Executive Bios

Insights of Experience

Edsel B. Ford II - Chairman & Owner

Edsel-B-Ford-IIMr. Ford is the sole owner of Pentastar Aviation. He is the great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, and continues his family’s aviation legacy through his passion for aviation and leadership of Pentastar Aviation. Mr. Ford began his career at Ford Motor Company in January 1974. He was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Ford Motor Credit Company in May 1991 and elected an officer of Ford Motor Company in 1993. In 1988, Mr. Ford was elected to the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company and, as a consultant, he is active in company affairs and corporate dealer relations.

Gregory J. Schmidt - President & Chief Executive Officer

Greg-SchmidtAs President & Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Schmidt is responsible for the overall performance, strategic direction, and long-term growth of Pentastar Aviation.  He has been active in the business aviation industry, having previously served as Treasurer and then Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). Prior to his current role, he served as Pentastar’s Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the company’s financial affairs and the legal, risk management, IT, purchasing and contract management functions.  In the decade prior to joining Pentastar Aviation, Mr. Schmidt held numerous leadership roles with Pulte Homes, Inc.  During his tenure with Pulte, he served as the President of Pulte Homes of Ohio and also as Manager on the Corporate Asset Management Committee, overseeing capital investments across the U.S.  Mr. Schmidt also served as the founding Secretary & Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Center for Success Network, a non-profit organization he helped establish, which focuses on providing educational support and life-skills training to children in the cities of Pontiac and Detroit, Michigan and Marion, Indiana.

Brad Bruce - Executive Vice President of Maintenance and Sales

Brad-BruceWith 15 years of industry experience, Mr. Bruce has lead business development and strategic direction for full-service business aviation corporations where he has held a variety of positions including Vice President of Flight and Sales. He specializes in aircraft management and air carrier operations under FAR part 121, 125, and 135 requirements. Mr. Bruce served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an aircraft technician on Cobra and Huey helicopters. Prior to joining Pentastar Aviation, he was General Manager of Aircraft Management and Charter for Landmark Aviation.

Robert T. Sarazin - Vice President FBO Services

Bob-SarazinMr. Sarazin has an aviation career spanning over 37 years. He has worked in various positions of increasing responsibility at Pentastar Aviation for more than 32 of those years. Mr. Sarazin has managed multiple FBO locations and has managed ground handling for numerous dignitaries, including Air Force One for two presidents. Mr. Sarazin has overseen large aircraft handling for entertainers, professional sports teams and intercontinental shuttle flights. He currently oversees all Fixed Base Operations, Pentastar Aviation Facilities, as well as Pentastar Aviation’s onsite FiveStar Gourmet Catering.

Michael L. Baker - Vice President of Safety & Compliance

Mike-BakerMr. Baker began his career with Pentastar Aviation in 1982 as a licensed A&P Mechanic. Since then he has held a multitude of positions with increasing responsibility including FAA/EASA Accountable Manager for Pentastar’s Repair Station Operations and Managing Director of Maintenance for Pentastar Aviation Charter, Inc. As Vice President of Safety & Compliance, Mr. Baker is responsible for primary administrative oversight and fostering strategic planning/leadership in the areas of companywide regulatory conformance, quality control/assurance, internal technical publications, health safety and environmental (HSE), safety management system (SMS) and emergency response plan (ERP).

Patricia A. Zikakis - Vice President Human Resources

Patty-ZikakisMs. Zikakis is responsible for driving the strategy and supporting initiatives to attract, motivate, develop and retain world-class talent in support of Pentastar Aviation’s business goals and objectives. Prior to joining Pentastar Aviation, she held human resource positions with SelectCare, First of America, Manufacturer’s Bank, Bank of Oklahoma and Marshall Field and Co. in Chicago.

Mark E. Schenkel - Controller

Edsel-B-Ford-IIMr. Schenkel has responsibility for leading the finance & accounting and information technology teams at Pentastar Aviation and Pentastar Aviation Charter, Inc. Prior to joining Pentastar Aviation, Mr. Schenkel held financial management positions with companies in the industrial services and automotive supplier sectors. He began his career in public accounting and is a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Douglas Levangie - Vice President of Maintenance Operations & Advisory Services

Doug-LevangieMr. Levangie is a 35-year aviation industry veteran and currently the Vice President of Maintenance Operations & Advisory Services for Pentastar Aviation LLC. During his 30-year career with Pentastar, he has held various positions including A&P Technician, Lead Technician, Shift Supervisor and Director of Maintenance. Mr. Levangie has a diverse range of corporate jet experience and is well-versed in Gulfstream, Cessna, Hawker, and Bombardier product lines with significant hands-on experience. In his current position, Mr. Levangie is involved with all facets of customer aircraft transactions. His responsibilities include aircraft operational and maintenance budget projections, aircraft technical appraisals, and aircraft refurbishment planning and management. He is also a Senior Certified Aircraft Appraiser and an active member of NAAA. Mr. Levangie has experience coordinating aircraft transactions with the aircraft buyer, seller and repair stations. He has an understanding of FAA and foreign regulations and has managed over two dozen transactions/refurbishment projects in the past five years.

Robert J. Rufli - Vice President of Flight Operations & Director of Operations

Robert-RufliMr. Rufli joined Pentastar Aviation in 2017 as Vice President of Flight Operations & Director of Operations. He also currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF). He has more than 35 years of experience in the aviation industry including flight operations management, corporate shuttle start up and operations and FAA certification and certificate mergers. Most recently, Mr. Rufli served as President of Landmark Aviation. Prior to that, he served as Director of Flight Operations. For more than 22 years, Mr. Rufli was Executive Director of Flight Operations at Aerodynamics, Inc., and Chief Pilot at PDQ Air Service. He earned his Bachelor of Science in air commerce from Florida Institute of Technology and completed flight training in Gulfstream III, Hawker 800XP & 700, McDonnell Douglas MD-80, Airbus A-320, Beechjet 400A and 400, Mitsubishi Diamond, Beech Starship and Merlin VIC and 300 through Flight Safety International.

Kip Catlin - Chief Pilot

Kip-CatlinMr. Catlin joined Pentastar Aviation in 2012 as Chief Pilot. His over 31 years of experience includes working as a corporate pilot, airline captain, charter pilot and Director of Operations and General Manager of an on-demand air charter and FBO operation in central Michigan. Mr. Catlin is responsible for overseeing the activities of roughly 40 crew members.

Cory Flatoff - Director of Safety

Cory FlatoffMr. Flatoff joined Pentastar Aviation in 2012 with over 25 years of corporate and charter aviation experience. He is responsible for directing, organizing, developing, and maintaining Pentastar Aviation’s proprietary Safety Management System (SMS). Mr. Flatoff also maintains a line position flying the Gulfstream V.