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Premier Private Jets expands senior management to lead growth
CEO Josh Birmingham has put in place an expanded leadership team to lead the company through the next stages of growth.
COO Jeff Lee.

Florida-based Premier Private Jets has expanded its leadership team as it prepares to launch a wider menu of offerings.

"We've grown this company methodically and prudently for 11 years, becoming a trusted charter provider," says founder and CEO Josh Birmingham. "Now we are ready to take the company to the next level and we have put in place an exceptional team to lead this growth."

Birmingham, a 15,000-hour pilot and entrepreneur, founded the company in 2013, drawing on his extensive charter experience to build a fleet of company-owned light, midsize and large jets. He also built a strong in-house maintenance capability to ensure reliable, on-time and economical service to clients.

Last month, Premier Private Jets acquired the MRO operations of Stevens Aerospace & Defense in Dayton, Ohio, as well as its FBO. Premier operates the MRO, its third repair station, under the name Premier Aviation Services DAY and the FBO as Premier Jet Services.

"We are strongly oriented to provide a better value, putting private aviation within reach of companies and individuals that may be new to business aviation," adds Birmingham.

To manage a growing network of aircraft, services, MRO bases and FBOs, Birmingham has put in place an expanded leadership team.

Steve O'Neill, who founded and led fractional and jet card provider CitationAir for over 12 years, has been providing advisory services for the past year. He works closely with Birmingham to guide strategic planning. O'Neill started his career on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers and co-founded National Healthcare Resources, a large medical cost containment company.

Jeff Lee has been promoted to chief operating officer after serving for seven years as Premier's VP of operations and playing an essential role in the company's growth to date. Lee keeps the aircraft running on time and everyone focused on a uniformly high standard of service, as well as overseeing all facets of the company.

Joanne Aquilina has joined as chief financial officer. A CPA and MBA, she brings extensive financial management skills from the health care industry. She was previously VP finance and CFO for Bethesda Hospital, part of Baptist Health South Florida and then Bethesda's COO before joining Premier Private Jets.

John O'Neill has joined as SVP of operations, bringing invaluable experience in multiple aspects of flight operations. He most recently served as VP, charter operations at Private Jet Services Group and, before that, as its VP of operations and client services. He served for 15 years at CitationAir, 10 of them as SVP, operational planning.

Darren Blackett is Premier Private Jets' new VP of sales. He is a former senior director of sales at Skyshare where he created customised programmes for clients involving multiple types of business aircraft. He created similarly tailored programmes for customers while serving as VP of sales at Airshare.

Kyle Eiserer is VP of FBOs. Premier currently operates FBOs in Waterford, Michigan near Detroit and in Dayton, Ohio. Eiserer has 15 years' experience helping FBOs grow their businesses. He's an ATP pilot and, in 2018, was named among business aviation's top 40 under 40 by the NBAA.

Ron Jennings joined this year as VP of sales MRO. He was previously SVP business development at C&L Aviation Group in Bangor, Maine. There for more than six years, he also served as VP of sales and as a regional sales manager. In addition, he has held sales positions at King Aerospace and Constant Aviation.

Steve Purvis was appointed VP of maintenance in February, moving up from his director of maintenance at Premier for the past two years. Previously, he led service activities on a wide range of aircraft as director of maintenance at Michiana Aircraft Service and Travel Management Company.

"I am extremely proud of the leadership team we have assembled, but I would be remiss in not recognising the more than 150 members of our organisation: experienced pilots, maintenance technicians, customer service representatives and other professionals who give their all to meet the needs of our customers," says Birmingham. "This is truly a team sport, and we have an all star team."

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