Meet Your Commercial Technical Sales Team

Jon Jacobson
Commercial Technical Sales Team Manager Working at Av-DEC since 2014

Let's meet Jon.

Professional Experience:

  • Ohio Carbon Blank
  • Stafast Products
  • Aero-Instruments

Professional Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Kent State University
  • Associate of Arts (AA), Lakeland Community College

Av-DEC Experience:

Jon is a well-read and widely traveled sales professional. He never specifically planned to work in aerospace, but when offered a job with Aero Instruments, he wasn't afraid to jump at the opportunity. Now, after years of working in the industry, he could hardly imagine doing anything else.

Like Av-DEC itself, Jon's primary focus is always on his customers. He enjoys spending time with them, working side-by-side on the hangar floor to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. This offers him the chance to put together a better, more customized solution, and to apply Av-DEC innovative products in the best way possible. Jon can often be found working with the mechanics in a business jet hangar, showing an engineer or director of maintenance the newest Av-DEC products, or meeting with the supply-chain and legal teams to iron out an agreement.

Jon is particularly enthusiastic about the fact that Av-DEC regularly creates new products to meet a new need in the industry. He can bring a customer's issues and needs to the Av-DEC engineers, and see a new product take shape to fill that new niche. "What I want everyone to know is Av-DEC has the capacity to develop new products and solutions to address corrosion issues."

Personal:

Following his college years, Jon moved to London to travel and explore Europe. His passion for travel has taken him to four continents and 44 of the 50 U.S. states. Along the way he enjoys reading and spending time outside. Hiking and golfing are two of his favorite pastimes. And though work and travel take him many places, he remains true to his roots and is a fan of all the Cleveland sports teams.

Brendan Ryan
Commercial Technical Sales Team Commercial Airline Regional Program Manager Working at Av-DEC since 2008

Let's meet Brendan.

Professional Experience:

  • U.S. Army
  • NCH Corporation
  • Marathon Norco Aerospace

Professional Education:

  • BBA Marketing, Minor in History, Baylor University

Av-DEC Experience:

Seeking a new environment after high school, Brendan Ryan decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. This decision gave him more life experience and resources to help pay for college following active service. He served five years during which he was an M1A1 armored crewman. His unit deployed to the Middle East Theater taking part in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

Following that unforgettable experience and his five-year enlistment, Brendan was ready to return home to his wife and enroll at Baylor University. There he made such an impression on his professors that they made a point of mentioning him by name to the president of Marathon Norco Aerospace. It was mere days before he was hired.

Brendan made the move to Av-DEC because of their stellar reputation in the Aerospace industry. He believes as long as the quality of his service is as high as the quality of products Av-DEC produces, he can help his customers control or eliminate their corrosion problems. "I like to work and to leave my mark on the people I work with. Going into the hangars is fun for me. My customers are my friends and I want to be there to help them solve their problems."

Personal:

Brendan and his wife have been married 26 years and have a seventeen-year-old daughter who is already taking after her hard-working father. Traveling for work has never deterred Brendan from traveling with his family. They enjoy loading up the car for road trips or picking out international destinations. On their short list of future destinations is the Taj Mahal. Closer to home, the Ryans enjoy movies and comedy clubs, and are sure to have good suggestions for what to see.

Becky Kern
Commercial Technical Sales Team Working at Av-DEC since 2004

Let's meet Becky.

Professional Experience:

  • AAR Corporation
  • Arger Enterprises

Av-DEC Experience:

Becky is a vibrant, thoughtful member of the Technical Sales Team who can converse effortlessly across nearly any topic. Getting her start through technical sales in the oil industry, Becky entered a very male-dominated world. Though challenging, she viewed it as a learning opportunity, and quickly gained her clients' trust through her expertise and penchant for straight talk. She attributes much of her success to a few guiding principles. "It's important to know your business and have confidence in your products," she advises. "Know what you don't know - don't pretend to know what you don't know." Further, her philosophy on life is one of learning every day. There is, after all, always something new out there that you can benefit from knowing.

Becky's career with Av-DEC began selling Av-DEC through its distributor two years prior to working directly for Av-DEC. After a change in distribution agreements, Av-DEC hired Becky as a permanent part-timer during a time when the company had only one full-time salesperson. The quality of both the products and her performance, however, made Becky a natural choice as the company expanded.

Among her long list of achievements, Becky is particularly fond of her role in getting Av-DEC products rated for the particular rigors of the medical aircraft market. Becky is very hands-on, both in her approach to learning and to customers' projects, and takes pride in the fact that Av-DEC "does the things that our customers need. Providing them with the service, the product, or whatever else is required."

Personal:

Becky is proud of her very supportive family. Though the business and travel requirements of her role as a salesperson place heavy demands on her time, she works hard to strike the right balance to meet everyone's needs. Always a stabilizing force, Becky's husband has stood beside her, helping to raise a daughter who is now in college and a son who has already graduated. When not busy with family and business, Becky enjoys the freedom her artistic side offers.

Andy Baker
Commercial Technical Sales Team Working at Av-DEC since 2004

Let's meet Andy.

Professional Experience:

  • Dixie Aerospace
  • Inside Sales Rep
  • Outside Sales Rep
Professional Education:
  • BBA in Marketing, University of West Georgia

Av-DEC Experience:

After graduating from the University of West Georgia, Andy's aviation career began at Dixie Aerospace. While there, the company began working alongside a new startup that made a strong impression on him for their focus on the niche of corrosion control. That startup was known as Av-DEC, and Andy predicted they would become a leader in the aviation industry.

Some years later when Av-DEC was looking to add a rep to the military sales team, Av-DEC employees actively sought Andy out. He describes the move to Av-DEC as "one of the best decisions I have ever made," and considers Av-DEC very supportive both personally and professionally. The support from management and coworkers was made clear when Andy and his wife adopted their young daughter and were all embraced in a family-like atmosphere of encouragement and guidance.

The same air of support extends to the sales team's daily operations. Though beginning in military sales, Andy has successively transitioned to inside sales and now commercial sales. At every step, employees have focused on the ultimate goal of resolving their customers' corrosion problems. If the problem requires the development of new products, Av-DEC will get to work on it. But equally important, in Andy's eyes, are the situations when the company can't solve a specific problem. "If our products do not match the customers need, and it's not something we can develop, we will tell a customer straight up, we can't help you with this problem. I like being able to look my customer straight in the eye and tell them honestly when we can and when we can't help them. That's why people trust Av-DEC."

Personal:

Andy's wife, Lisa, is an avid reader. Together, they are raising their daughter who is now entering her teenage years and loves horseback riding. Andy, for his part, is an avid outdoorsman who spends his time fishing and deer-hunting, a fact that his freezer will make readily apparent. A good question to ask him is how a Civil War story from his wife's family ended up in Margaret Mitchell's book and movie, Gone with the Wind.

Jay Hitchcock
Commercial Technical Sales Team Working at Av-DEC since 2012

Let's meet Jay.

Professional Experience:

  • McDonnell Douglas Corporation
  • PRC Kentron, Aerospace Technologies Division
  • MacNeal-Schwendler Corporation
  • Boeing Commercial Airplane Group
  • 3M Aerospace
  • Carlisle Interconnect Technologies

Professional Education:

  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona
  • MBA, Pepperdine University

Av-DEC Experience:

Jay has been working in the Aerospace industry since 1983 and joined Av-DEC in 2012. Starting out as a Structural Engineer, he began working on the KC-10A program with McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach, CA. He then worked at NASA Langley on fly-to-space aircraft programs and the Space Station before returning to McDonnell Douglas to work on the MD-11. Jay then worked his way up to MD-11 Product Manager before leaving to sell finite element analysis software. He then sold commercial aircraft for McDonnell Douglas and Boeing for five years. Follow-on to that Jay spent seven years in International Business Development with 3M Aerospace, developing and launching new products for aircraft use. Just prior to joining Av-DEC Jay held the position of Boeing Key Account Manager for Carlisle Interconnect.

"I enjoy working with Av-DEC because it is a company formed by aerospace people to address a specific need in the industry with new disruptive technology. This is a disruptive technology in the sense that Av-DEC products provide new and better solutions over the traditional methods of corrosion control. We do not go to a customer with a product to sell. We come to address the customer's corrosion and sealing problems, whether that means using our current products or coming up with something new. The bottom line is solving customers' problems."

Personal:

Jay enjoys skiing, hiking, traveling, playing ultimate frisbee and tennis.

Brett Thompson
Commercial Technical Sales Team Working at Av-DEC since 2015

Let's meet Brett.

Professional Experience:

  • Texas Department of Education - Teacher for 19 years
  • Baseball coach

Professional Education:

  • BBS, Hardin-Simmons University

Av-DEC Experience:

Brett originally dreamt of attending the U.S. Air Force Academy to become a pilot. A football injury and subsequent knee surgery forced him to take a different route, but today he's very proud to have spent 19 years as a teacher and coach.

The offer to work at Av-DEC came as a surprise to Brett. "Jeff convinced me I was right for this job. He told me I can teach about aviation and aircraft. 'I've watched you coach my son and the other boys. That shows me you have the relationship skills that are important in working with Av-DEC's customers.'" His time at Av-DEC has revealed the importance of building and maintaining relationships in the industry. Internally, Av-DEC employees show great concern, dedication, and respect to one another, and Brett and the other sales members bring that same attitude to their customers.

When starting his career, Brett was thrown right into the mix. He travelled with the Commercial Technical Sales Team during his training and recognized the role that mentors play in forming well-rounded experts in the industry. Brett is happy to note that he's always learning more about aviation. Customers have evolving needs and technology continually pushes the industry forward. Brett views every problem as a learning opportunity and potentially a springboard from which new technology can be developed.

Personal:

Brett, his wife, and their three children are all native Texans. He keeps fit by making time to run and lift weights, but the schedule with three teenagers in the house is always busy. Brett has one daughter who works as a high school sports trainer, another on the soccer team, and a son who is on the football team. As a family, they like to travel to the beach, though when he and his wife get out on their own, Napa Valley is their favorite destination. They enjoy learning about the vineyards and the winemaking process and sampling the wonderful local food in the midst of beautiful Napa scenery.

Sean Long
Commercial Technical Sales Team MRO/Airline Product Training Manager Working at Av-DEC since 2018

Let's meet Sean.

Professional Experience:

  • U.S. Navy - Operations Specialist
  • U.S. Navy - Training Petty Officer
  • ST Aerospace Engineering

Professional Education:

  • OS "A" School (U.S. Navy)
  • AAS Degree

Av-DEC Experience:

Sean first encountered Av-DEC while working with ST Aerospace Engineering. Several positive experiences with each other while he was an apprentice, and later, as lead mechanic, gave him a good relationship with the company and demonstrated his capabilities to Av-DEC. It was not a stretch, then, for Av-DEC to recruit Sean as their first Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) Technical Representative.

As the company's lead MRO Rep, Sean is in charge of training and educating airlines, repair facilities, and other customers on the proper use of Av-DEC products. He also provides guidance to the Av-DEC Technical Sales Teams so they can better understand the products and installation procedures.

Sean's open and easy-going personality make him a great communicator. He has a natural enthusiasm for both learning and sharing information, making him the perfect fit for the job. Though he was Av-DEC's first MRO Technical Representative, he wasn't the last, and Sean has been integral to the explosive growth of the program. Despite gaining more responsibilities, Sean continues to share his expertise through hands-on training as well as by accompanying Technical Sales Teams on customer visits.

Personal:

Sean came from a military family who moved frequently. He credits their eventual settlement in Colorado during his formative years with sparking his love of the outdoors. When not hard at work at Av-DEC, he can often be found helping his wife repair and restore furniture for her antique business. Their two children have followed in his footsteps, with their daughter having earned an engineering degree from the University of South Alabama and their son currently studying engineering at the University of South Alabama. Typically, their down time is spent in the pursuit of great food, either on their own or with the aid of his mother-in-law, whom he describes as a "phenomenal cook." "Making time to get together with family and enjoy good food is a pleasure that adds balance to my life."

Miguel Garcia
Commercial Technical Sales Team Working at Av-DEC since 2012

Let's meet Miguel.

Professional Experience:

  • BMC West - CAD Designer/CNC programmer
  • ProBuild - CNC programmer/Custom Design Mgr.

Professional Education:

  • Associate's Degree in Computer Aided Drafting & Design, ITT Technical Institute

Av-DEC Experience:

Miguel began his professional career in 2003 after graduating from ITT Tech. Over the years, he worked his way from an AutoCAD drafter to managing a custom design department where he and his team created custom entry units and trim for luxury homebuilders around the Dallas and Fort Worth area. At the urging of his good friend, Miguel joined Av-DEC in 2012 in search of a brighter future for himself and his family and he hasn't looked back since.

As part of Av-DEC's Commercial and Inside Sales teams, Miguel has provided exemplary customer service, and has become an expert in Av-DEC's corrosion-inhibiting technology. Miguel is consistently working on new and creative solutions to improve sealing and combat corrosion. His recent efforts have helped open the door for Av-DEC products to be used to coat and preserve 3D-printed parts for the Additive Manufacturing industry. "To me, success in life is finding the right balance between work and family life and the stability that comes from both. This requires a lot of hard work, commitment and determination. Something I continuously work on, as there is always room for improvement."

In early 2019, Miguel started promoting Av-DEC in the Latin America market. Being fluent in Spanish, he is doing his part to ensure that new and existing Spanish-speaking customers are well informed about Av-DEC's products, while making sure they are comfortable reaching out to Av-DEC in their native language. During this initiative, Miguel has been able to visit customers in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Brazil with many more Latin America and Caribbean countries to follow.

Personal:

Miguel is a family man and enjoys spending time with his wife of 21 years and their two daughters. He and his wife live an active lifestyle and enjoy going for walks around their neighborhood and hiking nearby trails. Recently, Miguel was able to help his elderly parents move from North Carolina to be closer to him and his family. Miguel has a strong faith and the Garcias are all active members of their church, often participating in various community and religious activities. Another Garcia family favorite is exploring new places, with family road-trips being the preferred method of travel.

Laetitia Blatge
Commercial Technical Sales Team International Representative Working at Av-DEC since 2003

Let's meet Laetitia.

Professional Experience:

  • Arger Enterprises
  • Aero Europe

Professional Education:

  • Master's degree in Economics and Foreign Languages, University of Provence Aix-en-Provence - South of France

Av-DEC Experience:

After obtaining her master's degree, Laetitia began working in the aviation industry alongside her mother who, at the time, was representing a United States company handling FAA/PMA parts. During this time, Laetitia and her mother were tasked with the responsibility of expanding into the European Market. In 2003, Laetitia created her own company, Aero Europe, and partnered with Av-DEC to introduce Av-DEC products to the European aviation industry. Laetitia has expanded Av-DEC's European footprint tremendously.

From the beginning, Laetitia recalls travelling all over Europe being challenging, but she remained passionate about the opportunity to help prevent corrosion on European aircraft. Laetitia is passionate about her customers and helping to solve their corrosion problems. She says, "This passion I have is for life in general. I like to say yes and challenge myself in various fields."

Recently, Laetitia's daughter, Charlotte, joined the Av-DEC team to help her continue expanding Av-DEC's European footprint. Laetitia noted, "it's really nice to see that Charlotte has contacts with people I have known for years now, but she is also creating new links with new and young people which will build up the next generation." Laetitia's story began with her mother, and her legacy will continue with her daughter.

Personal:

Laetitia and her husband, Michel, have two children, Charlotte and Hugo. Laetitia finds passion in all aspects of life, and likes to challenge herself in new, various fields. One of her newest challenges is trail running long distances. Her son, Hugo, has been motivating the entire family into practicing trail running, as he competes in races all over Europe. Laetitia is very proud of her children, with Charlotte following in her footsteps in the aviation industry, and Hugo working towards his three-year Bachelor's degree in Sports and Science.

Charlotte Blatge
Commercial Technical Sales Team International Representative Working at Av-DEC since 2019

Let's meet Charlotte.

Professional Experience:

  • Safran Landing Systems in the UK
  • Tourism Industry

Professional Education:

  • Master's degree in Aviation Management, Technical University of Wildau - Wildau, Germany
  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, EU Business School - Barcelona, Spain

Av-DEC Experience:

Charlotte started her career at Av-DEC in January 2019. Following in her mother's footsteps, she aids Laetitia with visiting and establishing relationships with the European airlines. Charlotte describes this as both exciting and challenging, as the cultures and languages of the countries vary greatly. "There is a strong family history behind me working in the aviation industry. Laetitia, my mother, started to work in the aviation industry because her mother, my grandmother, was working in the aviation industry. I'm glad to be a part of this family tradition."

Additionally, she thinks that the engineers are often surprised when they first meet here because of her young age and the fact that she is woman in a male-dominated industry. She hopes to be able to change peoples' assumptions about her with her ever-expanding knowledge and great customer-relations skills. Charlotte is proud to be a part of this industry as an Av-DEC representative.

Personal:

Charlotte has lived in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, which is where she currently lives with her boyfriend. She enjoys living in the UK and loves travelling and exploring new countries and cities, but says her birthplace, the South of France, will always hold a special place in her heart. Charlotte keeps active by going to the gym, cycling, running and swimming, and she has a love for the outdoors and trying new foods and recipes. She hopes to open a café or delicatessen of her own one day.

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