— 04.14.16 —

Veteran Aviation Marketer Joins SHS as Aero Practice Lead

SHS has added significant bench strength to a focus area that’s been key to the agency’s success since it was founded in 1971.

  • April 14, 2016

Veteran Aviation Marketer Joins SHS as Aero Practice Lead

ron_gunnarson_headshot_2016_news_detailSHS has added significant bench strength to a focus area that’s been key to the agency’s success since it was founded in 1971. Ron Gunnarson has joined the marketing firm as Practice Director – Aviation, Aerospace and Defense.

Gunnarson has spent his 26-year career in aviation and has held leadership positions in marketing for brands that include Beechcraft, Hawker, Travel Air and Cessna. He has hands-on experience in a wide range of client-side aviation marketing functions, including product strategy, branding, communications and advertising. He has applied that expertise across numerous business segments: new and pre-owned aircraft; fixed-base operations (FBO); maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); fractional ownership; and special missions and military aircraft.

Earlier in his career, Gunnarson was a senior aircraft-demonstration captain and is type-rated on multiple turboprop and jet aircraft.

In his position at SHS, Gunnarson will work to grow the agency’s aviation, aerospace and defense business and will be available as a focus area expert and adviser for the team. “It’s my goal to represent SHS to the industry and represent the industry to SHS,” Gunnarson said. “I think I bring a bit of a unique mix of industry and agency experience and understanding to SHS. I’ve been fortunate to gain a broad perspective of general aviation from the OEM and the client side. At the same time, I’ve worked with SHS several times during that time in formal client-agency relationships.” “We feel very fortunate to have Ron on the team,” said Tom Bertels, SHS managing partner. “He’s been deeply embedded in the industry and brings an executive-level point of view that will benefit both our staff and our clients. He’s super passionate, relentless and a really great cultural fit for SHS.”

Gunnarson got his first taste of flying from his private-pilot father and earned his own license when he was 18 years old. He graduated from the University of North Dakota with degrees in aeronautical studies and public relations and immediately went to work for Beechcraft marketing in Wichita.

“Career-wise, I’ve been fortunate to combine the two things I’m really passionate about – aviation and marketing,” said Gunnarson. “I’ve chosen to work with SHS several times during my career because of their reputation for doing great work and their industry expertise. My plan is to focus on enhancing the success of both the agency and our clients.” With the addition of Gunnarson, SHS is rolling out practice area leads to the agency and will eventually have a practice area lead in each of its focus areas: food, animal health/farm to table; aviation, aerospace and defense; and marketing to men/big-brand startups. Practice area leads will assist in developing and nurturing a deep expertise in their categories and share that knowledge with the agency.

“Every industry needs a leader,” Gunnarson said. “For decades, SHS has been that recognized leader in aviation branding, marketing and advertising creativity in all facets of the aviation business – OEM, engines, aviation services (FBO), etc. And that leadership has been maintained through great technological changes in both the aviation business and the go-to-market techniques and strategies creative partners can provide. That leadership position must be maintained and SHS is uniquely qualified to fulfill it.”

Featured News