Bill Williams, vice president of supply chain management for Gulfstream, recently spoke to students and faculty members from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Aerospace & Defense MBA program at the Haslam College of Business.
Williams, a native of Lebanon, Tenn., talked with a group of more than 40 UT students and faculty members about how the aviation company maintains its competitive edge and brand recognition. He also spoke about development and production of the company’s Gulfstream G650 aircraft.
Gulfstream, a division of parent company, General Dynamics, is the world’s leading manufacturer of business aviation aircraft. On March 12, the National Aeronautic Association awarded Gulfstream the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the Gulfstream G650 program, “for strengthening business aviation through significant technological advancements in aircraft performance, cabin comfort and safety.”
The Collier Trophy is awarded annually, “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America … The list of Collier recipients represents a timeline of air and space achievements, marking major events in the history of flight.”
Williams also spoke to students about Gulfstream’s corporate values and a management culture that supports and enables the innovation cycle. He explained key elements of the company’s customer focus and product support strategy and infrastructure.
“Bill’s talk was the perfect way to close an outstanding year for the largest class this program has ever served,” said Dr. Jim Wansley, director of the Aerospace & Defense MBA.
Thirty-five students in the Aerospace & Defense MBA program graduated last week. The program has graduated nearly 300 of the top leaders in the aerospace and defense industry since its inception in 2004. The Aerospace & Defense MBA is the centerpiece of a portfolio of Haslam programs serving the industry. Faculty members from the college also have delivered more than $54 million of applied research for aerospace and defense sponsors over the last decade.
“Attracting outstanding business executives and thought leaders from companies like Gulfstream brings great value to our students,” said Andy White, director of Haslam’s Aerospace & Defense Business Institute. “Our focus on this industry and our ties to its leaders set UT programs apart.”