The Bogert Group
(Safe Jack, Uncle Norm’s Marine, Bogert Aviation Inc., Bogert Manufacturing Inc.)
Number of employees you oversee: 30
Brief background about the business:
Bogert Aviation opened in 1983 as a FBO, or Fixed Base Operation, at the Richland Airport. Within a year, we began moving toward manufacturing aircraft parts and special equipment for aircraft maintenance. We moved to Pasco in 2005.
In 2006 we had an opportunity to develop a product for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines. We are now full-time manufacturers of aviation products, military equipment, specialty jack products and marine products.
How did you land your current role? How long have you been in it?
This is my 40th year in business. I had been working as a service manager for a Tri-Cities based aviation company. My boss and I didn’t share the same philosophy and so I resigned. Two weeks later, I started my own company, Bogert Aviation.
Why should the Tri-Cities care about the manufacturing industry?
Manufacturing allows a small, local company to sell product all over the world. Manufacturing is not limited by geography as service businesses are. Manufacturing breeds innovation and opportunity for those who want to develop a skill.
What is your message to young people about the manufacturing jobs?
Manufacturing is fun and there are opportunities for skill development. You see things take shape. You can say, “I built that.”
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
I think every leader needs vision. If you are going to lead, it would be great if you knew where you were going and why you were going there.
What is the biggest challenge facing business owners and managers today?
Personally, I feel there is an adversarial attitude on the part of government agencies that makes it harder to do our work.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry?
I would reduce the amount of red tape we have to cut through to get something approved. Much of it seems unnecessary and counterproductive. The better the technology, the longer it seems to take.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Listen and pay attention. Work with your team to make improvements. Ask advice. Read books like, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Who are your role models or mentors?
I have had a few. We learn what to do and what not to do sometimes by poor example. Patric Sazama, with Impact Washington was a huge help to me. Doug Hall was also an inspiration.
How do you keep your employees motivated?
We do a lot of cross training and move people around so they don’t get bored. We offer flexible work schedules so that they are able to deal with family situations.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?
I wanted to be a business owner from before I left for aircraft maintenance school in the mid-70s. I wanted to operate an FBO. I got my chance in 1983 but soon found out that a service business has limitations. I turned to manufacturing so that I wasn’t limited by my geography.
How do you measure success in your workplace?
I feel that if the employees are happy and we are making money, we are doing all right. For me, I like to see a new product developed every month or so.
What do you consider your leadership style to be?
My management style has changed a lot over the years. I have become a collaborator and teacher.
How do you balance work and family life?
Family is more important than work. Give your family what they need and give the rest to your business.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I like to spend time with my wife, family and friends. I am also writing my memoirs and I have started writing a novel. I am a HAM radio operator, and I love to go boating.
What’s your best time management strategy?
I like to break up my day in segments for communication, meetings, design. Often, life has different ideas.
Best tip to relieve stress?
I have found that I don’t have much stress because I have great people to work with and that makes all the difference.
What’s your favorite website?
When I am not “working,” I like to watch YouTube videos. I love to see how creative people are. I often get product or process ideas that I can take into work.
Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use?
Relax, life is good!
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!