Meet the Desert Jet Team!
Denise Wilson, CAM, President and CEO
Denise Wilson founded Desert Jet in 2007 with the intent of bringing the desert’s corporate flight departments together as a cooperative to reduce the cost of aircraft operating expenses. This cooperative expanded to fill the need for a quality private jet charter service in the region.
Denise’s experience prior to forming Desert Jet includes both flying and management positions for several airline, charter and corporate flight departments. Her expertise is in aircraft acquisition and management as well as in the implementation of programs to enhance the safety of flight operations. She provides turbine transition, initial operating experience and standardization training for pilots new to aircraft type, specializing in the Citation family of aircraft.
Denise is qualified by the National Business Aviation Association as a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) and is a Director on the Certified Aviation Manager Governing Board. She has approximately 7000 hours of flight experience, with over 3000 hours of pilot in command and single pilot experience in Citations (Citation Encore, Bravo, Ultra, Excel, 501, II, S/II, V, CJ, CJ1, CJ2, CJ3). She has type ratings in the Citation 500 and 525 series, Gulfstream III, Boeing 737, Hawker 1000, Westwind and the Saab 340. She is the company’s Check Airman on the CE500 and CE525 series aircraft.
Denise was named one of national winners of 2013 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program and was named one of 2013′s Enterprising Women of the Year. Denise was a finalist in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of 2010 contest, in the Emerging Entrepreneur category. She was the keynote speaker at the Women in Aviation, International Conference in 2010 and a presenter on the topic of vetting business jet providers at the National Business Aviation Association’s Annual Conference in 2011. She has been featured, published, and quoted in publications such as Inc. Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Aviation for Women Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Twin and Turbine Magazine, AutoPILOT Magazine, FlyCorporate Magazine, NBAA’s Business Insider as well as several local and regional publications. She is the author of “The Definitive Guide to Supplemental Lift”, a publication written to assist in choosing a private aviation provider.
Denise attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Music Performance (Oboe), and attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and minored in Aviation Safety. She is a member of Angel Flight West, Women in Aviation, Women in Corporate Aviation, Women Presidents’ Organization and the National Business Aviation Association.
Clair Burke, Director of Charter Sales
Clair Burke joined the Desert Jet team in 2010 and quickly earned her reputation for excellence. She brings a long history of customer service and sales experience to her role in the charter department at Desert Jet. Clair schedules client flights and coordinates specialty services such as passenger ground transportation and inflight catering. She provides the classic Desert Jet “above and beyond” service in an amazingly effortless manner. Clair’s professionalism, charming voice, and quick wit serve her well as she synchronizes the multitude of details needed to ensure a perfect trip for our clients.
Kelly Mason, Charter Coordinator
Kelly Mason joins the Desert Jet team in the charter department with years of professional experience and community involvement that make her vital to the success of the operation. Originating from the San Francisco Bay area before relocating to Palm Desert, Kelly has committed herself to a career in customer service as well as sales and public relations. This experience along with her participation in community organizations such as the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce shed light on her determination to make every customer’s experience a positive and rewarding interaction.
Brad Lindow, Director of Safety
Brad Lindow was convinced he wanted to be a pilot ever since he attended an aviation summer camp as a teenager. He was mentored by the training director of a major airline and was offered the opportunity to take his first flight lesson in the right seat of a Boeing 747.
Brad graduated with highest honors from the University of North Dakota where he was a recipient of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences Flight Scholarship. He brings years of corporate aviation experience to Desert Jet as a pilot for a charter operator in San Diego, mentor-pilot/instructor for pilots transitioning to their first turbine aircraft and as an aircraft manager for private individuals. Brad enjoys the personal interaction with passengers and strives to exceed their expectations during each experience at Desert Jet.
As the Director of Safety, Brad is responsible for operational risk management that includes employee hazard reporting, risk analysis, incident investigation, internal and external evaluation, and safety education programs. Brad also has extensive experience and knowledge regarding third party audits with IS-BAO, ARG/US, and Wyvern. He has worked with numerous aircraft owners and operators regarding various management and aviation safety matters.
He is also a captain on our CE500 and CE525 series aircraft.
Brad and his wife recently welcomed their second daughter to their family. When he isn’t flying, Brad enjoys playing with his young family.
Jayne Kruse, Chief Pilot
Jeff Klingenberg, Director of Maintenance
Rob Wilson, CAM, Pilot
Rob Wilson has over 25 years of flying experience and is qualified by the National Business Aviation Association as a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM). His previous experience includes the positions of Director of Operations and Chief Pilot for several charter and corporate flight departments. Previous to beginning his corporate flight career, Rob was a Captain, Check Airman and standardization pilot for a large national airline.
Before he started his flying career, Rob was a producer, engineer, consultant, and on-air talent at a number of radio stations across the country, including KIFM and KGB-FM in San Diego and WNUA-FM in Chicago. Rob produced “A Touch of Jazz”, a syndicated weekly radio program on over 90 stations that featured contemporary jazz and was hosted by radio legend Allison Steele, New York’s “Nightbird”. He also ran his own production company, recording jingles and background music for radio station’s musical logos and commercials.
Rob has over 11,000 hours, over 9000 of this as pilot in command. He has type ratings in the Citation 500 and 525 series, Citation Mustang, Saab 340, Hawker 1000 and the Westwind. He is the company’s Check Airman in the Mustang.
Rob attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he majored in Professional Aeronautics and was on the Dean’s List.
Suzie Chesire, Pilot
Prior to joining Desert Jet, Suzie progressed her way to Senior Captain for a charter company in San Diego, where she earned a reputation for personal service that made her a client favorite.
Her caring disposition, along with her love for people has led her to enjoy the spirit of volunteering. Her passion for safety, while providing the utmost comfort for the customer guides her to success.
Tara Terhorst, Director of Training
Tara Terhorst joined Desert Jet with significant experience in the Citation V and Citation Bravo, as well as experience flying for both airline and charter operations. A driven and goal-oriented individual, Tara knew from an early age that she wanted to be a pilot. In fact, she still has a copy of the report she wrote in the third grade on Amelia Earhart’s adventures.
Tara was born in the Netherlands and speaks fluent Dutch. Her passion for aviation was sparked by the desire to travel. She graduated from high school early, at the age of 16, and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, graduating magna cum laude.
Tara’s volunteer experience includes working with the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago, Youth Outreach tutoring programs and working with children with disabilities.
Jason Herman, Pilot
Jason Herman first took the controls of an airplane when he was 7 years old. Under the instruction of his father and grandfather, he accomplished his first solo flight on his 16th birthday and earned his first pilot certificate the following year.
Jason’s involvement in aviation runs deep. His background includes several years in the role of flight coordinator for a large charter company in the Northeast in addition to his experience flying various turbine aircraft. He holds type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 series as well as Citation 525 series and Citation Mustang for single pilot operations in addition to being an FAA certificated aircraft dispatcher. As the Director of Flight Operations, Jason currently crews all of our Citation aircraft and helps oversee charter sales, regulatory compliance, pilot training, and many other aspects of the flight operation at Desert Jet.
Jason attended Purdue University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology and graduated with highest distinction, in three years. He was also the recipient of the prestigious CAE SimuFlite CitationJet Type Rating Scholarship and NBAA’s Schedulers and Dispatchers Scholarship in 2012.
Sarah Hughes, Pilot
Sarah Hughes joined Desert Jet as a captain on our Citations. Sarah’s previous experience includes flying as a captain on aircraft as diverse as the Westwind and the Citation Bravo as well as instructing pilots at the Air Force Academy.
Sarah grew up with an interest in aviation, having been influenced to become a professional pilot while visiting AirVenture in Oshkosh with her father. She began flight lessons in college where she graduated with honors and immediately began a career as a pilot.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and their many animals. She is a wine enthusiast and knows every vintage available. She is also active in her church community and hopes to complete her second half-marathon in the near future.
Caroline Brozovich, Pilot
After her first flight in a small aircraft, Caroline knew instantly that she wanted to pursue a career as a professional pilot. She first recognized the opportunities in corporate aviation after a summer internship during college with Assessment Compliance Group, a company specializing in aviation manual development and aviation training, where she worked closely with the leaders of several large corporate flight departments to document their processes and procedures. A second internship occurred with Duke Energy’s aviation department where she assisted in research associated with the merger with Progress Energy and solidified her desire to pursue aviation as a career. Before joining the Desert Jet team, Caroline flew the Hawker 800 and 800XP for a charter company in Florida.
Caroline attended the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree and a minor in Air Traffic Control.
In addition to her already-expansive aviation experience, she also is an FAA certificated aircraft dispatcher, experienced in aviation law and volunteers as an EAA Young Eagles Instructor Pilot, a program that provides free introductory flights to encourage kids to become our next generation of pilots. She gives back to her community by volunteering as a leader in ERAU day camps focused on introducing young girls to aviation.
As a well-rounded aviation professional, Caroline expanded her aviation horizons by working as a legal associate at an aviation law firm and becoming an FAA certificated aircraft dispatcher.
Outside of aviation, Caroline enjoys running, hiking, scuba diving and lots of chocolate.
Chris Howard, Pilot
Chris Howard joined the Desert Jet team with a long love of aviation, inspired by his first flight on a Boeing 737 with his father, who was also a pilot. He is originally from Australia and has gained experience teaching international flight students as well as flying charter and aeromedical flights in various turbine aircraft. Chris holds both FAA and Australian pilot certificates and currently crews our Citation Mustang aircraft.
When Chris is not flying, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching his favorite Australian sports, rugby and cricket. He also finds time to go hiking, play volleyball, and catch up on a good novel.
Elena Monroe, Pilot
Elena is the newest member of the pilot group and brings with her the experience of a flight instructor and a 100% pass rate. She attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and majored in Aeronautical Science with a minor in Meteorology. Aside from her passion for teaching and fostering the pure joy of flying, Elena is always looking for ways to give back to the community. She has a history of volunteering at local animal shelters and the Children’s Hospital in her native San Diego. Excited to be apart of the team, she aspires to make the most out of every flight for the customer in terms of service, safety, and adventure.
In her free time she enjoys decorating, hiking, and is learning to golf the Palm Springs way!
Bill Lockhart, Pilot
Bill Lockhart joins the Desert Jet team after a successful 21 year Air Force career. Bill did a little of everything in the Air Force from flying large transport aircraft to light jet trainers. In addition to his flying assignments, Bill served as a staff officer at the Air Mobility Command headquarters where he prepared senior Air Force leaders for Congressional testimony. He also served on the faculty at the Air Command and Staff College, where he instructed International Relations and Cultural Studies. Bill retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in January of 2014 as a Command Pilot with over 4,200 military flying hours.
Bill and his wife Jenny, along with their three sons, enjoy all the activities the area has to offer. Bill also has an older son that lives and goes to school in Chicago who hopefully will be able to visit often. Between the boys’ school, gymnastics, and baseball activities, Bill and Jenny hope to find some time to play a little golf and enjoy the great local hiking. They also plan to spend as much time as possible with their family that also calls Southern California home.
Kay Creed, Accountant
Kay Creed brings over 25 years of accounting and human resources experience to her position at Desert Jet. Kay handles all aspects of the financial tracking for all the managed aircraft in Desert Jet’s fleet, as well as accounts receivable and payable. “Numbers are my thing,” admits Kay. A Southern California native, Kay previously worked in public accounting, juggling over 60 different company accounts simultaneously.
Kay is an avid supporter of many local organizations, such as Relay for Life and the Soroptimist House of Hope, where she volunteers as Treasurer. In addition, she runs Desert Jet’s employee efforts to raise funds for a different employee-chosen charity each month and regularly donates her hair to organizations that provide free wigs to cancer survivors.
Paul Alexander, Maintenance Technician
Paul graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.A. in Graphic Design, followed by several years of successful work as a web and graphic designer before realizing his true calling was in aviation. The hardworking and detailed mindset he developed in the design world, he now brings to the aviation world.
Along with his passion for aviation, Paul spends his time in a wide array of activities such as motorcycle riding, hiking, astronomy, traveling, music, photography, juggling, and reading.
Daniel Fell, Maintenance Technician