Hello, I am Bob Marinace, Executive Vice President of Solairus Aviation. I am always interested to hear how people end up where they are, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share my journey to Solairus with you.
I come from a long line of aviators. During WWII my father served in the Army Air Corps and my uncle was a waist gunner on B-17s. My grandfather worked for Grumman building fighter planes during the war, as well. Add it all up and I suppose you could say that aviation is in my blood.
Growing up in Islip, Long Island, I was always interested in how things worked. A true tinkerer, I loved taking things apart and putting them back together. I joined the Air Force when I turned 18, which was a natural progression for me given my family’s service history and my love of all things mechanical.
By age 19 I was traveling the globe as a Flight Mechanic on the C-5 Galaxy, which at the time was the largest aircraft in the world. This was a great experience for a young person by so many measures. I was able to travel and experience new cultures while at the same time receiving highly technical training and being trusted with a large amount of responsibility. My time in the Air Force served as a superb training ground and launching point for the rest of my career.
I left the Air Force in the mid 1980’s and began working in private aviation as an A&P mechanic while also training to become a pilot. I was fortunate enough to work under a great mentor who helped me focus my attention on career possibilities. I saw a few different paths: I could continue on as a mechanic, pursue an entry-level flying position, or work towards a management role. I thought long and hard about what I really wanted. I loved working directly with customers and enjoyed the logistics of how a company functions, so I quickly realized management was my ultimate goal.
My career in private aviation management began with climbing the ladder from the ground up. I began by managing shifts, was promoted to Director of Maintenance, moved on to Operations, and eventually secured a position as a General Manager of a private aviation company.
My career progressed over the years, holding leadership positions with several large aircraft management and charter companies. I eventually met the Sunset Aviation executives and continued to maintain professional friendships with Dan Drohan, John King, Greg Petersen, and the rest of the team when they went on to form Solairus Aviation. Despite the fact that we were competitors, there was a mutual respect and a shared vision of creating something better for our clients. The growth of Solairus Aviation really got my attention and the service culture that evolved was admirable and clearly something the business aviation market needed. Eventually the opportunity to represent Solairus on the U.S. East Coast as Executive Vice President presented itself and I jumped at the chance to join the team.
I love my career in aviation and joining Solairus has been a great experience for me. I have a lot of respect for our business model and really enjoy our ability to customize services for our clients. Delivering this high degree of customized service to our clients is very rewarding and enables me to look forward to going to work every day.