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Key Personnel

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Nancy Lematta

Nancy Lematta

Chairman of the Board

Nancy assumed the Chairman of the Board position in February 2010. Nancy became involved in Columbia in 1962 when she married Mr. Wes Lematta.

Her prior aviation experience included working as a flight attendant for Pacific Power and Light.

She is a member of various boards and foundations in her community including the Providence Hospital Foundation Board, the Lematta Foundation and the I Have a Dream Group.

She has become more actively involved in Columbia over the past few years and joined the board in 2008.

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Mike Fahey

Mike Fahey

Chief Executive Officer, Executive Management Group (EMG) and Board Member

Effective February 14, 2013, Stan Wilson assumed the responsibility of President.  Mike will continue to lead Columbia as the CEO and an EMG and Board Member. 

As President , Mike was  involved in all business and program development, including acquisitions and contract negotiations for both domestic and foreign operations, he will continue to be actively involved in these activities.     

 Mike assumed the Presidency of Columbia upon Roy Simmons’ retirement in April of 1999.

Mr. Fahey graduated from Portland State University in 1966 with a B.A. (Honors) in Accounting, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1968. From 1966 to 1975, he was employed by Arthur Young & Company carrying out various auditing and accounting duties, Director of Education & Training for the Portland office and, in his final years, Manager of the Management Services Department. He joined Columbia in 1975, where he was responsible for its accounting systems, computer operations and finance control.  On January 1, 1998, he assumed the duties of Executive Vice President in addition to those of Vice President of Finance, until he became President in April of 1999, and assumed the dual role of President and CEO on December 7, 2011.  

 

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Stan Wilson

Stan Wilson

President and Vice President of Finance

Stan assumed the role of President on February 13, 2013. 

Stan has been the Vice President of Finance for Columbia Helicopters, Inc. since April of 2000.

Mr. Wilson graduated from Brigham Young University in 1985 with a B.A. in accounting and went to school in the evenings while working at Columbia and graduated with a Masters of Business with an emphasis in accounting from Portland State University in 1995. He joined Columbia after working one year in the trucking industry in 1986 as the Assistant Controller and worked in that capacity until January 1997, when he was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Finance. He assumed the responsibilities of Vice President of Finance upon Mr. Mike Fahey’s promotion to President. As Vice President of Finance, Stan is responsible for the Information Systems and Human Resources functions as well as his responsibilities in the Finance and Accounting area.  

 

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Pete Lance

Pete Lance

Executive Vice President & Board Member

Pete Lance graduated in 1970 from Long Beach State College with a B.A. in Economics. Following graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy, completed Officers' Candidate School and flight training, and served as a helicopter pilot until he joined Columbia as a type-rated BV 107 pilot in 1980.

He was a pilot on Columbia's offshore oil support operation in the Gulf of Mexico and eventually became the project manager for that operation. Pete managed the Company's two Boeing 234 Chinook operations in Alaska, again supporting offshore oil exploration, and has spent many years in flight operations management.

He also has a number of years' experience in contract negotiations. In August 1992, Mr. Lance became Vice President, Flight Operations; he became Executive Vice President and a Director in 2003.

Under Columbia's management structure, Pete stands in during periods when President, Mike Fahey, is away from the Aurora facility, and oversees the company's insurance program.

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James Lematta

James Lematta

Board Member

Jim Lematta was the company's first employee, hired by his brother Wes in 1957. 

After earning his pilot's license, Jim served a pilot in the S-61 and Vertol 107-II. He flew on Columbia's first forest fire with a water bucket in 1966 and on the company's first logging project in 1971. Jim also set steel powerline towers at an elevation of 11,000 ft. highest project of such at that time. In 1968 Jim rescued 40 fire fighters from a fast running wild fire up in Alaska. During his career with Columbia, Jim served as a fueler, mechanic, pilot, Project Manager, Field Operations Coordinator, and Vice President of Safety.  He received the Helicopter Association's "Salute to Excellence" Safety Award for 1991.

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Gregory Damico

Gregory Damico

Board Member

Greg is a Certified Public Accountant specializing in tax planning strategies for real estate transactions and other tax matters.

Greg previously worked in the finance area for Red Lion Hotels and is currently a partner for Tax Advisors LLC.

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Terry Heilman

Terry Heilman

Board Member

Terry is the President of World Class Management, Inc., a company that specializes in management and strategic development for complex business entities, and he is the owner of Sunstone Circuits, a printed circuit board (PCB) prototype solutions provider.

Terry previously worked for Omark Industries.

He was part of the management team and became the CEO prior to retiring from Omark Industries and starting his own company.

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David McCullam

David McCullam

Board Member

David joined the Columbia Helicopters, Inc. Board of Directors in 2010. He is a native of California, having received his degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles.

His career in the forest products industry has included corrugated containers production and sales with Western Kraft Corp. followed by paper products sales for Willamette Industries.

In 1969, he joined Northwest Hardwoods, Inc., a hardwood lumber and component manufacturer, becoming Vice President of marketing and sales in 1971.

After merging with Weyerhaeuser Company in 1980, the sale of Northwest Hardwood products and services were focused on global markets.

Since retiring in 1998, David has continued his participation in forest products as a consultant.

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Todd Petersen

Todd Petersen

Vice President of Marketing

In July 2006, Todd assumed the responsibility of VP of Marketing.

Todd attended the University of Colorado, after which he went through Army flight training and subsequently served two tours in Vietnam in the Army, followed by a third tour in Vietnam/Laos as an Air America pilot.

He started his civilian career in Papua New Guinea with an Australian helicopter company and joined CHI in 1972 as a co-pilot.

During his years with Columbia, Todd held a number of positions including command pilot, logging project manager, overseas project manager, operations administrator, and a number of years as a key marketing representative prior to becoming their Vice President of Marketing.

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Kurt Koehnke

Kurt Koehnke

Vice President of Maintenance

In December 2002, Kurt Koehnke assumed the position of Director of Maintenance, with responsibility for all maintenance related operations of helicopters in the field, including those leased to Helifor, as well as for the 135 maintenance program.

Kurt has been a Columbia employee since 1987, first as a BV 107 mechanic. He entered the BV 234 program in 1989 and served as maintenance supervisor in Papua New Guinea, Peru and Ecuador.

He has been a Maintenance Supervisor since 1994. Prior to joining Columbia Kurt attended Embry Riddle University and served in the U.S. Army as a CH-47 mechanic.

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Steve Bandy

Steve Bandy

Vice President of Operations

Steve was promoted to Vice President of Operations in October 2012.

In June of 2008, Steve was designated as Chief Pilot. In November of 2009, the position of Director of Flight Operations was added to Steve’s role.

Steve has worked at Columbia since 1989 and has acquired over 10,000 flight hours and his Airline Transport Pilot rating in Columbia’s 107 and 234 model helicopters.

During this time he has served as both lead and command pilot in all of Columbia’s operations, including logging, fire, construction, passenger, and oil. Steve also serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner for the FAA in both models.

In 1983, Steve began private fixed-wing training. By 1984 he had earned his Commercial/Flight Instructor Helicopter rating and spent the next couple of years instructing and running a flight school.

In 1987 he took a job with a real estate development company in Los Angeles flying a B206L3 and serving as their Director of Acquisitions until 1989, when he joined Columbia.

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Chris Hansel

Chris Hansel

Director of Materials

Chris has been with Columbia since 1973. Starting as a Parts Expediter, he became Parts Department Supervisor in 1978.

He continued to assume more responsibility over the years, first as Production Control Supervisor then as Production/Inventory Manager.

In January 2004 the Materials Department was established, incorporating the Purchasing Department; at that time Chris became Director of Materials, with responsibility for all related activity.

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Dave Tibbetts

Dave Tibbetts

Director of Shop Operations

On Aug 9th 2010, Dave assumed the position of Director of Shop Operations.

He is responsible for overall supervision of all sections of Columbia’s maintenance and repair organization. Prior to assuming this position , Dave spent 20 years in aircraft maintenance based in Aurora, starting as a structural mechanic in 1986.

Dave moved to a lead mechanic position in 1995 supervising the structures swing shift and moved to the position of Structures shop chief in 2001.

In 2006 Dave became Hangar operations Program Manager and retained this position until assuming the duties of the Drive and Rotor manager in 2009.

Prior to joining Columbia helicopters Dave attended Big Bend Community college in Moses Lake Washington obtaining his Airframe and Power plant license.

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Paul Trese

Paul Trese

Director of Engineering

In February of 2003, Paul Trese joined Columbia Helicopters as Director of Engineering. He is responsible for all Design, Engineering and Certification approval aspects of major alterations to CHI aircraft.

His department is responsible for the coordination of technical issues with Boeing and other service engineering organizations.

Paul obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1984; he was with McDonnell Douglas from 1985 to 1996, starting as an engineer.

At the time he left McDonnell Douglas he was manager of the Structural Methods Development Group.

From 1996 until 2003 Paul was mechanical system design lead and engineering manager for Air Methods Corporation.

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Chris Hankland

Chris Hankland

Director of Quality

In 2008 Mr. Hankland became the Director of Quality.

Mr. Hankland graduated from Moody Aviation School in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Technology.

He also holds an FAA Mechanic Certificate-Airframe and Power Plant ratings, as well as FAA Commercial Pilot—Airplane Multi-Engine Instrument and Flight Instructor Certificates.

He came to work for Columbia in 1995 and has worked as a mechanic in the engine shop, and as a field mechanic on both the Columbia 107-II and 234 aircraft.

In May of 2001 he was reassigned to Columbia’s FAA Repair Station and has held the positions of Swing Shift Lead Mechanic, Quality Control Inspector, and Quality Control Supervisor.

He has attended the Safety Management System training course at University of Southern California and is an AS9100 Lead Auditor.

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Mike Moore

Mike Moore

Director of Forest Operations

Mike Moore graduated from Oklahoma State University with Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management in 1977.

Upon graduation, he began working with Columbia Helicopters. He worked in the rigging for several years before becoming a Project Manager from 1979 to 1981.

He became a Forester in 1982, where he worked until 1987. He was promoted to Logging Superintendent in 1988, and worked in that position until 2009 when he was promoted to Director of Forestry.

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Scott Ellis

Scott Ellis

Director of Business Development

Scott is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and 21 year veteran with the Army National Guard.

While serving in the National Guard, stationed in Reno Nevada, Scott filled a supervisory role responsible for the enlisted personnel and aircraft of the unit he was attached to.

Scott was qualified in the H-60 Black Hawk, and a Crew Chief and instructor in both the CH-54 Sky Crane, and the CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Scott also worked briefly with Erickson Air Crane gaining experience in the S-64 aircraft.

Scott joined Columbia Helicopters in April of 2004 as a Maintenance Marketing Representative and was promoted to Deputy Business Development Manager in July of 200

In September of 2007, he was promoted to Business Development Manager and was then promoted in June of 2009 to his current position as Director of Business Development.

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Dan Riches

Dan Riches

Director of Health, Safety, Environment and Security

Dan joined Columbia Helicopters in February 2003 as the Ground Training Manager. He was promoted to Flight Operations Administrator in 2007, and was selected to become Director of Safety in June 2011. In 2012, the Safety Department assumed an expanded role - Health, Safety, Environment and Security.  He has completed the USC Aviation Safety and Security Management Certificate program and AS9100 Lead Auditor training.

Prior to CHI, Dan completed a 23 year career in Naval Aviation where his duties included flight operations management, training management, safety and security, and flight data analysis. While in the Navy, he earned a BS from New Hampshire College and an MS from Chapman University. He retired from active duty as a Chief Petty Officer in October 2002.

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Kasha Halvorson

Kasha Halvorson

Director of Human Resources

Kasha joined Columbia Helicopters in 2008, and was promoted to the Director of Human Resources position in August 2011. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Oregon, and has held a SPHR (Senior Professional Human Resources) certificate from the Society of Human Resources since 1999.

Kasha’s 20 plus years of experience in the human resources field includes various human resources and management roles at Nike and GE. She has significant Staff Development, Recruitment, Employee Relations and Human Resources Management experience working in large and quickly expanding business divisions such retail, manufacturing, distribution and customer service.

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Chris Gage

Chris Gage

Director of Flight Operations/Chief Pilot

Chris was promoted to Director of Flight Operations/Chief Pilot in October 2012.

In June of 2009, Chris was designated as Assistant Chief Pilot.

Chris has worked at Columbia since 2003 and has type ratings in both Columbia’s 107 and 234 model helicopters.

During this time he has served as both lead and command pilot in Columbia’s operations, including logging, firefighting, construction and passenger work. Chris also serves as a Check Airman and Pilot Proficiency Examiner for the FAA in both models.

In 1996, Chris began working on his private helicopter rating. By 1998 he had earned his Private, Commercial and Flight Instructor Helicopter ratings and spent the next couple of years instructing for a busy flight school in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1999 he took a job with a national real estate aerial photography company flying in over forty states every year and became the company’s lead pilot until 2003, when he joined Columbia.

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Paul Leach

Paul Leach

Director Of Military Maintenance

Paul was promoted to Director of Military Maintenance in November 2011.

Paul served as program manager for 8 years within the CHI maintenance department assisting in the development of Columbia’s military maintenance programs.  He served in field operations for 12 years on the 234 aircraft as a mechanic, asst. crew chief and crew chief where he worked around the globe in logging, firefighting and heavy lift operations.

Prior to joining CHI, Paul served in the U.S. Army as a CH-47 flight engineer instructor and served in the Gulf War in 1990-91. He earned his A&P license in 1992 at North Central Institute of Technology in Clarksville, TN while serving in the U.S. Army.  

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Roy Toavs

Roy Toavs

Director Of Maintenance

Roy Toavs

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