Since announcing my role with Relocalize, I have received countless notes of encouragement and support from my network. However, almost every single note started the same way…“You’re leaving aerospace?”
Anyone who knows me understands that I love things that fly: airplanes, rockets, foiling sailboats and yes occasionally even helicopters! I have had the luxury of being around airplane design and manufacturing since childhood, and spent the last 24 years designing, building, testing, certifying and supporting some of the finest jets on the market.
It was an incredible thrill. I worked with amazing people on amazing teams through thick and thin, and learned a few things along the way. Most importantly, I learned that building and mentoring teams capable of creating solutions that change the lives of people is even more fulfilling and challenging than the magic of flight.
I’m an engineer at heart, and the core skill we engineers seek to master is problem spotting and solving. Early on in my career, most of these problems were technical in nature, but as I evolved, I learned that it doesn’t matter if the problems relate to customer experience, technology, finance or people. When Wayne and Grant first talked to me about what they wanted to achieve, I was immediately intrigued.
“Let’s take one of the simplest products out there, frozen water, and make it Better, Greener and Cheaper”, is what I took away from that conversation. Afterwards, all that I could think about was how to deliver on this vision and build the team needed to make it a reality. The challenges of delivering on the vision are big, but they are what creates Relocalize's disruptive opportunity.
The keys to Relocalize’s execution success are:
- Agility: We must build an Integrated network of employees, suppliers, and partners with the collective capacity to co-create a complex product, while remaining flexible enough to pivot to overcome impediments.
- Clarity of Direction: Building complex integrated systems requires a clear path to follow. Thanks to our network of customer advisors, senior executive mentors, experts and in-house hands-on-experience in the industry (my co-founder Grant ran a business in the space for 26 yrs) this path is clear. We are building a fully automated, deployable and scalable ice production, packaging and material handling system capable of operating continuously with minimal human intervention that the market needs.
- Velocity: Speed + Direction = Velocity. We will need to deliver with velocity in order to be efficient and disrupt the packaged ice industry (speed without direction is useless).
So here I am, loving every minute of leveraging everything I learned in the aerospace industry to build a multi-disciplinary team of partners, suppliers and colleagues to develop and deliver a truly transformative solution with velocity!