Lynn Nichols, chairman and CEO of Yingling Aviation, has announced the elevation of his son Andrew Nichols, the firm’s current chief financial officer, to the position of president. The move is the “‘logical next step’ in our generational succession plan, designed to provide a smooth transition for the company and position it for continued success,” Nichols says.
“Lonnie Vaughan, who has served admirably as Yingling’s president for the past seven years, will effectively ‘swap’ positions with Andrew, returning to the post he held prior to being named president in 2012,” the senior Nichols explained. “Lonnie and I both recognize that we are not getting any younger, so we have been grooming Andrew over the last few years to eventually take over the family’s business. The timing of this move gives me the opportunity to work with Andrew more closely before I eventually retire. Lonnie has also been a part of this plan over these years and I greatly appreciate his loyalty and perspective. He understands the importance of this transition.”
A licensed private pilot, Andrew Nichols is a graduate of both Kansas State University and Wichita State with degrees in finance and business management. His familiarity with the diverse operations of Yingling Aviation began early, since he worked in a variety of roles for the firm while in high school and college. He came to Yingling on a full-time basis in 2010 after serving in the finance department of Cessna Aircraft Company following graduation from KSU.
The elder Nichols also announced expanded roles for Chris Short, director of Maintenance and Rebecca Williams, director of Parts. Short’s responsibilities will now include oversight of aircraft maintenance, avionics, interiors and aircraft paint services. Williams’ position has been broadened to include management of propeller sales, repair and overhaul services.
“We are currently in the process of implementing the largest facilities, services and worker expansion in the company’s history,” Nichols noted. “We’re doing so with a great deal of confidence that everything we are doing is aligning us for continued growth in 2020 and beyond,” says Nichols.