Yingling Aviation, the 73-year FBO and MRO provider in Wichita that was Cessna’s first authorized center, has laid the foundation for the next step in a “generational succession plan” with the naming of Andrew Nichols as president. Nichols, the son of Yingling chairman and CEO Lynn Nichols, most recently was CFO.
He succeeds Lonnie Vaughan, who has served as president for the past seven years and returns to the position of CFO.
The elder Nichols said the move is “designed to provide a smooth transition for the company and position it for continued success,” adding it provides him the opportunity to work with his son more closely before retirement. “Lonnie and I both recognize that we are not getting any younger, so we have been grooming Andrew over the last few years to eventually take over the family’s business,” Lynn Nichols said. “Lonnie has also been a part of this plan over these years, and I greatly appreciate his loyalty and perspective. He understands the importance of this transition.”
Andrew Nichols, who earned degrees in finance and business management from Kansas State University and Wichita State University, served in the finance department at Cessna before joining Yingling full-time in 2010.
In addition to promoting Andrew Nichols, Yingling expanded the roles of Chris Short, director of maintenance, and Rebecca Williams, director of parts. Short now will have oversight of aircraft maintenance, avionics, interiors, and aircraft paint services, and Williams will steer management of propeller sales, repair, and overhaul services.
“We are currently in the process of implementing the largest facilities, services, and worker expansion in the company’s history,” Nichols noted. “We’re doing so with a great deal of confidence that everything we are doing is aligning us for continued growth in 2020 and beyond.”