Tim Leonard, UND Alum, appointed VP, Flight Operations, FedEx (email sent from N. Janneck 11/18/15)
VP Flight Operations Announcement
Nov 17, 2015 • Jim Bowman
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Captain Tim Leonard as Vice President, Flight Operations, effective December 1st, 2015. Tim joins us from Southwest Airlines, where a varied and distinguished background in commercial aviation has made him the perfect choice to lead our Flight Ops team. He was selected from a very competitive and talented group of candidates. What set Tim apart, besides an impressive resume including dealings with many key players in the aviation community, is his obvious sincere commitment to People and the Culture that defines an airline. Simply put, I believe Tim will make an outstanding contribution to FedEx Flight Operations.
Naturally, some will ask why a current FedEx employee was not selected. A number of recent moves among Managing Directors definitely contributed to this. Others in our Flight Management department are approaching retirement, and some are still developing the experience needed to best serve us at the VP level. Our own Management staff clearly has the necessary talents to fill all positions in Flight Operations. But in this case the timing of the opening, combined with the fortunate opportunity to get Tim on our team, made hiring an external candidate the proper course of action.
Tim's jobs at Southwest included Pilot, Flight Instructor, Check Airman, Assistant Chief Pilot, Senior Manager Flight Ops Training, Director of Flight Ops Procedures Ops and Compliance, Director of Flight Ops, and 14 CFR Part 119 Chief Pilot. He was also the Chief Pilot at the Southwest MCO crew base. Before Southwest Tim flew for Skywest Airlines and Lake Mead Air. He has over 16,000 flight hours.
He's also been actively involved in our industry, sitting on the Airlines for America (A4A) Ops Council, as a representative on B737 MAX Americas Advisory Board (AAB), as a representative on the University North Dakota Aviation Alumni Association, and as an active board member on multiple nonprofit organizations. He's worked tirelessly with senior government executives, as well as aviation groups and regulators, to transition traditionally adversarial relationships into collaborative models of success for our industry.
Tim grew up in North Dakota, graduating from the University North of Dakota with a BS in Aeronautical Studies and an AA in Professional Flight. He lives in Copper Canyon, Texas with his wife Trisha of 27 years, an 18-year-old daughter, and two golden retrievers. He and his family are planning a move to the Memphis area.
Tim's skillset and proven track record of building and promoting a successful Culture based on mutual trust and respect make him uniquely qualified for this position. His core belief that the People are the most important part of any organization made him the best choice. Tim will soon send out his own communication, introducing himself and laying out his vision for the road ahead. While his vast experience will help immensely, we need to extend him a warm welcome and work collectively to help him in the time he takes to understand our system.
As we enter peak 2015 and the many challenges sure to meet us in 2016, I'm proud to have Tim join us at FedEx. I'll soon provide an update about the corporate business plan, fleet and staffing plans, Safety, training, and the state of Flight Operations. I'm also looking forward to sharing our plans to address head-on the lessons learned in last year's winter ice events. And importantly, I'll address improving Culture and trust by working together with ALPA, ensuring we continue to thrive in the exciting years ahead.
Senior Vice President, Flight Operations