Our Team

Our team of instructors tailor their approach for every student. Come learn from the best!

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

President & Co-Owner - ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI & CFI-G

With a career in the United States Air Force spanning more than 20 years, Mike began as a Certified Glider Flight Instructor where he met his wife, Lora. He was a T-38 instructor, evaluator and check airman, and served as an operational test pilot and training program manager for the C-130J mobility aircraft. After his retirement from the USAF, Mike worked at CAE and L3 Link, two of the top global aviation training companies, leading the development of comprehensive training systems for all types of military and civil aircraft. This wealth of aviation training experience was the catalyst for he and Lora to start the Diamond Flight Center of Texas, where their shared love of aviation is now instilled in the next generation of aviators.

Lora Lewis

Lora Lewis

Vice President & Co-Owner - ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, CFI-G, Gold Seal

Lora began her flying career by earning her private pilot airplane certificate while she was in high school, and added her glider rating at the US Air Force Academy, where she met her husband, Mike, on the glider flight line. She took a break from flying for 26 years to raise and homeschool their 7 children, and continued her flight training in 2015, adding glider, single, and multi-engine commercial, instrument, and instructor ratings. Lora is now an airline pilot, flying the ERJ-175 for American Eagle/Envoy, in addition to teaching in Diamond aircraft and volunteering as a flight instructor in gliders and airplanes with Civil Air Patrol. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, cycling, and running, having competed twice in the triathlon world championships and also the Boston Marathon.

Laurie Peake

Laurie Peake

Lead Instructor - CFI, CFII MEI, CFI-G, Gold Seal

After being given a Discovery Flight from her husband 7 years ago, Laurie got hooked. After earning her Private, she continued with Instrument, Commercial, Tailwheel, a bit of aerobatics, then CFI, CFI-I, Multi and Multi Instructor, also achieving her Gold Seal. Laurie enjoys sharing the wisdom from all of her great instructors including Lora Lewis who trained her in the Diamond DA42. She loves seeing her students’ BIG smiles when they earn their ratings and certificates.

Alex Beckett

Alex Beckett

Assistant Chief Pilot - CFI, CFII, MEI, IGI, Gold Seal

Alex was born in Midland Texas, raised in Austin and recently graduated with a Business degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Like many of our instructors, aviation runs in his family — his great grandfather was a pilot in Mexico, his uncle is a Private Pilot, and his mom obtained her Commercial Multi Engine add on rating with Diamond Flight Center of Texas in 2021. When he’s not flying, Alex enjoys volunteering with the CAF, working on vintage aircraft, working out, and helping others achieve their goals.

Marisa Beckett

Marisa Beckett

Director of Operations - MBA, CMEL, CSEL, Tailwheel, Seaplane, AGI, IGI

Marisa was born in Texas but grew up in Mexico. She is a native Spanish speaker and her education includes a BBA double major in Marketing & Finance from St. Edward’s University in Austin as well as an MBA in Business Management from the University of Texas – PB.  She has over 2 decades of small business management experience & has also worked Internationally. In 2017, she fell in love with Aviation! Marisa is a Commercial Pilot currently working on her CFI Instructor Certificate. She also flies Tailwheel airplanes and has a Seaplane license. Her Multi-Engine commercial certificate was completed at Diamond Flight Center of Texas in 2021. When she’s not working or flight training, she enjoys flying her Cessna 172 “Lucy”.

Kristi Roy

Kristi Roy

Administrative Director - Private Pilot

Kristi is a Top Producing Realtor in the DFW metroplex. She brings her skills and experience to Diamond Flight Center of Texas and is exceptional with customer service as well as all administrative duties, aircraft sales and is the smiling and friendly face that everyone looks forward to seeing in the front office. Flying is one of her passions and she has been doing it since 2020. Her dogs, Zoe & Zulu as well as her kids keep her busy as well.

Quinn Bowen

Quinn Bowen

Flight Instructor - CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, Gold Seal

Quinn was born and raised in the DFW area and grew up learning about the aviation industry from his mother, who has been a flight attendant for 20+ years at American Airlines. Quinn earned his Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of North Texas in 2017. After working a year in sales, he decided to pursue piloting full-time and never looked back. Quinn loves passing his knowledge on to others, and sees every flight as an opportunity to learn something new while having fun. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, church activities and being with his wife.

Ciara Smith

Ciara Smith

Flight Instructor - CFI, CFII

Ciara started her flying journey with the American Airlines Cadet Academy in 2019. Prior to her flight training she traveled the world as a flight attendant for American Airlines and taught 7th grade math at a local middle school in North Texas. Outside of sharing her love for flying with her students, she enjoys attending air shows, visiting the dog park, and spending time with her husband and baby girl.

James Lee

James Lee

Flight Instructor & Maintenance Manager - CFI, CFII, MEI

James started his aviation journey back in 2012. Upon his graduation from Kennesaw State University he relocated to Texas from Florida where he spent many years as an Air Force mechanic working on the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. When he isn’t teaching or flying, he enjoys the outdoors — camping or hiking with his dog “Roscoe.”

Jake Brown

Jake Brown

Flight Instructor - CFI, CFII, MEI

Jake is a former United States Navy Seal and served 7 years. He started flying in 2019 and has plans to become an airline captain in the near future. When not flying Jake prioritizes reading, working out and spending quality time with his fiancé and his bulldog “Beef.”

Diana Bast

Diana Bast

Flight Instructor - CFI, CFII

Diana was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Education in 2003, and has been teaching in one aspect or another since then. She began her aviation journey in 2019 after being encouraged to follow her childhood dream. Aside from flying, she loves spending time withher family, reading, cooking and watching movies. 

John Reese

John Reese

Flight Instructor - CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP, PSI

John is an Airline Transport Pilot and has been in the aviation industry for more than 20 years. After earning all his ratings at Ellington joint reserve base in Houston, he returned home to Austin where he founded Compass Flight Academy. In 2006 John began flying for Delta Connection in domestic and international operations in Saab 340B+ and CRJ-900 aircraft. In 2013 he joined CAE and has held instructor, examiner, Group Leader and Training Manager roles. In his spare time John enjoys boating and spending time with his two children. 

Austin Paden

Austin Paden

Aviation Maintenance Technician - A&P

Austin was born and raised in Fort Worth Texas. He went to school at NW Tarrant County College to follow his dream of becoming a certified aircraft mechanic. Austin just recently earned this Airframe and Powerplant certificates. Having completed courses for Diamond Aircraft, he is now certified on single and twin engine Diamond Aircraft. In his spare he time likes ride dirt bikes, play basketball and go fishing/hiking.

Mike Hill

Mike Hill

Flight Instructor - CFI, CFII

Mike was born and raised in Gainesville, GA. In 2010 he graduated with an Oceanography degree from the United States Naval Academy. He served 11 years of Active Duty as a Naval Flight Officer on the P-3 Orion and is still in the Navy Reserves. Like many of our instructors, aviation runs in his family — his father retired from FedEx as an MD-11 Captain, his mother is still a flight attendant at United Airlines, his older brother is a Corporate Jet Pilot in Nashville. When he’s not flying, he is hanging out with his wife Brenna and their two cats Patch and Midnight. They are all excited about building their hangar home at a nearby Airpark.

Clay Hooten

Clay Hooten

Marketing & Communications Lead

Clay is a tenured marketing professional with a broad range of experience from Brand Strategy and Planning, to Account and Campaign Management. As an aviation enthusiast, he’s near completion of his PPL with more ratings to come. When not keeping the marketing wheels turning, Clay loves flying, a good DIY project, and being with his wife Jess, and their two kids.