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Leadership Moves, Jan-Feb 2023
  • 20 Dec 2022 06:37 PM
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Leadership Moves, Jan-Feb 2023

Overair Appoints Manning as CCO


On Aug. 25, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) developer Overair announced that Dr. Valerie Manning will serve as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Manning will lead Overair’s commercial strategy, assuming responsibility for its business model and development, sales and support operations. “I chose Overair due to its state-of-the-art technology, innovative and inclusive spirit, and deep commitment to advancing sustainable aviation through eVTOL,” Dr. Manning said in a statement. Manning joins the California-based company from Airbus, where she served as the senior vice president of training and flight operation services. A European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-certified flight instructor and jet-rated commercial pilot, Manning previously served as an officer in the US Air Force and holds a doctoral degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University.


GPMS Appoints New Executives

Connecticut-based GPMS announced on Aug. 25 that it had appointed Tom Benson to its board of directors. With a lengthy record of working on high-technology hardware and software products, Benson will guide the company’s strategy and direction as it seeks to navigate the growth of its flagship Foresight MX product, a health and usage monitoring system (HUMS). “Tom brings a wealth of experience developing businesses that specialize in software and data-driven aviation maintenance management tools,” said Jed Kalkstein, president of GPMS. “We will certainly lean into his expertise as we continue to grow GPMS and expand our Foresight MX customer base.”


John Byus has joined GPMS as the director of sales for the Americas, the company announced on Sept. 6. Byus will be responsible for expanding the customer base for the company’s flagship Foresight MX product. Byus joins the company with more than 40 years of experience in the rotorcraft and aviation industry, serving in a variety of positions from aircraft mechanic and pilot to instructor. He previously worked for 15 years as a sales and account manager at Airbus Helicopters. “I am super impressed by the team, the direction of the company, and how they have developed an advanced HUMS that is so user friendly,” said Byus in a statement. “Foresight will change how the industry sees and utilizes HUMS.”

Hoke Takes Over Volocopter


Dirk Hoke, the former CEO of Airbus Defence & Space, began serving as the CEO of Volocopter in September. The appointment, which was announced on March 8 and took effect in September, saw Hoke take the lead from Florian Reuter, who led the company as CEO for seven years. Prior to joining Airbus in 2016, Hoke spent a decade at Siemens AG, where he served in multiple leadership positions. “No company is closer to making this most innovative form of mobility a reality in cities around the world than Volocopter,” said Hoke in a statement. “Bringing electric air taxis to market in the next years is a dream come true not only for me but for many.”

Enstrom Names Richardson as COO


Enstrom Helicopter Corporation announced on Nov. 21 that it has appointed Adam Richardson to serve as Chief Operating Officer. Richardson, who began serving in the role in October, has over 17 years of experience in the aerospace industry and previously worked for Rolls-Royce Corporation. He served in the Marine Corps and earned degrees in mechanical engineering and business management from Purdue University and Indiana Wesleyan University, respectively. “After visiting Enstrom for the first time and seeing three helicopters on the flight line, I knew I wanted this in my future,” said Richardson in a statement. Richardson is studying for his private pilot’s license in an Enstrom 280FX.

King Joins Vertical Aerospace


David King will serve as the chief engineer of Vertical Aerospace, the company announced on Dec. 6. Beginning in February 2023, King will be responsible for the technical development of the Vertical VX4 eVTOL aircraft. King joins Vertical from Leonardo, where he spent seven years, serving most recently as the chief engineer on the AW609 VTOL aircraft. Prior to Leonardo, King was the chief engineer at Bell Helicopter, where he launched the Bell 525 Relentless, the company’s newest commercial helicopter design. “The pragmatic approach [Vertical has] taken with the design and certification of the VX4 will pave the way to success and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the team in their efforts to revolutionize air travel,” said King in a statement.

Schaff to Lead Sustainability at Wisk


Wisk Aero appointed Daniela Schaff as the company’s head of sustainability, the California-based eVTOL developer announced on Dec. 7. Schaff, who will be the first person to serve in the newly created position, will oversee the company’s sustainability efforts and implement a sustainability strategy. Schaff joined Wisk in 2019, serving as the senior manager for the supply chain and sustainability group. “[Schaff] has been instrumental in advancing Wisk’s sustainability efforts prior to officially becoming our new Head of Sustainability,” said CEO Gary Gysin in a statement. “Her passion and expertise in sustainability will continue to be a critical element in ensuring that our mission to bring everyday flight to everyone is safe for both people and the environment.”

Jolivette Leads Boeing Vertical Lift


On Dec. 5, former Boeing Vertical Lift Vice President and General Manager Mark Cherry was announced as the CEO of ALIGN PRECISION Corp., a tight-tolerance manufacturer of complex components and assemblies for leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in aerospace, defense, semiconductor and evolving high-tech industries. Kathleen “KJ” Jolivette, Boeing’s Vice President of Attack Helicopters, was named as the acting VP/GM for Boeing Vertical Lift. Jolivette has led the attack programs at Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona, plant since 2019. She previously served for two years as Boeing’s Director of Army Services. Prior to this, she was the Director of V-22 Domestic Program, 2014-2019. She started with Boeing in 2007.

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