Meet The Team

Mark Pugliese

Founder & CEO

Mark is perhaps the most passionate person about aviation you will come across. Being a professional pilot, Mark found an opportunity to do what he loves and combine it with helping people in need. In particular none more important than children. For this reason he has created Flights4Kids in the most professional manner, where he has made supporting children, their family and the Children’s Hospital his number one priority.

He has been involved in many various roles in the aviation industry and is a member of the National Business Aviation Association, which is the leading organisation that fosters support to General Aviation worldwide. He uses this membership to gain the best possible industry knowledge in making Flights4Kids the most efficient and effective not-for-profit air transport provider in the country.

Mark’s experience outside of aviation currently include being a coach for the Victorian Karate Team, mainly training the children’s group. Previously he was Victorian, Australian and Oceania Karate champion as well as Victorian Team Captain. He is also a qualified Close Quarter Combat Instructor. These years of discipline and dealing with children is proving to be a valuable asset in running the day to day operations for Flights4Kids. You may even see him piloting your flight, doing what he loves most.

Leigh Sampson

Co-Founder & Director

Leigh is an ex police officer who served with Victoria Police for several years and is a qualified commercial helicopter pilot. He has been trained by St John Ambulance Service and achieved his Level 3 Occupational First Aid Certificate. Leigh has studied martial arts for many years and has volunteered at his local Tae Kwon Do club where he instructed kids from 5 to 12 and adults.

Being a commercial pilot has been a lifelong dream for Leigh. He has a passion for aviation and saw a fantastic opportunity to put these skills to use with Flights4Kids

Having spent a lot of time when he was younger traveling around remote areas of Victoria, NSW and Queensland he observed the people who live in these areas every day of their lives don’t have the convenience of major hospitals and specialist medical services.

Providing families with free transport from their homes to the hospital will be a great way to share his passion for flying and achieve a sense of fulfilment helping families travel long distances.

John Frazzetto

Director & CFO

John is a Chartered Accountant, with Business Studies Degree and has run his accounting practice for 35 years. He also was previously CEO for Pasta Di Casa Pty Ltd a Food Product Processors & Manufacturers business for 6 years where he was successful in expanding the organisation in distributing its products to all the major supermarket retailers.

Currently the President of Karate Victoria and the Treasurer of the Australian Karate Federation Inc. (9 years).

John was also on the board of Assisi Aged Care for over 12 months. A father of three and also a grandfather, John knows the predicament involved to so many families when a loved one is in need of care. Especially when it’s a child, he is always one of the first people you will see helping out as much as he possibly can to assist. Along with his extensive accounting and business background and like his fellow directors, John has spent numerous amount of years helping kids with their martial arts, providing not just lessons in self-defence, but importantly lessons in life. Flights4Kids is very fortunate to have John on board providing all his wonderful knowledge and experience with the most amazing charisma of any person you can ever meet to the day to day operations for the charity.