Coach’s Son Syndrome?

September 8, 2016

More than once in my life I have had a young person say, “I wish that you were my dad.” I always respond the same way, “If you knew what I expect of my kids, you probably wouldn’t feel that way.” I think of it as when the coach’s son or daughter is in a starting position, especially in a high profile position. The kid better work twice as hard as anyone else and better perform or you are just inviting the naysayers. The promotion of my son to President of the KING AEROSPACE Companies is something that was earned. I tried to raise my son and daughter to take care of themselves with values and hard work. They were given opportunities but it was up to them to sink or swim.

“I am pleased to announce that Jarid King has been selected to become President of the KA Companies. He has been involved in the operations of both companies most of his life. Most importantly, he understands our values. I remind myself that I was about the same age when I became President of Associated Air Center.”

Jarid is 27 years old. Some of his accomplishments, credentials and experiences include: Texas Game Records Youth Hunter of the Year, two sessions at Marine Military Academy (Harlingen, Texas), Eagle Scout, 17 years of football (last 5 at Oklahoma State), licensed private pilot, Navy Seal Training Experience Program, long distance rifle training, licensed commercial truck driver, Episcopal Church chalice bearer, US Army deployments to Korea and Colombia, corporate jet aircraft refurbishment Project Manager, Aircraft Paint Technician, Marshal Arts training with Dan Insiando, time spent in Washington, D.C. with observing and working with a lobbyist and a college degree in Business Management. I am sure that there are lots of other things I forgot to include that have helped him for his current role.

Most of Jarid’s life he has wanted to do three primary things. His dreams were to go hunting regularly, play football and work at KING AEROSPACE. I supported the first two choices and tried to talk him out of the third. During his senior year at Oklahoma State as a member of the football team, he was featured in an article that appeared in a game day program. In an interview for the article he was asked why he was willing to work so hard as a walk-on for five years. His response: “It’s about being part of something great and making things better.” When I read Jarid’s words they screamed, “Servant Leadership.” At that point I was willing to allow him to join the KING AEROSPACE Companies. Over the past three years he has repeatedly demonstrated his leadership ability and that he is qualified to take the reins of the KA Companies. Recently our strategic planning consultants observed Jarid in our work sessions and informed me that they felt he was ready to become the President.


Most people outside of the aviation service industry would not see or feel the pains that countless aviation companies are feeling in the current economic environment. Some aircraft manufacturers have reduced their production. One aircraft modification center has closed and countless other support companies have experienced major layoffs and consolidation of facilities.

It is very unfortunate that lots of good people with families have been impacted. Some say the environment is due to the price of oil. Others say it is due to this being a presidential election year because aircraft owners are waiting to see what the future holds. Old-time industry observers say that the downturn in a presidential cycle is normal, but cannot ever recall a more dismal cycle.

The down market has impacted the KING AEROSPACE Companies as well. Staffing levels, expenses and processes are being reviewed without impacting customer support. KING AEROSPACE is most thankful for the existing Army and Navy contracts which provide a degree of stability as new contracts are pursued. KA has also had discussions with key customers regarding growth of existing positive relationships to include a greater depth and range of services KA can provide. This will not happen quickly but progress is being made.

These are painful and turbulent times for the industry, but the KA mission and principles will continue despite the current market challenges. JAKE concluded, “Sometimes you just have to stop the merry go round to repair and paint it so that it can be preserved for future generations to enjoy.” The goal is to always do the right things, for the right reasons with the right attitude. KA is implementing the wisdom of Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher: “Manage in the good times so you’ll do well in the bad times and you’ll be a much stronger company.” In aviation terms: There are blue skies and smooth air in the future as KA maneuvers around the current industry thunderstorms! I know that great things are in our future with our new President!

Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.