The members of the AEA Trusteeship Committee presented the following slate of nominees for this year’s election to the AEA Board of Directors for the term of April 2010 to April 2013. Online voting took place on the AEA website prior to the AEA International Convention & Trade Show, and continues during the show through April 8. Pursuant to AEA bylaws, each AEA member company has one vote per company. There are six candidates seeking election to four open U.S. director positions. There are two candidates seeking election to one open South Pacific director position. There is one candidate for one seat for the Europe director position. Newly elected board members will be announced during the AEA Annual Awards Luncheon on April 9.
CURRENT AEA BOARD MEMBERS SEEKING RE-ELECTION (Listed in alphabetical order):
Bloomington Avionics, Bloomington, Ill.
Greg Vail currently serves as the vice chairman of the AEA board of directors. Vail is the general manager of Bloomington Avionics Inc., Bloomington, Ill. He has more than 29 years experience in the aviation business and he is a licensed single-engine pilot with instrument endorsement.
Vail was a member of the AEA’s Strategic Planning Committee before being elected to the board of directors in 2005. He chairs the AEA’s Government & Industry Affairs Committee, and he also is spearheading the AEA Ambassador Program to promote better communication between AEA member companies and FAA Flight Standards District Offices.
Prior to his career in aviation, Vail worked for six years in restaurant management. Married with two children, he is a native and life-long resident of Illinois.
Vero Beach Avionics, Vero Beach, Fla.
Rick Peavley began his aviation career in 1969, with the United States Navy. After two trips to Southeast Asia and a tour of duty in Spain and the Azores, Peavley attended the University of Kansas to study electrical engineering. While in Kansas, he worked for King Radio Corp. as a test technician.
Following avionics stints in Louisiana, Alaska and Egypt for Air Logistics, Peavley moved on to Sun Aviation Inc. in Vero Beach, Fla., as avionics manager. After nine years with Sun, he left to open his own avionics shop. Peavley now is a partner in Vero Beach Avionics Inc., an FAA-certificated Part 145 repair station, and currently he is president of the company.
Peavley was elected to the AEA board of directors in 2007, and he is an avid supporter of the AEA, attending every regional meeting in his area and the annual convention. He also serves on the AEA’s Government & Industry Affairs Committee.
Sandel Avionics, Vista, Calif.
Chuck Freeland is a regional manager for Sandel Avionics; he covers the western United States, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii. He has been involved in the avionics industry for more than 30 years, holding various sales, marketing and flight department positions with Bendix/King throughout its transitions to Allied/Signal and Honeywell. Prior to that, Freeland worked with BFGoodrich Avionics Systems and 3M Co. in the Stormscope Division.
Freeland is an ATP-rated pilot with nearly 10,000 hours in various single- and twin-engine aircraft. He was elected to the AEA board of directors in 2007, and he currently is working with the AEA Educational Foundation to foster better industry relationships with younger generations by visiting schools and encouraging high school and college-level students to pursue careers in aviation electronics.
Freeland has a bachelor’s degree in aviation administration from Indiana State University. He loves the outdoors, and bass fishing is a long-time passion. Residing in Vacaville, Calif., he and his wife have a daughter and three sons.
NOMINEES (Listed in alphabetical order):
Ramona Avionics, Ramona, Calif.
Dave Hainline has owned and operated Ramona Avionics for 20 years. Hainline has been an active installer and repair technician throughout his career. The bulk of his training came from his background in the United States Navy as an aviation electrician.
Hainline also owns Avionics Innovations, a manufacturing company he created 15 years ago in response to a need for products identified through Ramona Avionics. He has been involved in all aspects of manufacturing, maintenance, installation and certification of avionics. Hainline holds a private pilot license with multi-engine rating, as well as an airframe and powerplant license with inspection authorization.
Hainline said his areas of interest with the AEA are to help find ways to increase regular membership and attendance to the annual international convention, and help enhance the AEA’s training programs.
William (Bill) Hanf
Heritage Flight, South Burlington, Vt.
Bill Hanf grew up in the small town of Bristol, Vt.; he was the oldest of five siblings. After graduating high school, Hanf joined the United States Marine Corps. As an avionics technician and aircrew member on CH-46 helicopters, Hanf’s responsibilities grew along with his technical and leadership skills, and he soon found himself in charge of the avionics department. After serving proudly for six years, Sgt. Hanf received an honorable discharge and ventured back into the civilian world.
Hanf immediately began work at the Cessna-Citation Service Center in Long Beach, Calif., where he enjoyed the challenge of troubleshooting and installing complex avionics systems on corporate jets. Eventually, he was transferred to the New York Citation Service Center as the avionics supervisor.
Hanf now manages the avionics department for Heritage Flight, supporting the company’s charter fleet as well as many local and transient customers. He resides in Lincoln, Vt., with his wife and children, where he also serves as a volunteer firefighter.
Director of Avionics Sales & Service
Epps Aviation, Atlanta, Ga.
Mike LaConto has had a passion for aviation, mechanics and business since childhood. He obtained his private pilot certification in 1991, and he studied at Michigan Institute of Avionics and Colorado Aero Tech to obtain A&P certification. In 1998, LaConto’s career in general aviation “took off” after moving from Denver to Atlanta to work for Epps Aviation. Established in 1965, Epps is at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, and Aviation International News consistently ranks Epps in the Top 10 independently owned FBOs in the U.S.
LaConto began as a general aviation technician for piston aircraft in the flight school, and in 1999, he obtained GROL certification with radar endorsement from the FCC. He furthered his training and education as an autopilot specialist by obtaining certificates in electronics technician and computer networking from Clayton State University. He also has received multiple NCATT certifications and A&P certification with inspection authorization.
LaConto has been involved in the AEA for several years and he has served as a member of the AEA’s Government & Industry Affairs Committee since 2007. He is on the Education & Training Advisory Committee for the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Atlanta, and he is a member of the EAA and AOPA. LaConto said he wants to serve on the AEA board of directors to give back to the industry that has given so much to him and to further the AEA’s mission.
CANDIDATE FOR EUROPE REGION
IAE Ltd., Cranfield, England
Garry Joyce joined the Royal Air Force in 1989, originally as an airborne radar apprentice before moving into avionics. In 1997, Joyce left the RAF to pursue a career in civil aviation and joined IAE Ltd. in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England, as an avionics engineer.
Once licensed, he became an inspector and, in 2001, became IAE’s avionics manager. In 2006, Joyce purchased the company as part of a management buy-out. He currently has 18 engineers carrying out maintenance, installation, repair (avionics and electrical) and holds EASA Part 145 and FAA repair station approvals.
Joyce regularly attends the AEA Europe Regional Meetings and he is a member of the AEA Europe government committee for the discussion of European regulatory issues.
CANDIDATE FOR SOUTH PACIFIC REGION
Avionics 2000, Melbourne, Australia
Michael J. Kus is the founder and director of Avionics 2000 Pty Ltd., based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Since its conception 22 years ago, Kus has expanded his business by 2,000 percent, growing it to one of the largest privately owned general aviation avionics equipment retailers and maintenance providers in Australia.
Avionics 2000 was the first in Australia to fit and certify TCAS in a business aviation environment. It also was the first to obtain aircraft certification for primary means oceanic navigation using GPS.
Kus’ passion for aviation was launched in 1976, when he joined the Royal Australian Navy. He received avionics technician apprenticeship training with the RAN Fleet Air Arm and trained as an electrical fitter. While concurrently serving his country, Kus received honors from the Department of Technical and Further Education, NSW, for completion of its electronics and communications course in 1982. Prior to starting Avionics 2000, Kus served six years with the Victoria Police Air Wing, where he became a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME) and is credited with orchestrating the avionics plan for its air ambulance service in 1985.
When he is not immersed in his work, Kus enjoys spending time with his wife and their 2-year-old twins.