Becoming an industry leader
After moving to Wichita in 1991, Brad was settling into his new role at Beechcraft while his wife Melanie was raising two young children, Jayson and Cassie. Brad continued to operate with hard work and dedication in the way Willis had taught him. His knack for the private aviation business was apparent from the beginning, and he started moving his way up the corporate ladder. After three years Brad was promoted to VP of Special Mission sales. At age 36 he was the youngest VP in the history of the company. Simultaneously in 1994, Raytheon, one of the earliest technology startups, acquired the midsize Hawker jet line from a British aerospace company. They saw an opportunity, announced the merger of Beech and Raytheon Corporate Jets subsidiaries, and renamed the company Raytheon Aircraft Corp. Brad took the potentially stressful transition in stride, and immediately began impacting the new company.
Brad worked successfully for Raytheon Aircraft Corp for the next twelve years holding several positions, including director of marketing, several vice president positions in sales, and general manager / president of the Hawker division. The company was eventually purchased by Onex and Goldman Sachs in 2007 who renamed it Hawker Beechcraft Corp. Brad was named President of Hawker Beechcraft Commercial aircraft where he managed a business unit worth more than $2 billion in revenue.
Throughout this period, Brad continually focused on relationships and on maintaining balance. Brad learned from Willis the importance of the two, and wanted to pass those ideals along to his children. The relationships Brad built throughout the early years in the aviation industry have been lasting and have led to him being considered one of the industry leaders he is today.
Brad ended up leaving the company after 18 years in early 2010. He wanted to start his own legacy and teach the next generation of business aviation professionals.
Written by: Jayson Hatt