Opus: Advice First
John H. Wellington is the Chief Operating Officer of Opus: Advice First, a Private Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise with offices in Connecticut, New York and California. Opus helps clients orchestrate their dreams. We look to enhance the financial and emotional well-being of our clients and their families by providing education and improving behavior as it relates to important life decisions. Prior to joining Opus, John has had a 30 year career in financial services working for Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, Advest, Inc., J.P. Morgan, Broadridge and Quovo, Inc.
In 2006, John pursued a life-long dream and began private pilot lessons at Westchester County Airport. He obtained his PPL in January of 2007, bought his Trinidad TB-20 in August 2007 and got is Instrument Rating in January 2008. John keeps his airplane on the ramp at Ross Aviation West and is very active in keeping General Aviation available at Westchester County Airport.
Kerri is currently the Customer Service Manager for Ross Aviation East and West at Westchester County Airport. She has been in that role for seven years. Previously Kerri worked in the Hotel Industry in various management roles in the front office and well as convention services.
Kerri enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband Ron.
Aviation Marketing Consulting
Rocco Cipriano is a marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the fields of advertising, marketing and graphic design. He has his private pilot’s license with an instrument rating and is a Captain with the Civil Air Patrol.
He is the author of two books on marketing:
Rocco has won numerous awards for his design and advertising work and a graduate of Parson School of Design in New York City.
NBAA NE Regional Representative
With 19 years of business aviation experience, Brittany is the Northeast Regional Representative for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). The NBAA represents the diverse interests of companies using general aviation aircraft for business purposes, helping business aviation to thrive in the U.S. and around the world. Her career has spanned the scope of aviation including charter scheduling/sales, hangar development, flying as an aerial photography pilot, and running her own consulting firm. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation Technology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and is a Multi-Instrument, Commercial rated pilot.
Her commitment to the business aviation community is marked by her involvement in grass-roots organizations throughout the years. Brittany was the first Executive Director of the Westchester Aviation Association in White Plains, New York (KHPN) and previously represented the Northeast as a member of the NBAA Local and Regional Groups Committee. As a founding member of the Colorado Aviation Business Association in 2007, she has a strong passion for the positive impact such an association can have in a community and understands the hardships faced from county and state levels. With a vast background in customer relations and business development, she utilizes industry knowledge, efficient technologies, and sharp writing skills to continue to help aviation business’ and organizations succeed.
John started his aviation career early in his high school years. He attended Aviation High School in Queens NY, continuing on to Embry-Riddle for his undergraduate work. John graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Professional Aeronautics with a minor in Management and Safety. In his early days, John worked for Butler Aviation before landing a maintenance position with ITT corp. During his eight years with ITT, John worked as a line technician while pursuing his private, commercial, instrument and multi-engine rating. After a 16 year career at ITT, John held a Chief Pilot position with Unisys Corporation. John is currently the Chief Pilot for JPMorgan Chase, based at HPN.
Scott is a flight instructor based at HPN and has been flying for over 30 years (the last 25 years based at HPN). He holds CFI/I instructor certificates, as well as ATP multi-engine and commercial single-engine land and sea pilot certificates. For over 10 years he has been the liaison between WAA and ATC (HPN Tower and NY Tracon) and has facilitated dozens of meetings between local pilots and flight departments who participate in our WAA/ATC working group and our ATC counterparts. He also was the principal author of our HPN response to a proposal by FAA to expand the NY Class B airspace laterally and with lower floors.
Scott owns a Cessna 210 which is based at Millionair. Flying over 200 volunteer flights, he volunteers for Angel Flight and PALS throughout the Eastern US and into Canada. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Duke University School of Law, lives in Westchester County, is married and has two grown children.
Standards Captain, IBM Flight Operations
First and foremost, I love to fly! Ever since I first took flight at age 14, I was hooked on the dream of becoming a professional aviator. That was day one of journey driven by a yearning to become a smarter pilot and person than I was the day before.
Following the completion of my PPL at Goodrich Aviation in Endicott, NY, I moved to Daytona Beach, FL to further pursue my aspirations. Over the following five years, I earned various licenses and ratings to include CFI, CFII, MEI, and AGI. During that time, I was an employee of Phoenix East Aviation as a Gold Seal Flight Instructor, Part 141 Check Airman, and Part 135 Captain. In addition, I began working on my Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with a minor in Aviation Safety and Business Administration through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2008, I was hired by Gama Aviation on both a CE-550 & CE-560 aircraft. Throughout my tenure with Gama, I steadily developed and progressed through several advancements ending my time there on a CE-750 for iHeartRadio. In 2014, I followed my ambitions to IBM Flight Operations where I presently serve as a Standards Captain on both the G650ER and DA-2EASy aircraft.
When I’m not getting my passport stamped, I am at home with my wife and daughter. I have discovered over time how essential it is to lead a balanced life through prioritizing what is most important. That takes form in spending time with my family and engaging in favorite activities such as boating, cycling, golfing, fitness, swimming, just to name a few.
My true passion is to share the joy of aviation with others and to give back in a way that allows others to experience the extraordinary opportunities that were afforded to me.
“At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished… It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back.”̴ Denzel Washington ̴
Vice President/General Manager
Eric Faulkner has worked most of his career in aviation commencing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport at the Marine Air Terminal in 1994 for an FBO. He started out as a line service technician and moved on to the position of customer service representative.
Since 2002, Faulkner has called the Westchester County Airport (HPN) his home. He worked for a large FBO chain at HPN until 2004 when he was solicited to take on the position of director of business development for a startup FBO company located at HPN named Skyport Flight Services.
The acquired company’s financials had been greatly underperforming prior to acquisition. Within 18 months the new management team was able to significantly increase the total volume of business that flowed through the FBO’s operation. Faulkner played a huge role in redeveloping the business by assisting the company to significantly increase its transient customer base, based hangar tenants, and airline fueling operations. In less than 24 months the asset was sold to Carlyle Group (Landmark Aviation) realizing a six fold return to the investors of Skyport Flight Services.
Faulkner stayed on with the new organization, Piedmont Hawthorne Aviation dba Landmark Aviation, as operations manager, and eventually held the title of general manager for the HPN location. Following another acquisition two years later when the now current owners (GTCR/Platform Partners) of Landmark purchased the entire network of FBOs, Faulkner was called upon to assume his current position as director of national accounts in order to grow fuel and hangar sales for the entire network of 52 Landmark FBOs.
In July of 2016 Ross Aviation partnered with KSL Capital to acquire the 6 FBO’s from the Landmark Aviation, SFS buyout. Ross Aviation named Eric Faulkner their VP and General Manager of their White Plains location.
Eric enjoys spending time with his wife Graceann, son Freddy and daughter Christina.
Chief Innovation Officer
Nick Hartman is the Chief Innovation Officer at CKM Analytix in New York City where he leads efforts to develop new products and approaches for applying advanced data science towards improving complex business operations.
Nick started his flight training in 2014 at Republic Airport on Long Island, where he earned his private pilot certificate and instrument rating. He then shifted his flying closer to home at the Westchester County Airport and joined the Westchester Flying Club (WFC). In the WFC Nick enjoys flying around the Northeast in the club’s V-Tail Bonanzas, Piper Arrows and a Cirrus SR-20. Nick has been active representative for general aviation on a range issues around the airport and in January 2019 was appointed by County Executive George Latimer to sit on the Westchester County Airport Advisory Board.
Nick is a graduate of Penn State University (BS Chemistry) and the University of Cambridge (PhD Biochemistry) where he was a Marshall Scholar. He and his wife live in Pelham Manor, New York.
Management Consultant and Flight Instructor
Greg Keshishian is Managing Partner of GK Partners Inc. which provides expert consulting services to stock-exchange-listed companies in the areas of financial performance, management compensation and corporate governance. During the last thirty-five years, his clients have included over five hundred public and privately-held manufacturing, financial services, consumer products, technology and industrial companies. At the same time, Greg has been an active single/multi-engine and instrument flight instructor (and Master CFI) in the NYC-metro area, and he owns a classic 1949 A35 Bonanza. Specializing in Beechcraft products, he has worked extensively with the ABS Air Safety Foundation and with FlightSafety International. He serves as an FAA Safety Team representative and has been chief flight examiner/safety officer with USCG Auxiliary aviation.
Greg is currently Executive Vice President of the New York Council of the Navy League of the U.S. and was previously Governor of The Wings Club in New York City.
Lagonia Law, Fox News Channel, Yorktown Justice Court
Sal Lagonia is an Aviation Attorney and “on-air” aviation commentator for Fox News, News12 and FIOS 1 News. A retired Law Enforcement officer, he now sits as Judge in the Yorktown Justice Court. He owns and flies his own aircraft and is a member of the AOPA Legal Panel, EAA, NBAA, and LPBA. Sal lives in Yorktown with his wife Loretta and appears throughout the east coast as a musician, playing the trumpet and flugelhorn. Sal is a frequent presenter at aviation events on topics of aviation law and safety.
Stephen B. Malkinson
Stephen grew up in Dublin Ireland started is flying on his fourteenth birthday in a Piper Cherokee and was hooked. As is normal in Europe he then went on to learn to fly gliders before moving to the USA in 1981. By 1984 Stephen found himself in one of the aviation capitals of the USA, Seattle, and had many opportunities to fly with friends around the Seattle area. It was on his return to the USA from Paris in 1998 and the proximity to HPN that Stephen committed to getting his private license and did so at Panorama. Initially he started flying with the Westchester Flying Club and in 2012 joined the first of two partnerships in Diamond DA40's both kept on the ramp at Ross West. in May of 2017 Stephen and his flying partner acquired a 2003 Grumman Tiger.
When not flying Stephen works for IBM as a Chief Technology Officer focussed on their networking partners in the Silicon Valley commuting from NY to San Jose commercially several times a month and occasionally on one of IBM's corporate jets. Stephen started with IBM in Seattle in 1985 and has also worked in San Francisco and Paris before moving to Westchester in 1998. Prior to he worked for North American Phillips in Syracuse and New York City and for several computer companies in Dublin Ireland. Stephen is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin.
Stephen moving to Westchester is and has been very active in General Aviation at HPN and brings to the WAA a balanced view of Westchester Airport based on his commercial use, corporate use, student pilot, aircraft renter, club member and now light aircraft owner.
Previously Stephen has been both the avionics officer and Vice President of the Westchester Flying Club.
General Manager-Million Air
Lauren Rones-Payne, a White Plains resident with more than 20 years of experience in luxury customer service, has moved to the private aviation industry working as the General Manager of Million Air at the Westchester County Airport for the past two years. Lauren is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, an avid marathon runner. She loves to travel the world and is the proud aunt of three nieces and a nephew. She is happily married for over ten years to Richard Payne of Larchmont and currently lives locally in the heart of downtown White Plains. Lauren is proud to be serving as a WAA Board member, and hopes to encourage more women to become inspired and join this fast paced, high energy, 24/7 industry which offers many opportunities for today's youth.
Daniel Shamir started his aviation career with the airlines, flying with Express Jet Airlines out of Newark for 4 years. He then made the leap into corporate aviation, spending 7 years at The Hertz Corporation and 3 years at Bloomberg LP before landing in his current position as International Captain for Interlaken Aviation. Before taking to the skies, Dan studied as a classical concert pianist at the Manhattan School of Music and he also composed a number of musical theater pieces that were produced in NY and CA. Dan lives in Montvale, New Jersey with his wife Laura and their two young children.