Kenneth C. Ricci


Kenneth Ricci has spent over 30 years developing innovative services in the aviation industry. Beginning in 1980 with the founding of Corporate Wings, an aircraft management and charter operation, Kenn expanded his aviation operations to include other aviation support services. Including, Inertial Airline Services which became an industry leader in the overhaul and modernization of long-range navigation systems. The company was sold to Heico Corp(HEI) in 2001.

In 1998, Kenn revolutionized the fractional aircraft ownership industry by founding Flight Options. His marketing and strategic leadership took the company from inception to annual sales of more than $600M in a period of 4 years. Flight Options was merged with Raytheon Travel Air in 2002, and with a fleet of over 200 aircraft, Kenn had grown Flight Options to rank as the second largest company in the industry.

Today, Kenn is a principal of Directional Aviation Capital which owns various aviation enterprises Constant Aviation, Flight Options and Nextant. www.directionalaviation.com. In addition, Directional restructured the Mercury Air Centers, a $200mil company operating aircraft support facilities at 24 different airports. Acquiring a stake in 2005, Kenn, as CEO of the company, realigned its operating divisions, deployed $245mil of invested capital and sold the to Macquarie Infrastructure Trust (MIC) in 2007 in a deal valued at $615mil.

Kenn was honored as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year in 2000 and has been named one the most influential people in aviation by Aviation International News. In 2010 Kenn received the Harvard Business School’s Dively Entrepreneurship Award and in 2012 was the youngest recipient of the prestigious William Ong Award for extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to the general aviation industry. Kenn graduated from the University of Notre Dame and the Cleveland Marshall School of Law. He is an airline transport pilot license with extensive international experience and was Governor William Clintons pilot when he ran for President in 1992.

Kenn is the aviation advisor to the Guggenheim Aero Opportunity Fund. Kenn also serves on the Business Advisory Council of the University of Notre Dame, the Board of Trustees of University Hospitals, The National Board of Childhelp, and Gilmour Academy. Kenn is the Author of “Management by Trust”, a book featuring practical management techniques for building employee trust.

Michael A. Rossi

Chief Financial Officer Directional

Mike Rossi began with Corporate Wings in 1984 and has spent the last 21 years developing innovative business strategies in the Aviation Industry. Mr. Rossi has managed all facets of General Aviation: Fixed Based Operations, Maintenance Facilities, Management of Aircraft and the buying and selling of Corporate Aircraft. He has also been involved in the purchasing of and divesting of all the facets of General Aviation mentioned above.

Highlights: Corporate Wings Management Company at the height of its operations in 1998 was the 10th largest in the United States.

In 1990 as the President of Inertial Airline Services through 2001 managed this successful commercial aviation maintenance service organization. This successful maintenance service organization became the largest overhaul provider of long-range navigation systems. This company was sold in 2001 to further enhance the revolutionary fractional Jet ownership company Flight Options.

Mr. Rossi managed Flight Options from its inception in 1998 to its current stature as the second largest jet fractional ownership company in the industry. The company has grown to 1600 employees and 800 million in sales. Mr. Rossi as the Chief Financial Officer raised capital and established financing vehicles to assist the initial growth of the business. As President and Chief Operating Officer, he implemented strategic plans in the financial, operations and administration of the company.

Today Mr. Rossi is a principal in Directional Aviation which owns various enterprises in the Aero Medical, Aircraft Maintenance and FBO segments of general aviation. Starting in 2005 Mr. Rossi was the CFO of the restructured Mercury Air Centers. As CFO, Mr. Rossi was instrumental in increasing EBITDA by over 200%. This was accomplished through acquisitions and operating efficiencies. Mercury Air Centers 24 FBO’s were ultimately sold to Macquarie Infrastructure Trust in 2007 in a deal valued at $615 million.

Mr. Rossi’s other business interests include involvement with the accounting firm Rossi, Schlotter & Co., CPA which has assisted many businesses in the areas of planning and growth.

A graduate of John Carroll University, Mr. Rossi is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Series 7 License.

Jay Heublein

Executive Vice President

Jay Heublein joined Nextant Aerospace in January of 2011. He brings with him more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of business aviation. Prior to joining Nextant, Jay served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Flight Options, a fractional jet ownership provider. While at Flight Options, Mr. Heublein was responsible for managing their national sales force and leading their marketing strategy. He has also held senior sales positions with CitationShares, the fractional ownership division of Cessna Aircraft Company.

In his current role, Jay is responsible for all aspects of the Nextant brand. While previously serving as Executive Vice President for Global Sales and Marketing at Nextant, Jay led the effort to introduce an entirely new concept within the business aviation sector under the title of aircraft remanufacturing. In the first 18 months following certification, Nextant delivered approximately 70 aircraft to 13 different countries around the world. All of this took place against what was arguably the most difficult sales environment that Business Aviation had seen over the course of the industry. As a result, Nextant was the recipient of the 2015 Aviation Week Laureate Award for their outstanding contribution in the Business Aviation sector and for establishing the new segment of aircraft remanufacturing.

Since joining the aviation industry, Jay is proud to have served as a manager for the Directional Aviation Capital portfolio of companies under the leadership of aviation luminary and Directional Chairman, Kenneth Ricci.

Throughout his career, Jay has taken pride in helping to develop young professionals into successful leaders within the business aviation industry. Jay is a graduate of Truman State University.

Nathan Marker

Chief Pilot

Coming soon...

Michelle Masotto

Corporate Counsel

Coming soon...

Tony Kurpely

Director of Global Product Support

As Nextant Aerospace’s Director of Global Product Support, Tony is available for technical support 24/7. Prior to joining Nextant Aerospace, Tony worked with Flight Options as an Avionics Manager. Tony has been involved with many projects on the Beechjet airframe. For instance, he developed the build and aircraft of the Nextant 400XT/XTi and managed the install practices that are utilized in the product build. Tony holds an Associate’s Degree in Aviation Electronics and brings an increased level of knowledge and expertise to Nextant Aerospace.

Elizabeth Ricci

Customer Experience Manager

Coming soon...