Former Dept. of Defense Rep Named VP of Maintenance at SPI’s Family of Companies

June 8, 2021

John Brattain has been announced as the new vice president of maintenance at sage-popovich, inc. (SPI), a Chicagoland-area aviation consulting, maintenance, and asset management firm. In his new role, Brattain will oversee all maintenance activities related to SPI’s family of companies, including the recently added FAA Part 145 Repair Station, TOGS, and all other managed or owned aircraft.

As an airframe and powerplant mechanic, Brattain has over 20 years of quality assurance management and engineering experience. Throughout his career, he has made numerous achievements in aviation industry safety.

“We’re very proud to have John’s unique skills and experience lead all SPI maintenance operations,” said Petar Todorovic, president of SPI. “His more than 20-year career has been highly focused on safety and exceptional service, and we’ll be needing those skills as our family of companies continues to grow.”

“John’s knowledge of aircraft and attention to safety details are second to none,” said Nick Popovich, chairman. “Since first joining SPI in 2015, John's contributions have become essential to our ability to deliver quality service.”

Brattain has served as SPI’s director of maintenance for the past 6 years. In that time, he was an inspector/auditor for client projects in addition to his responsibilities for routine and nonroutine maintenance of SPI’s corporate fleet.

Outside of SPI, Brattain worked with the Department of Defense (DOD) as a contract liaison representative. He recently retired from the organization, where he focused on inspections, audits, and implementation of corrective actions for the department’s fleet in Gary, IN. During his career with the DOD, Brattain spearheaded a multi-department safety program which became a benchmark for other DOD agencies.

Previously, Brattain also served 28 years in the US Army as an aviation brigade maintenance officer and a senior aviation maintenance technician with the DOD. In addition to his FAA A&P and IA (Inspection Authorization) certification, Brattain is also a certified OSHA 501/511 Industrial Safety Manager, holds Hazard Communication and DOT HAZMAT certifications, and is an expert in airborne imagery and radar systems.

Three Key Positions Added

In addition to Brattain’s promotion, SPI also announced the appointment of three other experts to key roles within the company. They each bring unique experience to SPI’s operations.

Joel Brumm returns to SPI as quality assurance analyst manager. He previously worked with SPI as a student mechanic while earning his FAA Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) license. Brumm attended Lewis University (near Chicago, IL) where he was enrolled in their aviation maintenance management program. Most recently, Brumm served as Part 135 Quality Assurance Analyst Manager for Coleman Jet.

Gustavo Perez-Hernandez has joined SPI’s valuation and asset management division as an aviation analyst. He will be conducting research to study aviation market data, industry trends, and forecasting future markets for multiple aircraft and engine types. He has worked with government agencies, startup companies, and large multi-national businesses across the globe, from Mexico City to Madrid, Spain to Chicago, Illinois. Most recently Perez-Hernandez served as consultant to Jets Time Corp., performing detailed financial analysis and forecasting to facilitate strategic decision making, as well as creating pricing models to optimize revenues. Concurrently, he also served as a consultant to Blackwolf and Associates, analyzing the economic and regulatory environment to identify threats and opportunities for underserved communities. Perez-Hernandez earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and is versed in SQL, Python, Stata, and Tableau.

Additionally, the company’s new aviation parts sales associate is Alex Boatright. He has experience in performing aviation inventory audits and recently managed the pack-and-ship process for a large liquidation of aviation spare parts. His familiarity with warehouse operations, along with his computer knowledge and superior customer service skills will be beneficial to operations at SPI’s warehouse.