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Former Manatee County administrator named CEO of Sarasota aviation firm

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  • | 2:00 p.m. June 22, 2023
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County Administrator Scott Hopes departed on Feb. 7 following what commissioners said was a resignation.
County Administrator Scott Hopes departed on Feb. 7 following what commissioners said was a resignation.
Photo by Ian Swaby
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Two years after its inception, AeroVanti Club's founder has given way to a new CEO. 

Scott Hopes, a former Manatee County administrator who was also previously elected to the Manatee School District Board, where he served a four-year term, including one year as chair, succeeds founder Patrick Britton-Harr in leading the private aviation startup. As CEO, Hopes is focused on accomplishing sustainable membership growth, fleet expansion and member experience, according to a press release.

“AeroVanti was founded on the idea that a remarkable private aviation experience should be accessible and approachable," Hopes says in the release. "I look forward to continuing Patrick’s vision of marrying luxury, convenience, and value in private aviation, while also upgrading the member experience and continuing the incredible growth AeroVanti has already experienced.”

After 22 months as county administrator, Hopes resigned from Manatee County in February during an emergency commission meeting. As reported by the Business Observer's sister paper the East County Observer, the commissioners approved a separation agreement between Hopes and the county. 

The relationship between administrator and the county became rocky after Hopes hired Mitchell Teitelbaum as a deputy administrator. In January, the county commissioners voted to rescind that confirmation in the wake of a sexual harassment allegation. 

According to the East County Observer, communication issues between the administrator and commissioners began to arise and a commissioners' workshop had been scheduled to discuss Hopes' goals and objectives, along with the direction of the county.

When it comes to aviation, Hopes is no stranger to the industry. He founded Miami-based HMD Airways in 2010 before selling it to International Flight Services in 2013. He’s also logged over 3,500 hours as a pilot in command.

Britton-Harr founded the club, which is dual-headquartered in Sarasota and Annapolis, Maryland, in 2021. Since then, AeroVanti’s revenue has grown 400%, the release states, and has secured exclusive partnerships with the University of Maryland, University of Central Florida, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Cubs, Spire Motorsports and U.S. Sailing. He will remain with the company as founder and chairman, overseeing business development and strategic partnerships.

“Hopes’ experience, strategic direction, and steady leadership have been valued assets at every organization with which he’s been associated, including as a healthcare executive, a county administrator overseeing a multi-billion-dollar budget and even as a private airline founder who scaled and sold a successful private airline,” Britton-Harr says. “AeroVanti is poised for phenomenal growth and Hopes is an excellent leader to have at the helm."


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