US MRO specialist West Star Aviation has promoted Rick Rodriguez to Embraer project manager, and appointed Michael Smith as programme manager for Embraer aircraft, at its Lovell Field facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company has also brought in Raymond Sharp as programme manager for Citation aircraft at its St Louis Regional airport facility in East Alton, Illinois.
Rodriguez has over 22 years of aviation experience, graduating with his A&P from Broward College. He's worked in multiple states and countries, previously working for Continental Airlines, Noble Jet, Colombian Air Force and Embraer. Within these companies he held many prestigious titles from technician, lead, supervisor, lead quality inspector and field services to new aircraft delivery specialist.
"Rick's extensive expertise is exactly what West Star values from its team members as we continue to grow, aiding in increased technical knowledge to enhance the overall customer experience," says Dan Prieu, senior project and planning manager.
Smith has 14 years of aviation experience, including eight at Embraer, where he earned his A&P through OT. While working for the Embraer demonstration team, he also earned his IA. He attended Embry-Riddle Worldwide for his bachelor's degree in aviation maintenance and, as of spring 2023, he earned his Certified Aviation Manager certification from the NBAA.
Before joining WSA, Smith was the Embraer product director for Jet East. He was involved with business development, managing customer accounts; providing technical support to customers, sales and operations; and working closely with facilities to manage schedules and tooling.
"Michael's skills and experience, along with his Embraer expertise, will contribute to West Star's long-term goal of continuing to grow our expert teams while also providing the first-class service our valued customers are used to," says general manager Steve Goede.
Sharp's responsibilities will include upholding regulatory, safety and quality standards. He has over 25 years of aviation experience, previously with StandardAero. Twenty-three of those years were in customer service, making him well equipped to ensure top-tier customer experience. He previously held positions as a senior tech, crew lead and director of operations.
"Raymond's aviation expertise included 12 years of coordinating off-site services in a managerial aspect, making him a key contributor to this team and playing a pivotal role in overseeing our projects for our valued customers," says St Louis general manager Brian Bauwens.