Having grown up under the approach path of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, it was almost inevitable that aviation would be a part of Dennis’ DNA. But nature is only a partial explanation for what fueled his fervor: “My parents did a fantastic job nurturing my passion, and when the movie Top Gun came out, I was totally smitten.”
I grew up in the shadow of LaGuardia Airport and fell in love with aerospace while watching jets take off and land from a park nearby.
Ultimately, Dennis attended the United States Naval Academy where he earned a degree in control systems engineering and later served as an officer and aviator in the United States Marine Corps. It was a foundational experience. “As a training officer of a fighter squadron, I was essentially ‘given the keys’ to the performance of about 40 officers flying 12 aircraft. One pilot did not fit into our culture, but he was an amazing operator of the aircraft. Normally, I would have written him off, but I decided to give him a chance to earn an extremely high qualification – and he nailed it!” he says. Since, then, he’s enjoyed success finding more diamonds in the rough. “I now seek these people out and help them turn things around. But it all started with that first pilot 20 years ago,” says Dennis.
After service, he leveraged those experiences into work as an industry executive in aerospace and operations. As a former industry executive, he brings an insider’s perspective to his team, enabling them to understand what matters to the people who work day-in, day-out in the industry. “The pressures of trying to deliver results weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually can be overwhelming. If we can help our clients achieve their goals by providing them with great insights and great results, it is a feeling unlike anything else. Earning that feeling is the calling of a consultant,” he says.
Looking ahead, there’s an enormous opportunity for clients to leverage digital tools and operational strategies to maximize business performance. “The array of tools available to management teams can produce some amazing outputs to inform business decisions, but it remains the clients’ people who turn those outputs into outcomes,” says Dennis. “The challenge is that digital strategies must come with an executable implementation approach – or they will fail to produce intended results.”