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H. Thomas Griffing III

President, Director of operations

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Thomas was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, to Tom and Kelly Griffing, who owned and operated Griffing Flying Service at the Sandusky Airport. In 1996, Thomas began working a Line Service Technician and has been dedicated to his family's business since. In 2002, Thomas began his career as a full-time Line Pilot and shortly after, became the Chief Pilot. He has assisted Tom in managing the company and now serves as the President of Griffing Flying Service. Thomas currently resides in Sandusky with his wife, Kara, and his two children, Harry IV and Ava. 

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H. Thomas (Tom) Griffing Jr.

Chairman

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Tom was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, to Harry and Sue Griffing, founders of Griffing Flying Service. Tom graduated from Perkins High School in 1964. At age 18, Tom began his career as a Pilot and has continuously served the company for over 50 years. He has three children; Aubrey, Thomas, and Lee. Tom currently reside in Port Clinton. In the early 1990’s, Tom assumed ownership of the company. He successfully ran the business with the help of his sister, Melodie, who retired in the early 2000’s. In 2018, Tom continued the tradition and handed majority ownership down to his son, Thomas. Tom continues to fly the Lake Erie Islands, as well as Executive Charters.

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Joshua MCGinnis

Vice President, chief pilot

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Josh was born and raised in Grove City, Ohio, where his grandfather owned and operated a banner towing company. This business exposed Josh to aviation at a very young age. He began his formal flight training in 2010 while attending BGSU’s Flight School. In 2012, Josh met his wife, Rachel, while they both worked at Cedar Point. Josh and Rachel currently reside in Sandusky with their sons, Kai and Theo, and two dogs, Pepper and Pongo. After graduating from BGSU in 2014, Josh began working at Griffing Flying Service as a Flight Instructor. Josh now serves as the Vice President and Chief Pilot, primarily working in the Executive Charter office.

GRIFFING CREW

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Shelbi Neidler

Director of island operations

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Shelbi was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, to Randy and Stephanie Neidler, whom own and operate Eats N’ Treats, located in Sandusky. She was a 2013 graduate of Perkins High School and continued her education at The Ohio State University, graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts. Shelbi currently resides in Downtown Sandusky with her Mini Goldendoodle, Charlie. In her spare time, Shelbi enjoys spending time on the water, hanging out with friends, shopping, and taking walks with her dog. Shelbi began working for Griffing Flying Service in December of 2018 and currently serves as the Director of Island Operations.

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Joshua Ontko

Director of Maintenance

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Josh was born and raised in Port Clinton, Ohio, where he graduated from Port Clinton High School in 1993. He continued his education at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, graduating in 2000. Josh began working for Griffing Flying Service as a Line Service Technician immediately after high school. Since 2012, Josh has served as our Director of Maintenance. Josh currently resides in Huron with his two cats, Thelma and Louise (nicknamed, Bad and Worse). In his spare time, Josh enjoys going to amusement parks, cooking, and learning about history and art.

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Kara Clifford

director of training

Kara was raised in Sandusky, Ohio, where she graduated from Perkins High School in 2011. She continued her education at Bowling Green State University, where she majored in Flight Technology and Operations, graduating in 2015. Kara obtained her Private Pilot License during her senior year of high school at the Sandusky Airport. She later interned at Griffing Flying Service as a Line Service Technician and she would wash, wax, and fuel airplanes, and mow grass. Kara currently resides in Sandusky with her husband, Thomas, and her two pitbulls, Monty and Roscoe. In her spare time, Kara enjoys longboarding, wakeboarding, boating, and doing yoga. Kara began working for Griffing Flying Service in May of 2015 and currently serves as the Director of Training.

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Aubrey Griffing Chandler

Director of Human Resources

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Aubrey was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, to Tom and Kelly Griffing. She graduated from Perkins High School in 1998 and continued her education at the Tiffin Academy of Hair Design, earning her Cosmetology License in 2000. While in high school and attending cosmetology school, Aubrey also worked for Griffing Flying Service. In 1995, Aubrey began working in the restaurant located inside the Sandusky Airport. She later helped in the Accounting Department and now serves remotely as the Director of Human Resources. Aubrey and her husband, Bart, reside in Vermilion. In Aubrey’s spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

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Rachel McGinnis

Staff Accountant

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Rachel was born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio, where she graduated from Columbian High School in 2009. She continued her education at the University of Toledo and graduated with a Bachelors in Accounting in 2014. In 2012, Rachel met her husband, Josh, while they both worked at Cedar Point. Josh and Rachel currently reside in Sandusky with their sons, Kai and Theo, and two dogs, Pepper and Pongo. Rachel began working for Griffing Flying Service in March of 2016 and currently serves as the Staff Accountant.

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kaden keegan

aircraft detailing supervisor

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Kaden was born and raised in Castalia, Ohio, where he graduated from Margaretta High School in 2019. Post graduation, Kaden found an interest in flying and began taking flight lessons at Griffing Flying Service. Kaden currently resides in Castalia with his dogs, Dexter and Riggins. In his spare time, Kaden enjoys boating, fishing, martial arts, classic cars and motorcycles. He is also an Assistant Wrestling Coach at Margaretta High School. Kaden began working for Griffing Flying Service in September of 2020 and currently serves as the Aircraft Detailing Supervisor.

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Charles (chase) tolhurst

pilot

Chase was born and raised in Brookville, Indiana, where he graduated from Franklin County High School in 2020. His first training flight took place in 2017 and he began official flight training in 2019. In his spare time, Chase enjoys hiking and playing golf and tennis. Chase began working for Griffing Flying Service in November of 2022 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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Jeffrey Danevich

pilot

Jeff was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, where he graduated from Admiral King High School in 1985. He later continued his education at Columbia Southern University, graduating in 2009. Jeff is a retired Firefighter for the Sandusky Fire Department and also owns Escape Rooms by Franknicky, located in Sandusky. Jeff and his wife, Kathleen, currently reside in Huron. He also has one son, Spencer. Jeff began working for Griffing Flying Service in November of 2016 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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Jeremy colvin

pilot

Jeremy was born and raised in Castalia, Ohio, and graduated from Clyde High School in 1991. He continued his education at Terra Community College and graduated from the University of Toledo in 1995. Jeremy began flying in 1993 and currently holds over 10,000 flight hours. He is also a licensed A & P Mechanic. Jeremy currently resides in Bellevue with his wife, Jennifer, two daughters, Skylar and Cheyenne, and their Chocolate Lab, Piper. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys boating, golfing, and all things that fly! Jeremy began working for Griffing Flying Service in 1998, but recently returned in August of 2022 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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michael dougher

pilot

Michael was born and raised in Valley City, Ohio, where he graduated from Buckeye High School in 2017. He continued his education at Bowling Green State University, graduating in 2021. Michael began flight training during his senior year of high school and obtained his PPL at SkyPark. He currently resides in Port Clinton with his yellow lab, Cooper. In Michael’s free time, he enjoys playing soccer and hanging out with friends. Michael began working for Griffing Flying Service in May of 2021 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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rachel rayburn

pilot

Rachel was born and raised in Oak Harbor, Ohio, where she graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2018. She continued her education at Bowling Green State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Aviation with a specialization in Flight Technology & Operations, graduating in 2021. Rachel currently resides in Sandusky with her 2 cats, Dobby and Winky. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys playing volleyball, rollerblading, and scuba diving. Rachel began working for Griffing Flying Service in June of 2022 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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Ken schirg

Pilot

Ken was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, where he graduated from St. Mary Central Catholic High School in 1999. He continued his education at Bowling Green State University, eventually transferring to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and graduating in 2003. Ken obtained his CFI and CFII between 2004 and 2008 while employed at Griffing Flying Service. He currently resides in Ostrander with his family. In his spare time, Ken enjoys running, working out, and watching Ohio State football, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Guardians. Ken returned to Griffing Flying Service in October of 2021 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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Ryan Eckel

Pilot

Ryan was born and raised in Marblehead, Ohio, where he graduated from Danbury High School in 2006. He continued his education at Bowling Green State University, where he majored in Flight Technology & Operations, graduating in 2010. Ryan currently resides in Marblehead with his girlfriend, Jordan. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys boating, hiking, and snowboarding. He is also a volunteer Firefighter for the Portage Fire District in Oak Harbor. Ryan began working for Griffing Flying Service in November of 2016 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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Steven Porter

Pilot

Steve was born and raised in Medina, Ohio, where he graduated from Medina Senior High School in 2003. He continued his education at Ohio University, graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor in Meteorology/Physics. Steve also received his Master’s in Geography from OU, graduating again in 2012. Steve currently resides in Catawba Island with his wife, Eileen. In Steve’s spare time, he enjoys backpacking, hiking, listening to vinyl/cassette music, photography, and cooking. Steve learned to fly at Skypark, located in Wadsworth. He is also the former President of the Athens Aero Club and had a previous career in the geospatial industry. Steve began working for Griffing Flying Service in July of 2017 and currently serves as a Pilot.

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abbey thomas

flight instructor

Abbey was born in Mason, Ohio, and raised in Findlay where she graduated from Findlay High School in 2016. She continued her education at Bowling Green State University, where she majored in Flight Technology and Operations, graduating in 2020. Abbey obtained all of the following while attending BGSU: PPL, IR, CPL (single and multi-engine), CFI, and CFII. Her interest in aviation was sparked by her grandfather’s career as an aircraft mechanic and pilot, as well as her father’s career as a pilot in the Air Force and for Delta Airlines. She currently resides in Sandusky and in her spare time, Abbey enjoys playing basketball, wakeboarding, and waterskiing. Abbey began working for Griffing Flying Service in May of 2021 and currently serves as a Flight Instructor.

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jacob byron

flight instructor

Jacob was born and raised in New London, Ohio, where he graduated from New London High School in 2012. He continued his education at the University of Akron, graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor in Aerospace Systems Engineering. Jacob also attended ATP Flight School in Houston, Texas from 2019-2020. He currently resides in New London with his wife, Lindsey, and their dog, Casanova. Jacob began working for Griffing Flying Service in July of 2022 and currently serves as a Flight Instructor.

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spencer johnson

flight instructor

Spencer was born and raised in Sylvania, Ohio, where he graduated from Sylvania Northview High School in 2018. He continued his education at Bowling Green State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation in 2022. Spencer obtained his CFI and CFII at Midwest Corporate Air in Bellefontaine, Ohio. He currently resides in Sylvania with his girlfriend, Lauren. In his spare time, Spencer enjoys playing guitar, riding (and fixing) his motorcycle, and watching college football. Spencer began working for Griffing Flying Service in October of 2022 and currently serves as a Flight Instructor.

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benjamin vanderpool

a & p mechanic

Ben was born and raised in Medina, Ohio, and attended Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, graduating in 2017. He continued his education at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, graduating in 2021 with his Airframe and Powerplant License. Ben currently resides in Port Clinton. In his spare time, Ben enjoys art/drawing, hiking, shooting, playing music, playing video games, camping and kayaking. Fun fact: He can speak a little German! Ben began working for Griffing Flying Service in June 2021 and currently serves as an A & P Mechanic.

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ian sparks

A & P MECHANIC

Ian was born and raised in Clyde, Ohio, where he graduated from Clyde High School in 2020. He continued his education at the Indianapolis Institute of Aeronautics, graduating in 2022 with his Airframe and Powerplant License. Ian currently resides in Clyde, with his 2 cats and 2 dogs. In his spare time, Ian enjoys anything outdoors, including camping, biking, and swimming. Ian began working for Griffing Flying Service in June of 2022 and currently serves as an A & P Mechanic.

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SPENCER FRIES

MECHANIC ASSISTANT

Spencer was born and raised in Monroeville, Ohio, where he currently attends Monroeville High School. Spencer will be a graduate of the Class of 2023. He currently resides in Monroeville with his family. In his spare time, Spencer enjoys playing basketball, working on his car, working with his hands, and being outside. Spencer began working for Griffing Flying Service in June of 2021 and currently serves as a Mechanic Assistant.

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Madelyn hipp

dispatcher

Madelyn was born and raised in Norwalk, Ohio, where she graduated from St. Paul High School in 2019. She continued her education at Purdue University, graduating in 2022 with a Bachelor in Aviation Management and a minor in History. While at Purdue, Madelyn was a member of the University’s Flight Team and a coach for Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation. She was also a member of the professional aviation fraternity, Alpha Eta Rho. Madelyn currently resides in Norwalk with her family and Calico cat, Eleanor. In her spare time, Madelyn enjoys watching baseball, motorsports, hockey, and golf. She also writes for a couple of sports journalism websites and she’s even got her own NASCAR journalism blog. Madelyn began working for Griffing Flying Service in September of 2022 and currently serves as a Dispatcher.

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charleigh smith

aircraft detailer

Charleigh was born and raised in Marblehead, Ohio, where she currently attends Danbury High School. Charleigh will be a graduate of the Class of 2023. She currently resides in Marblehead with her family and one cat. Charleigh began working for Griffing Flying Service in September of 2021 and currently serves as an Aircraft Detailer.

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madison palmer

aircraft detailer

Madison was born and raised in Port Clinton, Ohio, where she graduated from Port Clinton High School in 2022. She currently resides in Port Clinton with her family. Madison began working for Griffing Flying Service in October of 2021 and currently serves as an Aircraft Detailer.

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Peyton (PJ) FIELD jr.

DISPATCHER

PJ was raised in Tampa, Florida, where he graduated from Tampa Preparatory School in 2012. While at Tampa Prep, PJ was on the soccer team – winning 2 state championships in 2010 and 2012. PJ continued his education at High Point University, where he majored in Business Administration and Marketing, graduating in 2016. Post graduation, PJ obtained his Private, Instrument and Commercial licenses through FlightGest in Raleigh, North Carolina. PJ currently resides in Sandusky with his dog, Nala. In his spare time, PJ enjoys wakeboarding, surfing, scuba diving, playing soccer and taking hikes with Nala. He is a PADI certified open water diver and also has his black belt in Tae Kwon Do. PJ began working for Griffing Flying Service in October of 2020 and currently serves as a Dispatcher.

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sarah sheppard

aircraft detailer

Sarah was born and raised in Port Clinton, Ohio, where she graduated from Port Clinton High School in 2022. She currently resides in Port Clinton with her family, two dogs, and one cat. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys walking her dogs, cleaning, and fishing. Sarah began working for Griffing Flying Service in November of 2020 and currently serves as an Aircraft Detailer.

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skylar colvin

aircraft detailer

Skylar was born and raised in Bellevue, Ohio, and currently attends Clyde High School. Skylar will be a graduate of the Class of 2024. She currently resides in Bellevue with her family and their Chocolate Lab, Piper. In her spare time, Skylar enjoys playing softball and lifting. Skylar began working for Griffing Flying Service in March of 2022 and currently serves as an Aircraft Detailer.