Executive Team Photo

Executive Management Team

Dan Drohan – CEO

Dan Drohan, a lifelong aviator, founded Solairus in 2009 after decades of experience owning and operating successful aviation companies. His entrepreneurial drive and his strong business and sales acumen quickly established Solairus as one of the industry’s most highly respected aircraft management firms. After more than ten years under Drohan’s leadership, Solairus now manages one of the nation’s largest fleet of managed business jets, serving clients around the globe, and is supported by one of the most experienced and respected executive management teams. Drohan is an ATP-rated pilot with qualifications in multiple business jets. He is an active philanthropist and is an advocate for the Business Aviation Industry.

Greg Petersen – Chief Operating Officer

A respected veteran of two decades in the aviation industry, Greg Petersen brings to his role as Solairus COO a thorough grounding and proven expertise in flight operations and business development. Prior to Solairus, Petersen oversaw the operations of Utah’s leading full-service, fixed-base operator, helping the company achieve the distinction of being named one of Utah’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years. Petersen began his career in aviation and gained valuable flight and operations experience while serving 14 years in the United States Navy as an F/A-18 pilot and instructor. Petersen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Indiana University.

Learn more about Greg Petersen here.

John King – President

John King brings more than 30 years of sales, business and financial management experience in a variety of fields including technology, financial services and investment banking. Prior to his role as President, King played an integral role as CFO of the former Sunset Aviation for 4 years. Additionally, King is a commercial pilot and has been involved with multiple aviation endeavors. King holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of San Francisco.

Learn more about John King here.

Mark Dennen – Chief Financial Officer

Mark Dennen has served as the CFO and SVP for several business aviation companies and has 20 years of industry experience; he was formerly an Audit Supervisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mark is a CPA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, with a major in Finance and Management. Mark has also served on the NBAA Tax Committee for over 16 years and is a frequent speaker at private aviation industry events.

Learn more about Mark Dennen here.

David Davenport ​​​​​​
Executive Vice President

Davenport is a United States Air Force Academy graduate, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Davenport completed a 20+ year career with FlightSafety International, most recently as its President & CEO.

Davenport has served on the National Business Aviation Association Board of Directors, the Board of Governors for Corporate Angel Network, and in leadership capacities for The Wings Club.

Steve Foley
Executive Vice President

Before joining Solairus, Foley’s U.S. Navy milestones included his assignment as the Commanding Officer/ Flight Leader for the U.S. Navy “Blue Angels” Flight Demonstration Squadron and serving as the Wing Commander for the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet of fighter aircraft. He retired from active duty after 27 years of distinguished service and joined Check-6, a global leader in optimized performance and safety solutions serving the most demanding industries, where he directed business development and corporate strategy for the North American Division. Foley holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Linda Holmes
Executive Vice President

Linda Holmes is a third generation general aviation professional whose family owned the Palo Alto, California airport. Linda’s nearly 20-year aviation career started as a corporate pilot before moving on to TAG Aviation where she managed flight coordination and charter sales. Dedicated to clients and aircrew, Linda was instrumental in developing TAG Aviation’s Client Services department, an accomplishment she has replicated at Solairus Aviation while serving as the company’s Senior Director of Client Services before her promotion to Vice President of her department in 2010. Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial psychology from San Diego State University.

Bob Marinace
Executive Vice President

Bob brings over 30 years of aviation experience to Solairus and has held senior leadership positions for several business aviation service companies. A specialist in organizational development, Bob has also served on the National Air Transportation Association Board of Directors, the Air Charter Safety Foundation Executive Board, and has been a member of several FAA Aviation regulatory and advisory groups. Bob is a recipient of the coveted Flight Safety Foundation “Joe Chase” Award and the NBAA Safety Award. Bob served as a flight crew member on the Lockheed C-5A in the United States Air Force and hold degrees in Sociology and Aviation Technology.

Learn more about Bob Marinace here.

Mike Tamkus
Executive Vice President

Mike brings to Solairus over 20 years of industry experience, most recently having served 12 years in various executive leadership positions at Executive Jet Management (NetJets, Inc.). Highlights of Mike’s tenure at EJM includes seven years as the senior executive in charge of the Aircraft Management Group, overseeing all owner services, charter and business development. Prior to his career at EJM, Mike spent 3 years as a Director of Business Aircraft for AAR Corporation, based in Chicago, IL. Mike started his aviation career with Ameriflight, Inc., a Part 135 priority air freight operation with 200+ aircraft based throughout the western United States. Mike graduated from Southern Illinois University with a BS in Aviation Flight and Management and completed executive advanced studies in Aviation Safety, Security and Emergency Response Planning at the University of Southern California. Mike and his wife Amy currently live in Cincinnati, OH, where they are raising 18 year old twin daughters, a 15 year old daughter and a 13 year old son.

Paul Class
Senior Vice President, Charter Sales

Paul Class brings to Solairus over two decades of experience in the private aviation charter industry. Class’ career includes building sales teams for national aircraft management and charter companies through organic growth as well as team integrations through mergers and acquisitions. Class was the Vice President of Charter Sales at TAG Aviation for nearly ten years, posting consistent double-digit growth while creating national and international sales teams, with offices throughout the world. Class has also served on the National Air Transportation Association’s Air Charter Committee, promoting the interests of Part 135 operators and addressing regulatory and legislative issues. He is a private pilot and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lynn University with a concentration in aviation management.

Tom Benvenuto
Senior Vice President, Flight Operations

A pilot since 1989 and a Gold Seal flight instructor, Tom Benvenuto brings to his position at Solairus an extensive and varied background in commercial aviation, having worked at several internationally recognized airlines flying 737s and other transport category aircraft to destinations across the country. A member of the executive team of Solairus’ predecessor, Sunset Aviation, Benvenuto was the driving force and project leader for achieving the prestigious ARG/US Platinum certification. Benvenuto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography/Climatology from the University of California, Davis.

Rene Cervantes
Senior Vice President, Technical Services

With over 20 years of aviation maintenance experience, Rene Cervantes brings an unwavering focus on safety to his position of Senior Vice President, Technical Services at Solairus. Before joining Solairus, Cervantes was the director of maintenance for an esteemed high-utilization Part 135 operation with an ARG/US Platinum rating. Cervantes began his aviation maintenance career during a six-year stint in the United States Navy, maintaining jet aircraft aboard a forward deployed aircraft carrier. His awards include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Learn more about Rene Cervantes here.

Melissa Drew
Vice President, Client Services

Melissa Drew joined Solairus in 2014 and has nearly 15 years of experience in the Private Aviation industry with a blended background in project management and ownership services. Melissa has extensive expertise formulating and instituting policies, procedures, and controls to assure efficient aircraft management for Solairus Aviation’s nationwide fleet of over 150 aircraft. Melissa is a private pilot and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation/Airway Management and Operations from Daniel Webster College.

Brian Moss
Vice President, Flight Scheduling and Client Logistics

Brian Moss started his career in Private Aviation nearly two decades ago beginning in charter sales before joining TAG Aviation in 2007. Moss would later join Solairus in 2009 as a Flight Coordinator before moving over to the Client Services department. Moss was then promoted through the ranks to Senior Director of Flight Coordination and Dispatch in 2013 before joining Solairus’ Executive Management Team as the Vice President of Flight Scheduling and Client Logistics in 2017. Moss is responsible for a nationwide workforce of 30+ Flight Coordinators and Dispatchers operating 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Norwich University, and an MBA from the University of the Pacific.

Laura Paradiso
Vice President, Client Accounting and Finance

With over 20 years of Business Aviation experience, Laura Paradiso has extensive knowledge of all aspects of Accounting and Finance to ensure the Solairus’ department is set up with proper procedures and controls for an accurate and secure environment. Laura began her career in Accounting working for a US DOE Government Contractor in the Boston Metropolitan area. She relocated to California in the late 90’s where she joined Solairus’ predecessor, Sunset Aviation. Among other initiatives, Laura has been instrumental in overseeing our segregated bank account model which is of great importance to our clients. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Eric Wildt
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Eric Wildt was first introduced to aviation while serving in the United States Navy aboard the USS Constellation. Pursuing a lifelong love of motorsports, Eric began his marketing career by serving as marketing manager, publicist and creative director for several teams in NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA. Eric joined Solairus Aviation in 2010 and has been instrumental in helping solidify the company’s brand as a leading Aircraft Management and Private Charter Service Provider. Eric is a Distinguished Military Graduate, holds three FCC licenses and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in marketing.

Valerie Deitrick
Human Resources Sr. Director

Valerie Deitrick has 30 plus years of experience in Human Resources. She has held positions as a Human Resources executive for more than 20 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Human Resources from California State Long Beach. She holds a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification from the World at Work organization. Valerie is new to the Aviation Industry with several years of experience. Her expertise is in process improvement and automation.

 

Dan Drohan – CEO

Dan Drohan, a lifelong aviator, founded Solairus in 2009 after decades of experience owning and operating successful aviation companies. His entrepreneurial drive and his strong business and sales acumen quickly established Solairus as one of the industry’s most highly respected aircraft management firms. After more than ten years under Drohan’s leadership, Solairus now manages one of the nation’s largest fleet of managed business jets, serving clients around the globe, and is supported by one of the most experienced and respected executive management teams. Drohan is an ATP-rated pilot with qualifications in multiple business jets. He is an active philanthropist and is an advocate for the Business Aviation Industry.

John King – President

John King brings more than 30 years of sales, business and financial management experience in a variety of fields including technology, financial services and investment banking. Prior to his role as President, King played an integral role as CFO of the former Sunset Aviation for 4 years. Additionally, King is a commercial pilot and has been involved with multiple aviation endeavors. King holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of San Francisco.

Learn more about John King here.

Greg Petersen – Chief Operating Officer

A respected veteran of two decades in the aviation industry, Greg Petersen brings to his role as Solairus COO a thorough grounding and proven expertise in flight operations and business development. Prior to Solairus, Petersen oversaw the operations of Utah’s leading full-service, fixed-base operator, helping the company achieve the distinction of being named one of Utah’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years. Petersen began his career in aviation and gained valuable flight and operations experience while serving 14 years in the United States Navy as an F/A-18 pilot and instructor. Petersen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Indiana University.

Learn more about Greg Petersen here.

Mark Dennen – Chief Financial Officer

Mark Dennen has served as the CFO and SVP for several business aviation companies and has 20 years of industry experience; he was formerly an Audit Supervisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mark is a CPA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, with a major in Finance and Management. Mark has also served on the NBAA Tax Committee for over 16 years and is a frequent speaker at private aviation industry events.

Learn more about Mark Dennen here.

David Davenport – Executive Vice President

Davenport is a United States Air Force Academy graduate, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Davenport completed a 20+ year career with FlightSafety International, most recently as its President & CEO. Davenport has served on the National Business Aviation Association Board of Directors, the Board of Governors for Corporate Angel Network, and in leadership capacities for The Wings Club.

Steve Foley – Executive Vice President

Before joining Solairus, Foley’s U.S. Navy milestones included his assignment as the Commanding Officer/ Flight Leader for the U.S. Navy “Blue Angels” Flight Demonstration Squadron and serving as the Wing Commander for the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet of fighter aircraft. He retired from active duty after 27 years of distinguished service and joined Check-6, a global leader in optimized performance and safety solutions serving the most demanding industries, where he directed business development and corporate strategy for the North American Division. Foley holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Linda Holmes – Executive Vice President

Linda Holmes is a third generation general aviation professional whose family owned the Palo Alto, California airport. Linda’s nearly 20-year aviation career started as a corporate pilot before moving on to TAG Aviation where she managed flight coordination and charter sales. Dedicated to clients and aircrew, Linda was instrumental in developing TAG Aviation’s Client Services department, an accomplishment she has replicated at Solairus Aviation while serving as the company’s Senior Director of Client Services before her promotion to Vice President of her department in 2010. Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial psychology from San Diego State University.

Bob Marinace – Executive Vice President

Bob brings over 30 years of aviation experience to Solairus and has held senior leadership positions for several business aviation service companies. A specialist in organizational development, Bob has also served on the National Air Transportation Association Board of Directors, the Air Charter Safety Foundation Executive Board, and has been a member of several FAA Aviation regulatory and advisory groups. Bob is a recipient of the coveted Flight Safety Foundation “Joe Chase” Award and the NBAA Safety Award. Bob served as a flight crew member on the Lockheed C-5A in the United States Air Force and hold degrees in Sociology and Aviation Technology.

Learn more about Bob Marinace here.

Mike Tamkus – Executive Vice President

Mike brings to Solairus over 20 years of industry experience, most recently having served 12 years in various executive leadership positions at Executive Jet Management (NetJets, Inc.). Highlights of Mike’s tenure at EJM includes seven years as the senior executive in charge of the Aircraft Management Group, overseeing all owner services, charter and business development. Prior to his career at EJM, Mike spent 3 years as a Director of Business Aircraft for AAR Corporation, based in Chicago, IL. Mike started his aviation career with Ameriflight, Inc., a Part 135 priority air freight operation with 200+ aircraft based throughout the western United States. Mike graduated from Southern Illinois University with a BS in Aviation Flight and Management and completed executive advanced studies in Aviation Safety, Security and Emergency Response Planning at the University of Southern California. Mike and his wife Amy currently live in Cincinnati, OH, where they are raising 18 year old twin daughters, a 15 year old daughter and a 13 year old son.

Paul Class –
Senior Vice President, Charter Sales

Paul Class brings to Solairus over two decades of experience in the private aviation charter industry. Class’ career includes building sales teams for national aircraft management and charter companies through organic growth as well as team integrations through mergers and acquisitions. Class was the Vice President of Charter Sales at TAG Aviation for nearly ten years, posting consistent double-digit growth while creating national and international sales teams, with offices throughout the world. Class has also served on the National Air Transportation Association’s Air Charter Committee, promoting the interests of Part 135 operators and addressing regulatory and legislative issues. He is a private pilot and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lynn University with a concentration in aviation management.

Tom Benvenuto –
Senior Vice President, Flight Operations

A pilot since 1989 and a Gold Seal flight instructor, Tom Benvenuto brings to his position at Solairus an extensive and varied background in commercial aviation, having worked at several internationally recognized airlines flying 737s and other transport category aircraft to destinations across the country. A member of the executive team of Solairus’ predecessor, Sunset Aviation, Benvenuto was the driving force and project leader for achieving the prestigious ARG/US Platinum certification. Benvenuto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography/Climatology from the University of California, Davis.

Rene Cervantes –
Senior Vice President, Technical Services

With over 20 years of aviation maintenance experience, Rene Cervantes brings an unwavering focus on safety to his position of Senior Vice President, Technical Services at Solairus. Before joining Solairus, Cervantes was the director of maintenance for an esteemed high-utilization Part 135 operation with an ARG/US Platinum rating. Cervantes began his aviation maintenance career during a six-year stint in the United States Navy, maintaining jet aircraft aboard a forward deployed aircraft carrier. His awards include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Learn more about Rene Cervantes here.

Melissa Drew –
Vice President, Client Services

Melissa Drew joined Solairus in 2014 and has nearly 15 years of experience in the Private Aviation industry with a blended background in project management and ownership services. Melissa has extensive expertise formulating and instituting policies, procedures, and controls to assure efficient aircraft management for Solairus Aviation’s nationwide fleet of over 150 aircraft. Melissa is a private pilot and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation/Airway Management and Operations from Daniel Webster College.

Brian Moss –
Vice President, Flight Scheduling and Client Logistics

Brian Moss started his career in Private Aviation nearly two decades ago beginning in charter sales before joining TAG Aviation in 2007. Moss would later join Solairus in 2009 as a Flight Coordinator before moving over to the Client Services team. Moss was then promoted through the ranks to Senior Director of Flight Coordination and Dispatch in 2013 before joining Solairus’ Executive Management team as the Vice President, Flight Scheduling and Client Logistics in 2017. Moss is responsible for a nationwide team of 30+ Flight Coordinators and Dispatchers operating 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Norwich University, and an MBA from the University of the Pacific.

Laura Paradiso – Vice President, Client Accounting and Finance

With over 20 years of Business Aviation experience, Laura Paradiso has extensive knowledge of all aspects of Accounting and Finance to ensure the Solairus’ department is set up with proper procedures and controls for an accurate and secure environment. Laura began her career in Accounting working for a US DOE Government Contractor in the Boston Metropolitan area. She relocated to California in the late 90’s where she joined Solairus’ predecessor, Sunset Aviation. Among other initiatives, Laura has been instrumental in overseeing our segregated bank account model which is of great importance to our clients. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Eric Wildt –
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Eric Wildt was first introduced to aviation while serving in the United States Navy aboard the USS Constellation. Pursuing a lifelong love of motorsports, Eric began his marketing career by serving as marketing manager, publicist and creative director for several teams in NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA. Eric joined Solairus Aviation in 2010 and has been instrumental in helping solidify the company’s brand as a leading Aircraft Management and Private Charter Service Provider. Eric is a Distinguished Military Graduate, holds three FCC licenses and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in marketing.

Valerie Deitrick – Human Resources Sr. Director

Valerie Deitrick has 30 plus years of experience in Human Resources. She has held positions as a Human Resources executive for more than 20 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Human Resources from California State Long Beach. She holds a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification from the World at Work organization. Valerie is new to the Aviation Industry with several years of experience. Her expertise is in process improvement and automation.

 

CAM

At Solairus Aviation, CAM enables business and operation support services for aircraft owners, namely, in flight operations management, flight logistics coordination, fuel purchasing, insurance purchasing, support services purchasing, aircraft management services consisting of flight dispatch, safety procedures oversight and private jet and charter sales management. Our decentralized approach to non-regulatory service matters is what enables us to deliver superior service. Learn More About CAM here.

Executive Management Team