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Management Team

Western Aircraft Management -- Aviation Services

Western Aircraft provides the aviation industry with the very best in aircraft services. Our aircraft management team is experienced with an unmatched attention to detail. We offer experience, superior customer service, and timely delivery. Western Aircraft is proud to serve Beechcraft/KingAir, Cessna Citation, Embraer, Falcon, GulfstreamHawker, Kodiak, Pilatus and Piper. Get to know the Western Aircraft management team below.

Austin Shontz - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Austin Shontz
Vice President and General Manager
austins@westair.com
Austin’s leadership oversees the aircraft services group, OTC parts distribution and line service for Western Aircraft. He started his aerospace career in 1986 working for McDonnell Douglas. He has recently held senior leadership positions with Gulfstream in manufacturing/completions, final phase engineering, and supply chain management. This was followed by a role as a Sr. Strategic Advisor with Embraer Executive Jets. Austin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University.
Philip Winters - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Philip Winters
Vice President - Aircraft Sales & Charter Management
philw@westair.com
Phil leads the company’s new and preowned aircraft sales and aircraft management/charter divisions, he has been with Western Aircraft since 1997. Western Aircraft is an authorized Piper dealer and the largest authorized Pilatus dealer in the world representing Pilatus with the PC-12 NG and the PC-24. Additionally, Western Aircraft operates an aircraft management division with an FAR 135 certificate and multiple aircraft, dba WestAir Charter. Prior to joining Western, Phil was a founding member of the Raytheon Aircraft Company (formerly Beechcraft) Resale Group in Wichita, Kansas. Winters’ primary focus is building and leading a team devoted to customer relationships in order to provide the best solutions for all of their aviation needs. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Technology from LeTourneau University, and has been a pilot since 1990. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, is a Certified Flight Instructor, and an A&P mechanic and regularly enjoys flying the company’s Piper and Pilatus airplanes.
Kevin Kaye - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Kevin Kaye
Vice President & Controller
kevink@westair.com
Kevin is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 25 years of accounting experience and is responsible for directing the fiscal functions of the company in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory and advisory organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boise State University.
John Kochel
Director of Parts and Logistics
johnk@westair.com
John leads the Parts and Logistics Business Unit for Western Aircraft. Before joining the team at Western John started his career in Aviation with GKN on the International Leadership Development Program and held various leadership roles including Program Manager for HondaJet, Business Development for GKN Transparency Systems, and General Manager of the Transparency Aftermarket Services Business Unit in Garden Grove, California. Most recently, John managed the Western Territory for Global Parts Aero where he developed strong relationships in the GA/BA market. John graduated from Penn State University in December 2001 with a BA in English and Business. Additionally, he completed the UCLA Financial Leadership Program and was previously on the Board of Trustees for Auburn University Polymer and Fiber Engineering.
Kerry Heiss Kerry Heiss
Director of MRO Sales and Marketing
kerryh@westair.com
Kerry leads the company’s Sales and Marketing organization for the Aircraft Services business.  Prior to joining Western Aircraft, he held leadership positions at BendixKing / Honeywell, StandardAero, and GE.  Kerry also spent 6 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, where he served in logistics management roles during assignments at sea and in Europe.  Kerry has a BA in German from Miami (Ohio) University, an MBA from Cameron University, is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds a Commercial Pilot license with multi-engine and instrument ratings.
Jody Harris - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Jody Harris
Director of Aircraft Services
jodyh@westair.com
Jody leads the Aircraft Services teams for Western Aircraft, overseeing the operations of the Maintenance, Avionics, Interiors, Engineering and Planning. As the Director of Aircraft Services, Jody and his team are committed to exceeding our customer’s expectations. He earned an Associate’s degree in Aviation Management and holds an A&P certificate. Jody began his aviation career serving six years in the US army as CH-47 Chinook Helicopter Flight Engineer and is a Persian Gulf Veteran. He started at Western Aircraft in 1999 as a Maintenance Tech 1 and has grown over the years in responsibility and roles to his current leadership position.
Dan Milender - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Dan Milender
FBO Manager
danm@westair.com
Dan leads the FBO operation, which consists of a dedicated crew of four CSR’s and 15 line Service Technicians. He has more than 20 years of FBO and Line Service experience and he holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He oversees customer service and ground support for general aviation and military aircraft as well as Western’s airline fueling operation. His primary concern is ensuring each customer visiting Western Aircraft has a pleasant experience and receives safe, convenient service.
Sharon Watson - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Sharon Hamilton, SPHR
Human Resources Manager
sharonh@westair.com
Sharon is a Senior Professional in Human Resources and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in HR Management from Boise State University. As the HR Manager, Sharon is committed to attracting and retaining the best aviation professionals in the industry. Her responsibilities include recruiting, training, benefits administration, compensation, and employee relations. Sharon began her career with Western Aircraft in the accounting department in 2001 and has grown within the company to her current position.
Peter Woodke - Western Aircraft Management - Western Aircraft - Aircraft Services Peter Woodke
Contracts Manager
peterw@westair.com
Peter joined Western Aircraft in May 2011 and is responsible for the management of Western Aircraft’s diverse customer and supplier contracts. Most recently, Peter worked as a Risk Manager for Union Bank and as a Senior Contracts Negotiator for ABM Industries, Inc. Peter has a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and received his JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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