Stedman Stevens, CEO, Vū Systems
How long have you been at your current organization?
I have been a part of this organization from the beginning. The first meetings were over 6 years ago on September 21, 2013. It has been an exhilarating roller coaster ride building out an idea to a prototype, then to production scaling, and landing an international strategic partner like Saab.
What are your responsibilities within your organization?
Directing strategy, sales and product development.
Describe a typical day or week in your role.
I spend my time building relationships with employees, suppliers and customers. This includes flying at the last minute to see a customer, editing legal documents, pushing engineers to speed up, flying in King Air test flights, reviewing costs and schedules, and lying awake at night worrying about what I forgot…
What do you love most about your job?
It has been fun building an idea into a product and exciting flying it for the first time and seeing the concept become a reality. Seeing through clouds and fog for the first time at dawn was something special for the entire team. It is also fun working together with talented, spirited co-workers who challenge status quo. Putting together the right team dynamics is demanding in a developmental and commercialization process. Creating an environment for people to excel and having a dozen balls in the air at every moment of every day is particularly rewarding.
Why did working in the Business Aviation industry interest you, and how did you get started?
I have always wanted to fly but could not get it in with work, kids and life. Working in the Business Aviation industry is the next best thing to flying.
Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?
Jetcraft founder and Vu Systems Co-founder Bucky Oliver. We happened to join the same organization of CEOs in Raleigh, NC in 1994. It was a great group of non-competing businesses that discussed challenges and how to improve our business and personal lives. Imagine sitting in a room with 14 experienced people and presenting a problem or challenge to the group. The group really functioned as an advisory committee for each business. Being with that small group for one day each month for almost 10 years was a super growth experience. Bucky and I figured out that we think similarly, ask questions differently and made a good team. Our friendship has continued to grow over the last 26 years.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Energetic, fearless and fun-loving
What one item would you never travel without on a long-haul flight?
When she was in the first grade, my daughter gave me a small stuffed dolphin to ensure safe travels. It has been in my briefcase for 23 years.
Finally, what is your hidden talent or hobby?
I enjoy writing and just published my first book last month, A Beautiful Life…the little things that help grieving families. It is a book of hope, inspiration and grief.
About Vū Systems
Vū Systems is an advanced imaging technology company that has developed the world’s first commercially available and patented passive millimeter wave (PMMW) sensor. Vū’s new breakthrough and proven EFVS system, the Vū Cube, enables airlines and operators to maintain their schedule reliability when faced with zero visibility environments, while significantly reducing their operating costs, allowing business aviation operators for both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to guarantee arrival to their destination with greater reliability and safety. Vū’s innovation of advanced PMMW sensors and processors offer capabilities to other industries and product lines that have never been seen before, including transportation, automation, shipping and more.
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