July 18, 2016

Q&A with Tom Hauge – Wings Insurance

Hauge HeadshotTom Hauge, National Sales Director, Wings Insurance
[email protected]

How long have you been at your current organization?

I started at Wings Insurance in February of 2004. Prior to joining Wings I spent a short period of time in the Reinsurance business working for the world’s largest Reinsurance broker.

What are your responsibilities within your organization?

I am the National Sales Director for Wings Insurance. I also take on the role as my firm’s industry focal for many professional aviation organizations that we support and participate in such as National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) and the numerous aircraft ownership organizations that exist in the turbine aircraft marketplace (Citation Jet Pilots, TBM Owners, Phenom Owners, Meridian/Malibu Owners, Pilatus Owners etc). Finally, I mentor and oversee our sales staff and lead sales initiatives for our aviation insurance product line.

Describe a typical day or week in your role.

A typical day in my role usually involves interaction with my team in preparing insurance renewal proposals for our current client base. In addition to our existing clients – my team usually has anywhere from 3-5 new business opportunities we are working on every week which range from light aircraft up to commercial aviation risks – we do focus heavily on turbine risks which makes up the bulk of our book of business. In a week’s time I typically will have some travel away from home office. My time away from the office generally will involve visiting clients in our company aircraft or traveling to a convention or outing in support of the owner/pilot and professional aviation organizations that we support.

What do you love most about your job?

The relationships I have forged with my clients and industry partners are what it is all about. My role with Wings Insurance has enabled me to significantly broaden my professional network and I enjoy getting together with my ‘global aviation partners’ throughout the year either at industry events or on the golf course. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of industry contacts to work alongside as not only business associates but friends.

Why did working in the Business Aviation industry interest you, and how did you get started?

I started my career after college working for an airline and it was a very rewarding period of time personally and professionally. Unfortunately, the airline I was employed with went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy just about the time I had achieved a Chief of Aircraft Acquisition/B737 Fleet Chief position. I hadn’t planned on leaving the airline business following the airline’s bankruptcy filing but I spoke with several colleagues who were in the business aviation field (one of which was Jetcraft’s President – Chad Anderson) and decided that business aviation likely would be a better career path with fewer peaks and valleys than I was seeing in the airline world (thus far that thought has proven true). At the time the airline business was very unstable (mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies) especially with charter carriers. As things would turn out my business aviation colleague’s insight was invaluable in shaping my future career path.

Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

I can’t point to specific person or persons who have shaped me professionally. I feel as though my competitors have driven, to some extent, how I conduct business and sell my product. I constantly assess competition and try to outcompete them in all facets of our business – above all the level of service and market knowledge that I provide to my clients. Out ‘relationship building’ my competition is my mantra.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Loyal, Dependable, Tireless

What one item would you never travel without on a long haul flight?

Anything Bose (I grew up in Massachusetts not far from Bose global headquarters). I never board an airplane of any type without noise cancelling headsets (whether a commercial flight or a flight in our company aircraft) – it’s all about comfort and serenity.

DSC_7188Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?

While I’m not an excellent golfer – I really enjoy a good round of golf when time permits. While based in Minnesota – my position affords frequent travel to warm destinations during the winter/spring months as those spots are usually where conventions and meetings are hosted – I almost always combine golf with business when on the road.

About Wings Insurance

Wings Insurance began in 1984 specializing in aviation insurance on a regional level. Since inception, our business has experienced a steady rate of growth and now encompasses aviation risks globally and on most continents. Almost 30 years later, we offer global insurance solutions through a world-wide network of solution providers with over 100 years of combined aviation insurance experience.

We have a hands-on background in both the aviation and insurance industries. When you are making strategic decisions, whether it involves purchasing, financing, tax, legal, transitions or recurrent training, we have the resources to help you make informed decisions.

Placing emphasis on turbine aircraft, helicopters, Fixed Base Operators, corporate and commercial fleets and aircraft dealer/brokers allows us to utilize our identified strengths. Our client base is composed of intelligent, ethical, well-informed professionals who understand aviation operations and your need for a “fiscally responsible” insurance program.

At Wings Insurance, we believe our success is directly determined by the quality and level of service we provide our clients and business associates. Our paperless work environment and commitment to leading edge technology offers a wealth of possibilities for responding to client service needs. www.wingsinsurance.com