Insights of Experience: Bob Sarazin
Posted on Jan 16, 2015
As we continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we constantly reflect on the incredible employees who have helped us reach this milestone. We’re excited to publish a series of interviews and photos with some of our most experienced staff members. We’ve asked these Pentastar employees about their careers at Pentastar and how the business aviation industry has changed during the last several decades. We are titling this series “Insights of Experience.” Look for our ads featured in Aviation International News and visit the Flight Plan blog to read more of the interviews.
Vice President, FBO Services
31 Years at Pentastar Aviation
His advice to someone pursuing a career in business aviation: “Have a true respect for what you’re doing.”
When it comes to the FBO side of the business, there are few jobs Bob Sarazin hasn’t done personally. It’s this same depth of experience that makes him the perfect fit to lead our award-winning FBO team today. Bob is constantly inspired to find new ways to provide Pentastar’s customers with a stress-free travel experience – and that desire to exced expectations extends far beyond his position at Pentastar. Below, you can read about Bob and his career at Pentastar Aviation in his own words:
Staying with a company for 30 years, it just doesn’t seem to happen as much as it used to.
Good camaraderie, folks to share stories with, share experiences with – that’s something that’s been pretty stable over the last 30 years.
When I started out, standing on top of a DC-6 with a hose pumping 2,000 gallons of low lead into an aircraft with really no interaction with the pilots or anyone else, I never really thought that I’d know as much about customer service as I do today
Pentastar Aviation is involved in so many different aspects of the whole aviation business. We probably touch just about every component, other than the scheduled airlines.
I’m actually pretty light hearted. I have three daughters and a wife. I’m a pretty soft individual when it gets right down to it. Some people get the impression that I’m rough and hardcore, maybe not as approachable as I really am.
I’m the sort of person, that if I go fishing and I invite you along, I’m going to do everything in my power to try to make sure you have a good time and that’s imparted at work. I want to make sure our clients have the best experience, in every situation.
Good deeds don’t all go unnoticed.
I’ve met all kinds of inspiring people in aviation and I’ve watched the paths that they’ve taken. I’ve shook the hands of three U.S. presidents on our ramp, but overall, my inspiration comes from my grandfather. My grandfather was a hardworking man; kind and very respectful.
We live in a world where whether it’s weather conditions, adverse situations or challenges, you just have to have a true respect for what it is you’re doing.
My best day in aviation was one of the first airshows I was involved in back at Willow Run Airport, hosting the Navy’s Blue Angels. We were responsible for their ground handling: hangar, fuel, things of that nature. I’d have to say it was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been involved in – being so close to the action.
My worst day in aviation was when we were involved with storing the wreckage of flight 255 that crashed out of Metro. We helped transfer the wreckage from trunk trailers into a storage facility and built walls around it. It was just horrible to be doing that and see shoes and garments. I was very emotional.
If you want something done right, do it yourself, but have someone else involved in the process so that they can observe what you’re doing. I think a lot of people jump to do things themselves, but you’ve got to try to bring someone along with you to share your knowledge and experience.
You could tell that from the onset of Mr. Ford’s purchase of Pentastar, he was looking customer service square in the eye and trying to get us to ramp up those areas. When we finally had success in the national FBO surveys, it just really drove us to continue to improve and compete.
Pentastar Aviation, especially under Mr. Ford’s ownership, has taken customer service to a whole new level. We examine what it is that we’re doing. What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What can we do better? We’re continuously challenging ourselves.
During the Super Bowl, the weather conditions were just horrific and our ramp was completely full. I worked about 48-50 hours straight. At one point, I went down to the terminal and I thought about just driving off – ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ But I hung around and toughed it out with the rest of our hardworking team and our customers were very pleased. They had a very successful Super Bowl. I don’t know if I’d do another one though.
I don’t necessarily seek recognition, but there’s a satisfaction that comes with doing something that makes someone else’s life easier.