People Spotlight

Industry movements and appointments.

PrecisionHawk has a new VP of strategic initiatives. Former Dronebase CTO Eli Tamanaha will take the newly created position. He co-founded Dronebase and has held senior engineering roles at Netflix, Amazon and Microsoft.

Eli Tamanaha

Airbus has appointed Eduardo Dominguez Puerta as its head of urban air mobility, a new unit within the company. Puerta has held various operational management positions at Airbus, including overseeing supplier development and lean management. He was instrumental in setting up operations of A3, where he served as COO.

Eduardo Dominguez Puerta

Cadence Aerospace has appointed Lanny Shirk as president of the company’s Astro Spar Aden (ASA) operations. ASA provides high-speed and hard-metal machining, assembly and kitting for aerostructures. Shirk most recently served as senior director at Orbital ATK. He spent the majority of his career at Vought Aircraft, a company later acquired by Triumph Group.

Lanny Shirk

The Aerospace Industries Association has named Jason Yaley as its VP of membership and strategic development. Prior to the appointment, Yaley served as AIA’s assistant VP for communications, which Caitlin Hayden will fill. Hayden was EVP of Edelman’s Washington, D.C. office.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has announced new and returning members of its board. Current directors Ben Gielow and Brent Klavon were re-elected. The new board directors are Marke Gibson, Rbon Hess, Houston Mills and Susan Roberts.

Airobotics has appointed Richard Wooldridge as the company’s new COO. Wooldridge previously served as the COO/GTM lead at Facebook’s Building 8 and Google’s Advanced Technology and Products Group. He has served on Airobotics' board of directors and will be charged with scaling up the global business in the company’s next phase of expansion.

Richard Wooldridge

FlightSafety International has promoted Joe Warakomski to CIO. Warakomski is responsible for all aspects of FlightSafety’s information technology programs. He joined the company in 2005 and most recently served as deputy CIO since 2016.

Joe Warakomski

The Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) has appointed Gary Hoyle as its president. Hoyle currently serves as the director of campus operations for the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. He has been the institute's representative at ATEC for 12 years and has previously served as ATEC treasurer and VP.

Gary Hoyle

Samir Kapoor has joined Swift Navigation as EVP of engineering and product. With more than 20 years of experience in engineering organizations, Kapoor most recently served as SVP of device engineering at Fitbit.

Samir Kapoor

Babcock International has appointed Lauren Adams as managing director of aviation onshore and Andrew Cridland as managing director of aviation offshore. Adams previously served as director of commercial for the offshore services. Cridland previously served as the CFO of aviation.

Guardian Flight Inc. has named Randy Lyman VP of base operations. Lyman is responsible for Guardian Flight's 50 bases that serve 15 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. He previously served as director of service delivery at REACH Air Medical Services and VP of CALSTAR Air Medical Services, following its acquisition by REACH.

Universal Avionics has appointed Curtis Thelen to CFO. Thelen joined Universal Avionics in 2007 when he assumed the position of controller.

Curtis Thelen

Elbit Systems of America has promoted Ted Fordyce to lead the company’s Washington operations office. In his expanded role as VP for Washington operations, Fordyce will be responsible for advancing, protecting and winning support for the company’s priority interests. Fordyce served as VP of government relations and has been with the company since 2015.

Dan Larsen

Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has named Dan Larsen general manager of aerospace and defense. An 18-year company veteran, Larsen is responsible for refining the global growth strategies for Donaldson's aerospace and defense business unit. In 2015, he moved to China, where he was responsible for the engine business for greater China.

Darlene Smith

Kaman Aerosystems has appointed Darlene Smith as VP and general manager of Kaman’s Air Vehicles and MRO division. In this role, Smith will lead Kaman’s aircraft OEM operations including sales, production and support of the K-MAX and support for the worldwide fleet of SH-2G Super Seasprite naval helicopters. She joined Kaman in 2001 and most recently served as the company’s VP of supply chain and enterprise performance. RWI

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