Gary Donald, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Directors
Gary Donald has over thirty-six years of program management and engineering experience. He served in the Army until 1972 before transitioning into the Army Aviation Systems Command from 1972-1982. During that time he was involved in the development and testing of the Blackhawk and Apache helicopters and separated as a GM-13. He then worked for Cobro Corporation until 1992 holding the positions of Program Manager, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Engineer. In 1992, Mr. Donald, along with two partners, used their experience to form Avion, Inc., where he served as President until his recent retirement in January of 2014, when his son stepped into the role.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 1970. Mr. Donald is a Rotarian.
Chad Donald, President
Chad Donald, President of Avion Solutions, Inc., held an assortment of mechanical jobs before his career at Avion began in the segment of Avion which is now AVTASK, a separate privately held company. He worked primarily with the Fabrication and Implementation of the Universal Static Balance Fixture (USBF). In 1995, he began supporting the Flight Safety Parts program as a Technical Specialist in St. Louis, Missouri.
When Avion moved to Alabama, Mr. Donald supported AMRDEC at Redstone Arsenal for ten years before moving into the role of Director of Special Projects, where he was responsible for multiple contracts, IR&D projects, and proposals. In 2010, he transitioned to Executive Vice President, where he provided oversight for all operations. He became President in January of 2014 upon the retirement of his father, Gary Donald.
He is a 1993 graduate of Universal Technical Institute in Houston, Texas, with a degree in Marine Technology.
Evan Wagner, Vice President & COO
Evan Wagner joined Avion in 2003 and became Director of Operations in 2012. While at Avion, Mr. Wagner has supported multiple Army Aviation customers and platforms in the areas of airworthiness, systems engineering, sustainment, aeromechanics, and propulsion.
Evan's experience prior to joining Avion includes engineering support to Army Aviation programs for Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) and Aircraft Survivability (ASE), as well as working as a nuclear steam supply systems engineer in the nuclear power industry.
Evan earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University.
David French, Vice President & CFO
David French joined Avion Solutions in 2019 and is responsible for all financial activities of the company. Prior to joining Avion Solutions, he served as CFO for CFD Research Corporation, CFO for Agility Defense and Government Services, as well as Senior Vice President and CFO for Siemens Government Services. He brings over 30 years of financial experience across engineering, manufacturing, and logistics services firms in government and commercial markets.
David earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University and a Master of Accountancy from The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Ken Hovanes, Director of Information Technology
Ken Hovanes gained his 25 years of Information Technology experience in both commercial and government venues, including supporting the United States Army Headquarters in Europe as a database administrator and programmer.
Prior to joining Avion in 2008, Ken successfully led modernization and reorganization efforts to streamline operations and support at one of the largest library information vendors in the US. He has also held leadership positions at SirsiDynix and Time Domain. His varied skills include database design and management, ERP systems, operations, system admin, virtualization and support, diverse network administration, SAP Basis Administration, integration, disaster recovery, network administration, and data center management.
Ken earned his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Kim Taylor, Director of Contracts and Human Resources
Kim Taylor began her career at Arrow Electronics as a Product Manager, where she spent seven years before joining Avion. In 2001, she joined Avion Solutions as the Contracts Manager and later assumed responsibility for Human Resources.
In her position, she is responsible for administering and overseeing Avion contracts, maintaining the company benefits programs, and ensuring federal and state employment regulation compliance. She has a working knowledge with the FAR, DFARs and GSA.
Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Marketing from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1994.
Jeff Blackmon, Director of Business Development
Jeff Blackmon is the Director of Business Development for Avion Solutions. He is responsible for leadership and oversight of Avion Solutions’ business development strategy for government and commercial markets.
Jeff brings 20 years of Air Force aviation experience as well as 14 years of program and team management experience within the Federal Government and private industry. “Avion Solutions has been an exceptional partner to numerous organizations within the DoD and in the Huntsville area,” said Jeff. “I’m looking forward to growing our relationships with those groups and others in the coming years.” He has worked with Avion Solutions since 2013.
Jeff is a 1994 University of Alabama graduate with a degree in electrical engineering. He also received his Master’s of Engineering Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1996. Jeff retired from the Air Force Reserve in November 2018.