South Carolina’s Aerospace Cluster Names Advisory Board

Unveils new logo

SCAERO_final-01Aerospace industry leaders have joined an Advisory Board to advance and market South Carolina’s aerospace cluster on the global stage.  Chairman of the Advisory Board and President of Ranger Aerospace, Steve Townes, announced the new Board members and unveiled the cluster’s logo at the SC Aerospace Conference and Expo on August 27th in Columbia.

“I am pleased to welcome these eighteen leaders to the SC Aerospace Advisory Board,” said Townes.  “We will use our quarterly meetings to identify how existing industry can collaborate to strengthen and grow the aerospace industry in South Carolina.”

Advisory Board

Advisory Board Members (in alphabetical order by company):


Hunter Dalton, Executive Vice President of Strategic Growth Initiatives


Doug Kelly, Director, Supplier Management

Champion Aerospace

Jason Marlin, President

GKN Aerospace

Bill Beard, Vice President, General Manager

Honeywell Aerospace

Mike Hutcheson, ISC Site Director

JBE, Inc.

Jerry Ellison, President

John Miller, Director of Business Development

Labinal Power Systems

Paul McDowell

Leatherwood Manufacturing   

Mike Leatherwood, Owner/President

Lockheed Martin

Trish Pagan, Greenville Operations Program Manager

Premo Ventures   

Jason Premo, Chairman

Ranger Aerospace

Steve Townes, President and CEO

RBC AeroStructures

Stan Griffs, Director of Operations

Stevens Aviation 

Paul Witt, Executive Vice President


Ian Williams, Vice President and General Manager

Triumph Group 

Jim Devries, General Manager

UEC Electronics 

Rebecca Ufkes, President

Venture Aerobearings

Vida Butler, President and General Manager

The announcement comes on the heels of a two-year effort by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness and the South Carolina Department of Commerce to develop the aerospace cluster.  The organizations launched networking events this year designed to connect the industry with assets located in South Carolina.  The organizations are also working together to develop a GIS-based, interactive asset map to be launched on the SC Aerospace website later this year. Staff from the SC Council on Competitiveness conducts one-on-one meetings with aerospace companies to determine capabilities and to report expansion and development opportunities to the SC Department of Commerce.

“Working with existing aerospace-related firms in South Carolina will help us build a competitive advantage over other aerospace clusters across the nation,” said Ann Marie Stieritz, president and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness. “The Advisory Board members are proactive leaders who will inform the state’s strategy to develop the aerospace industry.”

The organizations are co-organizers with the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, South Carolina Aeronautics Commission and the South Carolina Aviation Association produce the annual Aerospace Industry Conference and Expo.  The second annual conference and expo held August 26-27, 2015, drew nearly 500 attendees and over 50 exhibitors.

SC Aerospace also launched a LinkedIn page.  To follow SC Aerospace on LinkedIn, click here.

About SC Aerospace

SC Aerospace is a collaborative effort to advance and market South Carolina’s aerospace industry cluster on the global stage.  We are a partnership of the public, private, academic and nonprofit sectors connecting the industry’s assets and securing future growth.  Aerospace is a high-impact industry cluster that contributes $17 billion per year to South Carolina’s economy.  Employment in the aerospace cluster is growing at a rate eight times higher than the state’s average, and private-sector aerospace employees are compensated over $70,000 per year on average.  By growing aerospace in South Carolina, our work creates high-wage jobs and grows the economy.  For more information, visit