Charlotte, N.C. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Charlie Creech, the president and the other seven ownership/executive management team members of North State Aviation (NSA) the North Carolina Small Business Persons of the Year for 2016.
NSA is an aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility located in Winston-Salem, NC. The company offers heavy maintenance and major modifications and repairs for Boeing 737 through Boeing 757 aircraft.
“We are all so honored to have been selected for this award,” said Charlie, on behalf of all the NSA winners. The success of North State Aviation is a testament to our employees, the fertile field of business opportunities in North Carolina and the working partnerships with the Airport Commission of Forsyth County, the State, the city of Winston-Salem, and the city of Kinston, Lenoir County and the SBA and SBTDC.”
Charlie and the NSA management team were selected as Small Business Persons of the Year because the company has demonstrated staying power, growth and innovation. In just over five years, they have identified gaps in the industry, developed relationships and restored hundreds of jobs to the Winston-Salem area. NSA has been named one of the top 50 employers in Forsyth County, pumping over $30 million dollars annually into the local economy.
Before NSA opened its doors, Charlie and the team met with the SBA-sponsored North Carolina Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC). SBTDC business counselor Barry Phillips assisted them in the development of a business plan with multiple complex financial projections. With this support, NSA secured a $3.9 million finance package. Then, in 2010, the eight longtime airline executives, in a room in Winston-Salem’s Smith Reynolds Airport terminal, began the journey. The group had the know-how of the aviation industry and an entrepreneurial spirit.
By 2011, the company had performed maintenance on just 11 planes. Within the next four years, they completed maintenance and modifications on over 500 airplanes and now have numerous contracts, including their major business relationship with United Airlines.
NSA now employs more than 400, including over 100 military veterans, working in over 300,000 square feet of space at two locations. The company occupies the former headquarters office and hangar facility of Piedmont Airlines in Winston-Salem and their second hangar facility in Kinston, NC, at the Global Transpark.
The Small Business Persons of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam will be competing for the title of National Small Business Person(s) of the Year during National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week 2016 will be observed May 1-7.
The award will be presented locally at the 2016 Small Business Week Luncheon hosted by The Support Center on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley at 4500 Marriott Drive, Raleigh, NC.
The 2016 North Carolina Small Business Persons are:
Ownership/Management team of NORTH STATE AVIATION, Winston-Salem, NC
- Charles Ashton Creech, President
- Thomas Howard Chappell, Vice President, Maintenance
- Kenda Anne Richards, Sr. Director Finance and Controller
- Stanley Kay Haines, Chief Financial Officer
- Russ C. Kota, Vice President, Maintenance/ISO & Facilities Planning
- Joel Sidney Marion, Vice President of Sales
- James Dupont McPhail, Chief Operating Officer
- David Mark Coe, Sr., Director of Materials and Tooling