Barrow Neurological Institute Tour
Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is truly an amazing place for research, treatment, recovery.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of joining Mrs. Jana Earnest, Development Officer with BNI, for a “behind the scenes” tour. We began our morning with CEO & President,Dr. Michael Lawton who welcomed us and shared his thoughts about the growth and development of BNI. We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to meet with him.
Our first stop was the Barrow Innovation Center to see how they are using special 3D printers to create exact models of the spines, hips, skulls and other bone structures of actual patients, for their doctors to examine prior to surgery. Engineer, Ms. Sarah McBryan, explained the process of making the models and the continual improvements in 3D technology. We also learned the use of these custom-made models is fairly new, but the positive feedback from the doctors using them suggests that this technology is improving patient outcomes. Next, we visited the Publications & Illustrations department and met Mr. Mark Shornak, Senior Medical Illustrator, who guided us through his department of award-winning illustrators. They produce original artwork for journal articles, books, PowerPoint presentations, videos, animations, and websites. These talented professionals all completed graduate degrees with emphasis in neuroanatomy and visual communication solutions along with a special certification in medical illustration. They showed us some of the beautiful and complex projects they were working on – from the illustration of body parts; to 3D video of a brain surgery; to a virtual reality surgery device. We could have spent several more hours learning about all of the amazing things these groups were working on – but we had more to see!
We moved on to the Neuro Rehabilitation Center and Ms. Luann Williams, Neuro Rehabilitation Manager, showed us inspiring and innovative technologies. We witnessed a stroke patient, who was outfitted with an Ekso GT, a wearable robotic exoskeleton, designed to assist him in relearning correct step patterns and weight shifts involved in walking as he moved up and down a long hallway. The Ekso GT enables patients to markedly increase the number of quality, consecutive steps during therapy. We watched a young man who had experienced a spinal injury “rehabbing” on a high-tech treadmill called The Zeno Walkway. This oversized treadmill was detecting and collecting pressure data as he was walking on it, identifying any walking difficulties in real time to be addressed by his therapist. The machine was analyzing more than 100 measurements per second! The patient and the therapist were both working hard, but they seemed to be enjoying their time. There were many other state-of-the-art technologies being used in the rehab center – and all of it fascinating.
Lastly, Mr. Trent Maruyama, Rehabilitation Program Coordinator, explained how Barrow is using a vehicle called The Terrain Hopper. It is an off-terrain vehicle that allows people with disabilities or mobility issues to venture all types of unpaved terrain.
What a terrific experience. We are so grateful to Mrs. Jana Earnest and Mrs. Katie Cobb for setting up this incredible tour – and we are looking forward to hosting the “To Infinity and Barrow Beyond” event at our hangars at Scottsdale Airport coming up in November. The event is an opportunity for attendees to see some of these technologies up close and hear directly from the world-class BNI doctors. This is an invitation-only event for Pinnacle Aviation clients and the members of Barrow Beyond. If you did not receive the Save the Date email and would like to attend the event, please contact Orin Anderson (email@example.com or 480-717-2783) for the information.
More about BNI from their website:
Since opening its doors as a regional specialty center in 1962, Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center has grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. The experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists provides a complete spectrum of care – from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation – under one roof.
Barrow is a sought-after destination hospital for patients with the most complex neurological cases in the world. The institute is also known as a leader in neuroscience education, housing the largest neurosurgical residency and fellowship programs in the United States and training more neurosurgeons than anywhere in the world. Barrow performs more brain surgeries than any other hospital in the United States. The institute is also home to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
U.S. News & World Report ranked U.S. hospitals in 16 specialties. The publication selects hospitals based on a variety of criteria including reputation, mortality rates, patient volume, and key technologies.
The institute performs more neurosurgical procedures annually than anywhere in the United States. U.S. News & World Report routinely lists St. Joseph’s as one of the best hospitals in the nation for neurological and neurosurgical care. BNI’s mission is to advance the knowledge and practice of medicine in neuroscience through basic and clinical research, education of medical professionals, and innovation in clinical techniques and technology.
To view photos from the tour click here
Pinnacle Aviation is proud to announce the 2019 Pilot of the Year awards to Lead Captain Mike Price and Captain Matt Forsey. Each year Pinnacle Aviation’s Director of Operations, Trevor Turcott, and Chief Pilot, Todd Pixley, get together to compare notes and select Pinnacle Aviation’s Pilot of the Year. After carefully analyzing our pilots’ flight times, trips flown, and client/employee feedback they chose the 2019 Pilots of the Year! Lead Captain Mike Price has 11,850 total flight hours. Mike joined Pinnacle Aviation in 2010 to pilot our Premier I. Captain Matt Forsey has over 4,640 total flight hours. Matt joined Pinnacle Aviation in 2010 to pilot our Premier I. Mike and Matt are exceptional pilots who receive outstanding feedback from employees and colleagues. Below is feedback we have recieved from Pinnacle Aviation clients.
“By the way—the two pilots on this recent trip went above and beyond in making sure I knew how everything worked—how to adjust the temperature, how to move the seats to different positions, asked me if I had any questions, announced ‘what we were flying over’ (i.e. we are now flying over Nebraska – or “to your right is Colorado Springs”—etc). Just a bit more ‘above and beyond’ than before.. sort of A++ while other pilots were A+, very enjoyable trip!”
“Just want to tell you how much we enjoyed the Premier plane and the pilots were fabulous. Thanks.”
“Many thanks to you for all of your great assistance, and please forward a special thanks to the crew for a job VERY well done. This client will have a couple of flights in 2016, and I will give you the first shot at them. Thanks, have a great week and happy holidays!”
Mike and Matt also have received great feedback from colleagues. On a recent trip Mike and Matt flew a fellow Pinnacle Aviation Pilot. Our Pilot contacted us to tell how impressed he was on his flight with him. Even though he was an employee of Pinnacle Aviation, Mike and Matt treated this employee as a client by loading his bags on the aircraft for him and made sure he had exceptional service on his flight home. We are so thankful for these two outstanding pilots and all they do for Pinnacle Aviation. Congratulations!
To All Pinnacle Aviation Clients –We are taking the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak very seriously and wanted to update you on everything Pinnacle Aviation is doing to ensure the health and safety throughout our operations. We are following guidance from the CDC and the WHO, and in addition to our high standard cleaning and flight preparation procedures, we have hired a professional detailing company to disinfect our aircraft prior to all outbound flights from Pinnacle Aviation’s base.
From health and hygiene to cleaning and sanitation – our commitment is to go above and beyond. In short, we are implementing preventative measures to ensure our Clients’ and Team Members’ well-being. As always, our policy requires all Pinnacle Aviation Team Members (Pilots and Staff) to stay home if they are feeling ill or have any flu-like symptoms. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and adjust procedures as needed. We know that many of you have already received information from other sources with guidelines to follow regarding the virus.
However, we are sharing the following links/resources for your review:
Please feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns we can address.
President & CEO
People seeking to charter an aircraft, often rely on their own research or a Charter Broker’s expertise to evaluate the many charter aircraft and services available to them. Private jet users expect that, at a minimum, aircraft available for charter are in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety regulations. However, just like any other industry, not all charter operators deliver the same standards of safety and professionalism. To assist charter customers to identify the most competent operators, the charter industry has established a set of qualifications and operating metrics.
Listed here are a handful of sensible questions, adapted from the NBAA Aircraft Charter Consumer Guide, which will assist to expose the professionalism of the operator and their commitment to operate safe equipment.
1) How long has the Operator or Broker been in business?
Experience is an important attribute in the aviation industry. An experienced organization will demonstrate and command a more competent understanding of FAA safety regulations as well as the myriad of logistics involved with conducting safe and efficient missions.
2) Who has “operational control” of the aircraft?
Charter Operators and Charter Brokers can easily be mistaken for one another. Understanding the difference will help provide clarity about who is doing what throughout the charter experience. Charter Operators have operational control – Charter Brokers do not.
A Charter Operator directly manages, maintains, and crews aircraft made available for charter. To be an operator, an individual or organization must earn an operating certificate issued by the FAA. It is a rigorous process designed to provide a reliable operational standard of safety. Charter operators are required to continuously engage with the FAA having every aircraft and pilot approved before an aircraft is made available for charter. Whether a trip is arranged through a Charter Broker or directly with an Operator, if it’s a legitimate, legal charter, the flight will be delivered on a Charter Operator’s aircraft – and the Charter Operator will have “operational control”.
A Charter Broker matches their customer’s travel requirements using the available charter aircraft provided by the licensed Charter Operators. The Charter Broker serves as a “finder”, providing a value-added service for their customers by screening charter operators, identifying qualified aircraft and crew, and making recommendations to their customer. Some Charter Brokers will also act as an agent on behalf of their client, to negotiate and finalize the arrangements/agreements for their customer’s flights.
3) What is the safety record of the company?
When selecting a charter operator, it is prudent to research the audit history and ratings of the charter operator. Audit ratings may be found by contacting the charter operator or through third party safety auditors, e.g., International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), Aviation Research Group U.S. (ARG/US), and Wyvern. Most brokers and operators will provide an ARG/US Trip CHEQ report or a Wyvern Pass report showing that the flight has met industry standards. Links to these audit organizations may be found via www.nbaa.org/charter.
In general, all accidents and certain incidents must be reported immediately to the nearest National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) office. Enforcement action can be taken against the operator if notification is not made in a timely manner.
An Accident is defined by the FAA as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.
An Incident is defined as “an occurrence involving one or more aircraft in which a hazard or a potential hazard to safety is involved but not classified as an accident due to the degree of injury and/or extent of damage.” An incident could affect the safety of operations. This definition covers a broad range of events and may include runway incursions, pilot deviations and near midair collisions.
When evaluating the safety record of a Charter Operator, consideration should be given to operator’s fleet size and number of years in business.
4) Has the Operator (or Broker) been listed in any lawsuits or are they currently in litigation?
The past business history of any company can provide valuable insight into the way in which they conduct business. Legal remedies are available for businesses to resolve difficult issues, however, companies with a track record of lawsuits and litigation justify closer scrutiny.
5) What experience do the pilots who will be flying the jet have?
Pilots for a legal charter operator must have at least 1,200 hours of total flight time. It is reasonable to ask the total flight hours of the crew and, perhaps more importantly, how many hours each crew member has in the specific make/model of the aircraft to be chartered. Industry auditors have recommendations about experience levels to look for with an aircraft crew. In addition, it’s helpful to know crew experience when comparing one operator to another.
6) How much liability insurance is carried on the jet?
An accepted industry norm for prospective jet charter clients is a minimum limit of $50 million ($50,000,000) combined single limit, bodily injury to passengers and property damage liability. However, more or less insurance coverage may be appropriate depending on your needs and the charter operator
7) Ask for an all-inclusive price quote?
Pricing a private charter trip can be made very simple by asking for an “all-in” price. Many operators will quote a net aircraft price or estimated price. Upon the completion of the trip they will add in pilot fees, stand-by time, holding pattern or diversion times, parking and ramp charges, landing fees, fuel surcharges, segment fees and a 7.5 percent federal excise tax. An all-in quote divided by the quoted hourly flight time will allow for clear comparison information between various quotes.
By asking these questions, you do more than ensure your safety; you learn more about the professionalism of the Charter Operator or the Charter Broker.
The Desert Mountain Foundation (DMF) and Scottsdale-based Pinnacle Aviation, in partnership with the Desert Mountain Golf Professionals and the Cactus Classic Golf Tournament, presented the Seventh Annual Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge fundraising event with all proceeds benefiting the DMF Scholarship Fund and Golf Staff Education Fund.
Monday, February 15, 2021 was a cold and cloudy Arizona day for the annual Cactus Classic Golf Tournament. The tournament was played on the Outlaw Course, with each group starting on Hole #11 – to provide ample social distancing and to keep everyone safe.
The Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge qualifier was set up on the practice green next to the starter’s shed before Hole #1. All 72 players and 18 club pros competing in the Cactus Classic participated in the Putting Challenge qualifier and raffle. As each group advanced from the 18th green to the No. 1 tee-box; they stopped at the practice green to take their best of 10 putts to qualify for the head-to-head putting competition. All participants received raffle tickets for each made putt. The grand raffle prize of a complimentary 30-minute helicopter tour of the city provided by H5 Helicopters, was won by Mr. Alton Jones! And the winner of the $500 gift certificate to Dominick’s Steak House went to Mr. John Wall!
The top 8 scores from the day qualified for the Putting Championship – and the top 4 scores from the Professionals playing with each group qualified for the Pro Putting Championship. There were an additional 8 qualifiers who made their attempts at several prequalifying sites during the two weeks prior.
After the last group finished their round, the putting competition began on the practice green outside the Outlaw Clubhouse. The format was a head-to- head single putt elimination tournament for both the players and the Club Professionals. The competitor whose putt came to rest closest to the hole advanced to the next round.
The players competition began with a first-round putt of ~20-feet; the second- round putt was ~25-feet and the quarter- final putt set up just outside of 30-feet. Mrs. Lauren Keomaka and Mr. David Mingo both advanced their way through their brackets to the final putt for the Championship set at ~35-feet.
Both players made excellent putts, with Mrs. Keomaka’s putt coming to rest just a few inches closer than Mr. Mingo’s putt, to win the title of 2021 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion!
The four club professionals then began their competition, and in the championship round for the pros, Kyle McNulty edged out Tanner Marlett for the win and title of 2021 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion of the Pro Division. Kyle and Tanner received a $300 gift card and $200 gift card, respectively, for dinner at Dominick’s or Ocean’s 44 in Scottsdale.
Top 8 Tournament Players
Mr. Robert Beach 8
Mr. James Kolander 7
Mr. Donald Wood 7
Mr. Fred Dunlap 7
Mr. Doug Reynolds 7
Mr. Jon Ardell 7
Mr. Bob Harrington 7
Mr. Dave Mingo 7
Top 4 Professionals
DK Kim 8
Zach Capel 7
Kyle McNulty 7
Tanner Marlett 7
Top 8 Pre-Qualifiers
Mr. Scott Gordon 7
Mr. Gary Kachadurian 7
Mrs. Lauren Keomaka 7
Mr. Greg Caster 7
Mr. L Phillips 7
Mr. Robert Kazar 7
Mr. Ellison Keomaka 6
Mr. Chris Wilson 6
Post Event Summary
Mrs. Keomaka’s win included a $500 book credit in the Desert Mountain Golf Shop, along with a beautifully inscribed silver- platted Champion’s trophy.
She also won an attempt at the 50-foot putt to win a 4-day all- expense paid, luxury private jet trip for Eight (8) to Bandon Dunes – including all golf, lodging and food & beverage – valued at over $50,000!
Mrs. Keomaka took her time and assessed the green between her ball and the hole. She was very deliberate in her set up. The spectators (including her husband, Ellison) grew quiet. Mrs. Keomaka put a confident stroke on the 50-footer. The putt had perfect speed, tracking directly toward the hole, the crowd began to cheer as the ball approached the cup and erupted in an electrifying “OHHHH!” as the ball grazed the right lip of the cup. It was an outstanding attempt
at the grand prize!
Our enthusiastic congratulations to the 2021 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Champion – Mrs. Lauren Keomaka! The 2021 Cactus Classic & PA Putting Challenge raised and donated $8,105 to the DMF scholarship fund.
Pictured left to right: Orin Anderson (Pinnacle Aviation), Sheila Seaton (DMF), Karen Seduski (DMF),
Greg Caster (DMF & 2-time PAPC Champion!), Lauren Keomaka (2021 Putting Champion),
Brook Urban (DMF), Peter Swanson (Head Professional – Outlaw)
The DMF established the Scholarship Fund in 2012 to provide support for eligible Desert Mountain employees, their spouses, and dependent children and grandchildren, as these individuals pursue their educational goals. The scholarship program is also open to employees of CCMC, the company that provides professional management to the Desert Mountain Homeowners Associations. Scholars are selected through an application process by a review panel that includes members of the DMF Advisory Board, Desert Mountain members, a local education expert, and Arizona Community Foundation Scholarship Office staff members. Selection is based on financial need, essays about future plans and goals, academic achievement, demonstrated community service, and relationship to a Desert Mountain employee in good standing.
The Desert Mountain Foundation (DMF) and Scottsdale-based Pinnacle Aviation, in partnership with the Desert Mountain Golf Professionals and the Cactus Classic Golf Tournament, presented the Sixth Annual Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge fundraising event with all proceeds benefiting the DMF Scholarship Fund and Golf Staff Education Fund.
Monday, March 17, 2020 turned out to be a gorgeous Arizona day for the annual Cactus Classic Golf Tournament. The shotgun tournament was played on the Renegade Course.
The Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge qualifier was set up on the practice tee outside the Renegade Hideout. All 88 players and 22 club pros competing in the Cactus Classic participated in the Putting Challenge qualifier and raffle (won by Missy Dingman!). As each group advanced from the 18th green to the #1 tee-box; they stopped at the practice green to take their best of 10 putts to qualify for the head-to-head putting competition. The top 8 scores from the day qualified for the Putting Championship – and the top 4 scores from the Professionals playing with each group qualified for the Pro Putting Championship. New this year, there were an additional 8 qualifiers who made their attempts at the Performance Center during the two weeks prior to the Cactus Classic.
The putting competition took place on the practice green outside the Hideout during the post tournament reception. The format was a headto-head single putt elimination tournament for both the players and the Club Professionals. The competitor with the closest putt to the hole advanced to the next round. The players competition began with a first-round putt of ~20-feet; the second-round putt was ~25-feet and the quarter-final putt set up just outside of 30-feet. Mr. Kettlewell and Mr. Harrington both advanced their way through their brackets to the final putt for the Championship set at ~35-feet.
Both players made excellent putts, with Mr. Harrington’s putt coming to rest less than an inch closer than Mr. Kettlewell’s putt, to win the title of 2020 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion!
The four club professionals then began their competition, and in the championship round for the pros, Peter Swanson just edged out Matt Denesha for the win and title of 2020 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion of the Pro Division. Peter and Matt received a $300 gift card and $200 gift card, respectively, for dinner at Ocean’s 44 in Scottsdale.
Mr. Harrington’s win included a $500 book credit in the Desert Mountain Golf Shop, along with a beautifully inscribed silver-platted Champion’s trophy.
Mr. Harrington also earned an attempt at the 50-foot putt to win a 4-day all-expense paid, luxury private jet trip for Eight (8) to Bandon Dunes – including all golf, lodging and food & beverage – valued at over $50,000!
With a spirited crowd cheering him on, Mr. Harrington lined up and put a good stroke on the 50-footer. The putt had perfect speed and began tracking toward the hole, the crowd noise grew as the ball approached the cup and erupted in a loud “OHHHHH!” as the ball came within a ½ inch of going in, then coming to rest just past the cup. It was an excellent attempt to win the grand prize!
A hearty congratulations to the 2020 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Champion, Mr. Bob Harrington!
The 2020 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge raised and donated $5,215 to the DMF scholarship fund.
Desert Living featured the 2020 DMF Putting Challenge in their magazine. Read more about this exciting event below.
The following data displays the results of a fuel survey of U.S. FBOs conducted by the Aviation Research Group/U.S. Inc. in September 2019.
This survey reflects prices reported by over 200 FBOs nationwide. Prices are full retail and include all taxes and fees. The regions listed are based on the eight FAA regions (excluding Alaska).
The September 2019 national average for a gallon of Jet-A decreased (4¢) from August to $5.54. This is $0.10 lower than the September 2018 national average. The Southern region saw the largest decrease with Jet-A decreasing $0.04 per gallon. According to our survey the Eastern region, with an average price per gallon of $6.20, was the most expensive.
The Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® (SAAR) Leadership Academy members (Class #23) toured Pinnacle Aviation as part of their Corporation Day on September 4, 2019.
The group saw the interior of a Bombardier Challenger 350; toured the maintenance hangar; and learned about the origins of Pinnacle Aviation’s 30-plus year history, directly from founder and President, Curt Pavlicek. The group asked lots of great questions about the private aviation business and even though the visit was brief, we were excited to have been selected as a stop on their Corporation Day schedule.
The Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® is a nonprofit trade association serving over 8,500 REALTOR® members and 350 Affiliate members in the Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Carefree and Cave Creek communities. The SAAR Leadership Academy was designed to develop leadership and introduce its carefully selected candidates to businesses leaders throughout the Scottsdale community.
Pictured from left to right: Curt Pavlicek, John Nugent, Lindsay Fricks, Polly Blackwell, Kerry Tishuck,
Allison Cahill, Ashley Krolak, Allie Jennings, Mary Boyan-Slakey, Katherine Graff, Aaron Bils,
Stephanie Greenfield, Winnie Kaplan, Stephanie Barber, Brad Phillips, Stefanie Lugo, Riley Cilley,
Aaron Benson, Rebecca Niessink, Rebecca Grossman, Orin Anderson
Congratulations to the 2019 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion – Mr. Pete Selda!
The Desert Mountain Community Foundation (DMCF) and Scottsdale based Pinnacle Aviation, in partnership with the Desert Mountain Golf Professionals and the Cactus Classic Golf Tournament, presented the Fifth Annual Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge fundraising event with all proceeds benefiting the DMCF Scholarship Fund and Golf Staff Education Fund.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 turned out to be a pleasant Arizona day for the annual Cactus Classic Golf Tournament. The shotgun tournament was played on the Outlaw Course and began at on-time at 10:00am.
The Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge was set up on the practice tee next to the starter’s booth ahead of the first tee-box. All 75 players and 25 club pros competing in the Cactus Classic participated in the Putting Challenge. As each group advanced from the 18th green to the 1st tee-box; they stopped at the practice green to take their best of 10 putts to qualify for the head-to-head putting competition. The top 8 scores from the day made it into the Putting Championship – and the top 4 scores from the Professionals playing with each group qualified for the Pro Putting Championship.
The putting competition took place on the 18th green during the post tournament reception. The format was a head-to-head single putt elimination tournament for both the tournament players and the club professionals – with player with the closest putt to the hole advancing. The four club professionals began the competition in front of a crowd of 50+ spectators. In the championship round for the pros, Kyle McNulty rolled his putt to under 5” to edge out Rocco Mazzanti for the win and title of 2019 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion of the Pro Division. Kyle and Rocco received a $300 gift card and $200 gift card, respectively, for dinner at Mastro’s Steak House.
The players competition began with a first-round putt of 25-feet; the second-round putt was approximately 30 feet and the final championship putt set up just outside of 35 feet. All of the players made excellent putts with Mr. Ray Madison and Mr. Pete Selda leaving their second-round putts exactly 2’3” from the hole, forcing them to putt a second time. In the end, Mr. Pete Selda, with his cheering section led by his wife, Gail, celebrated the win and the title of 2019 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge Champion!
Mr. Selda’s win included a $500 credit in the Desert Mountain Golf Shop, along with a beautifully inscribed silver-platted Champion’s trophy.
Mr. Selda also earned an attempt at the 50-foot putt to win an all-expense paid, luxury private jet trip for four (4) to Bandon Dunes valued at over $25,000!
With a spirited crowd cheering him on, Mr. Selda lined up and put a good stroke on the 50-footer. The putt started out left and never broke back toward the hole, it had plenty of distance coming to rest several feet past the cup. It was a solid attempt and an exciting showing for the encouraging spectators.
The 2019 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Challenge raised and donated $4,410 to the DMCF scholarship fund.
The DMCF established the Scholarship Fund in 2012 to provide need-based support for eligible Desert Mountain employees, their spouses, and dependent children and grandchildren, as these individuals pursue their educational goals. The scholarship program is also open to employees of CCMC, the company that provides professional management to the Desert Mountain Homeowners Associations. Scholars are selected through an application process by a review panel that includes members of the DMCF Advisory Board, Desert Mountain members, a local education expert, and Arizona Community Foundation Scholarship Office staff members. Selection is based on financial need, essays about future plans and goals, academic achievement, demonstrated community service, and relationship to a Desert Mountain employee in good standing.
Congratulations to our 2019 Pinnacle Aviation Putting Champion, Mr. Pete Selda!
Pictured above left to right: Orin Anderson (Pinnacle Aviation); Robert Seaton (DMCF); Sharon Wong (DMCF); Nancy Woods (DMCF); Pete Selda (2019 Putting Champion); Sheila Seaton (DMCF); Kelli Caster (DMCF); Pete Redding (DMCF); Tina Ungerman (DMCF); Matt Tinti (Head Club Professional – Outlaw)
Pinnacle Aviation was proud to support the inaugural Arizona Tennis Classic, played March 11 – 17, 2019 at the Phoenix Country Club as part of the ATP 125 Challenger Tour. The tournament is positioned on the calendar between the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, and the Miami Open, allowing for an exceptionally strong player field.
“We’re so proud to be bringing this level of competitive tennis to the Valley,” says Phoenix-native and former ATP Tour pro Jonathan Levine, who is also the founder and lead organizer of the event.
While the weather was unexpectedly cold and rainy early in the week, by Wednesday it warmed up perfectly and the event had beautiful sunny Arizona sunshine for the weekend matches.
Led by World No. 21 David Goffin, the stacked draw featured a total of five Top 50 players and 17 in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings – the matches were highly competitive and entertaining.
Matteo Berrettini (ranked 57) and Mikhail Kukushkin (ranked 43) played the most dramatic match of the event, battling for two hours and 50 minutes in Sunday’s final. It was the Berrettini prevailing in the end, ousting Kukushkin 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(2) after saving one match point in the second set. By lifting his third ATP Challenger trophy, Berrettini earned $21,600 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.
Earlier in the day, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski took the doubles crown as they fought past Austin Krajicek from the United States and Artem Sitak of New Zealand 6-7(2), 7-5, 10-6. The double final lasted one hour and 45 minutes.
The Arizona Tennis Classic is a not-for-profit event and raised $25,000 to benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
We are looking forward to the event returning to Phoenix in March 2020.
Congratulations to everyone associated with Arizona Tennis Classic and Singles Champion Matteo Berrettini!
Arizona Tennis Classic founder & organizer, Jonathan Levine being interviewed courtside.
Pictured above left to right:
Steve Schnall from Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Matteo Berrettini, Champion and Jonathan Levine, event founder.
At the end of each year, Pinnacle Aviation’s Director of Operations, Trevor Turcott, and Chief Pilot, Todd Pixley, get together to compare notes and select Pinnacle Aviation’s Pilot of the Year. They evaluate annual flight times and number of trips flown. They keep track of client feedback and interview team members from around the company, including team members from; the Charter and Flight Coordination department, the Accounting department, the Maintenance department, as well as, airport line personnel. Their goal is to gather comments from everyone who has working relationships with all of Pinnacle Aviation’s pilots to evaluate professionalism and attitude. All of Pinnacle Aviation’s pilots are professional, and all of Pinnacle Aviation’s pilots are highly trained, competent airmen. Trevor and Todd are looking for the proactive, exceptional customer-service attributes and attitudes that allow Pinnacle Aviation to maintain a high bar for excellence.
Each year, Trevor and Todd face the very difficult challenge of selecting the best of an incredibly competent and highly professional pilot team. For 2018, they found they could not select just one Pilot of the Year – and selected two!
Pinnacle Aviation is proud to announce the 2018 Pilot of the Year awards to Lead Captain Geoff Sims and Lead Captain Ted Keisler.
On February 1st, Trevor and Todd, along with Pinnacle Aviation owner and President Curt Pavlicek presented Captain Sims and Captain Keisler with their Pinnacle Aviation Pilot of the Year Awards for 2018. The presentation took place at the new Volanti restaurant in the recently built Scottsdale Airport Aviation Business Center.
It is a pleasure to introduce and share more information about these two outstanding Pinnacle Aviation Pilots.
Lead Captain Sims has over 16,200 total flight hours with 4,879 hours of Citation time. He joined Pinnacle Aviation in March of 2014 to pilot a Citation XLS (N560TW).
We asked Geoff a few questions about his past and thoughts about being a Pinnacle Aviation pilot. Here is what he had to say:
How long have you lived in Arizona?
I moved to the Phoenix metro area from Iowa in 1980.
What brought you to Arizona?
I was tired of subzero days, snow and gray colors for three months out of the year. I visited a high school buddy in Tempe in the middle of winter in 1979 and couldn’t believe how nice it was to pick grapefruit off a tree and wear shorts and sandals in the middle of winter! I flew the first couple thousand hours of my career in the Midwest and finally decided it was time for a change.
What motivated you to become a pilot?
I was 15 years old when I took my first plane ride. By today’s standards a late bloomer. We took a family vacation departing Chicago O’Hare in the
middle of winter to fly to the Caribbean. We rode to the airport with a United Airlines flight crew and they were discussing the weather, etc. Their conversation was fascinating to me. It was crystal clear and super cold that morning and the dawn of day had just started to cast a reddish hue on things. As we approached the airport you could see the tails of the planes sticking up past the terminal buildings and they looked like prehistoric dinosaurs gathered around a watering hole. The whole experience was amazing and that ride to the Chicago airport hooked me.
I received my private pilot license in my senior year of high school and shortly after my 18th birthday I had my instrument rating, commercial license and flight instructor rating and began teaching at the local FBO until I had enough time to start doing Part 135 charter work for them. That started the ball rolling 41 years ago.
What inspires you to set high standards for yourself?
I was fortunate enough to have had an excellent flight instructor who took me from my instrument rating through my instrument instructor rating. I learned from him that it was just as easy to be “plus or minus zero”. I really enjoy people and the concept of team play. My goal is to have everyone who gets on and off the plane to feel like it was the best experience they have had flying…period. That overarching concept is what drives me to go on each flight.
What differentiates Pinnacle Aviation from other aviation management companies?
It is the concept of team play and to an even greater extent the desire to achieve a high level of excellence that I believe makes Pinnacle Aviation stand out from the pack. Curt Pavlicek is committed to making sure that Pinnacle is a first-class operation. We have all been around aviation in some form long enough to know the difference between the talkers and the doers.
It is great to be associated with an organization that strives to be the best in the industry.
Who is your family support?
My wife Cheri and I have one “Chiweenie” (a Dachshund/Chihuahua mix) dog still at home with us. We have a total of five grown children and one grandson. We are proud of them all and are so grateful to be a part of their lives.
What are your hobbies outside of flying?
I still enjoy jogging and will pick up a guitar now and then as well as play golf. What I enjoy most though is the time I have at home with Cheri and hanging out with our kids and our grandson.
It’s a little cliché but my favorite aviation movie is “The Right Stuff”.
Lead Captain Keisler has almost 6,200 total flight hours with 4,350 hours of jet time including Learjet, Citation Sovereign, and Hawker time. He joined Pinnacle Aviation in May of 2017 to pilot a Sovereign and when that jet sold, Captain Keisler transitioned to pilot a Hawker 800XP (N89WA) already in the Pinnacle Aviation fleet.
We asked Ted a few questions about his past and thoughts about being a Pinnacle Aviation pilot. Here is what he had to say:
How long have you lived in Arizona?
My wife, 2 cats, and I moved to the Phoenix area 5 years ago, in June of 2013 from Colorado.
What brought you to Arizona?
Like a lot of people in the Phoenix area, the move was precipitated by the desire to be closer to my wife’s elderly parents.
What motivated you to become a pilot?
My earliest memory of wanting to become a pilot was when I was around 5-6 years old. One of our neighbors was a pilot, Mr. Jones. He was a Captain of an airline (not sure which one). I remember seeing him in his uniform and hat and thinking how cool he looked. Then seeing that he was
home a lot, made good money, and he travelled the world all appealed to me. Somewhere near the same time, I remember going to a five-and-dime with my Mom. She got me a little booklet called “Great Airliners of the World”. I loved that book! I memorized all of the planes in it.
What inspires you to set high standards for yourself?
There are many people that inspire me to set high standards for myself. My Mom and Dad (accountant), my Uncle Sid Dewberry (a business owner), and my Father-in-Law Loy Julius (WWII B26 pilot and later Dentist). They all are part of the Greatest Generation, came from modest means and have worked hard for all they have. They all have taught me the value of hard work, and that anything is achievable if you are willing to put in the time and effort.
What differentiates Pinnacle Aviation from other aviation management companies?
What differentiates Pinnacle is that everyone works together for the common good. Pilots, schedulers, maintenance, management….no one says it’s not my job. I have seen everyone pitch in no matter what their job description is to make a flight happen. Also, management believes in hiring the best. Most if not all of the people I know that have been hired at Pinnacle are from internal recommendations. That is huge!
Who is your family support?
My wife Jane, and our 2 cats. I would not be here (in aviation or Scottsdale) if not for my wife’s constant support and large cattle prod!
What are your hobbies outside of flying?
Hobbies include lifting weights (not near as much as I used to), running (if you want to call it that, swimming laps, shooting sports, and skiing (not so much since leaving Colorado).
Favorite aviation movie… two come to mind. Every time these movies come on, I can’t help but watch. Midway, and Pearl Harbor. My favorite planes are WWII military planes. The story lines of both movies are also reason for me to watch. America was brought to its knees, and only through grit and determination did we overcome all odds to win. Life lesson.
Congratulations again to Captain Sims and Captain Keisler!
You are both excellent representatives of the professionalism and standards that Pinnacle Aviation constantly strives to achieve.