Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU) announced today that Joe Estrera, PhD., will be the new president of ASU and Hannah Gordon will be promoted as the new chief operating officer upon the retirement of ASU President Jim Winkle at the end of the year. Estrera previously served as the vice president and chief technology officer. Gordon previously served as vice president of administration and sales. In partnership, Estrera will lead strategy and outward operations while Gordon will direct internal operations.
“You have one of the brightest night vision minds in Dr. Joe Estrera, as captain of the ASU ship,” said ASU President Jim Winkel. “In Hannah Gordon, you have a sharp businesswoman, who knows all the inner workings of ASU like no other because she has held numerous roles at ASU. She will propel the company toward continual improvement. The new leadership team will benefit our customers.”
Gordon was the first employee hired at ASU by ASU founder Mike Atwood. Estrera was brought in as part of Winkel’s leadership team to develop new products.
“Because Hannah has done just about every job within ASU, she has the experience and expertise to assist and supervise every department,” said Atwood. “She has been a driving force in modernizing our financial and computer systems. With our move towards manufacturing the new lightweight aviation goggle, and after winning research and development contracts for advanced military night vision systems, Joe is the prime person for overseeing these projects. Joe has managed numerous projects for various night vision manufacturers before joining ASU. The experience he gained from these projects will add to the success of the ASU projects.”
Estrera will lead new product development, new business development, strategic partnerships, and direct international engagement.
Estrera has received numerous awards and industry recognition. He was awarded the U.S. Army CECOM Defense Acquisition Executive Certificate of Achievement and received corporate awards from Litton, Northrop Grumman and L-3 Communications. Dr. Estrera has authored technical papers, holds multiple patents, is frequently published in technical and industry journals, and speaks often at symposiums and seminars. He is currently a member of the American Physical Society, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, and American Vacuum Society.
He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in physics from The University of Texas at Dallas, and his B.S. in physics from the University of Notre Dame.
“ASU’s mission has always been focused on saving lives through the use of night vision goggles,” said Estrera. “ASU founder’s mission for ASU will be the litmus test for everything we do at ASU. Whether we are developing new products, leveraging our core competencies, or helping operators start night vision programs, it has to align with our vision. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the incredible ASU team, all our customers, suppliers, and affiliates to bring a bigger and brighter future to ASU. Whether it is the new advanced night vision systems we are developing in conjunction with the US Department of Defense, or the E3 goggles for civil operations, everything must adhere to the mantra that night vision solutions save lives.”
Gordon’s 21-year career at ASU has included sales, marketing, human resources, supply chain, information technology, finance and customer service. For the first ten years of her career, she focused on external operations. For the second 10 years, she has focused on internal processes. In the last two years, she has championed the launch of a new customer service department, enterprise resource planning system, and improved the customer experience. She earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Boise State University.
“ASU has a strong reputation for its family atmosphere,” said Gordon.” As the chief operating officer, I will continue to cultivate that by caring for our team. We have a lot of high-capacity leaders and dedicated employees with very demanding jobs. Part of my new endeavor will be to care for the people at ASU who work so tirelessly to care for our customers. ASU has grown from a small company to a company of more than 50 employees. We want to maintain the dynamic culture at ASU and continue to serve our customers better.”
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