Since Duncan Aviation was founded in 1956, the members of the Duncan family have always been actively involved in leading the company. In addition to the family influence, the company’s leadership dynamic includes vice presidents and executive officers of Duncan Aviation form who form the Senior Leadership Team. They pursue a constructive dynamic that allows them to strategically position the company for long-term success and respond to sudden changes in the industry.
The Senior Leadership Team is responsible for modeling and maintaining Duncan Aviation’s Leadership Values. Duncan Aviation leaders:
- Truly care about each team member.
- Support and develop each team member's career.
- Listen and communicate continuously.
- Encourage teamwork within and among all teams.
- Focus on individual's strengths.
- Celebrate success.
- Provide timely and helpful feedback.
- Focus on continuous improvement.
- Have fun!
Members of the Senior Leadership Team include:
V.P., Airframe Services, Michigan
As Vice President of Airframe Services in Battle Creek, John Biever provides leadership in the airframe, engine, accessory, and paint production areas.
John started with Duncan Aviation in 1985 as a mechanic in the airframe department. He was promoted through to team leader, supervisor, assistant manager and then manager in 1998. He assumed his current role in 2007. Prior to Duncan Aviation, John served as a helicopter mechanic in the Army National Guard and was a supervisor for American Central Airlines.
John is a 1983 graduate of Winona Technical College where he earned an Occupational Proficiency degree in Aviation Mechanics with an FAA-issued A&P license.
John and his wife, Linda, have two sons, Todd and Jerid, one daughter, Abigail, daughter-in-law, Mariah, and two grandsons. John enjoys watching his son participate in Special Olympics, supporting his daughter in sports activities and spending time with his wife, family and grandkids. He volunteers as coach for the Kalamazoo community challenger softball team, is a member of the local school board and is an active member of his local church.
As President and CEO, Aaron C. Hilkemann provides strategic leadership and direction to Duncan Aviation to ensure future development and growth for the enterprise.
Aaron joined Duncan Aviation in 1996 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1997, he was appointed President. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Aaron was Vice President and Director of Financial Operations for FirsTier Financial, Inc. His background includes eight years of public accounting experience with KPMG Peat Marwick where he served as a Senior Audit Manager and concentrated in the areas of manufacturing, construction and banking industries.
Aaron is currently serving on the Board of Directors of GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association). Aaron has served as the Past Chairman of the AMAC (Associate Member Advisory Council) of NBAA and has also served on the Board of Directors of the NBAA.
Aaron and his wife, Jennifer, have a blended family of seven children, two boys and five girls. Aaron is active in hiking, hunting, fishing, biking and most recently has become a bee keeper.
Todd Duncan has a lifelong association with Duncan Aviation, and has worked at the company since 1989 when he started in Aircraft Sales. Since then, he's served in various capacities, most notably as President of the Component Services department and as Vice Chairman. He assumed his current role as Chairman in 2007.
Todd began his flying career in 1987, becoming a licensed private pilot in 1988. He then achieved his instrument rating and his multi-engine rating in 1993. Todd has a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University and has completed the Stanford Executive Program with Stanford University.
Todd and his wife, Connie, have twin sons, Harrison and Paul Kent "P.K." Todd enjoys many activities with his family including traveling, boating, scuba diving and snow skiing. Todd is an avid supporter of the UNL athletic program. He is an enthusiastic golfer, having golfed with his father and grandmother since a young age.
Todd and Connie are involved in philanthropic activities with a broad list of interests including a co-chairmanship of the Founders Campaign for the Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln and Lancaster County.
Todd has served on the board of directors for several local nonprofit organizations including; Lincoln Children's Museum, Cornhusker Girl Scouts and Junior Achievement. He is also a member of the Nebraska Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, has been an affiliate of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association since 1988, serves as NBAA Associate Member on the Advisory Council and is District II Director for the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Todd served as Chairman for the NATA and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Community College Foundation.
V.P., Duncan Aviation Parts Sales, Avionics, Accessories & Satellites
Mark Cote is Duncan Aviation's Vice President of Duncan Aviation Parts Sales, Avionics, Accessories & Satellites. In this position he provides leadership to the production and service areas of aircraft Accessories, Avionics/Instruments Component Repair, Duncan Aviation Parts and Rotables Sales and the network of avionics satellite locations around the United States.
Mark joined Duncan Aviation in 1987 as an avionics technician, fixing navigation and communication equipment. Throughout his career with Duncan Aviation, Mark has held several positions including customer service representative, project manager, program manager and project manager team lead and coordinator. In 2006, he became the Vice President of Completions and Modifications. Mark assumed his current position in 2014.
Mark has an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology.
Mark and his wife have two children. Mark enjoys motorcycle riding, home improvement, staying fit and spending time with his family.
Vice President & General Counsel
As General Counsel, Tom Fischer represents the company, its owners, senior management and team members in legal matters involving customers, vendors, regulators and legislators.
Tom joined Duncan Aviation in 2007 in his current position. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Tom was president of Spectrum Financial Services, Inc., an Omaha, Nebraska-based company that provides insurance and other products and services to financial institutions. He also served as a senior officer and was on the board of directors for Spectrum's affiliated bank holding company, Great Western Bancorp and Spectrum Life Insurance Company; an Arizona-based re-insurance company. Before moving to Spectrum, Tom served as vice president, general counsel and secretary for several major financial institutions including First National Lincoln Corp. in Lincoln, Nebraska, and most recently, FirsTier Financial, Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska.
Tom has a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha and Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and the Lincoln Bar Association. He holds a Nebraska Real Estate Brokers License as well as several Nebraska insurance licenses and designations.
Tom and his wife Suzi have two grown children and four grandsons. Tom enjoys spending time with family, traveling, sports and outdoor activities. Tom is a member of the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association (IAT53A) and a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association where he serves on the Corporate Counsel Executive Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, is a member of the Foundation's Endowment Committee, and serves on the University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor's Board of Counselors.
Vice President Customer Service
Currently manager of customer service in Lincoln, Nebraska, Doug joined Duncan Aviation 27 years ago as an A&P mechanic in the engine shop. Through the years, he’s moved from team leader to tech rep to MPI shop supervisor to engine sales service rep. In 2008, Doug assumed the responsibilities of managing airframe service sales, and in 2009, he added managing the Regional Managers to his lengthening resume. He became the manager of customer service in early 2015, and Doug joined the senior management team in October.
As vice president of customer service, Doug enjoys interacting with Duncan Aviation’s customers and working with the customer service teams in Lincoln, Nebraska, Battle Creek, Michigan, and Provo, Utah.
Doug and his wife Paula have been married for 26 years, raised their children and have one grandchild. They enjoy boating on their pontoon and going fishing in Canada every year that they can get away.
V.P., Marketing & New Business Development
As Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development, Steve Gade provides leadership to Duncan Aviation's marketing and communications team as well as the aircraft sales team. He is also responsible for new business development and oversight of the domestic and international Customer Advisory Boards.
Steve started with Duncan Aviation in 1992 as Vice President. Prior to Duncan Aviation, he held positions with IBM and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Steve graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelors degree and is a licensed private pilot. Steve enjoys helping team members succeed and building long term customer relationships with customers, vendors and team members.
Steve is married and has grown twins, a boy and a girl, as well as a Briard dog. He enjoys golf, hiking, biking, fishing, reading and cinema. Steve has served on the board of directors for the local independent film theater and chairman of the National Aircraft Resale Association.
Succeed at home first
Never compromise with honesty
Remember the people involved
Hear both side of the story before judging
Obtain counsel from others
Defend those who are absent
Be sincere but decisive
Develop one new proficiency a year
Plan tomorrow's work today
Hustle while you wait
Maintain a positive attitude
Keep a sense of humor
Be orderly in person and work
Do not fear mistakes- fear only the absence of creative, constructive, and corrective response to those mistakes
Facilitate the success of subordinates
Listen twice as much as you speak
Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worrying about the next job or promotion.
Chief Operating Officer
As Executive Vice President and COO, Jeff is responsible for the day-to-day guidance and development of the Lincoln operations. He provides direction and leadership for the airframe, engine, and paint production areas and for line services, facilities, quality assurance and the flight department.
Jeff joined Duncan Aviation in 1993 as company controller and soon became Vice President of Finance. He was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 1998. Jeff assumed his current role in 2008. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Jeff worked as a regional controller for International Paper. He has also worked as a CPA in public accounting.
Jeff graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.
Jeff and his wife, Diana, have three children and enjoy family activities, hiking, fishing, camping, golf and tennis. Jeff has served on the Allocation and Audit committees for United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County. He also served on the Lancaster County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children Board of Directors.
Vice President Service Sales
Mike Minchow is the Completions Sales and Design Manager in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mike started with Duncan Aviation in 1983 as a designer. He was promoted to team leader and then moved to the completions sales team. He became manager and then spent time as a program manager before coming back to manage the completions sales team in 2008. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Mike worked for Ericson Sullivan Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska as a project architect. Mike has a Bachelors degree in Architecture. Mike and his wife Renae have three sons; Andrew, Mason and Aden. Mike enjoys hunting, golf, and coaching his sons' sports teams.
V.P., Completions & Modifications
As Vice President of Completions and Modifications, Andy Richards oversees the Battle Creek avionics line, avionics installations and interior completions teams. He also provides on-site support for OEM completions, materials and engineering in Battle Creek.
Andy joined Duncan Aviation in 1997 working as a cabinet shop technician in Battle Creek, Michigan. He spent time leading teams in both cabinet and completions and was promoted to assistant manager of interior completions. In 2008, Andy became involved in Duncan Aviation's OEM completions program and was promoted to Program Manager one year later.
Andy has a Bachelors of Arts degree and a Masters of Fine Arts degree.
Andy and his wife have two daughters. He enjoys fly fishing, running, cooking and camping. Andy is a member of the Habitat committee of Anglers of the Ausable; an organization that protects the environmental quality of a highly regarded trout stream in northern Michigan.
Chief Financial Officer
As Vice President and CFO, Cindy Morris provides leadership for the accounting, credit, information services, material services, Lincoln customer services and treasury services areas.
Cindy joined Duncan Aviation in 2008. Prior to Duncan Aviation she worked as a certified public accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick in Lincoln, where she worked for 12 years. She was Corporate Treasurer and Corporate Controller for Cohesive Technology Solutions, Inc. and Director of Finance and Accounting with Infocure Dental. She most recently worked for the Nebraska Book Company as Vice President of Administration.
Cindy attended the University of Nebraska where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
Cindy's husband Bill is an attorney in private practice in Lincoln. They have two children; Whitney, a Kansas University graduate and graphic designer living in Colorado, and Elliot, a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, studying Civil Engineering. Cindy enjoys cycling, hiking and travel.
Cindy has served on a variety of community boards and committees including the Homestead Girl Scout Council, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Leadership Lincoln, YWCA, United Way, Parent Teacher Organizations and most currently, the Audit Committee of the Lincoln Community Foundation.
Chief Operating Officer
As Executive Vice President and COO, Tom leads the Battle Creek Senior Management Team and is responsible for the day-to-day guidance and development of the Battle Creek operation.
Tom began his career at Duncan Aviation in 1979 as an entry-level airframe technician performing maintenance on Learjets, Citations and turboprop aircraft. In 1984, he joined the newly formed Service Marketing group where he called on prospective customers promoting Duncan Aviation services in the south central and upper Midwest region of the United States. In 1990 Tom took on the challenge of developing a service quoting system that would help the sales teams produce customer-friendly, industry-leading sales proposals. Through this development, he got involved in the actual quoting and selling of airframe maintenance. Tom progressed to the position of Service Sales Manager in 1994 and began building his sales team. He was promoted to VP Airframe and Engine Service Sales in 1999. In 2004, Tom transferred to Battle Creek to help lead the expansion and growth at that location. He assumed his current responsibilities in 2005.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and an Associate of Science degree in Aviation Technology from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He is an FAA-licensed A&P technician as well as a commercial/instrument rated pilot. He also serves on the Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) for the FlightSafety Foundation.
Tom is married and has three grown children. His interests outside of work include vocal music, travel, cycling, golf and photography.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Provo Operations, Bill Prochazka provides leadership to the overall operation of Duncan Aviation in Provo, Utah. His responsibilities include general oversight of day-to-day operations, and repair station requirements.
Bill began his career at Duncan Aviation in 1987 as a Turboprop Tech Rep in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1989 he was promoted to Manager of the Engine and Airframe departments. In 1992, Bill moved to the Customer Service department as a Service Manager and was promoted to Customer Service Manager in 1994. Bill transferred to Battle Creek, Michigan in 1998 as Vice President of Aircraft and Customer Service. He became Michigan's General Manager in 2001. In the summer of 2010, Duncan Aviation opened a maintenance facility in Provo, Utah. Bill and his wife moved to Provo and he assumed his current role. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Bill held various positions at Gates Learjet and Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. He also managed an avionics shop in Colorado for two years.
Bill graduated from Electronics Technical Institute in Denver, Colorado, specializing in Electronic Communications and Digital Theory. He holds a Private Pilots license, MEL/Instrument rating as well as various professional certifications. Bill enjoys the people of Duncan Aviation and Utah.
Bill is married to Jeannette. He enjoys playing the guitar, sailing and traveling. Bill has always been active in his community, and plans to continue this support in Utah. While in Battle Creek he served as a Michigan State Aeronautics Commissioner, Chairman of the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and served on the Boards of both Battle Creek Unlimited and the Tax Increment Finance Authority which oversaw infrastructure investment in the Fort Custer Industrial Park, the home of Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek.
To live a purposeful life, and to help others find purpose along their journey.
V.P., Completions, Modifications and Team Members Services
Michael Cox is Duncan Aviation's Vice President of Completions, Modifications and Team Member Services. In his role he oversees the Lincoln, Nebraska, interior and avionics installation production groups, and engineering services companywide. Michael also provides leadership for the human resources and professional development departments and the wellness and safety programs for all locations.
Michael started with Duncan Aviation in 2011. Prior to Duncan Aviation, he spent 28 years in the insurance industry where, during his insurance career, he had leadership responsibility for marketing, public affairs, professional development, strategic planning, finance, sales administration, recruiting, change management, and insurance claims.
Michael has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He holds six insurance designations. He has served on numerous boards in the Lincoln, Nebraska, community including WorkNet, a non-profit organization that helps place physically and mentally challenged individuals in jobs, United Way, and the Lincoln Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Michael is married and has four grown children and three grandchildren. He enjoys running, home improvement projects, family travel, and spending time with his grandchildren. He is actively involved in leadership with his church.