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North State Aviation (NSA) the North Carolina Small Business Persons of the Year for 2016

SBA Names 2016 North Carolina Small Business Persons of the Year 

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 compete 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

  1. Charles Ashton Creech, President
  2. Thomas Howard Chappell, Vice President, Maintenance
  3. Kenda Anne Richards, Sr. Director Finance and Controller
  4. Stanley Kay Haines, Chief Financial Officer
  5. Russ C. Kota, Vice President, Maintenance/ISO & Facilities Planning
  6. Joel Sidney Marion, Vice President of Sales
  7. James Dupont McPhail, Chief Operating Officer
  8. David Mark Coe, Sr., Director of Materials and Tooling


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North State Aviation to Open Maintenance Facility in Lenoir County

Expansion Will Create 109 Jobs

Russell C. Kota, Vice President Maintenance Facilities Planning Joel S. Marion, Vice President Sales and Sales Planning David Coe, Director Procurement and Tooling Leonard Martin, Consultant Charles A. Creech, President Pat McCrory, Governor Thomas H. Chappell, Vice President Maintenance      and Business Development Nicholas J. Tennyson, Secretary of Transportation James D. McPhail, Chief Operating Officer Stan Haines, Chief Financial Officer, was unable to attend

Russell C. Kota, Vice President Maintenance Facilities Planning, Joel S. Marion, Vice President Sales and Sales Planning, David Coe, Director Procurement and Tooling, Leonard Martin, Consultant, Charles A. Creech, President, Pat McCrory, Governor, Thomas H. Chappell, Vice President Maintenance and Business Development, Nicholas J. Tennyson, Secretary of Transportation, James D. McPhail, Chief Operating Officer, Stan Haines, Chief Financial Officer, was unable to attend

Kinston, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory, N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. announced today that North State Aviation will open an aircraft maintenance center at the North Carolina Global TransPark in Lenoir County, creating 109 new jobs over the next two years. The company will invest $900,000 over the same period.

 “North Carolina is pleased to support North State Aviation as it launches its new presence at the Global TransPark,” said Governor McCrory. “Like aviation itself, this company started right here in North Carolina. Its owners and employees have deep roots in the state, and we’re proud of their continued success.”

North State Aviation, incorporated in 2010, has grown from a Winston-Salem start-up to a company that currently employs more than 400 people. It specializes in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of large transport aircraft. The company counts one of the world’s largest commercial airlines among its customers. North State Aviation is now the largest tenant at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem. Its new facility at the North Carolina Global TransPark will employ 109 workers. Salaries will vary by position, but will average $39,688 per year. Currently, the average annual wage in Lenoir County is $32,164.

“North State Aviation’s choice of Lenoir County for this new maintenance center is more evidence that North Carolina’s competitive costs, ready workforce and accessibility put us on the short list of aerospace and aviation industry destinations,” said Secretary Skvarla. “Congratulations to this promising company as it embarks on an exciting new phase of growth.”

North Carolina Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson joined the Governor in Kinston today. “I was honored to join North State Aviation last year as they celebrated their fourth year of business success, and I am thrilled to be able to celebrate their continued growth by helping welcome this company to their new expansion home at the GTP,” said NCDOT Secretary Tennyson. “We are pleased to support the continued growth of aviation in our state and to help bring more job opportunities to the people of Eastern North Carolina.”

North State Aviation’s new facility at the Global TransPark will serve a client list that includes major commercial airlines. The newly-created positions will include mechanics, inspectors and back-shop utility workers, among other jobs.

“North State Aviation is proud to be a part of the growing aviation business here in North Carolina,” said Charlie Creech, president of North State Aviation. “We anticipate continued success and we plan for this expansion at GTP to be another seed operation that will grow in size and scope as our operation in Winston-Salem has done.”

The recruitment of North State Aviation was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $250,000. Administered by North Carolina Commerce, the One NC Fund provides financial assistance in support of local governments in creating jobs and attracting economic investment. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for grant funds. All One NC grants require a local government match.

“Congratulations to North State Aviation on its choice of Lenoir County for this important aircraft maintenance facility,” said N.C. Senator Louis Pate.

“This is great news for Kinston and Lenoir County,” said N.C. Senator Don Davis.  “These new jobs will have a positive impact on this area’s economy and quality of life.”

“I welcome this fast-growing company to eastern North Carolina, and commend our economic development leaders for working diligently to bring North State Aviation to our community,” said N.C. Representative John Bell.

“I look forward to welcoming these new jobs to Kinston and Lenoir County,” said N.C. Representative George Graham.  “This will be an important addition to our business community.”

237,100 private sector jobs have been created since Governor McCrory took office in January of 2013.

In addition to North Carolina Commerce and the EDPNC, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Global TransPark Authority, NC Works, the North Carolina Community College System, Lenoir Community College, Lenoir County, the Lenoir County Economic Development Department and the Lenoir County Committee of 100.

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