After five to six months of planning a special edition of Piper Flyer with its ever-so-cool genealogy pullout chart, Jen and I were on a plane to corporate headquarters of the world famous Piper Aircraft to celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary.
Smooth flying set the stage. Landing at Orlando International (KMCO) we were welcomed by a cool, brisk wind—comforting after a four-hour flight from the West Coast. Forty-five minutes later we arrived to beautiful accommodations at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. (Thanks, Piper Aircraft.)
On the Piper grounds
We’re not strangers to the Piper facility. Years back, we were in Vero Beach after Hurricane Frances hit and caused substantial damage to a few of Piper Aircraft’s manufacturing buildings.
Today the grounds look beautiful and the hangars are outfitted with the latest hurricane brace technology, as pointed out by Simon Caldecott—the CEO of Piper himself!—as we looked at the ceiling in admiration. Caldecott, we discovered, has time for everybody and is phenomenal with names. He is very approachable.
This first-class, two-day event started with familiar faces and friends setting up booths at the perimeter of this gorgeous building. Jacqueline Carlon, Elizabeth Groom and Alba Walcott from Piper’s marketing department were at hand to help and assist those with questions.
As usual, I started setting up my booth… only to get sidetracked talking to Vern Rodgers of Parker-Hannifin, and Mark Seaver at the Vantage Plane Plastics booth. Feeling guilty, I hustled back to help Jen finish the task at hand.
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