ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — John Uczekaj, president and CEO of Aspen Avionics, was awarded Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year by Living Legends of Aviation at its star-studded gala Jan. 18.
Uczekaj was selected for this award to acknowledge his leadership in guiding Aspen Avionics from a new startup operation through developing the company into an avionics industry leader, all the while securing ongoing investments to fund new products, according to officials.
Uczekaj has served the industry in many roles, including board member for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, member of the Strategic Outlook Committee of the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), founder and board member of the New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association, and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Engineers of the College of Engineering at Oregon State University. Uczekaj is also an active instrument rated private pilot and flies a Diamond DA40.
Under Uczekaj’s leadership, Aspen Avionics has earned many local and industry accolades, including AEA’s Associate Member of the Year. Local recognition of Aspen includes being named one of New Mexico’s Flying 40 for the last four years, a selection of the top 40 revenue-generating technology companies in the state of New Mexico, for which Aspen was specifically recognized as having the highest revenue growth. Uczekaj has also been recognized by New Mexico Business Weekly’s annual Who’s Who in Technology award.
“This award came as a complete surprise to me,” said Uczekaj. “The general aviation industry has long been known for its talented and dedicated people so I am deeply humbled to be honored amongst so many great names in aviation.”
Uczekaj has more than 30 years of experience in the avionics industry, starting out as an engineer at Boeing and moving into management positions at Sperry and Honeywell. At Honeywell, Uczekaj rose through the engineering ranks to become Vice President of Development Engineering, and later led Sales and Marketing for the Commercial Avionics Systems division. In 2001, Uczekaj was made Executive VP and General Manager of Honeywell’s Aerospace Electronics Systems division, including the Bendix/King line of General Aviation avionics. Immediately prior to joining Aspen, John was President and COO of The NORDAM Group, an aviation parts manufacturer and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company.
“I came to Aspen six years ago for the opportunity to build the next major player in the avionics industry,” he said. “The company’s entrepreneurial spirit is key to that success and it is what keeps us innovating and moving forward. Every day I focus on keeping that spirit alive at Aspen.”
The Living Legends of Aviation Awards event is produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a non-profit organization that introduces children ages 4 through 9 to being a pilot, as well as other aviation related careers. Kiddie Hawk follows the students as they progress; making scholarships available as participants enter actual flight training. For more information about the Living Legends of Aviation, please visit livinglegendsofaviation.org.