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different. So obviously I’m not following in his shoes directly, but we have a very talented engineering staff and other talented people. We’re still very much an engineering company. I again go back to what I first learned: Take what’s already good and then try to improve upon it.”


PASSION


Part of that improvement process is continually hiring the right people. Robinson has one thing he looks for in every employee: “Without a doubt, it’s passion,” he enthusiastically says. “When I interview somebody, I’m really looking for that, because I know if they have passion they’re going to do great. If I hire a CNC (computer numeric controlled) machinist, I want someone who is really into machining. I want a welder who’s very much into welding, or an engineer that’s very much into aerodynamics or whatever their specialty is. Then my job is to feed that passion and let them develop. I don’t want someone who just wants to clock in and clock out.” The president claims he can go into every department in his company:


14 Nov/Dec 2016


accounting, personnel, ... all departments, and find people who are very passionate about what they do. He says, “That really motivates the entire department, the entire team, and everybody.”


Some of those passionate employees


mentored Robinson himself as he worked his way up through the company. “Wayne Walden has been our plant manager here since the early ‘80s. He’s developed and run this plant, and I have a lot of respect for both his knowledge and the way he handles people,” he says. “I very much watch how people treat others, whether they are customers or employees. What respect do they


give? How do they


solve problems? Those type things are important.”


INDUSTRY CONCERNS


Another area that Robinson is very much watching, with a more jaded eye, is the worldwide aviation regulatory environment. “You’re supposed to have these cross- border agreements with reciprocity, but boy I just don’t see it working,” he says


with a note of exasperation. “Obviously, it’s well documented the difficulties we had getting the R66 approved in Europe. It took four years. What happened during those four years? You can’t see anything that’s relevant. We didn’t change anything. It was a four-year delay in which we piled up piles of paperwork. In particular, I’m concerned that a lot of times we’re trying to push something through that we believe is a safety item and we get held up. Something may be approved here in the United States, but then we have to start all over again with other countries. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.”


Another concern Robinson has is how the legal system handles accident liability cases. “Lawyers try to mold an accident into a theory that they try to sell,” he says. “They try to find an argument that allows them to get a money judgment, regardless of the facts. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t know if it’s ever going to change because it’s too profitable for the lawyers, but it’s a system that doesn’t promote safety or benefit the industry the way that it should.”


Furthermore, as with regulatory delays,


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