in 1980, went for basic training in Illinois. He spent most of his duty in Nevada, where he earned a degree in propulsion engineering. When he returned from the Navy, he worked at Lake City Metal Processing in Painesville and soon took over ownership. In 2005 he completed work on his own front-engine dragster and won first place at Thompson Speedway the first time he competed. In 2006 he completed the building of a LaDawri Conquest kit car, a 1958 design.
In 10th grade at Riverside High School, Chris had taken the Aviation Ground School class, taught by Gretchen Reed. She and her husband Charles had just purchased a home and 68 acres in Leroy, Ohio, which would soon become Pheasant Run Airport. Chris helped the Reeds clear the trees for the runways and soon became a regular at the airport, where he flew often with them and where Charles schooled him in aircraft repair and maintenance. Working for several months in 2009 at Titan Aircraft in Austinburg, Ohio, enhanced Chris’ knowledge of aircraft structures, systems and design.
Shortly after Charles died in 2008, Chris took up residence at Pheasant Run and began intensive work in aircraft repair and construction. He earned a sport pilot’s license and built a CGS Hawk II, a light sport aircraft. He then built a Titan Tornado, also light sport. Counting the flight time he had with the Reeds and the solo time in his two airplanes, he had logged nearly 700 hours by 2014. Chris took over management of Pheasant Run in 2009. He and Gretchen work together on accessions, strategic planning and organization of interns, volunteers and work crews. Chris is responsible for building maintenance, property development, security, and overseeing maintenance of 21 aircraft.
Christopher Joles, a lifetime resident of Lake County, Ohio, was born in 1961 and grew up in Leroy Township (Painesville). His parents, Clarence “Bucky” and Nancy Joles, instilled a strong work ethic in him and their two other children. As a teenager, Chris repaired cars at home and soon began working on tractors, lawn care machinery and motorcycles. His early love of building model airplanes was the beginning of a long fascination with aviation. His interest in history was greatly enhanced by his sixth-grade teacher at Leroy Elementary School, Trent Norris, who became a lifelong friend.
Chris joined the Junior Firefighters Program at the Leroy Fire Department, which was then staffed by volunteers. His mother and father were both firefighters; his mother, an emergency room nurse, was the first female firefighter in the county. Chris participated in almost all of the township’s activities.
Chris enlisted in the Navy while at Riverside High School, and after graduation