Management Team / Advisory Board Bios
Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board
Matt Chasen, Founder and CEO of LIFT Aircraft, is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and adventure sports enthusiast. While getting his MBA at The University of Texas in 2003, Matt founded uShip - the first and largest online marketplace for shipping with over $200M in annual gross sales. Matt served as uShip CEO until 2016 and received a Best CEO award from the Austin Business Journal (2012). He has earned Austin Under 40 and Texas Rising Star honors (2011) and was an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year finalist (2010). Prior to business school, Matt was an engineer at Boeing in Seattle, where he worked on the F-22 Fighter, Airborne Laser, and other advanced aerospace projects. Prior to Boeing, Matt studied mechanical and aerospace engineering at U.T. and was a NASA scholarship recipient. Matt is a pilot, an avid sailor and scuba diver, and has completed the Texas Water Safari - known as the & World Toughest Canoe Race. Matt lives in Austin with his wife and two children.
Balazs Kerulo, Chief Engineer of LIFT Aircraft, was one of the first to ride a man-sized multicopter, back in 2015. He has a degree in aeronautical engineering and is a trained professional fixed-wing pilot. He has extensive experience in digital twin technologies, simulation, and programming.
Chief Financial Officer
Kenny Miller is the Chief Financial Officer at LIFT Aircraft. He received his BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and his MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
Prior to joining LIFT, Kenny led technology, telecom, and media investing for Nokomis Capital. He previously held positions with Bonanza Capital, Applied Materials, JatoTech Ventures, and Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Director of Business Development
Kevin Rustagi is the Director of Business Development at LIFT Aircraft. He coordinates partnerships for R&D, Agility Prime, and first response use. As a private pilot (Cessna, Cirrus), he is a strong advocate for unlocking the skies. His prior experience includes co-founding high-tech apparel company Ministry of Supply, working on the iPhone’s speaker grille at Apple, and studying engineering and business at MIT and Stanford.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Kristin Giffin is Director of Marketing and Communications at LIFT Aircraft. She is a proven team leader, project manager, and program director. Prior to joining LIFT, Kristin was the Senior Communications Director for Children’s Hunger Fund, a Charity Navigator 4-star international nonprofit organization that has delivered more than $1B in food and aid.
Jace 'Digit' McCown
Director of Flight Operations & Chief Pilot
A veteran of the US Air Force, Jace 'Digit' McCown is Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot at LIFT Aircraft. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from the US Air Force Academy and his Graduate Certificate in Agroforestry from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jace is a licensed Commercial Pilot, a Certified Flight Instructor, and a licensed Small Unmanned Aircraft System Remote Pilot. Prior to joining LIFT, Jace was a Flight Test Engineer & Chief Pilot at Skyways Air Transportation.