04 — About Us ABOUT US

ABOUT US

More Than Brokers

Our Mente Group team of aviation experts and solutions enthusiasts go above and beyond to ensure your success. Mente Group is held by Aquila Aviation Ventures, an investment company formed to serve unmet industry needs and leverage resources across entities to scale for future growth.

Our Team

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Brian Proctor

President and CEOHeadquarters

Brian Proctor is the founder, President, and CEO of Aquila Aviation Ventures. He founded Mente Group, LLC 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 Restivo

Chief 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.

MIchael Rodgers

Chief Financial OfficerHeadquarters

Michael Rodgers is the Chief Financial Officer for Aquila Aviation Ventures.

In this position, he oversees all accounting, HR and corporate finance functions of Aquila and its portfolio companies. Prior to his current role, Michael spent more than 20 years in corporate finance, joining Aquila from JP Morgan where he focused on the Industrials sector. Throughout his career, he has specialized in debt underwriting, merger & acquisition advisory, and strategic consulting.

Michael received his MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, and BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University.

Chris Prokopeas

Vice President, MarketingHeadquarters

Chris Prokopeas is the Vice President of Marketing at Aquila Aviation Ventures. 

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 Belken

Marketing ManagerHeadquarters

Mary is Marketing Manager at Aquila Aviation Ventures.

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 Yeager

Executive AssistantHeadquarters

Tracy Yeager is the Executive Assistant at Aquila Aviation Ventures.

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 in the Aviation Industry and working with such an amazing team!

Sandy Carter

ControllerHeadquarters

Sandy Carter is the Controller for Aquila Aviation Ventures.

Sandy is responsible for Accounting/Finance, IT and Legal. 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.

Letah Lundberg

Office & Procurement ManagerHeadquarters

Letah is the Office & Procurement Manager for Aquila Aviation Ventures.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington last year and is new to the aviation industry. She enjoys going to Dallas Stars games, watching Oregon Ducks basketball games & spending time with her family.

Krystal Hicks

Talent Acquisition/Onboarding SpecialistHeadquarters

Krystal is the Talent Acquisitions and Onboarding Specialist at Aquila Aviation Ventures.

With 7 years’ experience and a certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Krystal’s strong background with the luxury brand, BMW, brings expansive knowledge and innovation. Aligned with our core values, she believes that the foundation of any company are their employees. She will focus on continuing to bring remarkable and inspiring new talent into the company. Krystal has been a North Texas resident for over 35 years and is currently living in Prosper with her husband and two children. In her free time, she loves to travel, spend time with her family and cheer on the Red Raiders.

Jim Lewis

Senior Managing DirectorWest

Jim Lewis is the Senior 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.

David Hayes

Managing 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.

Jay Bushouse

Managing DirectorMidwest

Jay is the Managing Director for the Midwest at MENTE Group.

As a 20-year veteran in the industry, Jay has sales and operational experience for the aircraft manufacturer as well as the private sector. Most recently he spent 12 years selling new and preowned Cessna Citations and Beechcraft King Airs for the aircraft manufacturer. Jay received many accolades over his tenure that he attributes to the strength in customer relationships. As a Flight Instructor and Airline Transport rated professional pilot with over 4,500 hours flight experience, Jay has held multiple roles in his career including, Sales & Aircraft Demonstration, 135 charter captain, part 91 transportation captain, Banner Tow Pilot, fractional aircraft sales and management. He holds a Jet type rating in the Cessna Citation 525 series of aircraft. Prior to his Business Aviation focus, Jay was the Sales & Marketing, revenue management and planning director for a portfolio of commercial real-estate and hotel properties in the Chicagoland area.

Jay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Aviation from the University of North Dakota. Outside of his passion for aviation, Jay is an avid Runner, Cyclist, and Ice Hockey player/Youth Hockey Coach. He calls Kansas City home where he resides with his wife and daughters.

Kyle "K.B." Bonda

Managing DirectorNortheast

Kyle is the Managing Director for the Northeast at MENTE Group.

Kyle is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Political Science. While serving in the United States NAVY, Kyle found and developed his passion for all things aviation.
After a successful consulting career in the high-end luxury automotive industry, Kyle began his general aviation career in 2017 with Avjet Global as a Sales Specialist prior to moving into the role of sales director with NexGen Flight Solutions in 2021.
Kyle’s knowledge and experience in the industry includes aircraft sales and acquisitions, market intelligence, aircraft marketing, operations, charter and management. Furthermore, Kyle has held leadership positions within brand marketing divisions and international non-profit organizations.
Now that he is with Mente Group, Kyle looks forward to expanding his knowledge, network and ultimately, best serving his clients.

Steve Main

Vice 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.

Kenny Mazingo

Market AnalystPlanning & Transactions

Kenny Mazingo is a Market Analyst at MENTE Group, LLC.

A self-starter by nature, Kenny is driven by his life-long faith and his passion for general aviation. Kenny is responsible for the collection, interpretation, and analyzation of the general aviation market data in order to support the transactions and business development teams. In his role, he is also involved with developing marketing specifications, presentations, report creation, and client interaction. Mazingo brings a different and strong background to MENTE Group. With knowledge and experience on the very light jet segment of the industry, Kenny provides data to other inquiring brokers and research analysts.

Mazingo was previously the aircraft sales associate for another reputable aircraft dealer, and the sales representative of a Part 145 repair station. He is also a member of the International Aircraft Dealer Association (IADA) researcher community.
He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida College of Business and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Integrated Business. Kenny is one of the few recipients of the 2021 IADA scholarship Foundation for the “Managing the Corporate Aviation Function” program with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Kenny speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish. He resides in Dallas with his wife and children.

Ryan Kahle

Market AnalystPlanning & Transactions

Ryan Kahle is a Market Analyst at MENTE Group, LLC.

Ryan is a recent graduate of Auburn University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Management, as well as a Minor in Business. While in school, Ryan also earned his private pilot certificate and instrument rating through Auburn’s Part 141 program in ASEL aircraft.

As a Market Analyst, Ryan will support the transactions team through the gathering and analyzation of market data. Ryan will also support the marketing and business development segments though report creation, presentations, and marketing specifications.

Ryan has a passion for aviation and is excited to start his career with Mente Group at the Frisco office!

Mariana Santos

Vice 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.

Rick Raymond

Vice President, Operational ConsultingOperations

Rick Raymond is the Vice President, Operational Consulting at Mente Group, LLC. 

Rick is an aircraft maintenance professional with over four decades of experience that began in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his distinguished military service, he worked in business and general aviation as an Avionics and Airframe and Powerplant Technician before joining Aviation Methods/TAG Aviation as a Maintenance Manager in various roles. He gained substantial expertise serving as a trusted advisor to aircraft owners and operators in his previous customer support role as Senior Regional Sales Manager with Gulfstream Aerospace covering the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.

Rick earned his Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science and Associate’s degree in Aircraft Maintenance from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Donald L. Hammer

Vice 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.

Jeff Dorrough

Vice 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 Cox

Director 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 Finseth

Director 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.

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