For Brenda Halvorson, Papillon Group means family. She grew up with the helicopter business and has been a driving force in the transportation and attractions industry for more than 30 years. As the second generation of Papillon leadership, Halvorson oversees the direction of all Papillon Group business interests and maintains key contracts with numerous industry and government partners including Department of Defense; Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife; U.S. Forest Service; State Departments in Arizona, Nevada, California and Montana. She also enjoys working intimately with the Tribal Council Offices of the Havasupai, Hualapai and Navajo Indian Nations.
Under Halvorson’s leadership, Papillon Group has seen tremendous growth. Shortly after she took the helm in 1993 as President/CEO the helicopter terminal located at Grand Canyon South Rim was expanded into a state-of-the-art facility that includes 15 helipads, with underground fueling – a unique feature few tour operators utilize.
In 1997, Halvorson took a chance on Las Vegas and opened helicopters tours at McCarran International Airport. In 2005 and 2007, the Halvorson family purchased Grand Canyon Airlines in Arizona and Scenic Airlines in Nevada. Rapid growth culminated in the debut of Papillon’s $9 million Boulder City Aero Center, an ultramodern terminal housing all of the Halvorson’s Nevada operations under one roof, including Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Grand Canyon Helicopters, Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines and Canyon Flight Trading Company. Today the entire Papillon Group fleet has grown to more than 75 aircraft.
Halvorson has served on numerous boards of directors including Elling Halvorson Inc., Monarch Enterprises, Inc., Rainier Heli International, the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Air Tour Association. Organizations of which she is a member include Helicopter Association International (HAI); National Business Aircraft Association; Helicopter Tour Operators Committee and Tour Operators Program of Safety. She has received numerous honors, including the Rotary Club of Tusayan’s “Citizen of the Year” for Grand Canyon. Halvorson is also a founding member of the Tusayan Fire Department in Arizona.
Brenda shares her life with Mark Rex. She is the proud parent of 2 children and 7 grandchildren.