SC Aerospace welcomes three board members


Steve Prout of Solar Atmospheres, Todd Sharpley of GKN, and Paul V. Kumler of KTM Solutions have joined the Advisory Board for SC Aerospace. The Board is comprised of industry leaders representing aerospace-related firms of all sizes from across South Carolina.

“I welcome my fellow business leaders from across the state to become an active part of growing South Carolina’s aerospace cluster,” said Steve Townes, SC Aerospace chairman. “Since SC Aerospace officially launched two years ago, we are achieving significant results. With these three new members, we look forward to continued success!”

Steve Prout serves as president of Solar Atmospheres and has a background in commercial heat treating and brazing and has worked in a variety of positions for a number of companies prior to joining Solar Atmospheres in the fall of 2013. Prout established Solar’s newest vacuum heat treating facility in Greenville, S.C., which operates the largest vacuum furnace in the Southeastern United States, and gained its National Aerospace and Defense Accreditation Program accreditation within 90 days of opening and its AS9100 approval shortly after.

Todd Sharpley is a native of the Midlands in South Carolina, and serves as the General Manager for GKN Lip Skins. Sharpley previously served as Division Operations Strategy Manager over 5 sites for the Stratoflex Division at Parker Aerospace. He returned to the Midlands to lead the construction and startup of GKN’s state of the art manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, which manufactures the leading edge of the engine nacelle for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X.

Bill Beard previously represented GKN on the SC Aerospace Advisory Board. He is now retired from GKN and will remain on the board as a founding member.

Paul V. Kumler is president of KTM Solutions, Inc., a Greenville based engineering company that serves the aerospace industry. He has more than 30 years of aerospace engineering and senior management experience. Prior to founding KTM Solutions in 2005, Paul held executive engineering management positions at The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington and Lockheed Martin in Greenville, South Carolina. He also serves on several advisory boards and is actively involved in community service. Paul earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University and is a registered SC professional engineer.

SC Aerospace is a collaborative effort to advance and market South Carolina’s aerospace industry cluster on the global stage. Organized by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the initiative is a partnership of the public, private, academic and nonprofit sectors connecting the industry’s assets and securing future growth.

“We are happy to welcome these representatives of South Carolina’s aerospace companies to the Advisory Board,” said Ann Marie Stieritz, president and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness. “Leadership from the private sector is critical to the collaboration that keeps South Carolina’s aerospace cluster strong.”

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The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness is a nonpartisan, business-led non-profit organization committed to advancing the long-term economic competitiveness of our state, industries, and citizens. Our work is accomplished through: actionable research on opportunities and threats to South Carolina’s competitiveness; support of industry clusters that provide South Carolina a competitive advantage; and education and workforce development initiatives that ensure all South Carolina’s citizens are equipped to compete in a global economy. We execute our work through partnerships recognizing that our state’s economic success is secured through sustained collaboration among the private, public, academic and non-profit sectors.