Mike Smith: Mike is President of Scope Aircraft Finance, providing financing solutions in the owner- flown piston, turboprop, and light jet spaces. Mike has been in the aircraft finance industry since 2011, with over 15 years experience in banking and aviation. Prior to Scope, Mike held positions as a flight coordinator at NetJets, a flight instructor at Commercial Aviation Corporation in Northeast Ohio, and held various retail responsibilities at two community banks. Mike graduated from Ohio University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation and a Business minor.  He holds Certified Flight Instructor and Instrument Flight Instructor ratings.

Vice President

Mike Christie: Mike provides business aircraft leasing and financing for clients of Global Jet Capital in the Upper Midwest and Western US.  His current role as Vice President of Origination continues a 20+ year career of serving clients in the middle market, large corporate and high net worth individual markets. In addition to his role at ORBAA, Mike serves on the finance committee for Cristo Rey Columbus High School and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio and the golf committee for the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association.  Mike enjoys watching his kids progress in musical theater and band, snowboarding, road cycling and hikes to nowhere.  


Evelyn Merkle: Evelyn is the Senior Scheduler at Nationwide Insurance, where she began her aviation career in 2018. Evelyn has served as ORBAA's Scholarship Chair for 3 years and enjoys highlighting the many career opportunities this industry holds for upcoming students. Evelyn graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science, an MBA from Otterbein University, and holds an Aircraft Dispatcher Certification. 

At-Large Board Members

Brian Finley: Brian is an Aviation Lender with Scope Aircraft Finance. Prior to Scope, Brian worked with an aircraft OEM in finance, contracts, and sales. He holds a degree in Aviation Management from Bowling Green State University and has his private pilot and remote pilot certificates. Brian became involved with ORBAA in 2013 and was the recipient of ORBAA’s first scholarship. Currently, Brian is an at-large board member and chair’s the Membership Committee.

Jerry Eichenberger: As an Aviation lawyer, Jerry devotes the majority of his practice to various sectors of the aviation industry. He routinely litigates aircraft accident cases as well as business disputes and administrative proceedings. Calfee, Halter, Griswold LLP

Ryan Avery: Ryan is a corporate pilot with Nationwide Insurance. He has been a part of Ohio's aviation community for over 20 years. He has flown for freight, fractional, and corporate operators. He has also spent much of his career instructing, from primary students to ATP type ratings. 

James Murray, Reynolds Jet

Rick St. Onge, Chemed Corp

ORBAA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 5207 Norwich Street, Hilliard, Ohio 43026

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