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Meet Our Team

Natalia Cimpean Controller

Natalia Cimpean
CEO

Bio

Houston Hickenbottom
COO

Bio

Craig Hall
CFO

Bio
HAA director of training

Nik Kresse
VP Of FW Flight Operations

Bio

Teresa Sizemore
Director of Financial Planning & Analysis

Bio
Amy Smith marketing

Amy Smith
Director of Sales and Marketing

Bio

Axel Schmitz
Director of Business Development

Bio
Carrie Williams School Admin Manager

Carrie Williams
Director of Compliance & School Director

Bio

Mei Kamoshita
Asia Program Director

Bio
Chuck Hagele HAA staff

Chuck Hagele
Director of Maintenance

Bio
Lavinia Petre HAA staff

Lavinia Petre
Human Resources Manager

Bio
Linda Cramer HAA staff

Linda Cramer
Ascend Program Manager

Bio

Anthony Flynn
Safety Manager

Jared Friend
Helicopter School General Manager

Bio

Eric Doughtie
Troutdale Chief Instructor

Kimberly Whipps
Troutdale Campus Manager

Bio

Ryan Mohammed
Hillsboro Chief Instructor

Bio

Kasi Crismon
Manager – Operations & Special Projects

Bio

Ilari Raitanen
Redmond Chief Instructor

Bio
Hannah Begley

Hannah Begley
Redmond Campus Manager

Bio

Mackenzie Arrell
Admissions Administrator

Bio
Ashley Souza

Ashley Souza
Talent Manager/Airplane Admissions

Bio

Madison Krebec
Helicopter Admissions

Bio

Cam Clark
Ascend Admissions

Bio
Natalia Cimpean HAA staff

Natalia Cimpean
CEO

ncimpean@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Natalia joined Hillsboro Aero Academy, formerly Hillsboro Aviation, in 2008. Prior to working at Hillsboro, she held various management positions, including Executive Director for a start-up company and Business Manager for a construction company. Natalia holds a bachelor’s degree in math and a Master of Business Administration from George Fox University.

She began her career at Hillsboro as a member of the accounting team and has been consistently promoted over time to CFO and GM, COO, and now CEO. Natalia has a passion for the aviation industry and for people who are part of it.

Eric Anderson
CMO

eanderson@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Eric brings two decades of experience as a marketing strategist for B2B, education/training, travel/hospitality, and consumer brands. He spent the first half of his career as a partner in a digital agency with a focus on helping companies make the transition to integrated digital selling and developing the digital go-to-market strategies for brands like Columbia Sportswear, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross, and Kindercare. The second half of his career has been spent with PE-led or growth equity-led businesses in the education and travel sectors, first as COO of student travel provider Ambassadors Group, then as SVP of Marketing with industrial training provider TPC, and most recently with K12 e-learning provider Scientific Learning. Eric is the author of Social Media Marketing: Game Theory and the Emergence of Collaboration, published by Springer. He holds a PhD ABD in Cultural Theory.

Houston Hickenbottom
COO

houston@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Houston started at Hillsboro Aviation in 1996 and has held multiple positions in the company, including over eight years as the School Director. After more than 15 years working in the school, Houston went to work for the Port of Portland at Portland International Airport (PDX). In 2019, Houston returned to Hillsboro Aero Academy to support the training and operations teams.

Houston is a graduate of San Jose State University and holds an airplane Private Pilot Certificate.

Craig Hall
CFO

chall@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Craig began his career at Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2019. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Portland State University. He is new to the aviation industry but has extensive experience in accounting and operations garnered through various roles in the distribution and logistics industries.

Craig oversees the day-to-day activities in the accounting department and is responsible for the timely and accurate reporting of the company’s operational results. If you don’t find him combing through a spreadsheet, you will likely find him somewhere in the outdoors where he likes to spend his free time.

Though not a pilot yet, some of Craig’s fondest memories as a youth were spent flying with his grandfather, a former Air Force pilot, in his twin-engine Baron.

HAA staff Amy Smith

Amy Smith
Director of Sales and Marketing

asmith@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Amy started at Hillsboro Aero Academy, formerly Hillsboro Aviation, in 2009. She holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga University. Prior to joining Hillsboro Aero Academy, Amy worked in marketing for non-profit and financial service companies. As the Director of Sales and Marketing, she is responsible for all marketing communications, digital strategy, and brand management in addition to overseeing our admissions team in the recruitment of new students from across the globe.

Nik Kresse HAA airplane school

Nik Kresse
VP of FW Flight Operations

nkresse@flyhaa.com
1.541.362.5644

Nik began flight training at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana where he completed his multi-engine commercial training. In 2011, Nik moved home to Portland and began training at Hillsboro to complete his Certified Flight Instructor Rating. He has held positions such as China Program Ground Instructor prior to moving to Central Oregon and becoming Chief Instructor of Prineville and Redmond campuses. Due to his success running our Central Oregon campuses, he was promoted to VP of FW Flight Operations and now oversees all of our airplane operations at the Hillsboro and Redmond campuses.

Teresa Sizemore
Director of Financial Planning & Analysis

tsizemore@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Teresa began her career at Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2019. She is new to the aviation industry, but brings business planning expertise to her role from extensive experience in the manufacturing sector. She oversees the company budgeting, forecasting and KPI reporting processes. In her free time, Teresa enjoys hiking, birdwatching, and nature photography. Teresa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Tennessee and is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Kimberly Whipps TTD

Kimberly Whipps
Troutdale Campus Manager

kwhipps@flyhaa.com
1.503.489.1142

Kimberly volunteered as an English teacher at Hillsboro Aero Academy for four years before she accepted the position of Housing Coordinator in July 2018.  This was her first exposure to the aviation industry, after 18 years as the owner of a photography studio.  She very quickly realized that Hillsboro Aero Academy was a unique place and she was excited to grow in her aviation knowledge.

Now, as the Troutdale Campus Manager, she enjoys helping guide the campus culture and foster a family-like atmosphere.

Kimberly has always loved learning about other cultures and languages.  Her hobbies include studying Mandarin Chinese, reading, and hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Chuck Hagele HAA staff

Chuck Hagele
Director of Maintenance

chagele@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Chuck started his aviation career in 1988 while in high school learning to fly and work on aircraft. On his 16th birthday, he completed his first solo flight. Chuck is an instrument-rated airplane private pilot. He completed his flight training in 2002 at Hillsboro Aero Academy, formerly Hillsboro Aviation. With a primarily maintenance-focused career, Chuck is an A&P mechanic with inspection authorization. Before coming to Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2015, Chuck held the Chief Inspector position for five years at a part 145 repair station and the Director of Maintenance position for three years at a part 135 EMS operator where he worked for 12 years. Chuck holds an associate’s degree in aviation science from Eastern New Mexico University.

Carrie Williams HAA team

Carrie Williams
Director of Compliance & School Director

cwilliams@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Originally from Florida, Carrie came to Hillsboro via Arizona 8 years ago following her pilot husband. She has a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and spent 10 years working at Embry-Riddle in flight records, scheduling, and systems administration. Carrie joined the Hillsboro Aero Academy team in 2016. In her current role as Director of Compliance/School Director, Carrie oversees compliance for accreditation, student visas, TSA and the VA.

In her spare time, Carrie enjoys anything soccer related, hiking, and getting her toes into the sand as often as possible.

SK Kamoshita airplane operations

Satoru Kamoshita
Asia Program Director

On August 14, 2021, the HAA community suddenly lost our beloved friend and colleague Satoru Kamoshita (SK) to a tragic drowning accident. Out of respect for his profound and lasting 24-year legacy as Asia Program Director, we are keeping him among us on this page and in our hearts as we plan for the continuation of his important work. 

As the Asia Program Director, SK works with our Korean, Taiwanese, and Japanese students and has trained over 1000 pilots who fly for major airlines all over the world. He started as a flight instructor at Hillsboro Aero Academy, formerly Hillsboro Aviation, in 1997 and took his current position in 2006. SK graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a master’s degree in aeronautical management. He is an airline transport pilot with a type rating in YS-11 and Dash 8 Q400. Before joining Hillsboro, SK was a YS-11 captain for Philippine Airlines. He also ferried aircraft from Japan to locations such as Africa, Singapore and North America and trained local pilots. He has over 16,500 flight hours.

Lavinia Petra Human Resources

Lavinia Petre
Human Resources Manager

lpetre@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Lavinia joined Hillsboro in 2013. It was her first exposure to aviation, after spending 7 years in the education field. She is enthusiastic about supporting HAA’s mission of making worldwide dreams of aviation a reality through the best training.

In her current role as the Human Resources Manager, Lavinia provides assistance in both operational and strategic HR practices and oversees all aspects of human resources management.

She is very passionate about Japanese culture and sushi, having spent a year living abroad; loves to laugh and spend time with her amazing family outdoors.

Jared Friend
Helicopter School General Manager

jfriend@flyhaa.com
1.503.489.1142

Jared started his helicopter journey in 2002. His first commercial helicopter job was with Croman Corporation as a second in command pilot of a Sikorsky S-61 performing varies jobs, including helicopter logging, construction, and firefighting. In 2005, Jared started at Hillsboro Aviation as a flight instructor, in 2008 he started flying the Channel 6 and Channel 12 News contract, and in 2009 he became the Chief Instructor of the helicopter school. Since that time, Jared has worked in numerous roles, Director of Corporate Projects, Safety Manager, and FAA Compliance Manager. Jared also has experience as an electronic news gathering pilot and has worked for several news stations and was Chief Pilot at KATU News Portland. Jared has always been drawn to the training environment and loves watching new students achieve their dreams. Jared is currently the Helicopter School General Manager and Chief Instructor.

Kasi Crismon
Manager – Operations & Special Projects

kcrismon@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Kasi originally joined the Hillsboro team in 2014 as the Flight Coordinator and returned in 2019 as the Check Ride Coordinator. In 2020, she accepted the position of Hillsboro Campus Manager and was then promoted to Manager – Operations and Special Projects. Kasi supports the management teams at both the Hillsboro and Redmond campuses.

Ryan Mohammed
Hillsboro Chief Instructor

rmohammed@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Ryan is originally from Florida and moved to Portland in 2014. He left his career in finance to pursue his aviation dream and joined Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2014 to begin his airplane flight training. Ryan is a Commercial ASEL, AMEL, Instrument Rated, CFI, CFII, MEI, and a Gold Seal instructor. After completing his flight training at HAA, he was hired as a CFI for our Asia Program in 2017. He then took on the role of Team Lead for our PCC students in 2018 and accepted the role of Assistant Chief Instructor for international, domestic, PCC, and RW transition students later that same year. He recently accepted a promotion to Chief Flight Instructor for our Hillsboro Campus so he oversees the training for all students at HIO as well as managing the team of CFIs in conjunction with the Assistant Chiefs.

Ilari Raitanen
Redmond Chief Instructor

iraitanen@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Ilari is originally from Finland and moved to Florida in 2018 to pursue his aviation dream. After getting his Commercial ASEL, AMEL, and Instrument Rating, he moved back to Finland to study EASA ATPL theories. Ilari returned to Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2021 to begin his flight instructor training. After completing his flight training at HAA, he was hired as a CFI at our Redmond Campus. He then took on the role of EASA Program Manager for HAA in early 2023, and then accepted the role of Chief Flight Instructor for the Redmond Campus. In this role he manages the team of CFIs and oversees all training operations and the progress of all students at Redmond.

Hannah Begley RDM

Hannah Begley
Redmond Campus Manager

hbegley@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Hannah became part of the Redmond Team in 2018, initially serving as a dispatcher before progressing to assume the role of Lead Dispatcher in 2019. In 2022, Hannah embarked on a year-long adventure traveling across the United States. Upon returning in 2023, she accepted the position of Redmond Campus Manager. Hannah manages several integral departments at the Redmond Campus which support students during their training progression, and she emphasizes creating a positive and supportive environment. 

Madison Krebec
Helicopter Admissions

mkrebec@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Madison joined the helicopter team last year supporting flight operations and then transitioning into her role on the admissions team.

Madison is from Chicago and had a diverse background before finding the aviation industry. She started a micro farm and orchard operation in Arkansas and also started a bakery business that allowed her to travel internationally catering large events.

Madison enjoys working with prospective students and helping them determine if a helicopter career in right for them. She has some first-hand experience with our program as she is married to one of our helicopter instructors.

Linda Cramer executive assistant

Linda Cramer
Redmond Campus Manager

lcramer@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Linda started with Hillsboro Aero Academy in January 2013. This job was her first exposure to aviation after over 20 years of office management experience in the software development and e-commerce industries. Linda’s primary focus throughout her career has been to offer excellent customer service. In 2017, she relocated to Central Oregon to take over management of our Redmond Campus and now serves as the Program Manager for the Ascend Pilot Academy, our partnership program with the Alaska Air Group.

Mackenzie Arrell
Admissions Administrator

marrell@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Mackenzie’s first time in an airplane was when a family friend, an Air Force Veteran, rented an aircraft from Hillsboro Aviation when she was thirteen. Five years later, she returned to film her friend flying a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as a birthday gift. She has also been attending the Oregon International Air Show since she was a child.

Prior to joining Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2018, Mackenzie received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and minority studies from Portland State University and spent several years working in education and low-income health services. As the Admissions Administrator, Mackenzie is responsible for overseeing our admissions team and supporting students once they have been accepted into our school.

As of today, Mackenzie has yet to begin her flight training, but working with passionate aviation students encourages her to do so more every day.

Cam Clark
Ascend Admissions

cameronclark@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Cam grew up in Eastern Oregon obsessed with the mountains and wildlife. This obsession led him to get a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources through the College of Forestry at Oregon State University-Cascades in Bend, Oregon. After finishing school, he joined HAA as the admissions representative for the Ascend Pilot Academy, our partnership with Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Cam also assists with campus tours and works as part of the housing team at the Redmond Campus.

During his time at HAA, Cam has learned much about the world of aviation and will be starting flight training soon. For now though, he is focused on helping our Ascend students begin their training and enjoys seeing their progress.

Ashley Souza

Ashley Souza
Talent Manager/Airplane Admissions

asouza@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Ashley began working in the aviation industry more than a decade ago. She joined the Hillsboro Aero Academy team in February of 2015. Her primary role was in the admissions department supporting prospective students from all over the world who are ready to take the first step in their journey. In addition, Ashley supports the flight operations department with recruitment and hiring for support staff such as flight instructors and mechanics.

Ashley took her first introduction flight in a Cessna 182 in 2010 at the Klamath Falls Airport in Oregon. After a few seconds on the flight controls, she knew she was destined for aviation and began taking flight lessons. It was love at first bank. She earned her wings in 2014. She enjoys flying, chasing sunsets from the sky, but most importantly inspiring others to follow their own flight path.

With Ashley’s diverse experience and knowledge in the aviation industry, you can trust that you’ll receive the best guidance on beginning your career as a pilot.

Brady Willis
Ascend & Collegiate Partner Admissions

bwillis@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Brady began working for Hillsboro Aero Academy in 2018 as an admissions counselor recruiting both airplane and helicopter students into the school’s flight training programs. After a brief break from recruiting to pursue his own flight training goals, Brady returned to HAA’s admissions team where he currently works with prospective airplane students for our Ascend program and also with our collegiate programs.

Brady is currently a Commercial Multi-Engine pilot with instrument rating and he plans on adding his CFI rating in the near future. He is also a part of the Horizon Pilot Development Program and enjoys talking to other student pilots about their career aspirations.

Axel Schmitz
Director of Business Development

aschmitz@flyhaa.com
1.503.901.7904

During the past 15 years of his career in the aviation industry, Axel held the positions of Project Manager and Sales & Support Manager at Airbus Helicopters wherein he provided integral solutions to regional key customers and essential support for a manifold of innovative initiatives. Furthermore, he was responsible for its ab-initio helicopter Flight Training Center in the role of Managing Director.

After relocating to the United States, Axel joined Hillsboro Aero Academy and serves as the Director of Business Development. Bringing a highly diversified skillset and international profile to this role, his objective is to strengthen and enhance our customer relations and build future partnership opportunities.

Axel holds a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering, the title of Certified Aviation Manager (NBAA) and completed an executive program at the renowned Business school IPADE in Mexico City.

Mei Kamoshita
Asia Program Director

mkamoshita@flyhaa.com
1.503.726.3000

Mei first joined Hillsboro Aero Academy in January 2007. She fell in love with aviation almost 20 years ago when she lived on a private airport in the small town of Alpine, Wyoming. Although Mei graduated with a degree in Visual Communication Design and has love for arts, her years at Hillsboro brought out her passion for helping people reach their lifetime goals.

Mei believes providing excellent support and customer service is a must for the aviation industry. She enjoys helping students find their strength, mentoring them during difficult times in their training to elevate their skills, and assisting them to see their future path in aviation.