Over more than 40 years in the aviation industry, entrepreneur Chris Finnoff has achieved noteworthy success in bringing new and innovative aircraft to market. He started his aviation career as a top salesman with Beech Aircraft and Learjet, and was manager of advanced aircraft marketing at Lear.
His next venture was as vice president and partner of Micro Motion, a Boulder-based research and development company where he was instrumental in adding major sales and marketing components of its patented inventions, the most famous of which is the coriolis mass flow meter.
Finnoff then founded Turbo West, distributor of the Piper Cheyenne, and subsequently the Beech Aircraft, for the Rocky Mountain Region. He served as president of Turbo West from 1977 to 1994, during which time the company grew into a full-service organization for the sales and service of helicopters, turboprops, and jet aircraft.
In 1995, he was asked to write the business plan for the Swiss Pilatus PC12, a single-engine, 9-passenger turboprop aircraft, to enter the North American marketplace. He was then invited to serve as founding president and CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft, the company responsible for introducing and marketing the Pilatus PC12 program in North and South America. The program included sales, service, final manufacturing, and completions of the PC12 in Colorado, and Finnoff drove product improvements in the aircraft during his five-year tenure.
In 2001, he was recruited to serve as vice president of sales for Eclipse Aviation, the first company to introduce the very light jet. At Eclipse, he achieved the remarkable feat of securing the non-refundable pre-sales for 740 aircraft within a 12-month period. Following that, he was president of the commercial group at Adam Aircraft, where he directed the launch of the A-700 jet and the marketing of the A-500 twin-engine piston.
He now runs Finnoff Aviation, LLC, a company specializing in the sale of previously owned Pilatus PC12 aircraft. His sister company, Finnoff Aviation Products, LLC, develops and markets new products for the PC12. Other noteworthy achievements include being a founding member of the Colorado Music Festival and a founding investor in the new Frontier Airlines.
Finnoff earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1967. He started his first business venture, “The Spoke” bicycle shop, while pursuing that degree. He currently serves on the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences External Advisory Board.
He and his wife, Pat, live in Boulder, Colorado.