FBO Advisory Board
VP of Aviation, Fontainebleau Aviation (KOPF)
Bobby D. Courtney serves as the Vice President of Aviation of Fontainebleau Aviation, an integral role spearheading the overall growth and success of Fontainebleau Development’s Aviation Division. Joining the family business in 2012, Courtney has developed Fontainebleau Aviation into a world-class aviation asset which compliments the other Fontainebleau Development properties. Operating out of Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport, Courtney has gained audiences to their renowned brand which defines service and experience.
The evolution of the Fontainebleau Aviation brand was made possible through the development of the existing Fontainebleau FBO. Courtney embarked on the concept of developing the new FBO into a dominating facility on the airfield. In 2014, he pioneered the development of the $27 million expansion, which branched the FBO into a 235,000 sq ft. footprint. He envisioned a full-service facility comprised of all logistical necessities for every type of operation and service to be the touchstone for all private aviation enterprises.
Courtney has dedicated over two decades to the industry and has been instrumental in maximizing growth in other fast paced, high-volume airports. Courtney has served in similar roles creating very successful companies under his leadership in Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, and Kansas City.
Courtney has a passion for seeing the potential in everyone and creating an environment for those to learn. He instills hard work, commitment, and faith to those around him especially to his three young children. Since moving to South Florida, the Kansas native has invested in the community by volunteering in the local youth sports programs.
Courtney has a degree in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University and serves on several aviation boards and advisory committees. His leadership has placed Fontainebleau Aviation into one of the top 20 FBOs in the country year after year.
Vice President of Business Development, Fargo Jet Center (KFAR)
Darren grew up in Minot, North Dakota, near the airport where his father worked at North Central Airlines. His passion for all things aviation and eventual career in aviation began while working at Pietsch Flying Service in the late 80’s. In 1995, Darren was hired by Fargo Jet Center to start and manage the line service department in which he served through August of 2003. Now serving as Vice President of Business Development for the company, he leads the marketing efforts and focuses on the growth of Fargo Jet Center, Premier Jet Center and Exclusive Aircraft Sales. Darren served on the National Business Aviation Association Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee (2005–2012) and was chairman of the committee in 2011. Darren also serves on the leadership of the Fargo Airsho planning committee and volunteers at the Fargo Air Museum.
Managing Director, MAGNUM FBO
Florian Samsinger grew up in Vienna, Austria, and after graduating high school moved to Sydney, Australia to obtain his commercial pilot license. Coming back to Austria, Florian started working as a commercial pilot for business aviation operators Jet Alliance and Avconjet. During his time at Avconjet, he advanced to the role of Fleet Chief and Training Captain.
In 2012, Florian founded the ground handling company MAGNUM FBO based at Vienna International Airport. The company quickly grew beyond Vienna and now offers handling, fuel, and supervision services for business aviation flights at seven airports throughout Austria. Since 2019, MAGNUM FBO also operates in Slovakia serving four airports in that country.
In 2016, he was one of the founders and became a member of the board of the Austrian Business Aviation Association. Florian currently serves as their Vice President for European Affairs. He also represents Austria on the Council of the European Business Aviation Association.
Managing Director, ExecuJet Caribbean
Gary Forster grew up in Newcastle, a city located in northeastern United Kingdom. While learning to fly, he was introduced to the general manager of his local FBO and that is how his childhood fascination for aviation developed.
After this introduction to business aviation, Gary has enjoyed a three-decade career covering managing and developing all areas of the industry from FBO operations and fuel farms to aircraft operations and professional training. Gary returned to his first love of FBO operations with Luxaviation Group under the ExecuJet brand a decade ago which led to him setting up new FBOs/Handling Facilities across the globe including Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and most recently his appointment as managing director for the Caribbean with additional Group FBO responsibilities.
Previously, Gary has worked for Rolls Royce, Air BP, the UK Government Maritime Patrol Division, and ExecuJet. With this long and varied career, he brings extensive knowledge to the Luxaviation Group.
General Manager, ProJet Aviation (KJYO)
One of the newest board members to join Paragon Aviation Group’s Advisory Board is Julie O’Brien, the General Manager for ProJet Aviation (KJYO) located in Leesburg, VA.
Under her leadership, ProJet Aviation has been awarded many honors including Washington Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work”, over 14 Pilot’s Choice Awards, Town of Leesburg’s “Best New Business”, two Tourism Ambassador Awards, and Service Business of the Year. As for personal accolades, Julie was voted MVP by her colleagues at the 2019 Paragon Aviation Group’s Leadership Meeting and later that year received the distinguished FBO Manager of the Year Award presented by Paragon Aviation Group for her contributions and dedication to the network.
Julie previously worked for Whirlwind Aviation, Frederick Aviation, Encore Aviation, and Landmark Aviation. Along with over 21 years of experience in the aviation industry, she has cultivated an extensive background in social work, fundraising, marketing, and advertising. She has worked with federal, state, and local authorities along with many charitable organizations to bring several key events and services to Loudoun County including US Customs, The Leesburg Air Show, Pilots N Paws, and The Loudoun Symphony Gala.
Most notably, Julie was the visionary and founder of The Aviation Education & Career Expo highlighting aviation careers and education opportunities for over 800 high school and college students annually. Now in its 15th year, this event has awarded over $1.2 million in scholarships since its inception. Julie resides in Frederick, MD with her husband of 25 years and her 23-year-old daughter.
President Group FBO Services, Luxaviation Group/ExecuJet
With more than 30 years of experience in Commercial and Business Aviation, Michel Tohane joined the Luxaviation Group in (April) 2021 as FBO Network Development Executive. Native from Brussels, he is Graduated in Audiology (ILMH-UCL-Belgium) and started his career as ENT Assistant.
Michel moved into the aviation industry in 1989 first at Sabena and Swissair, respectively based in Brussels and Zurich, where he occupied several positions in different fields such as Operations, Route Economics and Yield Management, Planning and Scheduling, Airport slots Coordination, Network Development and Alliance Strategy.
He joined the “Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur” Group in 2001. Based in Nice, Michel created and managed the Airlines Network Development Business Unit. In 2012, He founded and developed the Sky Valet FBO Network as Executive Vice President and General Aviation Business Unit Director.
During the last 8 years he has been actively involved in EBAA as member of the Board of Governors, Chairman of the Associated Members Advisory Council (AMAC) and Chairman of the Airport Handling Ground Operations Committee (AHGOC).
His mission at Luxaviation is to pursue the establishment of a lasting and robust multi-site Customer’s relationship with the customers and to explore all strategic opportunities to develop the FBO Network.
Senior Vice President, Clay Lacy Aviation (KSNA)
Scott Custhall oversees operations at Clay Lacy Aviation's John Wayne Airport FBO in Orange County, California (KSNA). He also leads business development activities and directs marketing and communications strategies for Clay Lacy Aviation’s array of business jet services. Scott possesses vast expertise across a wide spectrum of disciplines in business aviation and is also a third-generation pilot. His passion for aviation started early on in life. After receiving his BS in business management from Biola University, he became a Certified Flight Instructor with instrument and multi-engine instruction privileges. In 2000, he started working as a dispatcher for a small fleet of corporate aircraft and moved on to hold the positions of Operations Manager, Sales Director and VP of Marketing over a 14-year career with an international aircraft management and sales organization prior to joining Clay Lacy in 2013. In 2021 Scott received his Corporate Aircraft Manager (CAM) certification from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
President & CEO, Odyssey Aviation Bahamas
Steven Kelly was born in the Bahamas and later moved to the United States where he attended McDonough School in Baltimore, Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and the University of Miami. When he returned to the Bahamas in 1977, he began his career at Bahamas Iron & Steel Co Limited and purchased the company in 1981. He continued to operate the company and grow his knowledge of general construction.
In 1997, Steven wanted to embark on a new journey in an industry that was unknown to him. He purchased and renovated an existing FBO and opened as Nassau Jet Centre. In 1998, they joined forces with a chain of FBOs in order to expand service offerings and enhance safety practices. The FBO grew and established strong roots allowing them to become an independent FBO in 2008. This first-class FBO is now known as Odyssey Aviation Bahamas. As the President & CEO, Steven oversees all FBO operations including customer service, training programs, safety practices, and more. His methods have consistently allowed Odyssey Aviation Bahamas to be voted as the #1 FBO in the Caribbean.