Dynamic Aviation’s leadership remains committed to the corporate values that have been responsible for our success—unity, enthusiasm, proactive urgency, constant innovation, and safety. These values are vital to forming productive, long-term customer relationships and attracting and retaining talented employees.
Michael A. Stoltzfus - President and CEO
Michael Stoltzfus is President and CEO of Dynamic Aviation, the leading provider of modified aircraft leased and operated in niche markets around the world. He provides strategic vision through relational leadership that enables problem-solving partnerships. With more than 30 years of aviation and business experience, his leadership continues to guide the organization’s commitment to serve customers in defense, civil and commercial, and aerospace markets.
Michael joined Dynamic Aviation, a family-owned and operated company, in 1990. He started as a pilot and base manager, and went on to work in other roles including Manager of Flight Operations, Vice President of Flight Operations, and Chief Operating Officer.
He is an active member of the U.S. Capital chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. He has formerly served on the boards and advisory councils of multiple non-profit organizations. He is an experienced pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flight time.
Michael attended Eastern Mennonite University and is an alumnus of the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Shannon Wagner - Chief Operating Officer
Shannon Wagner is the Chief Operating Officer for Dynamic Aviation.
In this role Mr. Wagner provides oversight and leadership to the daily operations of the company.
Prior to joining Dynamic Aviation in 2013, Mr. Wagner most recently served as vice president of component solutions at Aveos Fleet Performance in Montreal, Canada.
A former Marine with over 34 years in the aviation industry, Mr. Wagner’s experience includes numerous management and leadership positions at both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
Mr. Wagner earned his master’s degree in business administration from Strayer University and his bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is an alumnus of the General Management Program at Harvard Business school. He is a certified six sigma black belt and a licensed FAA mechanic.
J. Merle Zook - Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Merle Zook is directly responsible for developing and overseeing annual financial plans, implementing cost improvement measures, and managing the performance and growth of Dynamic Aviation’s financial resources and assets.
He has been a member of the Dynamic Aviation team since 1999, serving as Controller, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer. Over the years, Mr. Zook has been instrumental in the organization’s growth and expansion into new markets.
Prior to joining Dynamic Aviation, he was Manager of Auditing and Accounting for Phibbs, Burkholder, Geisert & Huffman, LLP. There, Mr. Zook planned and supervised the audits of various entities including automobile dealerships and manufacturing and processing companies.
Earlier in his career, he was also employed at Kobelco Compressors (America), Inc. as Controller, where he was responsible for accounting department oversight including preparation of monthly financial statements, operating budgets, cash flow projections, external auditor coordination, and evaluation of employee benefit plans.
Mr. Zook is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of Virginia and Indiana. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Mr. Zook received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Aaron Lorson - Executive Vice President
Aaron Lorson is Executive Vice President at Dynamic Aviation. As part of the senior team, his leadership includes fleet management and various other high-level projects. He has also provided past leadership to worldwide flight operations, human resources, safety, and security.
Mr. Lorson began his career with Dynamic Aviation in 1999 as a pilot supporting contracts in the Los Angeles Basin, Panama, and Mexico.
An accomplished pilot, Mr. Lorson holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate including type ratings in the CE-500, DHC-8, and DC-3 aircraft. He also holds a flight instructor certificate for AMEL, ASEL, instrument, ground, and NVG, as well as an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic certificate.
Mr. Lorson earned his bachelor’s degree in Aviation Technology and Flight from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Phil Douglas - Vice President, Program Management and Business Development
As Vice President of Business Development, Phil Douglas leads the worldwide business development operations and customer relations of Dynamic Aviation, cultivating strategic partnerships and programs that add value for our customers.
Phil joined the Dynamic Aviation team in 2011 as Director of Engineering, and since that time, he has served in a number of leadership roles in the organization, most recently as the Vice President of Program Management. Prior to joining Dynamic Aviation, Phil spent over 30 years in leadership roles at Cessna Aircraft and Hawker Beechcraft. He also served with the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Phil is passionate about being active in the local community and currently serves on the Executive Advisory Committee for the College of Engineering and Sciences at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. He has previously served on the boards and advisory councils of multiple non-profit and civic organizations.
Phil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Manufacturing Technology from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and is a graduate of the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Joel Shank - Vice President, Human Resources
Joel Shank is the Vice President of Human Resources and provides leadership to strategic workforce planning, leadership development, corporate events and communication, training programs and fosters a culture of engagement. Joel oversees multiple corporate service teams including Human Resources, Training & Development, and Communications & Public Affairs.
Shank began his career at Dynamic Aviation in 2006 as an intern in the Human Resources department while attending school at Eastern Mennonite University. Upon graduation, he joined the team full-time as an Associate within the Human Resources department. Since then, Joel has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility within the organization, all within the HR department. In October of 2016, Joel was promoted to the VP, HR position further supporting senior leadership strategic objectives.
Mr. Shank graduated in 2006, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern Mennonite University. Joel is active in the local community and serves as a Board Director for the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Blue Ridge Community College Aviation Program Advisory Committee.
Aaron Mingle - Vice President, Flight Operations
Aaron Mingle is the Vice President of Flight Operations and provides leadership to daily flight operations, compliance, and aircraft reliability. Aaron oversees several teams across the organization including Defense, Civil, and Aerospace.
He began his career at Dynamic Aviation in 2010 as a first officer for the Airborne Data Acquisition business segment and has since held various roles throughout the organization, including avionics technician and company pilot. He most recently served as Director of Airborne Data Acquisition.
Mr. Mingle graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science from LeTourneau University. He completed his Master of Business Administration at James Madison University in 2018. A certified Airframe and Powerplant mechanic, Aaron holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and Beech 1900, Dash 8, and Boeing 737 type ratings, in addition to AMEL, ASEL, and Instrument Instructor certificates.
Scott Cessna - Vice President, Technical Operations
As Vice President of Technical Operations, Mr. Cessna provides leadership to Aircraft Maintenance, Modification, Repair, and Overhaul as well as Quality, Engineering, and Logistics. He is also responsible for the complete operation of Dynamic Aviation’s 145 Repair Station, for which he holds the FAA Accountable Manager role.
A graduate of Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, Mr. Cessna began his aviation career with Dynamic Aviation in 2005 as an Avionics Technician and was quickly promoted to an Avionics Team Leader position, and then to Avionics Department Manager prior to moving into the Director of Maintenance role and assuming the Accountable Manager role for Dynamic Aviation’s 145 Repair Station in 2013. In 2016, he was promoted to his current role.
Mr. Cessna is also an alumnus of the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.
Doug Pascarella - Vice President, Information Technology
Pascarella joined the Dynamic Aviation team in 2018 as the Director of IT. He is responsible for leading the ERP, IT Service Desk, Network Engineering, and IT Security teams, in addition to implementing the technology plan for the company.
With more than twenty-five years of service within the IT field, Doug has honed a variety of skills including change management, driving innovation in project management, maximizing systems and performance, business intelligence and analytics.
Pascarella obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems from George Washington University. Additionally, Pascarella achieved certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute.
Board of Advisors
General William T. (Tom) Hobbins - Advisor
General Tom Hobbins is a retired four-star general with the U.S. Air Force with more than thirty eight years experience with U.S. and allied aviation forces in overseas and domestic environments, and extensive interface and coordination expertise with federal agency executive leaders, senior foreign military and civil leadership. Currently, as a private consultant for large aerospace defense system integrators as well as a member of various boards supporting small companies, he has helped to guide the development of NATO’s C4ISR and Unmanned Aerial Systems Roadmaps.
General Hobbins was the Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe; Commander, NATO Allied Air Component Command, Ramstein; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He had responsibility for Air Force activities in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than 20 million square miles, 93 countries and territories, and possessing one-fourth of the world’s population and about one-third of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.
General Hobbins has commanded a numbered air force, two tactical fighter wings and a composite air group. He has served as the Director of Plans and Operations for U.S. Forces Japan, Director of Plans and Policy for U.S. Atlantic Command, the Director of Operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and as a Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
As the USAFE Director of Operations, General Hobbins was responsible for the planning, beddown and execution of combat forces in Europe for Operation Allied Force (Kosovo War). As 12th Air Force Commander, the 12th Air Force Air Operations Center deployed to Southwest Asia as operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom’s alternate AOC. As Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration and the Air Force’s Chief Information Officer, he developed and implemented the Air Force’s C4ISR Roadmap for networks enabling predictive battlespace awareness and targeting.
A command pilot, the General Hobbins has more than 5,100 flying hours, primarily in fighter aircraft.
Lieutenant General Raymond Palumbo (Ret.) - Advisor
Lieutenant General Raymond Palumbo (Ret.) has over 34 years of commissioned service in special operations and conventional military forces in peacetime and in combat.
Prior to retiring from the military, Palumbo served as the Pentagon’s Director for Defense Intelligence where he led the department’s Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance Task Force. Palumbo was instrumental in rapidly delivering critical aviation platforms, sensors, communication systems, and information processing capabilities to U.S. and Coalition warfighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere around the globe.
Palumbo has a bachelor’s of science degree in general engineering from West Point, a master’s of science in administration from Central Michigan University, and a master’s of strategic studies from the US Army War College. He is the founder of Venturi Solutions, LLC, which provides solutions in global defense, security, aviation, intelligence, and energy sectors. Among several military awards and decorations, he graduated from the British Higher Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham, England, and is a recipient of the 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Bradley Heithold - Advisor
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Bradley Heithold has over 40 years of dedicated service since enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1974, General Heithold possesses a heavy concentration of career experience within the special operations community. He has amassed over 3,400 hours of flight time primarily in the AC-130-H Spectre Gunship, and has Commanded at the Squadron, Group, Wing, Agency and Major Command levels.
Most recently, General Heithold served as a Deputy Director within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. General Heithold holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy State University. Additionally, he attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. General Heithold brings forty-five years of aviation experience and leadership to the Dynamic Aviation team.
Richard J. Hayes - Advisor
Rick Hayes is a Managing Partner of Jasper Ridge Partners and co-leads the private equity team. Prior to joining Jasper Ridge Partners in 2004, Rick was the Senior Investment Officer for the CalPERS Alternative Investment Management (AIM) Program and was a member of the five-person Senior Team managing the entire $200+ billion portfolio for CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the U.S.
From 2000 to 2004, he served as the elected Chairman of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), the global private equity association whose members collectively manage over $1 trillion of private equity assets. Rick was named one of the “100 Most Influential People of the Decade” by Private Equity International magazine. Rick is involved with YPO and several charitable organizations focused on autism.
Rick earned a BA in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
David Grizzle - Advisor
David Grizzle currently provides new venture formation and organizational strategy consulting, especially among firms in the aerospace industry.
Prior to opening his consultancy, Mr. Grizzle served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Organization. In this role he led the FAA’s 33,000 professional controllers, technicians, engineers and support personnel who are responsible for keeping air traffic moving safely and efficiently. While at the FAA, Mr. Grizzle also served as the FAA’s Chief Counsel and Acting Deputy Administrator.
Before joining the FAA, Mr. Grizzle was with Continental Airlines and its affiliates for 22 years, retiring as the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. In this role, through a data-driven constant quality improvement process he led Continental to address persistent deficits in product delivery to improve the total travel experience for Continental’s customers.
During a leave of absence from Continental starting in 2004, Grizzle served for 14 months with the U.S. Department of State in Kabul, Afghanistan, as Attaché, Senior Advisor and Coordinator for Transportation and Infrastructure.
Grizzle is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. His wife Anne is a family therapist, author and poet. They have three adult sons and six grandchildren.
Board of Advisors – Emeritus
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Thomas F. Metz - Advisor
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Thomas F. Metz has nearly 40 years of commissioned service in the US Army. He brings the experience of a combat commander who led over 120,000 coalition troops belonging to Multi-National Corps-Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2004-2005), to his current role as a mentor, advisor and consultant for a broad range of international public and private organizations.
General Metz was a key player in laying the groundwork for the Army’s ongoing transformation as the Director of the 4th Infantry Division’s Experimental Force, 1995-1997, then as the Assistant Division Commander for the same command the following year. From 1998-2001, General Metz served in two key billets for prioritizing and allocating resources for our Armed Forces as a Deputy and Vice Director in the Joint Staff Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, J-8. Prior to the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as the Central Command’s Chief of Staff.
General Metz has served in a series of positions of increased responsibility throughout a distinguished career as a leader and trainer of soldiers from Europe to Korea, Iraq and the United States. From his start as a platoon leader in the 1st Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Mainz, Germany, General Metz has commanded at every level from a rifle company up to III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas.
After over three years as the III Corps Commander, he served as the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command’s Deputy Commanding General. General Metz’s final assignment was the Director of the Joint IED Defeat Organization, where the mission was to defeat the IED as a weapon of strategic influence in support of all the US Combatant Commands with an annual Congressional budget of $4 billion.
Karl D. Stoltzfus - Founder
Karl was born September 15, 1940, in Parkersburg, PA to the late Christian David and Irma Hess Stoltzfus. Karl’s father, known as “Airplane Chris,” was an aviation pioneer, and he instilled into Karl a love for all things aviation. At a young age, Karl developed a deep desire to operate a fleet of aircraft. After graduating high school, Karl began working at his father’s aviation business as a pilot and fabricator. On August 3, 1963, he married the love of his life, a young nurse named Barbara Sue Beiler.
In 1967, he and his twin brother, Ken, moved with their families to the Shenandoah Valley to attend Eastern Mennonite College, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business. To pay their way through school, Karl and Ken founded K & K Aircraft. Seven years later Karl and Barbara purchased Bridgewater Air Park, and K & K relocated there. This business became Dynamic Aviation in 1997.
He was an avid pilot with 6000 hours total in multiple types. His depth of knowledge regarding aircraft parts, maintenance, and modifications was unparalleled. He bought and sold many aircraft throughout the years, including the purchase of 124 King Air 90 aircraft from the US Army in 1996. In 2016, Karl led the purchase of the First Air Force One and poured his heart into the restoration process.
He was a voracious reader of both aviation and history and loved to share what he learned with everyone he met. Karl demonstrated integrity and taught others to do the job well. He taught them how to laugh, how to learn, and how to begin everything with “yes.” He had a distinct love for Jesus. His compassion and selflessness extended past the familial bounds to all those he came in contact with, and because of this, many people came to call him brother, father, or friend.