line identity.
In 1994, Dick was recruited to join Airbus, North America as Sales Director, a position held through 2009. He represented the growing family of Airbus aircraft to many leading US and Canadian carriers, including US Airways, Delta, Air Canada, Canadian, World, Arrow Air, Hawaiian, Aloha, Mesa, United, Westjet, Continental, and Southwest. As Sales Director, Dick was responsible for developing and implementing sales strategies, directing the efforts of marketing, contractual, engineering, finance, and customer support specialists. A key sales success was the placement of 127 x A320 family and 10 x A330 aircraft at US Airways, worth more than $8 billion.
As a marketing and sales professional at Douglas, Fokker, and Airbus, Dick's work required a clear understanding of each airline's fleet development issues, as well as an ability to convincingly demonstrate product benefits in print, verbal, and visual presentations. Internally, his industry perspective and specific customer knowledge were called on frequently to advise the aircraft builders on such issues as production rates, product mix, configuration alternatives, airline credit risk, and competitive manufacturer strategies.
Today as a contractor and consultant, Dick maintains an extensive network of personal contacts throughout the airline industry and with aircraft manufacturers, aviation suppliers, consultants, and leasing companies. He is a member of the Aero Club of Washington, the International Aviation Club, and the Int'l Society of Transport Aircraft Traders, ISTAT. Dick earned his M.A. in Economics from Duke University. He resides in Northern Virginia.
Contact Richard P. Van Balen
John Ball — Vice President Financial Planning and Strategy
John has over 30 years of financial experience, mainly in the Transport and Aviation sectors.
John served 10 years in DHL from 1991 to 2000, working in several countries in Europe during
a time of rapid expansion of the market for logistics and courier services. He led site
finance teams as Finance Director and contributed to growth in DHL business in developing
markets in Central and Eastern Europe by guiding investments in appropriate infrastructure,
human capital and marketing.
Following 5 years as Finance Director / CFO in chemicals and other manufacturing businesses,
in 2005 John was hired by GE Aviation in Europe and joined the project to develop a European
site for jet engine combustor manufacturing. As part of the strategy to ensure dual sources
for key parts and a more competitive supply chain. This site quickly become a key producer
for GE focusing on CFM56, CF6 and CF34 engine parts. John, in the role of Finance Director,
set up the financial control and reporting system in line with US GAAP and GE requirements
and played a key role in leading continuous improvement through inventory, supply chain and
operations management using lean 6 sigma, new systems implementation while obtaining funds
for facility expansion and new equipment.
Recruited to Mubadala Investment Company as Senior VP Finance in 2009, John moved to Abu Dhabi
in the UAE to work for the Aviation Business Unit of Mubadala. He worked on several of
Mubadalas's aviation investments including SR Technics, ADAT, Piaggio Aerospace, SANAD leasing,
STRATA manufacturing and AMMROC. Providing technical financial advice and best practices, John
assisted in developing the Aviation business unit into one of the most successful and dynamic
sectors continuously seeking new investments and M&A opportunities.
Moving to Etihad Engineering as CFO in 2011, John was part of a team of executives charged with
transforming the business from a loss-making enterprise into a profitable customer and
quality-focused MRO operation with clear financial targets, KPIs and a long term business plan.
The infrastructure was rapidly changed with the completion of a new state-of-the-art 3 bay A380
hangar, component shops and implementation of new IT systems for financial, inventory and
operational control. The production included 12 lines of heavy checks covering 777, 787,
767, 757, 737, A340, A330, A320, A380 with over 1.9 million hours of work billed annually and
development of line / light maintenance operations at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports. With
Etihad Airlines as the cornerstone customer with 86 aircraft, business development was focused
on new customers with higher margin sales in cabin modification and in specialized work such
as A380 wing rib repair and military overhauls. Engine overhaul output was expanded to include
newly certified work with GE (GENX), Rolls Royce (Trent 700) and Pratt and Whitney (V2500).
John provided financial leadership for Etihad Engineering and assisted with the carve-out of
the MRO military business into a joint venture with Lockheed and Sikorsky.
In 2014, John was recruited by Saudi Airlines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to drive restructuring and
transformation of Engineering and MRO capabilities. With over 140 aircraft in the Saudia Fleet
in 2014 consisting mainly of 747, 777-200, MD11, A320, Embraer E170, this was replaced by a
completely new fleet in the period 2014 to 2017 comprising of 3 aircraft types, 777-300,
A330-300, A320-200. Fleet rationalization streamlined the engineering requirements to allow
clear focus on 3 aircraft and 3 engine types. As CFO of the $1.2b billion Engineering / MRO
division, John led the carve-out of the Engineering unit into a separate entity with clear
financial goals and operational KPIs. He facilitated commercial expansion by contributing to
the development of new contracts with growing local Saudi operators for example Saudi Gulf,
Flynas and Flyadeal. John’s responsibilities included initiating military joint ventures with
Boeing and Lockheed for rotorcraft and F16 maintenance. He led the closing of a long-term
financial investment of $800m to build a new maintenance facility at Jeddah airport including
10 hangars, component and engine shops with a Safran / Cenco 14m test cell. Responsible for IT,
John completed the planning and implementation of AMOS aircraft maintenance system creating a
single-source of data for engineering, supply chain and financial management.
John holds a degree in Business Studies and MA from Trinity College Dublin. After graduation,
he joined audit firm, Nexia and qualified as a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He
currently lives in Westwood, Los Angeles with his wife and enjoys playing tennis, hiking and
Contact John Ball
John Stonier — Vice President Fleet and Financial Analysis
John Stonier has more than 25 years of experience in the airline and aerospace industry. He started his career as an aeronautical engineer with British Aerospace Military Aircraft Division in the UK. He then immigrated to the US, taking a position with Garrett Turbine Engine Company in Phoenix, Arizona. After completing his MBA, he worked for two aerospace consulting firms in Canada, completing several airline start-up and merger projects, as well as preliminary feasibility studies for new aircraft types. Later he joined Airbus Industrie in Toulouse, France in their marketing department, and then moved to their US-based team in Washington, DC.
Stonier was recruited to the position of vice president - product marketing by GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), the world's largest aircraft lessor, based in Stamford, Connecticut and later London, U.K. At GECAS, he was responsible for technical marketing of GECAS aircraft to potential lessees and for internal evaluation of prospective aircraft types to be purchased by GECAS. Stonier was elected to the Steering Committee for SAFE, a financial and risk model used to determine deal profitability and suitability across all GECAS businesses.
Stonier holds a B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering and Master of Business Administration, both from Manchester University, U.K. He specializes in financial analysis, and has published numerous papers and articles on fleet planning and financing issues. He has been a guest speaker at Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan and at many industry conferences. His work has been used as examples in a well-known finance textbook.
Stonier is a rated FAA Airline Transport Pilot with more than 3,000 hours in large turbine and piston aircraft. He resides in the mountains of the south of France and spends his free time sailing, mountaineering and skiing.
Contact John Stonier
ATBD Contract Attorneys
ATBD partners and works with several highly experienced aviation attorneys in the areas of; aircraft transactions, contracts, leases, real estate, securities and bankruptcies and restructurings. Contact ATBD here for more details.
Contact ATBD Contract Attorneys
Captain Larry Ganse — Head of Airline Operations
Captain Larry Ganse has more than 45 years experience in the U.S. and Latin American airline industry. Beginning as a line pilot with Trans World Airlines he advanced through several administrative and management positions in Flight Operations including Flight Safety, Flight Training, Technical Development and Pilot Base Manager.
After more than 27 years there he accepted the newly created position of Director Flight Safety at Northwest Airlines. After successfully establishing an industry leading Flight Safety program his role was expanded to incorporate the Flight Technical Development, Airports Liaison, Air traffic Control Coordination and Flight Operations Publishing functions.
Captain Ganse's first move into senior management came in 1998 when he was recruited to come to TACA airlines, then in the process of integrating four small Central American airlines into one operation. He oversaw the successful integration of the airlines as well as the start up a new airline, TACA Peru. In addition to his responsibility for flight operations he also managed the In-flight Service group and was in charge of all airport operations. Following the completion of his contract he was again recruited to Copa Airlines in Panama as the Senior Vice President Operations. In this role he oversaw all Flight, Maintenance and Ground operations for one of the most successful airlines in Latin America. In 2005 he was promoted to the airlines' Chief Operating Officer.
During his entire career Ganse always maintained his qualification in at least one airplane in the fleet. He flew as PIC on the A-320, B-707, B-727, B-737NG, B-747, B-757, B-767 and L-1011. His 18,000+hours include flying in nearly all parts of the world.
Ganse is an honors graduate of the University of Miami and California State University-Hayward where he earned a BBA in Aviation Administration and an MBA in Management Science, respectively. An avid reader and history buff, he splits his time between the Houston, Texas area and a lakeside home in Minnesota.
Contact Captain Larry Ganse
Jim Starley — SVP Flight Operations
Capt. R J "Jim" Starley is an airline veteran with 45 years of airline experience. Jim
began his airline career with Braniff International Airways in 1973. Progressing through
the airline industry, Jim also held a flight crew position at Overseas National Airlines and
Captain at People Express airlines as the industry underwent dramatic change in the
aftermath of airline de-regulation of 1978. Captain Starley has 21,000 hours of flight
experience and is rated in the A-300, B-727, B-737, B-747, B-757, B-767, B-777, B-787,
and the DC-3. He has served in multiple senior management positions at major airlines
in the US and Central America to include Sr. Director of Flight Operations (Continental
Airlines), Managing Director of Flight Operations (United Airlines), and Vice President
of Flight Operations (Copa Airlines). Captain Starley has particular expertise in domestic
and international flight operations, airline certificate and operational certifications.
Additionally, Jim has designed and implemented pilot training, pilot management
processes, budget management, ETOPS (Extended Twin-engine Aircraft Operations),
FRMS (Fatigue Risk Management Systems), SMS (Safety Management Systems),
airline merger processes, new aircraft operational and certification/fleet implementation.
Examples of certification include, CAT III landing minimums and ETOPS on B777. As a
senior manager, Jim has mentored, developed and trained numerous younger managers in
Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Claremont McKenna College
and has participated in graduate studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Jim resides New Smyrna Beach, Florida and enjoys sports flying light aircraft.
Contact Captain R J 'Jim' Starley
David Arthur — Managing Director Operations Engineering
David Arthur has more than 38 years of experience in the US air transport business with American Airlines, Boeing and North American Aviation.
With American Airlines, Arthur was a manager of operations performance engineering, responsible for developing and maintaining performance programs and databases used in the operation of American's Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas and Fokker fleets. Specific experience includes A300-600, A320, A330, A340, B727/737/747/757/767/777 and MD80/MD11. His background includes runway obstacle analysis, optimum takeoff performance, flight planning, weight and balance planning, fuel conservation analysis, payload/range mission analysis and evaluations of new aircraft performance. Arthur has chaired IATA's Airplane Performance Working Group and served as a member of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, where he advised about how to harmonize the FAR and JAR performance regulations. At Boeing, Arthur served as a specialist flight operations engineer and a propulsion performance engineer on the US Supersonic Transport Program. He started his career at North American Aviation.
Arthur has a Bachelor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering degree from Ohio State University. He is a resident of Bradenton, Florida and enjoys skiing and biking.
Contact David Arthur
Richard Kuhns — Managing Director Crew Schedule Operations and Planning
Rich Kuhns has more than 40 years of experience in the airline industry, with an emphasis on flight crew scheduling, planning and forecasting. Starting in 1961 with American Airlines, he held crew scheduling positions of increasing responsibility in New York and Dallas/ Fort Worth. His work included all aspects of crew planning and daily operations control.
Kuhns finished his career at American as managing director, crew schedules-operations planning, responsible for the scheduling of over 10,000 pilots and over 20,000 flight attendants, as well as for compliance with all FAA regulations, company procedures and union contracts. He was also responsible for negotiating the scheduling aspects of the AA contracts with pilots and flight attendants.
After working for American Airlines, Kuhns served as senior consultant to Aerolineas Argentina, Buenos Aires Argentina, where he provided recommendations and assistance to reorganize the crew manning department. He also assisted Aerolineas Argentina with the merger of Austral Airlines, facilitating the integration of cockpit and cabin crew seniority lists.
Kuhns also served as a consultant to Hawaiian Airlines, where he helped with the successful negotiations of the Hawaiian Airlines/ALPA Pilot Contract under Federal mediation at Honolulu and DCA. As a senior member of the task force presentation to Hawaiian Airlines senior staff, he advised on reorganizing crew managing/scheduling departments to improve crew member monthly utilization. Kuhns resides in Texas.
Contact Richard Kuhns
Deborah Aragona — Director of Curriculum Development
Deborah Aragona is an award-winning training expert. She has appeared twice on national television for her exceptional training abilities and was recognized by two national honor societies. Her training excellence and abilities were utilized in the record-breaking start-up of Skybus Airlines where she created the entire Inflight Training department and supervised the successful completion of FAA Part 121 cabin certification processes.
Deborah has also assisted other airlines such as jetBlue Airways, US Airways Express, and American Connection to achieve training excellence and precision crewmember performance. Her unique abilities include producing top-quality training videos for a blended-learning approach such as those used by training industry leaders like the American Red Cross, in addition to creating CBT and Web-Based Training.
An honors graduate from the Pennsylvania State University, Aragona holds a B.S. in Secondary Education and English Communications, a Master's Instructor Certificate from the New York University, and a Multimedia Production Certificate from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Based in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, she enjoys golf and traveling.
Contact Deborah Aragona
Carolyn Fletcher — Director In Flight Operations
Carolyn Fletcher has nine years of experience in the airline industry with emphasis on in-flight operations, airport customer service and ground operations. Starting with charter operator Pro Air as an in-flight crewmember, she quickly rose to management responsibility where she developed and delivered course outlines; lesson plans, training materials and aids for training. At Pro Air she was responsible for up to 100 flight attendants.
US Airways recruited Fletcher as manager customer service for the Philadelphia hub where she coordinated daily customer service operations, adjusting to changes in operational conditions.
Independence Air then recruited Fletcher to the position of Dulles hub service director where she directed a staff of 18 managers and more than 250 employees in a hub operation with 300 plus daily departures. Her duties included reducing delays and streamlining the ground safety equipment program as well as team building and aligning service delivery with brand promise. Her financial responsibilities included managing a budget, analyzing operational costs, reducing payroll expense and negotiating vendor contracts.
Skybus Airlines then recruited Fletcher as manager of in-flight in Columbus, Ohio. She developed in-flight policies, procedures and FAA regulatory manuals, ensuring consistency and compliance. Fletcher was quickly promoted to director in-flight where she worked as part of a certification team that included engineering, maintenance, safety and aircraft programs. Once the airline was certified, she led the in-flight team in revenue operations, responsible for the management of all in-flight employees and ensuring the highest level of safety, proficiency and standardization.
Fletcher is a resident of Columbus, Ohio and is currently completing her B.S. Degree in Business Administration.
Contact Carolyn Fletcher
Gerald (Jerry) Elder — Vice President Operations Control and Stations
Gerald (Jerry) Elder has over 30 years of experience in the airline industry with emphasis in operations control, airport customer service, flight control, flight planning and performance and fleet reliability. Elder has been employed or contracted by Delta Air Lines, Eos Airlines, Skybus Airlines and several other Part 121 Air Carriers as a subcontractor.
His experience includes the initiation and FAA certification of a complete System Operations Control Center for two start-up airlines, management of Flight Control for a major airline and set-up and operation of airline stations in both the US and Russia. He is a certified aircraft dispatcher, a former FAA designated examiner and attended FAA Command School. He served as an FAA ATC liaison through the Collaborative Decision Making Working Group and served as an officer of the Airline Dispatchers Federation. Elder earned his B.A. from Eckerd College, is a resident of Tyrone, Georgia and enjoys reading, traveling, golf and watching his grown children prosper.
Contact Gerald Elder
Neil Capano — Vice President, Corporate Aviation
Neil Everett Capano has over 15 years of airline and corporate aviation experience with a focus on aircraft dispatch, station and passenger operations, FBO management and International flight procedures. Neil's experience includes major FAR Part 121 scheduled airlines, such as Delta and Independence Air, to innovative Part 135 operators including Surf Air and Gama Aviation - the exclusive operator of the Wheels Up fleet.
Neil is passionate about transparency and cutting back the red tape that restricts aircraft operators to effectively manage relationships with their suppliers. He is adept at producing solutions for FBOs to attract and retain clients.
Mr. Capano is an FAA-Certified Aircraft Dispatcher, and is the founder of YonderWest Aero LLC - a bespoke contract corporate aviation scheduling firm. He is professionally involved with the Santa Monica Airport Association and NBAA regional groups.
Neil is commonly found working on ATBD projects or assisting YonderWest clients from his home on the Central Coast of California and frequency visits his native New Hampshire.
Contact Neil Capano
Airline Advisory Board
Bill Syblon — ATBD Advisory Board
Bill Syblon is a member of ATBD's advisory board. Bill has more than 40 years in the air transport business working for the US Air Force, Boeing, American Airlines and SABRE Consulting and as president of Sierra Flight Operations Inc.
Principal consulting assignments with Sierra Flight Operations included Boeing, Smiths Industries, Airbus Industry and AMR Consulting, with a scope of work including modifications, evaluations and recommendations, new airplane readiness and acceptance for air carrier and private operations. Bill has been involved in all aspects of flight operations, flight ops engineering and flight ops technical for airlines, most notably with American Airlines as a 757/767 captain, flying international and US routes.
Prior to that, Syblon served as managing director flight ops technical and managing director ops engineering with American Airlines. He contributed to the innovative concepts of autonomous aircraft navigation and procedures and early RNP and ETOPS approvals.
Syblon has served as co-chair of the ATA/FAA Flight Management Task Force, a member of IATA Flight Operations Committee and a member of RTCA Task Force Four Certification Methods and Processes.
Syblon holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from California Polytechnic and an Airline Transport Pilot License with 757/767, MD80, 727 and Instructor ratings. Bill is a resident of Seattle, Washington and enjoys flying, hiking and skiing.
Contact Bill Syblon
Dana Lockhart — ATBD Advisory Board
Dana Lockhart is a member of the Airline Advisory Board for Air Transport Business Development, to which he brings over 40 years of sales, financing and restructuring experience in air transportation.
Between 2008 and 2009, Lockhart was Head of Capital Markets for GMT Global Republic Aviation, an international strategic aviation company, based in Dublin, Ireland, that acquires, leases and manages commercial aircraft. There he was responsible for sourcing senior and subordinated debt financing to support the company's acquisition of aircraft assets and to refinance debt backing the portfolio of 24 current generation aircraft.
Prior to GMT Global, Lockhart worked for 20+ years at Airbus Americas, joining in 1987 to initially assume sales financing responsibilities. Becoming a key member of the management team, promoted to Vice President in 1989 and then to Chief Financial Officer in 2002, he played an active role in the marketing, sales and financing campaigns that contributed to Airbus's rise to share half of the duopoly market for large commercial aircraft.
As leader of the professional staff responsible for structuring, negotiating and implementing contractual commitments and aircraft delivery financing, he performed or led billions of dollars of transactions executed using a broad range of financing formats including leveraged leases, mortgage debt, structured financings such as EETCs and export credit. During his tenure, the number of single-aisle and widebody aircraft in the retained North American financed fleet grew from fewer than 20 to over 100 airplanes, leading to portfolio management and risk mitigation expanding the role. As CFO, Lockhart also was responsible for all accounting, treasury, financial planning and corporate finance functions for the group of Airbus America companies encompassing sales, marketing, engineering, training and product support activities at facilities in four states, employing over 500 heads and generating over $500 million in U.S.-based revenues.
During the 20+ years that Lockhart worked at Airbus, two significant economic troughs hit the airlines - once around the early 90s and again in the early 00s. Through these periods, Lockhart worked with airline customers to restructure their contract and financing obligations with Airbus.
When out-of-court efforts failed and customers filed for Chapter 11 protection, Airbus's standing as a significant trade creditor often led to the company being selected to be on official committees of unsecured creditors, with Lockhart frequently designated to be its representative: Eastern (1989 - 2nd chair), Pan Am (1991), America West (1991), Trans World (1992), United (2002), Northwest (2005). Airbus was elected to chair the United and Northwest committees and Lockhart served that role continuously from 2002 to 2007. As US Airways (2002 and 2004) and Air Canada went through court-supervised restructuring during the same period, others on Lockhart's staff served on those creditor committees. In addition, Lockhart represented Airbus in contested contract matters prior to and during the Braniff (1989), Continental (1990) and Independence Air (2005) restructuring and Chapter 11 cases.
Prior to his years at Airbus, Lockhart spent three years at Fairchild Industries, where he had been recruited to serve as president of Fairchild Credit Corporation, responsible to develop and manage this captive finance subsidiary charged with providing sales financing for the company's turboprop aircraft customers. Also, during this period, Lockhart was instrumental in the formation, staffing and initial direction of the finance company created to provide customer financing for the Saab-Fairchild joint-venture aircraft program.
Lockhart started his career by joining Lockheed in 1967, while still in college, and his early years were spent in internal finance functions of cost accounting, budgeting and forecasting. As the L-1011 Tristar program gained momentum, Lockhart moved into customer financing and in the late 70's he became a founding executive of Lockheed Finance Corporation. He earned experience in senior and junior loans, leasing and the use of export credit through the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Lockhart holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge, California and an MBA from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.
Lockhart is a trustee of the ISTAT Foundation and a member of the Foundation's Scholarship Committee.
He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Katharine. He enjoys golf, time with family and travel.
Contact Dana Lockhart
Bud Sittig — ATBD Advisory Board
Captain Lawrence A. "Bud" Sittig has more than twenty-four years of experience in the U.S. airline industry with international full-service and start-up low-cost domestic carriers. After college, Captain Sittig joined the US Air Force, flying F-100, A-7D and F-16F aircraft. Moving to the airlines, he joined Western Airlines as a line pilot before migrating to Delta Air Lines through the merger of the two carriers in 1987. In addition to flying line operations, Captain Sittig entered the management team at Delta as the General Manager of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot. He later served as the Director of Flight Safety for Delta's world-wide Flight Operations with type ratings in 737/757/767 aircraft. Captain Sittig retired from Delta in 2004 to join the founding team of Skybus Airlines.
Captain Sittig was Vice President of Operations for Skybus Airlines, a Columbus, Ohio-based start-up airline which inaugurated US domestic service in May, 2007. Captain Sittig had operational oversight of Skybus Flight Operations including pilots, flight attendants, flight dispatchers, crew resources, technical publications library, Operations Technology and all corporate training. As the CFR FAA 119 Director of Operations, he was responsible for daily operational control of the airline and was the primary point of contact for the company with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Captain Sittig maintained currency on the airline's fleet of Airbus A319 aircraft.
As the Vice President of Operations, he led the FAA Air Carrier Certification process for Skybus spanning over two years. While leading the 121 certification, he built the airline infrastructure to support a Flight Operation designed to grow to 75 aircraft. He was the architect of a revolutionary flight deck technology design that established Skybus on the cutting edge of Class II EFB and a paperless document management system.
Captain Sittig's professional interests include; advancing paperless cockpit technology and deployment of Class II Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) technology. Electronic Flight Bag architecture, design development and implementation. Performance-based navigation and RNP (Required Navigation Performance) development and integration for aviation customers.
Concurrent with Captain Sittig's airline career, he maintained an active participation in the Air National Guard as a fighter pilot and operational leader retiring after 31 years at the rank of Brigadier General. Captain Sittig was selected as a Department of Defense National Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University for the 1991-1992 school years. He is a graduate of the National Defense University Logistics Management Course, Ft. McNair, Va. He has accumulated over 16,000 flying hours in his years of military, airline and sport aviation adventures
A native of the South Dakota prairie, Captain Sittig graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Agricultural Business and Economics. Captain Sittig is an active outdoorsman and remains engaged in managing the family farm in South Dakota. He and his wife Fran reside in Centennial, Colorado. Together they raised three daughters and now enjoy five lively grandchildren.
Contact Bud Sittig
Rod Mahoney — Airline Advisory Board
Rod Mahoney joins ATBD with 26 years of prior experience in the aviation business. He has held senior roles in the areas of aircraft sales and marketing, purchase and lease contract negotiation, business plan development and start-up airlines. His responsibilities have also included procurement strategy, fleet strategy and evaluations, aircraft technical definition and supplier negotiations.
Between 2006 and 2009 Mahoney was Principle Advisor, Fleet Strategy and Aircraft Acquisitions with the Australian low cost carrier Virgin Blue. He was part of a small select team that was tasked with the creation of a business plan for a new long haul international airline, titled V Australia. Mahoney was responsible for creating an aircraft RFI/RFP process from scratch, providing all the aircraft operating cost and investment data for the business plan, running the aircraft selection process and negotiating the aircraft purchase and lease contracts. The Boeing 777-300ER was selected and a good relationship with Boeing was established. He was then responsible for the complete aircraft definition and negotiated all the significant BFE (Buyer Furnished Equipment) contracts on the aircraft.
Whilst with Virgin Blue, Mahoney also advised the airline with their Embraer/Bombardier negotiations which resulted in the acquisition of the EMB170 and EMB190. He also worked on strategic questions relating to the future evolution of the fleet and the airline.
Rod arrived in Australia in 1998 and held the position of Vice President for the Pacific region for Airbus based in Sydney until 2006. During this time, Mahoney ran the satellite office in Sydney, led the Pacific sales and marketing team and was responsible for selling and leasing the A330, A380 and A320 to Qantas, Jetstar and Jetstar Asia, the A320 to Air New Zealand and the A310 followed by the A320 and A330 to Aircalin, all new customers for Airbus.
Between 1996 and 1998 Mahoney was Vice President of Sales for the China region for Airbus based in Beijing where he was a key team member in the creation of the Airbus-China joint venture. He led the multicultural team to several sales successes with Chinese airlines as well as with Cathay Pacific and Air Macau.
Prior to China, Mahoney was a Sales Director at Airbus, covering Europe and Africa, and his notable successes were selling the A340 to Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways and achieving a breakthrough with the then-new A320 into the UK charter market, which at the time represented around 50% of air travel in the UK and was an untapped market to Airbus. Mahoney started his career with Airbus in Toulouse in 1983 as an airline analyst, producing aircraft performance, economics and financial analysis in support of sales campaigns before being promoted to Sales Director in 1989.
Rod Mahoney is currently completing a Master of Applied Finance at the Macquarie University in Sydney and holds a Bachelor (Hons) Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Manchester University in the UK, a Masters Degree in Air Transport from Cranfield Institute of Technology also in the UK and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mahoney is fluent in French and is an accomplished diver and has a PADI Divemaster rating.
Contact Rod Mahoney
Grace Kalil — President & Owner KED Group
During her professional career, Mrs. Kalil has managed a number of airport and aviation assignments in over 30 countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and South Asia. She has developed numerous projects for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), multilateral organizations, and foreign governments. Ms. Kalil participated over five years in the privatization of the New Quito Airport in Ecuador, a project that entailed advising the municipal government of Quito regarding the concession agreement, the airport master plan, airport charges and fees, a financial plan for procurement of security equipment and a financial model for the new airport. This included working with the concessionaire, the borrowers, guarantors, and the government agencies on applications, documentation, and closings for project funding.
Mrs. Kalil has worked during the last seven years as consultant in several USTDA-supported missions to identify, assess and develop projects for the U.S.-India Aviation Cooperation Program including a project to deploy performance-based navigation (PBN) at major Indian airport, security-related projects, airport capacity development and training programs. In this capacity, Ms. Kalil has worked with a number of aviation companies including Boeing, Hi-Tec Systems, GE, Mitre and Raytheon.
She also served as a consultant for a assessment study discerning the viability of reprivatizing Jamaica's flag carrier, Air Jamaica, a project that was co-sponsored by the International Finance Corporation and managed a study aimed at obtaining U.S. financing for the procurement and implementation of advanced air traffic management, airspace, and airport systems and technologies in Chile, including a pilot program that would be one of the firsts of its kind in Latin America. Over one million in U.S. financing was provided as the result of this study.
Mrs. Kalil's extensive experience in airport planning includes studies for five airports in Mexico (Puebla, Cuernavaca, Queretaro, Ensenda, Toluca), the Tocumen International Airport in Panama, the Luanda International Airport in Angola, the Cape Verde International Airport and airports in Romania, Croatia, Chile and Brazil, among others. Most recently, Mrs. Kalil worked for the Economic Development Secretariat of Minas Gerais in Brazil leading a market study and investment development program for the Pampulha Airport. This project recommended the transition of Pampulha from a commercial to a general and business aviation airport and provided a development program in line to such recommendations. The program is considered one of the models to foster business aviation in Brazil.
Mrs. Kalil has an MBA in International Finance from the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina and a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the same institution. She is fluent in English, German and Spanish.
Contact Grace Kalil
Engineering and Maintenance
Jack Graef — Vice President Technical
Jack Graef has an extensive background in transport airplane engineering and purchase and lease contracts, which includes 11-years as an independent consultant and 29-years with American Airlines in new airplane technical development.
Prior to American, Graef worked in the aerospace manufacturing industry. As American Airlines’ director-engineering research and development, his responsibilities included evaluation and analysis of airplane performance and operating economics, weight and balance, community noise and technical specifications. He developed American's specifications for the Boeing 727-200 and 747-100/-100F and was responsible for specification development and technical negotiation of purchase contracts for American's McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, MD-82/83, MD11, Boeing 767, 757, Airbus A300-600R and Fokker 100 airplanes. Graef was also a member of the engine selection teams for the 767s, A300 and 757.
He directed American's initial specification development for the B777 and was responsible for administration of American's FAA approved master maintenance specifications and factory programs, covering manufacturer liaison, specification conformity and pre-delivery inspection, acceptance and delivery at McDonnell-Douglas, Boeing, Airbus and Fokker.
Jack has an extensive background in contract negotiations, covering technical and business elements of aircraft and engine performance, operations and environmental matters, including guarantees and pricing issues. He has authored several technical papers and lectured before the NTSB, two universities and numerous other audiences.
As a consultant, he advised several new-start airlines and a VIP operator on equipment selection, acquisition contracts, maintenance and operations. He also mentored or directed the inspection, acceptance and delivery of new and used transport airplanes for several operators. He also advised Boeing on aeronautical R&D investments and transport airplane product support.
Graef received his B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT. He is a resident of Tucson, Arizona and enjoys baseball and scuba diving.
Contact Jack Graef
See and hear Jack Graef
Fred Schubel — Vice President Maintenance and Engineering
Fred Schubel has more than 35 years of senior level experience with US airlines, including American, Frontier, Trans World and Alaska. He has held increasingly responsible positions at repair and overhaul corporations including Dee Howard, Airmotive, Matrix Aeronautica and Dyncorp. Specializing in maintenance and engineering for airframes and powerplants, he has covered a broad range of disciplines including powerplant engineering, quality control, purchasing and line and base maintenance. Later responsibilities included safety, facilities, planning and personnel.
At overhaul agencies, Schubel managed both existing and developed facilities from a green field site. The latter included Matrix Aeronautica in Mexico, completing a hangar facility, hiring staff, winning customers and obtaining FAA/DGAC/JAA/CAA certifications. At Trans World, he managed a budget of over US$200 million and 2,000 employees as vice president - maintenance. In his career at Frontier Airlines, he directed the development of maintenance programs, including defining the airlines’ specific requirements from base manufacturer data. As a consultant for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, he managed the development of customized maintenance and engineering support for airlines worldwide.
Schubel received his B.S./B.A. in Business Management from the University of Tulsa. He holds both an FAA A&P Mechanic and Private Pilot License. Based in Rochester, Washington, he enjoys farming and travel.
Contact Fred Schubel
John Judge — Vice President Maintenance
John Judge, a maintenance professional with more than 40 years of experience in the industry, spent the majority of his career with American Airlines. Starting in 1958 as a line mechanic, Judge rose through the organization with positions of increasing responsibility in New York and Dallas. He culminated his career with 18 years as managing director of aircraft maintenance at American's largest hub operation in Dallas-Fort Worth, which sees more than 1,000 daily arrivals and departures. Judge was responsible for more than 700 employees in line maintenance operations and related functions, including flight test, training, tooling, fueling, de-ice and compliance with all FAA and other regulatory procedures.
After retirement from American in 2000, Judge secured numerous consulting and teaching engagements in the industry, including R Dixon Speas maintenance-related assignments, ETOPS approvals for Hawaiian 767-300 and a stint as acting vice president - line maintenance, as well as conducting research into wireless communications for NASA and FAA. He currently teaches undergraduate airframe and powerplant courses at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.
Judge attended the College of Aeronautics in New York, receiving an FAA Airframe and Powerplant License and Associates degree. Later, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Hofstra University. Judge is a resident of Arlington, Texas.
Contact John Judge
Mike Jefferson — Vice President Regulatory Compliance, Technical Operations
Mike Jefferson has more than 25 years of airline industry experience, including tenures with the FAA and various airlines. He started his career in the US Marines supervising aircraft quality control and maintenance on a range of Marine aircraft. After the military, he worked for Eastern Airlines as a front-line supervisor in aircraft line maintenance, keeping the eastern fleet of A300, 727, 757 and L1011s flying scheduled and charter services.
Transferring to Aviation Composites Services, Jefferson gained additional skills in the design, usage, repair and overhaul of composite materials, as well as with critical airframe and powerplant functions on air transport aircraft. Subsequently, he was accepted into the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as assistant principal - maintenance inspector with oversight of the day-to-day operations of numerous FAR Part 121, FAR Part 135 and FAR Part 91 operators.
After three years with the FAA, Jefferson was recruited back to the airlines as director of quality assurance at Midway Airlines. Within a year, he was promoted to vice president - maintenance and engineering, supervising all M&E functions with a fleet of F100, A320 and RJ50 aircraft. The fleet and airline were rationalized several times, down to the RJ50. MAXjet Airways then recruited him to take the new-start airline from a paper plan to FAA certification and to revenue operations. His duties involved timely decision-making, team-building, budgeting and execution of the business plan.
Jefferson has recently applied for the position of designed airworthiness representative (maintenance) with the FAA, based on his extensive knowledge, experience and past positions of responsibility in the industry. Jefferson is a resident of Raleigh, North Carolina and enjoys reading and travel.
Contact Mike Jefferson
Dennis Martin — Managing Director, Technical Services
Dennis Martin has over 17 years of commercial airline experience. His hands-on, practical knowledge in many technical aspects of commercial aviation has helped save his customers and employers time and money. He began his career as a licensed FAA A&P maintenance technician with American Eagle, where he oversaw fleet maintenance on aircraft including the ATR 42, Saab 340, Jetstream and Shorts aircraft.
Recruited to Midway Airlines as a line maintenance supervisor in 1995, Martin was quickly promoted to fleet propulsion manager. He was then appointed director of maintenance for the airline and became responsible for supervising all maintenance personnel and activities for Midway's fleet of Boeing 737NG's and Canadair Regional Jets.
Martin was recruited in 2003 to head the Technical Services Department at new start-up carrier MAXjet Airways where he was instrumental in helping obtain MAXjet’s operating certificate. During that time, he controlled all technical issues regarding the start-up of scheduled international operations for MAXjet's fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft. He initiated key policies and procedures and authored many of the company's manuals. In addition, Martin was team member in the successful development of the MAXjet ETOPS and engine management programs.
Martin holds an FAA Airframe & Powerplant License and a Private Pilot License. He resides in Zebulon, North Carolina.
Contact Dennis Martin
Frank Sitterly — Managing Director of Quality Assurance and Chief Inspector
Frank Sitterly is an accomplished leader with over 43 years experience with American Airlines. Starting as a mechanic, Sitterly rose through the ranks as a line maintenance mechanic, supervisor, manager and managing director of quality assurance and chief inspector.
As a supervisor, Sitterly was responsible for a variety of positions in the JFK line maintenance organization including general foreman, tech services foreman, hangar line supervisor, terminal maintenance supervisor, check inspection operations and acting manager of quality assurance. In his role as manager he oversaw the aircraft maintenance programs in accordance with FAR's and the General Practices Manual. He was also responsible for all field station Quality Assurance operations and vendor surveillance including C.A.S.E. participation and headed up wide-body and narrow-body inspections and non destructive testing.
Sitterly holds an FAA Airframe and Powerplant mechanic license. He graduated from Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Contact Frank Sitterly
Toney Quillen — Vice President of Maintenance and Total Support Programs
Toney Quillen has more than 45-years of experience in engineering, maintenance and quality control. Quillen started at Braniff International as a mechanic and moved through the ranks to become the supervisor of warranty and repair.
Quillen spent the majority of his career at Southwest Airlines where he started out in quality control. During this time Quillen served as the company liaison for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He was soon promoted to director level of maintenance and administration where he was responsible for all heavy maintenance consisting of the direct management of a 100-person union work force and managed all aspects of technical training, maintenance service agreements, properties and facilities, budgets, and special projects. Quillen finished out his years at Southwest as the director of heavy maintenance. He was responsible for major inspections of 737 aircraft. Quillen developed Southwest's inspection program for new aircraft at Boeing and one of the best on-site monitoring teams in the business.
In 2004, Quillen was recruited by Skybus Airlines to develop the new airline from inception through the FAA certification process. At Skybus Quillen developed a new for Aviation Maintenance for a FAR 121 approved Airline Maintenance Program. This concept, Total Support Program (TSP), is a program whereby as much of the maintenance processes are accomplished by utilizing a contracted workforce. TSP enables an airline to focus on core competencies, reduce costs and improve cost forecasting.
Toney has held his FAA and A & P (Airframe and Powerplant) License for more than 30 years. Quillen is an avid fisherman. He resides with his wife in Dallas, Texas where he enjoys traveling, landscaping and spending time with his ten grandchildren.
Contact Toney Quillen
Chuck Marcotte — Specialist: Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Chuck Marcotte has 44-years experience in logistics and supply chain management. Expertise is in most elements of material storage and distribution, space planning, inventory control and personnel management.
Marcotte spent nearly 24-years in the United States Air Force serving in a full range of material storage and distribution from 1965 to 1989. Early in his career he was put to the test as he developed warehouse designs and space utilization for a new base supply warehouse complex in Colorado. Duty in Viet Nam again had him developing the plan and carrying out assembly, stocking and management of a 10,000 square foot warehouse for base supply. Other military duties included repair cycle management, seven years of material management and air transportation coordination for DOD special projects and management of supply personnel manpower requirements for supply and maintenance organizations at multiple bases. He retired from the Air Force at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant following duty assignments in Texas, Colorado, Viet Nam, California, The Netherlands and Arizona.
Following military retirement in 1989, he was recruited by DynAir Tech of Arizona, a FAR 145 Repair Station where his duties as Manager of Material included responsibilities for receipt, storage, inventory control and shipment of all material related to support of aircraft maintenance activities and stock clerk training. Marcotte developed and wrote departmental procedures associated with management of the warehouse and control and safe guarding of customer property removed during aircraft maintenance.
Chuck joined Mesa Airlines in late1999 as an inventory analyst for the CRJ/ERJ and DHC8 inventory. In the spring of 2000 he was assigned to an implementation team dedicated to developing and testing business processes for the newly acquired Rene Perez AS400 Procurement, Maintenance & Inventory (PMI) computer system. As a team member he was responsible for the purchasing, stock room, receiving, shipping and inventory control portion of the program testing and training. Following activation of the PMI system he conducted follow up field training for the material staff located at various stations across the Mesa network.
In November 2001, Marcotte was recruited by Perform Air International, a FAR 145 Repair Station located in Gilbert, Arizona. He spent two years with Perform Air modernizing the management of the inventory and assisting in the expansion of warehouse and shipping & receiving capabilities as the company customer base expanded.
In March 2003, Marcotte returned to Mesa Airlines and assumed the duties of Material Manager. The company was in a period of rapid growth and expansion with operations starting up from coast to coast and Hawaii. Over the next five years Marcotte and his staff setup and managed new material support facilities in Denver, Tucson, Orlando, JFK, Dulles, Chicago, Cincinnati and Honolulu while continuing to operate warehouse facilities in Phoenix, Charlotte, N.C., Columbia, S.C. and Grand Junction, Colorado.
As the company fleet grew the inventory transactions increased significantly bringing to light the need for improved control of dangerous goods movement. With the assistance of the PMI Group he developed a system for electronic notification to specified managers of hazardous cargo shipment requirements. This allowed for strict oversight of specified hazardous items. He developed an aggressive training program for the warehouse staff and wrote warehouse Standard Operating Procedures to compliment the company General Procedures Manual.
Chuck and his wife reside in Phoenix, Arizona. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, hunting, wood carving and amateur radio.
Contact Chuck Marcotte
John E. Marshall — Vice President
John Marshall has more than 25 years of experience in the airline and aerospace industry. Most recently, John served as the Director of Maintenance Marketing for American Airlines, where he was responsible for global sales and customer support of the airline's maintenance and engineering services. In his role as Director, John designed, developed, and deployed processes and procedures for American Airlines' third-party maintenance marketing business, which resulted in generating over $210 million revenue on a $2 million annual expense budget.
Prior to his role as Director of Maintenance Marketing, John served as Managing Director for American Airlines' Maintenance Facility in Kansas City. John's leadership experience in the aerospace industry includes an extensive background in technical services, contract negotiation, marketing, employee resources, continuous improvement, aircraft engine repair/overhaul, and production management. Prior to serving as Managing Director for American, John held multiple management positions within Trans World Airlines, including Manager of Components and Accessories, Manager of Marketing, and Manager of Continuous Improvement.
John has proven experience in leading complex large-scale projects. Shortly after assuming his duties with American Airlines, he transitioned the MD80/JT8D engine operations from Kansas City, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma and the 737/CFM-56 engine from Tulsa to Kansas City, thereby successfully establishing a state-of-the-art engine repair facility at the Kansas City Maintenance Facility. John's leadership on American Airlines' Maintenance and Engineering process improvement teams resulted in annual cost savings of $50 million to the company.
In 2003, John led American Airlines' negotiations with the City of Kansas City and the State of Missouri to secure a long term lease and funding for the Kansas City Maintenance Facility. The result of John's efforts provided American Airlines with a 25-year lease of the facility's wide body and support shops, with options to retain all or part of the remaining facility, as well as access to $77 million in government funds for facility renovations.
John served four years in the United States Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and crew chief. Following honorable discharge from the Air Force, John earned his FAA Airframe and Power Plant licenses, and attended the University of Central Missouri. John and his wife live in Kansas City, Missouri, and enjoy golf, riding their Harley, and travel.
Contact John E. Marshall
Fleet Lentz - Vice President Marketing and Sales
Fleet Lentz has more than twenty-two years airline industry experience, mainly in the aero-engine and services sector. He has been responsible for the marketing and sales of services to airlines and transport category operators worldwide.
After military service he started his civilian career in Aviall, Texas as a Customer Support Manager. He was then recruited to Pacific Air motive in Burbank, California for two years as Senior Director, then VP Marketing and Sales, offering engine overhaul services worldwide. A move to GTC in Granbury, Connecticut followed for two years as VP Business Development, again with global responsibilities for marketing and sales. Recruited to Volvo Aero engine services based in Trollhattan, Sweden, Fleet harnessed his experience and contacts to close multiple valuable contracts for Volvo, over fifteen years, based mainly in the US. Fleet has in-depth experience of marketing and sales to airlines with engines, services, leases and support contracts, across and between numerous cultures and nationalities.
In his military career, Fleet retired as a Colonel in the US Marine Corps Reserve in 2006. In his US Marine career, Fleet was Naval Flight Officer, as Radar Intercept Officer in the F-4 Phantom II aircraft, with 1,500 plus flight hours, including 100 plus combat missions in South-East Asia. Fleet is a former Executive Officer, Squadron Commander and a graduate of Naval Fighter Weapons School. He also has senior liaison experience at the senatorial level on military affairs.
Fleet holds BA in English Literature from Baylor University. He is fluent in Spanish and is a published author. He resides in San Antonio and enjoys writing and travel.
Contact Fleet Lentz
Heather M. Baldwin — Director Editorial
Heather Baldwin has worked as a professional writer for more than 18 years. She has extensive background covering all aspects of the aviation industry, including commercial airline operations, business aviation, maintenance, training, human performance and many other topics for publications including Aviation Week & Space Technology, AeroSafety World and World Airline News. She writes a monthly column on human factors in aviation maintenance for the MRO edition of Aviation Week and a bimonthly column for Flight Training magazine covering human interest stories for student and new pilots.
In addition to her aviation writing, Heather has covered sales and marketing topics for Selling Power magazine for nearly two decades and has written countless white papers, case studies, reports and other marketing-related materials for companies all over the United States. A former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, she has also contributed to military publications such as U.S. Coast Guard Forum and Military Logistics Forum.
Heather holds a B.A. with honors in English and a minor in music from Michigan State University, where she was named one of 25 Outstanding Seniors in her graduating class. She is a licensed commercial pilot who resides in Fountain Hills, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. In her spare time, Heather can be found cycling, playing alto in the Fountain Hills Saxophone Quartet or teaching piano lessons to the youth of her town.
Contact Heather M. Baldwin
Shawn K. Hall — Director of Information Technology
Shawn has more than 26 years of experience as a computer consultant, directing IT projects of all sizes. He and his wife Annette provide professional Information Technology services to ATBD staff members. Their business 12PointDesign is based in the majestic Sierra Mountains.
Shawn is an expert in the fields of IT security and analysis, with a history of support, development and integration projects for several Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and small businesses. The Halls pride themselves on their ability to work closely with each client to provide them with timely and personal support. Mr. Hall directs all IT projects at ATBD, including acquisition, operation and ongoing upgrades of hardware, software, Internet presence and security.
Annette brings more than 35-years of computer experience with her. She performs ongoing maintenance for the ATBD website, composing biographies, press releases and news items. She brings her experience as webmaster for over 100 websites to point for ATBD, enabling a broad and significant Internet presence.
Shawn & Annette spend their free time enjoying the great outdoors through hiking and digital photography not far from their home in Twain Harte, CA.
Contact Shawn & Annette Hall