Avjet’s management team has extensive experience across the entire spectrum of aviation, including corporate and private jet charter, global aircraft sales and acquisitions, aircraft management, maintenance, refurbishments and completions. In addition, many members of the team have earned specialized flying credentials and piloted Gulfstream, Boeing and other business jets.
Mark H. Lefever—President & Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Lefever attended the University of Northern Colorado, where he majored in Business Administration and Finance. In 1980, while still attending college, he was involved in the start-up of Jet Executive Transportation Services and within three years, had developed a highly successful jet charter and management company operating a large fleet of Learjet’s and jet-prop aircraft for charter. As a founding partner of American Jet Corporation, he was responsible for implementing the strategic marketing and sales strategy that helped launch AJC and contributed to its fast growth and success. In 1989, he was hired as Avjet’s Executive Vice President and became a partner in the company. In 2005, Mr. Lefever was appointed Avjet’s President. In 2013, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer.
Richard W. Hildenbrand—President
Mr. Hildenbrand attended the State University of New York, Farmingdale with a double major in Architecture and Engineering. While in college, he attained his flying credentials, including the Airline Transport Rating. His career in corporate aviation began in 1975, flying Gulfstream aircraft for a major communications company. Mr. Hildenbrand accumulated over 8,000 hours in Gulfstream aircraft and earned the prestigious 10,000 Hour NBAA Pilot Safety Award as Pilot in Command of Business Aircraft. Mr. Hildenbrand joined Avjet in 1995 as Director of Aircraft Management and was promoted in 2006 to Executive Vice President. In January 2013, he was promoted to President.
Jeff W. Fritz—Vice President, Maintenance Operations
Mr. Fritz graduated with an Associates of Science Degree in mathematics from College of the Canyons. In 1985, while attending college, he completed the State of California apprenticeship in Aircraft Maintenance. As a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic, he maintained various aircraft for Lockheed Martin prior to joining Avjet in 1990. He was appointed Director of Maintenance in 1992 and Vice President of Maintenance Operations in 1995.
Karen M. Velligan—Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Velligan graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Business Administration, Accounting Theory and Practice. She became a licensed Certified Public Accountant. During her twelve years working in public accounting, she acquired a broad range of experience in corporate taxation and financial accounting. Ms. Velligan has worked with Avjet since 1986 and joined Avjet as Vice President of Finance and Human Resources in 1996.
Gregory L. Wilcox—Director of Operations
Mr. Wilcox attended Orange Coast College and received a degree in Aeronautics. He has extensive operational and management experience in both FAR Part 91 and Part 135 operations having been the Director of Operations of some notable medium to large Part 135 operations and the part of the operations team of two major Fractional Ownership companies. Mr. Wilcox holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with over 8,000 hours of flight time; the majority accumulated as an FAR Part 135 line pilot, check airman and as a flight instructor. He is an Accredited Aviation Safety Auditor for ARGUS and IS-BAO and has received the NBAA Aviation Safety Award for more than 24 years of accident free Business Aircraft Operations. Mr. Wilcox comes to Avjet from ARGUS International where he was the Business Aviation Audit Program Manager overseeing the domestic and international Business Aviation audit programs for Air Charter (Part 135) and Corporate (Part 91) operators, including auditing operators to the ARGUS Platinum Standard and the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO).