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Craig Nicholas Kitchen – Senior Associate

Craig is a United States Airforce Academy graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering as well as an MBA from the University of Northern Colorado. Craig has 30+ years of senior management and business development experience within Aerospace/Aviation OEM sectors to include aftermarket support. Some of his more prominent positions include:

  • MD Helicopters, Inc. where he held the position(s) of Chief Operating Office & Chief Commercial Officer. During his tenure at MD he reorganized commercial business to achieve 45% growth in revenue with a corresponding increase in EBITDA. As the COO he and his team were responsible for new sales group accomplishments to include Increased production from 23 helicopters certified in 07 to 52 certified in 08, sales revenue increase from $105M in 07 to $195m in 08, EBIDTA improved from -$17M to +$18M, and aircraft production backlog increased to 75 ships for 09.

  • Millennium Energy Group (MEG). Craig as the Chairman & CEO launched this startup company as an advanced lead acid battery manufacturer for storage of utility grade energy produced from solar, wind and grid sources as well as applications for transportation in automotive, marine, and military combat vehicles. He raised $5million in funding for development and launch of the advanced Battery Management System and spearheaded the submission of industry leading patents. He led the divestiture of MEG to an advanced energy technologies group.

  • Horizon MC Group. As the President, CEO and senior executive leader for this private equity group, took control of Global Energy Group Inc. and restructured the company's manufacturing to reduce cost and position company to sell its advanced energy saving technology. Signed agreement in Changhong Peoples Republic of China for manufacturing and representation in Asia. Developed and executed global strategy for the energy group. Redirected its resources into a profitable mode of operation. Assumed control of the Private equity group Battery business and restructured its strategic plan to execute manufacturing and develop new revenue streams. Recently negotiated purchase orders for 1.2M Batteries with contract value of $150M. Established manufacturing in US and Peoples Republic of China.

  • Allied Signal - Turbine Engine Co. As the Senior Vice President, Light Helicopters Division, a joint venture between Allison Gas Turbine and Allied Signal Engines, Craig was responsible for the leadership of the T-800 helicopter engine development for the United States Army AH-66 Comanche Attack Helicopter. Managed $406M development budget and directed efforts for the transition of a commercial derivative. Directed international partnership development with Agusta, Westland, and Samsung. Directed international marketing efforts and the company campaign to preserve the Army’s engine development budget on Capitol Hill.

Lastly, Craig is a hands on guy who works closely with his team achieving consistent positive results. His can do attitude is obvious and is reflected by his achievement detailed above. His community involvement with Arizona State University, the Governor’s Council on Innovation and Technology for the State of California and member of the Chamber of Commerce Aviation and Airport (Falcon Field) Advisory board, illustrates his passion for service to the community.

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Gary Nicholas – Senior Associate

Gary comes to CFS & Associates, LLC with a diverse background in engineering both hardware/software including 26 years of CAD/CAM experience. He was the Chief Engineer at SIMAVIA USA and quite frankly the person most responsible for its success in building two AS350B2 flight training simulation devices. The attributes demonstrated in this position included:

  • understanding design intent/concepts,

  • modelling products and tools,

  • develop machining strategies,

  • programing machine tools of all types,

  • extending capabilities of incumbent systems,

  •  Creating software solutions for complex problems. This attribute alone coupled to his fabrication experience is the one of the key reasons sophisticated device, designed, developed, fabricated, and tested to ICAO specification,  was completed under budget and to a schedule that was quite challenging.

A lot of Gary’s experience is in the automobile industry however involved in the core development of new models in the auto industry transferred directly to overseeing the flight simulation project at SIMAVIA USA. He was able to lead a cadre of engineers, technicians, fabricators and support personnel because of his diverse projects in the auto industry.  Some of those projects included:

  • PolySurf, Solutions-3000, GNC, PDGS, AutoCAD,(Mechanical-Desktop) 3-D wireframe, surface & solids modeling:

  • Digitizing of 2-D drawings, producing 3-D wireframe and surface CAD models.

  • Worked with surface patch tangents matching and weighting factors.

  • Utilized transformation matrices in CAD model creation and CNC machine programming.

  • CAD Software product demonstrations and training

  • Produced CNC product and tool programs used in various machining functions:

    • Turret lathes.

    • Wire EDM (2-axes and 4-axes).

    • Three-axes vertical and horizontal milling machines.

    • Five-axes routers used in clay model sculpting.

  • Conducted scheduled training of Ford Motor Corp. engineers in use of PDGS, specifically in use of PDGS-NC machining software.

  • Provided on-site training in use of GNC, PDGS and PDGS-NC software products to clients in Italy and Japan.

  • Engineered several "pre-processors":

  • Converted CAD data from various systems to a format compatible with in- house "PolySurf" system. (pre IGES)

  • Rasterization software which enabled a color "proof" image (up to three pages in length) of automotive and progressive die layout drawings, ultimately destined for expensive pen-plotters.

Lastly Gary is a fixed –wing pilot Instrument rated and aircraft owner. His background in aviation made it an easy transition to the flight simulation environment and will be very important for any R & D efforts we perform.


Gary is a superior craftsman and a natural born leader. His diverse background suites him well. He is an expert in both hardware and software development, IT, manufacturing including digital manufacturing and the skill-set of a master craftsman. CFS & Associates is extremely pleased that he is one of our team.

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Terry Palmer – Senior Associate

Terry is a Senior Consultant in Aviation Strategy, Safety, and Training. Terry provides Business Strategies in the constantly evolving aviation industry. Who, What, When Where and Why... Providing solutions that work! Proven results. Her consulting positions include:

  • Expert Witness

  • Business Strategy

  • Safety & Risk Management

  • Training Initiatives

  • Training Center Management (Level C/D simulation)

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS)

Board Member - Oct 2009 – Present

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) is a non-profit corporation offering world-wide accreditation for air and ground medical transports systems since 1990. CAMTS mission, as a peer review organization, is to improve patient care and transport safely by providing a voluntary, dynamic accreditation process through the development of standards, education, and services that support our vision.

Helicopter Association International (HAI)

Terry is the Chairperson for the HAI Training Working Group - Jun 2013 – Present   

The HAI Training Committee works with industry to establish standards for increased safety in flight training. The committee collaborates with the IHST Training Work Group and supports recommendations to the FAA regarding Advisory Circulars and regulation updates that meet the current training challenges. The Training Committee has expanded its mission to include a focus on helicopter maintenance and non-flying crew training.

Additionally, as a member of HAI’s Safety Committee Terry develops and promotes helicopter safety initiatives for HAI members and the international helicopter industry. The committee hosts the events at the annual Heli Expo. I am the host of the annual Safety Town Hall and participate in the Industry Safety Forum and Safety Directors Forum.



International Helicopter Safety Team (UHST) & Training Team - Mar 2008 – Present

The US Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) includes implementation teams for SMS, Training, Infrastructure, Flight Data Management, and Maintenance. The Training team takes a proactive approach to safety in the training environment through best practices, community outreach and by submitting advisory circulars for FAA publication. Author of the "Training Toolkit" to include:

  • IHST Training Toolkit

  • Title Chairperson for the IHST Training Work Group

Developed business strategy and projections to encourage training providers and aircraft manufacturers to provide helicopter simulators.

Developed educational outreach to encourage operators to use the simulators and flight training devices in their training programs.

Metro Aviation, Inc. - Training Center Director - Sep 2012 – Nov 2018

Location Shreveport, Louisiana

Built, filled and managed a successful training center in less than 5 years with 4 simulators, communication lab and maintenance training. Serviced more than 2000 trainees a year from 12 countries.

Built a proactive training culture for all facets of the helicopter, air medical and law enforcement aviation operations. Developed and directed training programs for flight crew, maintenance, non-flying crew, medical crew, and communication specialists. Helicopter simulators for EC135, EC145, AS350,and BH407 aircraft.

Bernardo Arce – Senior Associate


Bernardo is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico.          




Bernardo was the Central America Director for  SICPA GOVERNMENT SECURITY SOLUTIONS (2012-2018). SICPA is a security Swiss Company which develops technology to track and trace products that are highly regulated and pay a significant amount of taxes. The products are only sold to Governments. Among the tracking products for governments the company also offers immigration control technology and tracking of regulated medicines.

From 2009 through 2012 Bernardo was the General Manager for FLOREXPO.

In this position Bernardo restructured this agribusiness industry that grew and developed technology to unroot cuttings for propagation and development in the United States and Europe.

In 1998 Bernardo founded and was the General Manager of EBG International, Costa Rica.

From 1998 through 2009 his consulting company focused on business development in the Latin America region. He represented manufacturers from the United States and Europe as well as IT service companies responsible for the  development of specific technology for each market.

Lastly, Bernardo represented international construction companies in the area, e.g., Skanska from Sweden, The Vancouver Airport Authority, and Solel Boneh from Israel.

From 1994 through 1996 Bernardo held the position of Secretary of Transportation and Public Works and National Security, GOVERNMENT OF COSTA RICA.

While in Public Office he initiated the process of privatization of major public works and services, such as highways, airports, and ports. Under his guidance the Government of Costa Rica issued the first BOO (build, own and operate), to build one of the main highways in the country.

As a Secretary of National Security, he was instrumental in developing security services on the border with Nicaragua to control kidnapping and illegal drug operations. He also participated in the design of a coordinated effort to control traffic of drugs from Colombia to Costa Rica in the Pacific shore of Central America.

Bernardo was the CEO of SOCIEDAD AGRICOLA INDUSTRIAL SAN CRISTOBAL from 1987 through 1994.

 He was responsible for the expansion of this agribusiness group (2000 people) to the Central America Region, increasing sales by over 200%, during a very difficult economic and political situation in Central America. 

 From 1980 through 1987 Bernardo was the manager FIBRAS DE CENTRO AMERICA manufacturing.  The operation consisted of  600 people manufacturing plastic packaging.

Bernardo is fluent Spanish and English and is a US Resident/Costa Rican Citizen.

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