Andy Priester President & CEO
Andy Priester serves as Priester Aviation’s President and CEO.
He is the third generation of Priesters to lead the business, the largest and oldest family-owned Management and Charter company in the world. The Priester family has a rich aviation history starting in 1945 including owning Palwaukee Airport - KPWK (now renamed Chicago Executive Airport), operating a flight school, operating multiple FBOs, providing 145 maintenance services, and operating an aircraft sales division. Priester Aviation currently focuses solely on Aircraft Management and Global Charter after the strategic sale of the other business units. In this role, Andy is dedicated to leading the growth of the organization and enhancing Priester’s position as the preeminent choice in aircraft management, aircraft charter and related aviation services. During Andy’s tenure at Priester, he has grown the fleet from seven aircraft to over 65 aircraft they manage from 15 bases globally today.
Andy currently sits on the board of the Air Charter Safety Foundation, is current Chair of YPO Chicago - Windy City, and past Chair of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). Andy is a proud University of Dayton Flyer and holds a Master’s degree from Concordia University.
Andy is the proud father of Madison (23) who coordinates Priester Aviation’s marketing efforts and Quinn (20) who is a professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Andy participates philanthropically with the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, the Chicagoland Urban League, and Feed My Starving Children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his children and girlfriend, Crystal, in the mountains, on the water, or anywhere outdoors.
Viviana Kozin Chief Operating Officer
Kozin joined Priester in 2004 where she began her career as a trip coordinator in the Logistics department. Over the years, Kozin was instrumental in developing Logistics into a global 24/7/365 operation, and ultimately promoted to Vice President of Flight Logistics. Prior to joining Priester, Kozin worked for the Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK) studying and benchmarking airport noise. Kozin is a graduate of Lewis University with a B.S. in Aviation Administration, International Business and holds an FAA Approved Aircraft Dispatcher License.
Doug McGowan Chief Financial Officer
Douglas McGowan is Priester Aviation’s Chief Financial Officer, reporting to President and CEO Andy Priester. McGowan provides executive leadership to the company and is responsible for overseeing all financial activities and Priester Aviation’s MIS department. Prior to joining Priester, he served as controller and held senior executive roles at various organizations. During his career, McGowan has successfully implemented new technology to promote efficiencies and cost savings. He holds a B.A.A degree from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Kurt Humm Vice President, Quality and Safety
Kurt Humm is responsible for Priester Aviation's Quality Management System. He is actively involved in process mapping, implementation and leading continuous quality improvement. His career spans corporate, commercial and military sectors including flight instructor, American Airlines MD-80 captain and fighter pilot/aircraft commander in the Illinois Air National Guard flying the F-4 Phantom and F-16 Falcon. Humm graduated from Southern Illinois University with a B.S. in Business Administration.
David Prescott Vice President, Maintenance
David Prescott oversees the company’s Maintenance Control Department. Prescott’s work in the aviation industry has designated him as an experienced industry veteran who is well respected throughout the aviation community. Prescott served 10 years in the US Air Force, after which he worked for a regional Part 121 air carrier, and for United and American Airlines as a maintenance manager. In addition to his time as a maintenance manager, Prescott served as an Aircraft and Engine Project Manager, handling full scale aircraft refurbishment, pre-purchases, heavy inspections and overhauls for nearly nine years.
Stacey M. Wolfe Director Of Human Resources/Payroll
Stacey Wolfe brings to Priester Aviation more than 19 years of Human Resources and Payroll experience. Stacey joined the Priester team in 2016 where she leads talent development, benefits, recruiting and payroll functions. Prior to joining Priester, Stacey spent much of her career in both the manufacturing and medical fields, with the majority of her career being spent in the medical field as an EMT. Currently, she is certified by the American Red Cross with an Instructors Certification in CPR/First Aid. Stacey holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Binghamton University - State University of New York (SUNY) with HRPD and SPHR certifications.
Charlie Hughes Senior Vice President, Management Sales
Hughes leads Priester's aircraft management sales and directs the strategic growth of the fleet. He comes to Priester Aviation with a successful history in management sales, most recently as Vice President of Management Sales at Executive Jet Management (EJM). In addition to Hughes’ management sales experience, he has held executive-level positions in charter sales and client relations spanning his aviation career.
Ted Pietrolaj Sr. Vice President, Corporate Development
Ted Pietrolaj is Sr. Vice President, Corporate Development and is responsible for client relationships covering Priester's global clientele. Pietrolaj formerly managed an in-house corporate fleet for a Fortune 100 company and has extensive flight operations experience from his role at Executive Jet Management (EJM). His extensive knowledge of both operations and the client’s perspective is invaluable. The combination of understanding the demands of charter clients and a strong knowledge of flight operations makes him perfect for this role.
Toby Batchelder VP, Sales
Toby has been in corporate aviation since 2002. His first aviation related job was heading up all sales and marketing for a Minnesota based fractional jet club called Jet Choice. Later, Toby joined Elliott Aviation to grow their aircraft charter and management programs in the greater Minneapolis area including Wisconsin and Iowa. Toby grew the fleet to 22 aircraft throughout the Midwest. In 2014, Toby joined Central Business Jets buying and selling whole aircraft.
Greg Cummings Director of Business Development & Management Sales
Greg has been a strategic pioneer in the business world for more than 22 years specializing in private aviation solutions. Greg previously served as an executive at Bombardier, FlexJet and most recently was Vice President of Sales for Fractrade. Greg has completed hundreds of transactions for customers across the globe providing solutions including ad hoc charter, jet cards, fractional sales, and whole aircraft transactions.
Anthony Burks Vice President of Flight Logistics
Anthony Burks brings more than 15 years of aviation experience to his role as Vice President of Flight Logistics. Burks joined the Priester team in 2010 where he began as a logistics coordinator. Burks was later promoted to Vice President of Flight Logistics and now to his current position as Vice President of Flight Logistics. Anthony holds a B.S. in Aviation Science from Saint Louis University (Parks College) as well as a Commercial Single and Multi-Engine Pilot Certificate and Aircraft Dispatcher licenses.
James Schnell Director of Client Relations
James Schnell joined the Priester team in 2005 and now leads the Client Relations Department. As Client Relations Director, Schnell oversees the client relationship, ensuring the client is at the heart of all we do. Schnell is dedicated to providing a seamless client experience from trip inquiry to day of trip execution. He is the fourth generation of Priesters to work in a management role. Schnell graduated from St. Norbert College holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.