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AAR Corporation is a prime provider of aviation services to commercial and federal government clients across the globe. The company has been a reputable manufacturer and provider of airframe parts, mobility systems, engine solutions, and integrated command and control systems for over 60 years.
AAR Corp.’s executives, founders, and leaders are largely committed to innovating the aviation industry. Get to know more about AAR Corp.’s leaders and executives here:
About AAR Corporation
Official AAR Corporation Logo
AAR Corporation was founded in 1951 and was previously known as IA Allen Industrial, a reputable supplier of radio equipment and related services to the then-growing commercial aviation industry. The company, which was incorporated in 1955, rebranded to Allen Aircraft Radio in 1962. It took only three years before AAR Corporation expanded its reach over to Europe. The company launched its aircraft maintenance business in Oklahoma City in 1969. Within the next year, it rebranded to AAR Corporation. The company expanded its business in Singapore in 1982.
Today, AAR Corp. has made a revenue of $1.8 billion and a portfolio covering aircraft and airframe supplies, integrated solutions, landing gear services, sales and leasing, manufacturing (composites and mobility systems), and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) services.
Who is the founder of AAR Corporation?
AAR Corp. was founded by Ira Allen Eichner. He started as an electrical parts supplier in Chicago before becoming a prime aircraft manufacturer and services magnate. Eichner delved into the business in 1951 while he was still an undergraduate at Roosevelt University.
Where is AAR Corp.’s headquarters?
AAR Corp’s headquarters is in Wood Dale, Illinois, with more than 6,000 employees and 20 locations worldwide.
Who are AAR Corp.’s Leaders and Executives?
Below are AAR Corp’s leaders and executives propelling the company’s initiatives to innovate the aviation industry.
John M. Holmes, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
John M. Holmes joined AAR Corporation in 2001 and started as a General Manager for the parts trading business. He progressed into other positions focusing on Aviation Services prior to his current position. Holmes became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2017, appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 2018, and assigned Chairman of the Board in 2023.
Holmes leveraged his competence in leadership and the aviation industry to help AAR Corporation operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, AAR Corporation achieved significant growth in sales and profitability.
As Chairman of the Board, Holmes focuses on developing strategies that propel continuous growth while promoting AAR Corp.’s culture and core values.
John B. Cooper, Senior Vice President of Global Government and Defense
John B. Cooper’s appointment to the Senior Vice President of Global Government and Defense position at AAR Corp is a significant development for the company. As a former US Air Force Lieutenant General for Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection at Pentagon, Cooper is able to bring a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role. Cooper is responsible for executing strategies that will bolster AAR’s expanding defense and government sectors—a critical area of focus for AAR as it takes advantage of new opportunities in these industries.
Prior to joining AAR Corp in 2019, Cooper held different leadership positions during his tenure at the US Air Force. He started as Wing Commander in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul of over 200 aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Cooper transitioned into Director, then as Deputy Chief of Staff of Logistics, where was in charge of approving policies for logistics, aircraft maintenance operations, and supply chain management across the US Air Force.
Sarah L. Flanagan, Vice President of Financial Operations
Sarah L. Flanagan has been the Vice President of Financial Operations since 2017. She is an accountant by profession and is responsible for leading AAR’s contracts and global finance organizations across different countries.
Flanagan leverages her 10 years of experience working in financial operations to fulfill her obligations as VP. Prior to joining AAR Corp. in 2012, Flanagan held various leadership roles at Honeywell International for 11 years; she became Controller for the $.5 billion Engines, Systems & Services business segment and Chief Financial Officer for the $2 billion Specialty Material segment of Honeywell Performance and Materials Technologies (PMT).
She also worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, where she spent three years in the mid-market sector of the company’s manufacturing, auditing, financial, and healthcare institutions.
Jessica Garascia, Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer, and Secretary
Jessica Garascia joined AAR Corp. in 2020 and currently serves as Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer, and Corporate Secretary. She is responsible for the company’s compliance, litigation, corporate governance, and NYSE compliance.
Garascia started her career as an attorney at Jenner & Block in 2005. She has over 20 years of professional experience in legal and corporate counseling, supporting finance and treasury affairs, and overseeing merger and acquisition operations.
Rahul Ghai, Vice President and Chief Digital & Technology Officer
Rahul Ghai joined AAR Corp. in 2019 and was appointed Chief Digital & Technology Officer. He leads the aviation firm’s Digital Technology & Analytics organization and oversees all digital and technology functions extending to innovation, application development, security & analytics, and infrastructure & operations.
Ghai has 20 years of experience working on strategic programs, such as merger integration, commercial aviation, airline process, technology strategy, and digital technology transformation and innovation. He became part of AAR Corp.’s corporate team in 2022.
Sean Gillen, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Sean Gillen entered AAR Corp. in 2019 and was appointed Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He oversees the firm’s accounting, financial, tax treasury, and investor relations operations.
Prior to AAR Corp., Gillen assumed leadership roles handling treasury matters, banking functions, hedging strategies, and functions involving mergers and acquisitions in other companies such as the USG Corporation and Goldman Sachs.
Nicholas P. Gross, Senior Vice President of Integrated Solutions – Government Programs
Nicholas P. Gross was appointed Senior Vice President of Integrated Solutions – Government Programs in 2019. He oversees operations involving commercial and government fleet management products and solutions for customers worldwide. As Senior VP, Gross is responsible for delivering business oversight, propelling client satisfaction, and improving the company’s ROI.
Part of Gross’ extensive knowledge in managing strategies and solutions for global organizations comes from his previous stints at Michael Baker International, KS International LLC, Sallyport Global, and the US Air Force. He developed expertise in operations implementation, new business development, project planning and management, and many more.
Christopher A. Jessup, Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer
Christopher A. Jessup has been the Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for AAR Corp. since 2015. He entered the company in 2008 and took on various leadership positions within AAR’s MRO Services business segment.
In his current role, Jessup is collectively in charge of operational oversight and global commercial sales, marketing, and business development functions of AAR’s Parts Supply, OEM Solutions, MRO Group, and Integrated Solutions.
Lori A. Knudson, Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Lori A. Knudson joined AAR Corp. in 2021 and was assigned Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. Knudson directly reports to Jessica Garasica and is responsible for driving the company’s ethics and compliance efforts. She also ensures the aircraft manufacturing company adheres to public and labor laws to the highest ethical principles.
Knudson brings a wealth of experience to her position, particularly in corporate law and governance, enterprise risk management, and global compliance. Her background as an attorney has prepared her well for this role, having extensive knowledge of legal regulations and compliance requirements that are critical to AAR Corp.’s operations.
In addition to her legal experience, Knudson holds a Compliance and Ethics Professional-International certification from the Compliance Certification Board. The designation is proof of her commitment to staying up-to-date on the latest developments in compliance and ethics and her ability to apply this knowledge to promote growth and success for the company.
Salvatore J. Marino, Vice President of Parts Supply
Salvatore J. Marino is the current Vice President of the Parts Supply segment. He is in charge of the strategic direction of the supply of aircraft engine components, critical development of new niche markets, and inventory management.
Marino brings 25 years of experience in the aviation industry to AAR Corp. He maximizes his previous work experience at Trans World Express and American Eagle to handle AAR’s commercial engine products, engine leasing, and profit and loss (PL) responsibilities.
Eric S. Pachapa, Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer
Eric S. Pachapa has been part of AAR Corp. since 2014. He started as the company’s Senior Director of Financial Accounting and Reporting before becoming Corporate Controller in 2016. Pachapa is responsible for the firm’s global accounting policies, internal controls, reporting, and income taxes.
Pachapa has previous work experience outside of the aviation industry. Earlier in his career, Pachapa served as Global Controller for Glanbia Performance Nutrition, a prime nutritional product distributor in Aurora, Illinois. He spent 15 years holding multiple leadership roles at Ernst & Young.
Tracey Patterson, Chief Human Resources Officer
Tracey Patterson is AAR Corp.’s Chief Human Resources Officer. She was assigned the position in February 2023 and leads the company’s global human resources and communications functions. Patterson is primarily focused on employee engagement, workforce development, and continuous improvement to drive company growth.
Patterson draws from her 11-year career working on HR operations and managing over 10,000 HR professionals in her previous employment. She has helped build and launch CRM solutions, integrating intelligent technology solutions with human-led experiences, and leading digital transformation and technology modernization efforts, among many others.
Brian E. Sartain, Vice President of Repair and Engineering
Brian E. Sartain is the Vice President of AAR Corp.’s Repair and Engineering division. Sartain oversees MRO Services, component repair, engineering services, landing gear services, and the manufacturing of mobility systems. He is known for his expertise in business development, joint ventures, turnarounds, and business development, among others, to drive organic growth and innovate aviation services.
Sartain has 25 years of experience working in the aerospace industry. He was the Executive Vice President of Aerospace at Chromalloy Gas Turbine, a firm that offers integrated solutions for OEMs, militaries, commercial airlines, and energy companies.
Dylan Woolin, Vice President of Strategic & Corporate Development and Treasurer
Dylan Wolin is the Vice President of Strategic & Corporate Development and the Treasurer of AAR Corp. He has held his VP position since 2017 and his treasurer role since 2020.
As VP, Wolin is responsible for the company’s strategic development initiatives, joint ventures, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions functions. As treasurer, Wolin oversees all treasury functions, corporate finance and banking operations, and risk management benefits.
Wolin has 25 years of knowledge and competence in strategic planning and treasury work. Prior to joining AAR Corp., he worked for banking and finance institutions such as Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett (now known as Gnarus Advisors LLC) and the Deutsche Bank. Wolin gained experience in the aviation industry from The Boeing Company, where he worked for nine years.
Frank Landrio, Senior Vice President of OEM Solutions
Frank Landrio is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and OEM Solutions. He oversees AAR’s OEM Solutions, which include product development, manufacturing process, packaging, and supply chain management. Landrio also leads the forging of strategic partnerships with other OEMs to maximize AAR Corp.’s commercial, military, and global market aftersales.
Landrio has been part of AAR Corp. since February 2007. He assumed the roles of Vice President of Finance, Vice President and General Manager, and Chief Financial Officer. Having worked as Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Multi Media Electronics, Inc introduced him to electronics and manufacturing.
Art R. Smith, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer
Art R. Smith has been a Vice President and the Chief Quality Officer of AAR Corp. since 2011. He is responsible for monitoring the quality of the company’s airframe parts and aircraft products and evaluating whether they are suitable for importing and exporting. Smith currently leads production groups with over 350 members and quality groups with over 100 members.
Smith is Lean Certified and a holder of a Six Sigma Black Belt. He has an in-depth knowledge of utilizing Lean and Six Sigma tools in his work.
AAR Corp.’s Board of Directors
Here are the current members of AAR Corporation’s Board of Directors.
- John M. Holmes, President, Chairman, and CEO
- Anthony K. Anderson, Independent Business Consultant
- Michael R. Boyce, former Chairman of PQ Corporation
- John W. Dietrich, President and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide
- Robert F. Leduc, former President of Pratt & Whitney
- Ellen M. Lord, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
- Duncan J. McNabb, retired US Air Force General
- Peter Pace, retired US Marine Corps General
- Jennifer L. Vogel, co-founder of Invista Advisors LLP
- Marc J. Walfish, founding partner of Merit Capital Partners
AAR Corporation: “Doing it Right” for the Aviation Industry
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Since 1951, AAR Corp. has committed to providing class-leading aviation products and solutions to customers in the commercial and government sectors. The company acts with honesty and integrity to set high ethical standards in delivering every work and promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values, such as inclusion, safety, and quality.