In 1981, Mike Tarascio was invited to join his business partner at an electronics conference in New Jersey. Mike’s interest was piqued when the invite included flying there in a small 4-seater airplane. He eagerly accepted the invitation and this became an event that changed his life.
That first flight from Long Island to New Jersey exposed Mike to the possibilities of personal aviation and planted the seed that led to his passionate pursuit of both a lifestyle and a business built around introducing and enabling others the freedom and privilege of flight. That first flight experience dovetailed with Mike’s entrepreneurial nature. He became determined to get his pilots license and to create a company that would lead others to discover aviation. His personal experience brought him to the understanding that flying was in reach to most anyone who has dreamt of flying.
Together with his wife Maureen, Mike purchased an airplane in 1982 and started Air East Airways. Air East continued to grow and expand, eventually adding more aircraft and services such as aircraft maintenance, avionics, and aircraft charter.
Joined by their sons Nick and Greg, they built a facility at Republic Airport in 2000 where they still operate today. In 2003, Air East acquired Ventura. Founded in 1955, they brought an even greater company legacy, a highly experienced management team, and a name they liked better than their own.
Today, Ventura while still led by the family with Mike flying and fixing jet equipment, Maureen managing the charter sales office, Nick in the role of CEO, and Greg leading the maintenance and avionics department, the team has grown to include some of the sharpest and most passionate management, administration, flying and maintenance talent.