More Than Brokers
Our team of aviation experts and solutions enthusiasts go above and beyond to ensure your success.
Brian ProctorPresident and CEOHeadquarters
Brian Proctor is the founder, President, and CEO of Mente Group, LLC. He founded Mente in 2009.
Brian has been serving private aviation clients for over 19 years. Having been involved in over $8 billion in aircraft transactions and over $7 billion in aviation business planning, Brian’s experience is sought by corporations and individuals, worldwide.
After serving for six years in the US Army as an infantry Ranger and intelligence officer, Brian left the military to pursue a career in the private sector. After working at Transamerica Corporation, Mr. Proctor served as consultant, COO and President of the world’s second largest consultancy and broker/dealer.
Brian serves on boards for: International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA), Jet Aviation Advisory Board, and formerly, the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. He also previously served as President of IADA. He holds a BA degree in International Studies in Politics and Diplomacy from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Vince RestivoChief Operating OfficerHeadquarters
Vince Restivo is the Chief Operating Officer at Mente Group, LLC.
Vince has 37 years experience in business aviation starting with Gulfstream Aerospace in 1984. Over the next 25 years, he contributed successfully in various roles of increasing responsibility with Gulfstream, from Initial Phase Manufacturing to Flight Test to Completion Integration and Test Engineering, Vince gained vast experience and knowledge in avionics and cabin systems design, integration, connectivity, test and certification.
With the logarithmic advances in business aviation technology, Vince moved to Completion Sales, where the need for a strong technology background coupled with the ability to connect with customers was essential. Helping customers navigate the vast array of integrated high-tech systems as well as voice and data communications options became a refined skill that aligned with his passion to help people. With the importance of the aircraft interior becoming a priority in the purchase decision process, his combined avionics, technology and interior knowledge allows him to seamlessly communicate with customers from
the C-suite to the hangar.
While Director of Completion Sales, his passion for excellence in the customer experience and a discriminating eye for detail and quality led him to implement further enhancements in process, product offerings and systems capabilities. Vince actively participated in the development of Gulfstream interiors,
cabin systems and completion process from the G-IV to the G650.
Leveraging his ability to quickly perceive customer needs and bridge the technology and interior systems gap, Vince was appointed Regional Vice President - Aircraft Sales for Gulfstream based in Singapore.
Recognized for his knowledge and experience in business aircraft interiors, technology, connectivity, design, process and customer experience, Vince was appointed Vice President – Completions for Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. Following the successful transition of the Hawker Completion Center in Little Rock, Vince founded Addo Virtus Advisors, an advisory firm specializing in completion management, business process and metrics focused on providing both operational and transactional value throughout the aircraft acquisition and ownership life-cycle.
Vince holds AS Degrees in Electronics Technology and Avionics. He has served as a panelist for the Arkansas Governor’s Aerospace Summit, been interviewed for various trade publications, appeared on “Wealth in the Sky” TV program focused on business aviation and has written white papers aimed at making technology understandable at the user level.
Vince and his wife Cynthia have three adult children and four grandchildren.
Cameron GowansVice President of StrategyHeadquarters
Cameron Gowans is the Vice President of Strategy at Mente Group, LLC.
Cameron has over 30 years buying, selling and operating business jets for large corporations and high net worth individuals based in North America and operating around the globe. Most recently, he was President of Jet Linx Chicago, opening the new base for the company. Prior to that role, he served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JetSuite. His previous roles include Vice President, Sales at Embraer Executive Jets and Chief Marketing Officer at Flight Options, one of the largest private jet services company offering a fractional jet and membership program then owned by Raytheon Company. He also worked at Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Gulfstream Aerospace, Bombardier Aerospace and the Cessna Citation program in management, sales and marketing from 1991 to 2004.
Chris ProkopeasVice President, MarketingHeadquarters
Chris Prokopeas is the Vice President of Marketing at Mente Group, LLC.
Chris is a marketing professional with over 25+ years’ experience within a variety of industries from CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), Financial Services, Retail (Apparel), and Transportation/Hospitality. Prior to his role with Mente Group, Chris worked for Gesa Credit Union as their Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to Gesa, he worked for DFW International Airport as their AVP of Marketing and Communications. Chris has also held leadership positions for Dickies, Capital One, Dean Foods, and Kraft Foods.
Chris received his Bachelor's degree from Purdue University in Communications and Business. He received his MBA from University of Michigan where he graduated with Distinction. Finally, he received his Executive Education in Marketing and Strategy from Northwestern University.
Chris has experience in the following areas: Brand management, Strategic Planning, Positioning, Re-Branding, New Product Development, Licensing, Ad and media development, Sponsorships, Consumer Promotions, Consumer Insights, PR, Direct marketing, Email marketing, Website development, Mobile App development, and all Digital marketing (SEO/SEM, Programmatic Display, Retargeting, Affiliate marketing, Blogging, social media, and Influencer marketing.
Some of his key accomplishments include:
• DFW International Airport - Lead all re-branding efforts for DFW Airport which included a new brand, brand voice, brand architecture, brand messaging and over 5,000 touchpoints. He also led the digital transformation of the Marketing group which led to innovation on the DFW website, new mobile app, and a new online Parking product that has generated over $14M in sales.
• Williamson - Dickie - Repositioned the Dickies brand to be more aspirational and moved it from a workwear to a lifestyle brand.
• Capital One - Successful launch of Capital One Brand into banking. Led 9 marketing integration workstreams that achieved a smooth transition for the merger between Capital One and Hibernia Bank as well as NorthFork Bank.
Chris has been married for 25 years to his wife Ellena and they have three children. They reside in Southlake, TX.
Mary BelkenMarketing ManagerHeadquarters
Mary is the Marketing Manager at Mente Group, LLC.
Mary manages all of the corporate brand and aircraft marketing, advertising, public relations and all event planning. In addition, Mary supports the operations of Mente Group's aircraft transactions business.
Prior to Mente Group, Mary managed the marketing efforts for several other companies in industries including healthcare and direct mail advertising as well as being a business owner.
Mary earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Oklahoma.
Tracy YeagerExecutive AssistantHeadquarters
Tracy Yeager is the Executive Assistant at Mente Group.
She attended Midwestern State University, Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas. She grew up in Texas and is blessed with an awesome family, including two sons. Tracy has extensive administrative experience and is thrilled to be back in the Aviation Industry and working with such an amazing team!
Sandy is responsible for Accounting/Finance, Human Resources, IT and Legal at Mente Group. She has 30+ years of accounting, finance & operations experience, incl. 10+ years in aviation.
Prior to joining Mente, she was the Accounting Manager at Leading Edge Aviation Solutions, LLC. Sandy has also held positions as Accountant, Credit Analyst and Investment Analyst in the non-profit, banking and insurance sectors. She also manages her own business where she helps companies set up their accounting departments and processes.
Sandy holds a BSBA in Finance from Southeast Missouri State University.
When not working, Sandy enjoys outdoor activities and spends time hiking and zip-lining.
Jim LewisManaging DirectorWest
Jim Lewis is the Managing Director of the West Coast at Mente Group, LLC.
Jim is a 45-year aviation industry leader with 24 years in operations & 21 years in aircraft sales/marketing/business development. His experience ranges from early days as a freight/charter pilot and regional airline captain, to chief pilot/flight department manager, to Beech Aircraft/Galaxy Aerospace sales demonstration pilot, sales manager, director and vice president. Jim’s sales and marketing tenure includes successful careers at marquis OEMs with more than $2.5 billion in aircraft transactions. He spent 16 years serving as the U.S. West Coast Director for Galaxy/Gulfstream and 2 ½ years at Embraer – responsible in each position for business development and new/active accounts, leveraging his strengths in aerospace technical aspects, aircraft operations, brand building and developed an extensive list of long term customer relationships.
Jim is a member and active with NBAA, CBAA, the Columbia Aviation Association, the Cascade Aero Club, the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association, the Oregon Pilots Association, and is a frequent industry presenter-speaker. An active aircraft owner with an Airline Transport Pilot license, 8 type ratings, and over 10,000 hours of flight time, Jim volunteers his time and airplane for Veteran’s Airlift Command and Challenge Air missions.
Jim holds a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science (Management Specialization) from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science from Florida Southern. Jim serves twelve western states, western Canada and the Pacific region for Mente Group from his base in Portland Oregon, and enjoys flying, cooking, travel and golf.
Neil KunyckyManaging DirectorNortheast
Neil Kunycky is the Managing Director of the Northeast at Mente Group, LLC.
He came from FlightSafety International, where he was a National Sales Director assisting senior management. Prior to that, Neil enjoyed a 33-year corporate aircraft sales career with Beechcraft, Hawker and Bombardier, earning numerous sales awards and more importantly the respect and repeat business of his customers. Neil holds a B.S. in Economics from Southern Illinois University where he was a member of the National Championship winning precision flight team. Neil is a King Air qualified Commercial / Instrument rated pilot and will office at Hanscom Field outside of Boston.
David HayesManaging DirectorSoutheast
David Hayes is the Managing Director of the Southeast at Mente Group, LLC.
David is a 20-year industry veteran in both sales and operations. His operational experience ranges from flight instructor to regional airline pilot, and then Captain of a Falcon 900EX. He then moved into sales roles with FlightSafety International before joining Textron as a Citation Regional Sales Director. During his 10-year career at Textron, he also built and led sales teams as Director of Sales for their TRU Simulation + Training division, as well as Textron Specialized Vehicles.
David holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia. In addition, he is an Airline Transport Pilot and Commercial rated Seaplane pilot. David is based in Orlando, FL.
Cole WhiteManaging DirectorSouth
Cole White is the Managing Director of the South at Mente Group, LLC.
Cole White was promoted to Managing Director after earning the trust of our clients as Vice President, Strategic Consulting. Cole brings a strong communication and analytical skillset focused on his clients’ needs. During his 5 years at Mente Cole has led projects in transactions, operational consulting, fleet planning, personnel studies, asset evaluation and general needs analysis for first time buyers.
He has accomplished post graduate work at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Systems Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Cole played baseball for the Army Black Knights, served as an Armor Officer in the United States Army and played three years in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league organization. Cole resides in Dallas with his wife and son.
Ken HartVice President & Group Lead, TransactionsPlanning & Transactions
Ken Hart is the Vice President & Group Lead of Transactions at MENTE Group, LLC.
He is responsible for managing aircraft acquisition and disposition transaction activities for the company’s Gulfstream and Turboprop clients. Ken’s specific areas of transaction expertise include – Aircraft Market Research and Value Analysis, Planning and Managing Aircraft Sales Campaigns, and Planning and Managing Aircraft Acquisition Projects. He brings strong cross-border experience to MENTE Group with import and export transactions to-and-from Europe, Australia and North America.
He joins the firm following 6 years with Hagerty Jet Group as Executive Vice President, 3 years with Welsch Aviation as an associate broker and several years as an entrepreneur where he founded and operated several successful businesses.
Ken holds a B.S. in Business Administration, with a Major in Marketing from NYIT, Old Westbury, New York. He works from MENTE Group's headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
Brian HammerVice President, TransactionsPlanning & Transactions
Brian Hammer is Vice President of Transactions at Mente Group, LLC.
In his role, he is involved in business aircraft acquisitions, sales and leasing activity, basically all aspects of aircraft transactions. Previously, he was Vice President overseeing the technical aspects of aircraft transactions, including inspections, pre-buy inspections, completions, and aircraft modifications.
Hammer has a broad-based background in aviation and has been involved in many transactions since joining the company in 2009. Prior to Mente, he was a technical consultant at another aircraft brokerage and consulting firm.
Hammer's 28-year aviation career includes serving as an Aircraft Technician in the United States Air Force, in corporate aviation as a maintenance supervisor for a leading 135 certificate holder and Director of Maintenance for a Fortune 200 flight department. Hammer holds a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. He is located at the company's headquarters in Dallas.
Steve MainVice President, TransactionsPlanning & Transactions
Steve Main is Vice President of Transactions at MENTE Group, LLC.
An entrepreneur at heart, Steve’s drive is fueled by his life-long passion for aviation. His diverse background includes roles as CEO/business owner, President of a large charter company, Vice-President of Sales, and Director of Aviation for a fortune-500 company. In his previous roles, Steve has exceeded sales & revenue goals and has a history of leading teams to surpass performance objectives. Steve started flying at age 14 with his father, and has accumulated total flight time of 6,000 hours, with 3,100 hours as PIC as an Airline Transport Pilot. His previous flight experience includes mid-cabin and large-cabin Gulfstream and large-cabin Bombardier products. He was chief pilot for a Gulfstream operator, captain and line pilot for Atlantic Southeast Airlines and a flight instructor for FlightSafety International.
Steve has a degree from the University of Georgia and is also an accomplished guitarist & avid motorsports enthusiast.
Mariana SantosVice President, Strategic ConsultingPlanning & Transactions
Mariana Santos is the Vice President of Strategic Consulting at Mente Group, LLC.
Mariana brings 15 years of solid experience with aircraft OEMs, both in business and commercial aviation. Over the course of 8 years at Embraer Executive Jets, Mariana held multiple positions. Initially, as Product Strategist, she would build and recommend aircraft short- and long-term roadmaps. Later, she served as Sr. Sales Engineer in North America, developing aircraft technical and economic analysis in support to Sales. More recently, she co-created and managed their analytics-based fleet evaluation program tailored to Corporate Flight Departments. Between 2004-2010, she served as a Flight Operations Engineer at Embraer Commercial division where she would liaise with customer airlines’ Flight Operations and Operations Engineering teams, providing day-to-day technical support to a growing fleet of regional jets. Prior to Mente, she briefly ventured into the commercial supersonic world with Boom, the Denver-based start-up.
Mariana is a Brazilian native and has been in the US for the past 8 years. She earned her MBA degree in 2014 from Hult International Business School at San Francisco and her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Infrastructure Engineering in 2003 from ITA (Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica), Brazil's most prestigious engineering institution.
Donald L. HammerVice President, Technical ServicesOperations
Don Hammer is the Vice President of Technical Services at Mente Group, LLC.
Before Mente Group, Don was VP, Technical Services for Leading Edge Aviation Solutions. Prior to Leading Edge he was Director of Maintenance for Dresser Industries, Inc., a Fortune 200 oil services company based in Dallas, Texas. During his corporate aviation career, Don has held positions of Aircraft Mechanic, Flight Mechanic, Type Rated Flight Engineer, Quality Control Specialist, Maintenance Supervisor and Director of Maintenance.
Having been a part of one of the industry’s best flight departments for 23 years and consulting to corporate aviation for over 14 years, he has the knowledge and skills to advise clients on virtually any aviation-related matter. As a consultant, Don has been involved with the completion processes of in excess of 150 private aircraft ranging in size from Citation to Boeing. He is also an IS-BAO certified auditor with a thorough knowledge of not only the US FARs, but also EU Ops, OTAR’s, and EASA regulations. He not only provides worldwide IS-BAO audit services, but also “best industry practices” types of safety reviews and audits of management companies and flight departments and has been called on to serve as an Expert Witness in several aviation related cases.
Don has been selected by industry leaders to serve on several aviation boards. These have included being a Customer Moderator for the Gulfstream IV session of the annual Gulfstream Workshop, being a member of the Cessna Citation X Advisory Board, and serving as a member of the Gulfstream V MSG-3 Maintenance Planning Committee. He is a licensed A&P Technician and Private Pilot that enjoys flying light aircraft and gliders as often as he can. He has built up a considerable amount of experience since entering the consulting field and, through Mente Group, continues to provide his special talents to corporate aviation.
Jamie BuffDirector, Technical ServicesOperations
Jamie is the Director of Technical Services at Mente Group, LLC.
Jamie's aviation career started 25 years ago in the USAF as a B-52H Bomber Dedicated Crew Chief. After military service, he joined the Cessna Aircraft Company as an Airframe & Powerplant Technician. From there, he moved into the corporate flight operations world, joining Wachovia Bank Flight Operations in Charlotte, NC.
He has had the opportunity to support maintenance and flight operations for various Fortune 100 companies. At Proctor & Gamble, Jamie traveled the world as a Flight Technician supporting the company's global operations. At Nike Flight Operations, he was the Lead Aircraft Maintenance Technician. Then, at the Coca-Cola Company, he supported the flight department as the Aircraft Program Manager. Most recently, he was the Director of Aviation Maintenance for AMB Group.
Some career highlights include:
• FAA Airframe & Powerplant with Inspection Authorization License
• Served as a technical resource and subject matter expert during daily and AOG operations.
• Recommended and coordinated the acquisition of new aircraft, including aircraft specifications and the active oversight of aircraft assembly, completions, and entry into service.
• Coordinated and recommended sourcing and approval for service contracts with engines, airframe, and avionics manufacturers.
• Was accountable for ensuring all maintenance and servicing activities are conducted in a safe, legal, and efficient manner.
• Managed and continuously improved an operating culture which ensures unwavering operational safety and best-in-class customer service.
• Oversaw and managed a global maintenance program to ensure exceptional fleet maintenance and efficiency.
• Safety Management System Auditor.
• Former member of the Gulfstream Large Cabin MSG 3 Steering Committee.
• Former member of the Satcom Direct Customer Advisory Board.
• Former Board Member for the Georgia Business Aviation Association.
Jeff DorroughVice President of Asset ManagementAppraisals & Forecasting
Jeff Dorrough is the Vice President, Asset Management with Mente Group, LLC.
He is the lead appraiser and consultant for internal clients, as well as, external assignments. Jeff is a Senior ASA appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers in the field of Machinery and Technical Specialties with fifteen years of experience with business aircraft. Jeff is also a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a major in Finance from the Cox School of Business.
Mr. Dorrough was previously the Asset Manager and lead appraiser for Bombardier Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales from 2002 thru 2015 where he was directly responsible for managing the asset portfolio and valuation process. He was responsible for performing all aircraft valuations including, Comparable Analysis, Trade Value Calculations, Residual Value Projections, and Damage Assessments, while providing quarterly market commentary. Mr. Dorrough was instrumental in the writing and negotiation of trade policy for Bombardier Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales, and assisted in the creation of damage assessment criteria which has been adopted by ASA for their education curriculum, as well as, several private industries.
Mr. Dorrough conducts speaking engagements and is very active in many business aircraft societies such as: NARA, NBAA, NAFA and his local chapter of ASA located in Dallas Texas.
Craig CoxDirector of Asset ManagementAppraisals & Forecasting
Craig W. Cox is the Director of Asset Management at Mente Group, LLC.
Craig is a Senior ASA appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers in the field of Machinery and Technical Specialties with thirteen years of experience with business aircraft.
Craig’s involvement with aviation stems back to where at the age of 17 he started taking flying lessons. During his flight instruction time, he worked at the Aurora Airport as line personnel.
As his interest evolved in aviation, Craig attended Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois, Airframe and Powerplant program. He also attended Waubonsee Community College for Business Development.
He began work at Aurora Avionics rigging and wiring Avionics for various aircraft until the industry started taking a down turn.
Craig went on to manufacturing management for ITW/Simco, a Fortune 500 company where he developed and refined his skills in sales and marketing. He was responsible for developing and maintaining a representative/ dealer base throughout the Midwest and Western United States. He worked closely with engineering in designing Ultra-Violet and Electrostatic equipment.
Mr. Cox was previously the COO and senior appraiser for SAI Valuations, LLC from 2005 thru 2018 where he was directly responsible for managing the valuation process. He was responsible for performing all aircraft valuations including, Comparable Analysis, Residual Value Projections, and Damage Assessments.
Mr. Cox has appraised more than 4500 aircraft and/or aviation related assets with a total appraised value of over 20 billion dollars.
Mr. Cox conducts speaking engagements and is very active in many business aircraft societies such as, NBAA, NAFA and his local chapter of ASA located in Chicago, Illinois.
Peter FinsethDirector of Business AnalyticsAppraisals & Forecasting
Peter Finseth is the Director of Business Analytics at Mente Group, LLC.
Prior to joining Mente, Peter worked in the Financial Services industry for 20 years with a focus in the mortgage industry for the last 15 years. Most recently, he worked at Fannie Mae as a Senior Business Analyst supporting the REO Valuations business. Peter has a broad background including Financial Planning & Analysis, Financial Modeling, Business Intelligence tools, and programming experience.
Peter earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin. While working full time, he later earned his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Peter is an active member of the North Texas soccer community. He started his own soccer club back in 2008 and actively coaches teams ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old.
What Others Are Saying
I wanted to thank you for the terrific job Mente did helping us acquire our new G450. This being our first aircraft we had no clue where to start or how to avoid the pitfalls in the marketplace. Mente took us by the hand and led us through the process with tremendous patience. For us, Mente’s most valuable asset is your ability to read and react to market conditions quickly to provide strategic guidance. We got much more airplane than we dreamed possible by listening to your counsel.
Thanks again for a great experience!
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
I meant it when I said what a pleasure it was to work with professionals for a change. It was refreshing to deal with calm, rational people who worked towards mutually beneficial solutions.
Vice President - Aviation Lender
I would highly recommend Mente group in both the sales and acquisition of an aircraft. They took the time to clearly understand my needs, provide competitive information, assist in the negotiation process, and complete both a sales and acquisition process. Their follow up and communication was exceptional throughout the process and second to none. There is only one place I would turn for help in my next acquisition.
It has been great working with Mente Group. As always, they expertly handled the relationship piece and kept us in the loop so we could keep our principal informed and calm. I assumed from the beginning that Mente would be a good fit, primarily because I personally know most of the team quite well. That confidence was validated every step of the way.
Retired Aviation Industry Executive
Reflecting on the entire process, Mente Group saved us much more than their fees, gave us confidence throughout the process and continues to support us today. With Mente Group, we have developed a strong, lasting relationship that is so much more than transactional. Mente group is our long-term aviation partner.
Grant W., Director of Aviation
It was not just the very professional way that Mente Group handled the disposition of our current aircraft and the acquisition of the new aircraft that sets them apart. They provided us with an extraordinarily detailed analysis that helped clarify our decision. They also provided completion insight that I don't believe anyone else in the industry has resident in their firm. Finally, they helped our treasury department mitigate a tax issue on our existing airplane with the assistance of their asset advisory team. I simply don't know of any other firm that has the breadth of knowledge that Mente Group has.
Vice President of Flight Operations
Mente Group is an industry leading company that provides an aircraft valuation program that is essential for flight departments to know and understand the fair market value of their aircraft. This program allows for customization of depreciation curves, aircraft detail and comparisons, valuation of the optional equipment installed, and updating the current flight times to have the most complete fair market value of your aircraft on a monthly basis. Mente Group also has a licensed Aircraft Appraiser on staff to provide annual aircraft appraisals for property tax valuations. We have saved significant sums of money on property taxes every year. Finally, Mente Group provides outstanding brokerage services and analysis of the flight department needs in terms of aircraft and personnel required based on company’s travel requirements.
Manager of Aircraft Maintenance - Fortune 500 company
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