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Sam Simon: Soaring to New Heights with ETI Tech

17903177 – an jet fighter on an aircraft carrier deck beneath blue sky and clouds viewed from front

What often separates good deals from bad deals, as well as good companies from those that are great, is the people. It always comes back to people. No matter how technologically savvy we are in the 21st Century, companies don’t run themselves, exceptional leaders do.

One of the Simon Group Holdings (SGH) tenets is that we invest in people. In visionary entrepreneurs who have a plan to disrupt an industry and to build on their experience to recreate businesses. It’s much easier to operate companies as others have done for years, however, a mediocre effort leads to uninspiring results. SGH leaders thrive on challenges. Through hard work and operational experience we create incredible companies and returns.

I’m delighted to welcome two such leaders to the Simon Group Holdings family through Soaring Pine Capital’s acquisition of ETI Tech, Inc. ETI is a respected 20-year-old company located in a Dayton, Ohio, suburb. It provides more than 200 parts to the Department of Defense and military aircraft companies both for flight hardware and ground support.

United States Air Force veteran Bill McLendon brings a decade of experience as an officer and extensive aerospace leadership roles to ETI. Bill graduated first in his class from the Air Force Academy, in 1981, with a mechanical engineering degree, the first of many he received from prestigious universities. As an officer, he was an instructor pilot for the F-15 Eagle and served in the first Gulf War. My sincere thanks to Bill for his service to our country. Bill becomes President and CEO of ETI Tech, Inc.

His colleague Jeff Hartman becomes Executive Vice President and CFO. Jeff also has deep roots in the aerospace and defense service industries as well as experience in private equity sponsored ventures with a successful track record of growing companies. Recently, both Bill and Jeff held leadership positions at Perot Aerospace, LLC.

Bill and Jeff, as well as current owner Mark Sargent, who agreed to remain for a period of time, are incredible entrepreneurial businessmen. We were introduced by a leader at one of our companies. I knew after our meeting and evaluating the opportunity, that this acquisition would be beneficial to all those involved. It’s not just about ETI itself, as strong of a company as it is, it’s about leaders. My investment philosophy is to back people who have a vision and a hunger to succeed, and these men do.

I’ve enjoyed leading this deal and look forward to serving as Chairman of the Board. There are countless opportunities that will spur ETI’s growth including potential platform partnerships. Meanwhile, our government and military aircraft manufacturers demand superior quality and on-time delivery from trusted partners. We’re confident we’ve assembled the right team to deliver and to take the company to new heights.


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