Meet the Team

We are a dynamic, passionate, and experienced group of aviation professionals.

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We're passionate about flying.  

Every person on our sales and marketing team is a pilot.

And with over 20,000+ flight hours of experience between us, we know a thing or two about airplanes. 

Meet the Team


The Story of LifeStyle Aviation

Watch our short documentary about our origin and core values.

John Armstrong, Founder & CEO

John’s adventures in aviation began as a teenager flying his Dad’s J-3 Cub off a grass strip. He has enjoyed a career of enjoying and sharing modern aviation. John leads the company's strategic development and growth. 

Jon Gutekunst, Sales Manager

Jon is an accomplished aviator and aviation counselor with 20 years of flying experience. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Jon spent years as a Naval Aviator instructor pilot and Mission Commander in the P3 Orion.

Patrick Meehan, Marketing Director

Patrick is a marketing professional and instrument-rated pilot who drives our advanced digital marketing automation system know as AvWare. Through AvWare's implementation, Patrick is changing the way airplanes are listed, marketed, and transacted.

Alissa Cates, Operations Director

With Alissa's extensive background as an aviation operations manager in both the armed forces and corporate aviation, she is an incredible asset to the team. She manages our RDU office and may be the first person you meet when you contact our company.

Sam Linton, Aircraft Counselor

Sam is an accomplished single, multi-engine, and rotary pilot that grew up in Alaska flying in family bush planes. Later their family moved to the mountains of North Carolina and he attended NC State University where he studied business and finance. 

Steve Pope, Aircraft Counselor

Steve Pope joined LifeStyle Aviation after a 25-year career as an award-winning aviation journalist, including spending nearly a decade on the editorial staff at Flying Magazine. He is also a commercial multi-engine rated pilot. 

Evert van der Lee, Aircraft Counselor

Evert’s passion for flying began at a young age growing up in beautiful New Zealand. He trained as a Commercial pilot and started his own charter business called the “Flying Dutchman." This Kiwi can fly!

Brett Hawse, Aircraft Counselor

Brett's passion for flying began at an early age growing up in Southern California. He is an entrepreneur and is an IFR commercial multi-engine pilot. 

Joseph Dail, Financing & Insurance Specialist

Joseph is a first generation aviator with 8 years in the Insurance and Finance Industry. After being bit by the aviation bug in 2021, he  became an instrument-rated commercial pilot. Since finding his love for flying, he is thrilled to be helping others achieve their dreams of aircraft ownership. 

Zachary Clayton, Digital Media Specialist

Zach grew up with his eyes to the sky and dreams of being an aviator. After studying media broadcasting and production at Appalachian State University, he now works with LifeStyle as our Digital Media Specialist.

Franklin Steele, CFII, MEI, ATP, Pilot Training and Delivery

Franklin is an expert flight instructor and NetJets pilot who brings over 1800hrs of experience to the team at LifeStyle. He ensures our customers receive the very best training and have the most memorable and enjoyable delivery experience possible.

Lilli Garrick, Closing Coordinator

Lilli, our resident New Yorker, is one of the final stops in our process as our Closing Coordinator. In addition to all that she does for LifeStyle, she is also a master baker with extensive experience in decorating and baking cakes, breads, and pastries.

Sharon Raub, Social Media Manager & Photographer

Sharon is a pilot and business strategist with over a decade of modern marketing experience. She flies charter jet operations and continues to share her marketing skills by contributing to LifeStyle's Instagram, Facebook and other social media channels.

Mark Taylor, Pilot

Mark is an experienced pilot and mechanic who often ferries our new Diamond Aircraft deliveries all over the United States.

Dave Passmore, CFII, MEI, Aircraft Counselor

Dave is a Diamond Specialist offering a highly experienced professional consultative approach based on years of aircraft ownership and experience.  He and his pilot wife now enjoy flying their DA62. He resides in the DC area and is based at the Leesburg VA airport.

Lori Glasser, Accounting Manager

Lori keeps the financial operations at LifeStyle and its affiliated companies running smoothly. Lori has spent here entire career in corporate financial management, accounting and bookkeeping. 

Laura Cardinuto, HR & Payroll

Laura was one of the first employees of the company and today keeps HR and Payroll humming along. 

Declan Clarke, Data Analyst

Declan is a first-year Aerospace Engineering Student at NC State. When he's not studying, he assists our sales & marketing team at our RDU office. 

Beckett Paiton, Sales Intern

Beckett is student glider pilot with a deep passion for aviation and airport operations. He attends Leesville High school and brings lots of energy to our team. 

Our Vision

We see a future where lives are transformed and enriched through modern aviation – where people create lifestyles of freedom, productivity and possibilities. By empowering individuals and our training partners to use the full potential of modern flight, so they are able to contribute to the world in new and meaningful ways.

Our Purpose

We are in the business of helping people discover, select and use modern aviation and its technology to create effortless, effective personal mobility which empowers them to achieve life goals and transforms how they live, work, play and contribute to the world.

Our Process

We don’t “sell”… we help our clients “Buy”. We help clients achieve their life and LifeStyle Goals using a unique counselor  approach to support our customers through the buying process. We operate with respect and integrity with all customers, employees, contractors, partners, suppliers and competitors.