Since Duncan Aviation was founded in 1956, the members of the Duncan family have always been actively involved in leading the company. In addition to the family influence, the company’s leadership dynamic includes vice presidents and executive officers of Duncan Aviation who form the Senior Leadership Team. They pursue a constructive dynamic that allows them to strategically position the company for long-term success and respond to sudden changes in the industry.
The Senior Leadership Team is responsible for modeling and maintaining Duncan Aviation’s Leadership Values. Duncan Aviation leaders:
- Truly care about each team member.
- Support and develop each team member's career.
- Listen and communicate continuously.
- Encourage teamwork within and among all teams.
- Focus on individual's strengths.
- Celebrate success.
- Provide timely and helpful feedback.
- Focus on continuous improvement.
- Have fun!
Members of the Senior Leadership Team include:
Robert Duncan is a nationally recognized aviator, businessman, art collector and civic leader.
His father founded Duncan Aviation in 1956, and Robert began helping out while still a student. Only three years after graduating from Northwestern University in 1965, and at age 26, Robert was named President of the company.
Robert was instrumental in taking Duncan Aviation from a small, sales-focused business to an organization offering a diverse array of aviation services. Today, Duncan Aviation supports the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. The company's services include airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, paint and interior services, and pre-owned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also provides international aircraft components solutions 24/7/365 with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich. Additional locations include Provo, Utah, and more than 20 other locations throughout the United States to provide customers with local support and quick response to avionics, engine and parts Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situations.
Robert turned over day-to-day management of the company to his son, D. Todd Duncan, in 2007 and serves on its board as Chairman Emeritus. Robert and his wife, Karen, are passionate about aviation and flight.
They are also vigorous advocates of the visual arts and Robert has served on numerous boards in the aviation industry, for the visual arts and for various community and philanthropic organizations.
Robert's awards include the AEA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, Living Legends of Aviation Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award in 2010, the Master Pilot Award in 2009, and the National Business Aviation Association's John P. "Jack" Doswell Award in 2002. Robert has been named to the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame.
V.P., Marketing & New Business Development
As Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development, Steve Gade provides leadership to Duncan Aviation's marketing and communications team as well as the aircraft sales team. He is also responsible for new business development and oversight of the domestic and international Customer Advisory Boards.
Steve started with Duncan Aviation in 1992 as Vice President. Prior to Duncan Aviation, he held positions with IBM and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Steve graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelors degree and is a licensed private pilot. Steve enjoys helping team members succeed and building long term customer relationships with customers, vendors and team members.
Steve is married and has grown twins, a boy and a girl, as well as a Briard dog. He enjoys golf, hiking, biking, fishing, reading and cinema. Steve has served on the board of directors for the local independent film theater and chairman of the National Aircraft Resale Association.
Succeed at home first
Never compromise with honesty
Remember the people involved
Hear both sides of the story before judging
Obtain counsel from others
Defend those who are absent
Be sincere but decisive
Develop one new proficiency a year
Plan tomorrow's work today
Hustle while you wait
Maintain a positive attitude
Keep a sense of humor
Be orderly in person and work
Do not fear mistakes- fear only the absence of creative, constructive, and corrective response to those mistakes
Facilitate the success of subordinates
Listen twice as much as you speak
Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worrying about the next job or promotion.
Chief Operating Officer
As Executive Vice President and COO, Tom leads the Battle Creek Senior Management Team and is responsible for the day-to-day guidance and development of the Battle Creek operation.
Tom began his career at Duncan Aviation in 1979 as an entry-level airframe technician performing maintenance on Learjets, Citations and turboprop aircraft. In 1984, he joined the newly formed Service Marketing group where he called on prospective customers promoting Duncan Aviation services in the south central and upper Midwest region of the United States. In 1990 Tom took on the challenge of developing a service quoting system that would help the sales teams produce customer-friendly, industry-leading sales proposals. Through this development, he got involved in the actual quoting and selling of airframe maintenance. Tom progressed to the position of Service Sales Manager in 1994 and began building his sales team. He was promoted to VP Airframe and Engine Service Sales in 1999. In 2004, Tom transferred to Battle Creek to help lead the expansion and growth at that location. He assumed his current responsibilities in 2005.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and an Associate of Science degree in Aviation Technology from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He is an FAA-licensed A&P technician as well as a commercial/instrument rated pilot. He also serves on the Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) for the FlightSafety Foundation.
Tom is married and has three grown children. His interests outside of work include vocal music, travel, cycling, golf and photography.
As President and CEO, Aaron C. Hilkemann provides strategic leadership and direction to Duncan Aviation, Inc. to ensure future development and growth for the enterprise.
Aaron joined Duncan Aviation in 1996 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1997, he was appointed President. Prior to joining Duncan Aviation, Aaron was Vice President and Director of Financial Operations for FirsTier Financial, Inc. His background includes eight years of public accounting experience with KPMG Peat Marwick where he served as a Senior Audit Manager and concentrated in the areas of manufacturing, construction and banking industries.
Aaron is past Chairman and a current member of the Board of Directors of GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association). He has also served as Past Chairman of the AMAC (Associate Member Advisory Council) of NBAA and the NBAA Board of Directors.
Aaron and his wife, Jennifer, have a blended family of seven children, two boys and five girls. Aaron is active in hiking, hunting, fishing, biking and most recently has become a bee keeper.
V.P., Completions, Modifications and Team Members Services
Michael Cox is Duncan Aviation's Vice President of Completions, Modifications and Team Member Services. In his role he oversees the Lincoln, Nebraska, interior and avionics installation production groups, and engineering services companywide. Michael also provides leadership for the human resources and professional development departments and the wellness and safety programs for all locations.
Michael started with Duncan Aviation in 2011. Prior to Duncan Aviation, he spent 28 years in the insurance industry where, during his insurance career, he had leadership responsibility for marketing, public affairs, professional development, strategic planning, finance, sales administration, recruiting, change management, and insurance claims.
Michael has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He holds six insurance designations. He has served on numerous boards in the Lincoln, Nebraska, community including WorkNet, a non-profit organization that helps place physically and mentally challenged individuals in jobs, United Way, and the Lincoln Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Michael is married and has four grown children and three grandchildren. He enjoys running, home improvement projects, family travel, and spending time with his grandchildren. He is actively involved in leadership with his church.
Todd Duncan was named Chairman of Duncan Aviation in 2007. In his 30 years with the company, he has served many roles, including vice chair and president of Duncan Aviation component services. Todd has a passion for aviation and has been an active private pilot since 1987, holding instrument and multi-engine ratings. He is also passionate about the business aviation industry and believes in giving back. He is currently serving as Chair of the National Business Aviation Association's Associate Member Advisory Council. He has been a member of that council since 2015 and has also served as Chairman of the board of the National Air Transportation Association. Todd graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a degree in business administration and studied in the Stanford Executive Program in 2007. Along with his wife, Connie, he is active in several philanthropic activities, including leadership work at the Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln and Lancaster County, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, Nebraska Wesleyan University and Southeast Community College Foundation.
Todd and Connie have twin sons, Harrison and Paul Kent "P.K." Todd enjoys many activities with his family including traveling, boating, scuba diving and snow skiing. Todd is an enthusiastic golfer and an avid supporter of the UNL athletic program.
V.P., Duncan Aviation Parts Sales, Avionics, Accessories & Satellites
Mark Cote is Duncan Aviation's Vice President of Duncan Aviation Parts Sales, Avionics, Accessories & Satellites. In this position he provides leadership to the production and service areas of aircraft Accessories, Avionics/Instruments Component Repair, Duncan Aviation Parts and Rotables Sales and the network of avionics satellite locations around the United States.
Mark joined Duncan Aviation in 1987 as an avionics technician, fixing navigation and communication equipment. Throughout his career with Duncan Aviation, Mark has held several positions including customer service representative, project manager, program manager and project manager team lead and coordinator. In 2006, he became the Vice President of Completions and Modifications. Mark assumed his current position in 2014.
Mark has an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology.
Mark and his wife have two children. Mark enjoys motorcycle riding, home improvement, staying fit and spending time with his family.
Vice President & General Counsel
As General Counsel, Tom represents the company, its owners, senior management and team members in legal matters involving customers, vendors, regulators and legislators.
Tom joined Duncan Aviation in 2007 in his current position. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Tom was president of Spectrum Financial Services, Inc., an Omaha, Nebraska based company that provided securities and insurance products and services to financial institutions throughout the U.S. He also served as a senior officer and was a member of the board of directors for Great Western Bancorp and Spectrum Life Insurance Company, an Arizona based re-insurance company. Before moving to Spectrum, Tom served as vice president, general counsel and secretary for several major financial institutions, including First National Lincoln Corp. in Lincoln, Nebraska and most recently, FirsTier Financial, Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska.
Tom has a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha and Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association. He holds a Nebraska Real Estate Brokers License and is involved with real estate development in Omaha. Tom is also a member of the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association. As a member of the Nebraska Sate Bar Association he serves on the Corporate Counsel Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, is a member of the Foundation’s Endowment Committee, and serves on the University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor’s Board of Counselors.
Chief Operating Officer
As Executive Vice President and COO, Jeff is responsible for the day-to-day guidance and development of the Lincoln operations. He provides direction and leadership for the airframe, engine, and paint production areas and for line services, facilities, quality assurance and the flight department.
Jeff joined Duncan Aviation in 1993 as company controller and soon became Vice President of Finance. He was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 1998. Jeff assumed his current role in 2008. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Jeff worked as a regional controller for International Paper. He has also worked as a CPA in public accounting.
Jeff graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.
Jeff and his wife, Diana, have three children and enjoy family activities, hiking, fishing, camping, golf and tennis. Jeff has served on the Allocation and Audit committees for United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County. He also served on the Lancaster County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children Board of Directors.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Provo Operations, Bill Prochazka provides leadership to the overall operation of Duncan Aviation in Provo, Utah. His responsibilities include general oversight of day-to-day operations, and repair station requirements. Bill began his career at Duncan Aviation in 1987 as a Turboprop Tech Rep in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1989 he was promoted to Manager of the Engine and Airframe departments. In 1992, Bill moved to the Customer Service department as a Service Manager and was promoted to Customer Service Manager in 1994. Bill transferred to Battle Creek, Michigan in 1998 as Vice President of Aircraft and Customer Service. He became Michigan's General Manager in 2001. In the summer of 2010, Duncan Aviation opened a maintenance facility in Provo, Utah. Bill and his wife moved to Provo and he assumed his current role. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Bill held various positions at Gates Learjet and Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. He also managed an avionics shop in Colorado for two years. Bill graduated from Electronics Technical Institute in Denver, Colorado, specializing in Electronic Communications and Digital Theory. He holds a Private Pilots license, MEL/Instrument rating as well as various professional certifications. Bill enjoys the people of Duncan Aviation and Utah. Bill is married to Jeannette. He enjoys playing the guitar, sailing and traveling. Bill has always been active in his community, and plans to continue this support in Utah. While in Battle Creek he served as a Michigan State Aeronautics Commissioner, Chairman of the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and served on the Boards of both Battle Creek Unlimited and the Tax Increment Finance Authority which oversaw infrastructure investment in the Fort Custer Industrial Park, the home of Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek. Personal Mission: To live a purposeful life, and to help others find purpose along their journey.
Chief Financial Officer
As Vice President and CFO, Cindy Morris provides leadership for the accounting, credit, information services, material services, Lincoln customer services and treasury services areas. Cindy joined Duncan Aviation in 2008. Prior to Duncan Aviation she worked as a certified public accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick in Lincoln, where she worked for 12 years. She was Corporate Treasurer and Corporate Controller for Cohesive Technology Solutions, Inc. and Director of Finance and Accounting with Infocure Dental. She most recently worked for the Nebraska Book Company as Vice President of Administration. Cindy attended the University of Nebraska where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is a Certified Public Accountant. Cindy's husband Bill is an attorney in private practice in Lincoln. They have two children; Whitney, a Kansas University graduate and graphic designer living in Colorado, and Elliot, a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, studying Civil Engineering. Cindy enjoys cycling, hiking and travel. Cindy has served on a variety of community boards and committees including the Homestead Girl Scout Council, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Leadership Lincoln, YWCA, United Way, Parent Teacher Organizations and most currently, the Audit Committee of the Lincoln Community Foundation.
Vice President Service Sales
Mike Minchow is the Completions Sales and Design Manager in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mike started with Duncan Aviation in 1983 as a designer. He was promoted to team leader and then moved to the completions sales team. He became manager and then spent time as a program manager before coming back to manage the completions sales team in 2008. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Mike worked for Ericson Sullivan Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska as a project architect. Mike has a Bachelors degree in Architecture. Mike and his wife Renae have three sons; Andrew, Mason and Aden. Mike enjoys hunting, golf, and coaching his sons' sports teams.
Vice President Customer Service
Doug Alleman is the Regional/Service Sales Manager in Lincoln, Nebraska. He provides leadership to the airframe and engine service sales teams in Lincoln and the regional sales team. Doug started at Duncan Aviation in 1988 as an engine shop technician. He was promoted to team leader, tech rep and served as shop supervisor. He transferred to engine sales in 2000. He assumed his current role in 2008. Doug is a licensed A&P mechanic. He enjoys working with customers and having such a great team to work with. Doug is married with grown children. He enjoys fishing and spending as much time as he can with his grandson.
V.P., Completions & Modifications
As Vice President of Completions and Modifications, Andy Richards oversees the Battle Creek paint and interior completions teams. He also provides on-site support for OEM completions, engineering and certification in Battle Creek.
Andy joined Duncan Aviation in 1997 working as a cabinet shop technician in Battle Creek, Michigan. He spent time leading teams in both cabinet and completions and was promoted to assistant manager of interior completions. In 2008, Andy became involved in Duncan Aviation's OEM completions program and was promoted to Program Manager one year later.
Andy has a Bachelors of Arts degree and a Masters of Fine Arts degree.
Andy and his wife have two daughters. He enjoys fly fishing, running, cooking and camping. Andy is a board member of Anglers of the Au Sable; an organization that protects the environmental quality of a highly regarded trout stream in northern Michigan. Andy is also a board member and treasurer of Battle Creek Unlimited; an economic development organization that seeks to grow, retain, and develop the business community of Battle Creek, Michigan.
VP of Operations
In 1994, Chad was hired at Duncan Aviation as an airframe mechanic. His work specialized in Falcons and Hawkers. During his time with the Airframe department Chad was promoted to shift supervisor and then to assistant manager. In 2004 Chad became Customer Service Manager in Lincoln and was in that role for seven years. Chad returned to the Airframe department in 2011 as Manager. Prior to Duncan Aviation, Chad worked for Northrop Grumman on the B2 bomber as a structure, hydraulic and flight test mechanic.
Chad holds an A&P license and Inspection Authorization (IA) from the FAA.
Chad enjoys spending time with his kids and attending their sports activities. He has four children; two daughters and two sons. Chad is involved in the Nebraska Business Aviation Association and supports the American Heart Association and Seward Recreational sports.