Meet Your Key Aviation Insurance Team

Nicole Banks – Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Nicole D. Banks joined The James A Gardner Company, as an Aviation Insurance Specialty Broker in 2011 after a distinguished career as a pilot, and FBO owner. In addition to serving her clients as an outstanding Account executive, she also serves as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Agency.

Nicole has over 25 years of experience in the aviation industry. She began her career in aviation as a high school junior taking flying lessons (soloing at 17) and working as customer service representative and flight line attendant at Decatur Athens Aero Service in Decatur Alabama. She has worked in nearly every phase of an FBO operation, eventually being promoted to General Manager after 15 years with the company.
While working full time at the airport she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1994. In 2005 she was appointed as an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor. Currently she enjoys traveling in her Piper Arrow and continuing to show her Interstate L-6; which was the 1996 Sun-n-Fun Reserve Grand Champion, Antique Aircraft and the 1995 Oshkosh Antique Aircraft WWII/Military Liaison runner-up.

Scott MacKenzie – Northeast and International Sales

William Scott MacKenzie (Scott) joined the James A. Gardner Company as Regional Vice President – Northeast and International in 2011.  Scott came from Assurance International Brokerage Corporation (AIB), an agency he formed in 1997 that specializes in foreign based airlines, commercial accounts, helicopters, and corporate flight departments.  He has experience with a wide range of accounts and placements – including Reinsurance and Quota-Share.  He has his Surplus Lines License, and is also an Instrument Rated Private Pilot.

Before opening AIB, Scott was an Assistant Vice President in the Aerospace Division of Alexander and Alexander in NY.  He began his career in aviation insurance at CIGNA in Philadelphia, PA, where he last served as a Senior Underwriter at the company’s Home Office.  While at Alexander and Alexander, he specialized in large aviation risks, including corporate flight departments, large commercial operations, and airline accounts.  He eventually expanded into writing international customers.

Scott is a graduate of Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus.  He began his career in aviation at a young age, getting a job as a Line Boy at the Hershey, PA airport when he was 16 years old.  He took his first solo flight there just a few months later.


Joe Gravalec – Account Executive

Joe Gravalec is an experienced professional pilot having flown and/or instructed in a wide variety of general aviation aircraft from tail draggers to corporate jets. He is an ATP, CFI/II/MEI with close to 8000 total hours and over 5000 hours of instruction given. He founded and managed, for 17 years, one of the most successful flight schools in the South East, which won the most prestigious NATA Flight School of the Year award in 2012 and was voted a favorite numerous times by AOPA members. Joe brings his absolute dedication for operational and flight training excellence to the James A Gardner Company as an Account Executive and Aviation Insurance Broker. No matter what your aviation insurance need, Joe has the experience and knowledge to find the right solutions at the best value in the market place. Plus, the complete dedication to the personal service you deserve. Give Joe a call at 678-278-2100, or email him at


Joni Schultz – Account Executive

Joni’s interest in her clients go far beyond getting your business for insurance – she is your partner in helping you design your aviation program to enhance the safety and efficiency of your entire organization.

Because of her experience as a dual-rated pilot, fixed-wing and rotorcraft, and having built a solid foundation in aviation insurance underwriting with one of the largest companies in the industry she is able to speak the language and understand its nuances’. Her natural ability to work through the details to arrive with the proper program for each client’s needs, no matter the size of business. Her ultimate goal with every client is to exceed their expectations and earn their trust. Among her pet peeves are: brokers that don’t stick up for their clients’ interests and think of insurance as a dry paperwork exercise, when it’s really about protecting people’s families and passions.

Born and raised in New England and making her way south as soon as possible, her formal higher education was completed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She’s a problem solver and natural people person. She and her husband reside in the Houston area with their daughter, two dogs and a cat. The Schultz Family is truly an aviation family; they are both professional pilots and aircraft owners. You’ll find that Joni’s broad aviation experience and insurance proficiency will profit you in surprising ways. Pick up the phone and give her a call TODAY!  678-278-2100.

Katrina Johnston - Customer Service Manager

Katrina came to the James A Gardner Company as our Customer Service Manager from a large multi-national insurance brokerage house.  Beginning her insurance career at an Independent Insurance Agency near her home town, she has over 7 years’ experience in property and casualty customer service.  Katrina is your go to person for Certificates of Insurance, policies, endorsements, invoices, and other documentation associated with your police administration.  She can be reached at 678-278-2100 or email at