Mike Gerdes, President
Mike began his career in aviation in 2004 working at Silverhawk's front desk while also learning how to fly.
In 2006, as a Certified Flight Instructor, he helped Performance Aircraft launch its local flight school before returning to Silverhawk as a charter pilot in 2007. In 2008, Mike became a King Air and Citation Captain and company flight instructor, later adding accounting duties as the company Controller. He became Chief Pilot in 2010 and was promoted to Director of Operations/CFO and a Check Airman in 2011.
Mike became President and co-owner of Silverhawk in 2015. HIs vision for Silverhawk is to elevate each customers experience by offer great flexibility, extensive experience, and remarkable service. Mike enjoys snorkeling, scuba diving, and spending time with his wife Jen and daughter Bree.
Gene Luce, Director of Maintenance & Avionics
Gene started his first job in aviation March 1992 at Linair, a company that occupied the same building Silverhawk occupies today. Later that year, he took a job at Offutt Airforce Base as a civilian contractor on the C21A (Lear 35A). In August 1993, he accepted a position with Silverhawk Aviation in Seward, NE as an A & P Technician.
Upon earning his IA Authorization in February 1995, Gene became Director of Maintenance for the 135 operation, where he traveled between the Crete and Seward locations before moving both operations to Lincoln, NE in the Spring of 1997. In 1999 Silverhawk acquired its 145 certificate and Gene was named Chief inspector.
After 22 years with the company he joined as a single young man, Gene became co-owner of Silverhawk Aviation in 2015. Now a husband, father of three, and grandfather of one, Gene is every bit as excited for the future as ever.
Schuyler Risk, Director of Business Development
With prior experience working for a regional airline, Schuyler Risk joined Silverhawk Aviation in January 2010 as a Line Service Technician while waiting for a pilot position to open up.
Schuyler began flying part-time as a King Air co-pilot in October 2010. In 2012 he became a co-pilot in the Citation Mustang and added duties as a charter sales representative. In 2013 he became a King Air captain, and in 2014 he became a captain on the Citation Mustang.
Schuyler was promoted to Director of Business Development and became a captain on the Citation 550/560 series aircraft in 2015. In his spare time Schuyler likes to cook, read, and spend time with his wife, Jen.
John Geary, Chief Pilot
John started flying in 2007 when he earned his Private Pilot’s License. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Science. After a couple of years as a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle, he went to work at an international flight school, where he trained European pilots to EASA standards. With over 2,000 hours of instruction time, John decided he was ready for his next adventure. He left the Sunshine State and moved to McCook, NE to become an air ambulance pilot, flying the King Air 90. John ended up becoming a training captain, and the base lead pilot at McCook. After almost two years with Lifeteam, he joined Silverhawk in January 2015 and recently accepted the Chief Pilot position in 2016. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with Kelsey, and doing just about anything outdoors.
Jackie Newman, Controller
Jackie began working for the Silverhawk group of businesses in 1997 as an accounting assistant for the security guard, investigation, and aviation companies. Over the last 19 years, Jackie has been an accountant for Silverhawk Aviation in many forms. She has been doing the payroll for the last ten years and assisting with various accounting functions on a part-time basis for the last eight years. In her new role, Jackie is responsible for overseeing the finance, human resources, and front desk functions.
Will Zimdars, FBO Director
Will began his aviation career in Milwaukee in 2001 performing De-Icing Part-Time on top of working for Milwaukee Police. Quickly, he found a love for aviation and returned to the East Coast to work at various operations throughout the NY Metro Area. Will held increasingly responsible rolls at each NYC area airport, HPN, TEB, PHL, ISP and FRG. Driving a unique customer service platform with a grassroots style of management has played a role in shaping many organizations success stories throughout his almost 20 year career. Many days, you can find Will working with the Line Staff on the ramp. Will has 2 sons, Declan 3 and Nicholas 5 that keep his off time as busy as his on-time. He holds degrees from Marquette University and WCTC in Criminal Law.