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EXECUTIVE WATCH


Steve Wysong President of Wysong Enterprises Inc. By Rick Weatherford


Steve Wysong, the pioneering founder of avionics company Wysong Enterprises, was born in Dayton, Ohio. That’s fitting, for Dayton also birthed another pioneering aviation shop started by the Wright Brothers. Like those famous flyers, Wysong’s life didn’t have the smoothest takeoff. His pastor-in-training father died before Wysong was born. He was raised by his mother and grandmother — and his grandfather’s power tools. The mother and grandmother nurtured their young boy, while the tools occupied his hands and trained his brain. He says, “I didn’t have a lot of father guidance, so I had to do a lot of experimenting and teaching myself how


to work with these tools. I played with them a lot and developed pretty good technical skills.”


In high school, an electronics teacher who was also a pilot encouraged Wysong’s technical aptitude and sparked his interest in aviation. Yet, upon high school graduation, the teen was most interested in fleeing Ohio’s frigid winters for warm Florida sunshine. His initial plan was to follow in his deceased father’s footsteps and become a pastor, but after a year and a half at Florida Bible College, the admittedly shy student determined that his true calling lay in his skilled hands, not


in eloquent public preaching. Wysong left Bible college, but stayed in Florida. (“There were a lot of pretty girls on the beach down there,” he recalls...and among those girls he fortunately found his future wife.) He enrolled in a trade school and mastered the basics of electronics repair. Out of school, he landed his first avionics-related job with Collins Radio in 1974. From there, he decided to step away from the repair/ assembly bench and step toward working directly on aircraft. Thus in 1976, he went to Fort Lauderdale’s airport and began working at Sunstream Jet Center.


14


July/Aug 2020


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