Avionics News February 2013 - 43
into the city. For example, New York
Port Authority had a lot of electronics located in the World Trade
Center, and the control of the tunnels, bridges and tollways was from
equipment in those offices. Nothing
was operational, so my job was to
analyze what had to be done.
How long were you
in New York?
Just three or four days. I was there
to do discovery of where everything
was – which systems were down,
which systems were totally lost. It
was quite a sobering experience.
The 9/11 experience
changed how you
Yes, I set out to look at
a business to acquire and
learned to fly in the meantime.
That was something I had
wanted to do all my life but
couldn’t afford the time
or money while my kids
were growing up. My plan
was to raise money to buy
a company. I didn’t get the
financing I wanted, but during
a few years’ time, I slowly
purchased small percentages
of AIS. By February 2010, I
owned 100 percent of it.
What attracted you to AIS?
I am fascinated by the aviation
industry and like being around aviation people and airplanes. With my
wholesale distribution background,
my experience in sales, operations
and logistics from previous jobs,
along with knowledge of communications and the Internet, I thought
it was a perfect fit. And it has been.
What do you like best
about the job?
More than anything, I like my
work family and our customers. The
people who work in this industry
are unlike any other in terms of
quality and attention to detail. I
know every industry has some bad
apples, but the aviation industry has
nowhere near the number you find
What’s the culture
like at AIS?
My personal business philosophy is
to do what is right for the customer
and the company. If you take care of
the business and the customer, the
company will take care of you. We
have 18 employees, and it’s quite
family oriented. I refer to our work
family and our home family. When
an employee has a personal issue,
everyone pitches in to help. We have
lunches from time to time and celebrate birthdays. Our employees stay
with us – one has been with us for
18 years, two for more than 10 years
and eight for more than five years.
What is your relationship
with the AEA?
We attend all the shows, especially the AEA Regional Meetings.
The AEA is a tremendous resource
How would you
business climate today?
It’s improving. Our market segment is mainly corporate aviation
and below. We currently are seeing small growth every month, a
welcome change from the last few
years. It’s ironic that it seems to be
more difficult to manage growth
than it was to manage during the
recent bad times.
How have you found it
different being an owner
versus a senior manager?
I never expected to be in this
position. I always thought I would
have financial corporate support and
be a part owner, but that is not
what happened. Everything is on my
shoulders. It’s a huge responsibility,
and sometimes I feel I shouldn’t go
home. I have to maintain a business
environment where my employees
can earn a paycheck and support
their families. I’ve put everything on
the line to make this happen, and,
with my staff’s support, we will continue to succeed.
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