Payne has an enviable history of success that began shortly after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Georgia. From the media industry to printing, Payne’s achievements have placed him in a position of high regard within the Georgia business community. In 2003, Payne purchased the assets of the defunct Ayres Corporation in Albany, re-vamped the company’s staff, capabilities, and product line, and re-opened the massive production facility as Thrush Aircraft, Inc. Under Payne’s leadership, Thrush continues to be one of the great turn-around stories in the agricultural aviation industry.
Chief Financial Officer
Stan has been at Thrush Aircraft since 2011 and is responsible for all accounting and finance duties. During his first two years at our factory Albany, he worked with our international and domestic customers to arrange financing for their aircraft – either through direct loans with financial institutions, or with Thrush acting as the lender. Prior to joining Thrush, Stan spent 30 years in corporate finance, investment banking and management – working with many small business owners to protect, manage and grow their companies. Stan received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, majoring in Finance.
Vice President of Sales
Eric brings more than ten years management and marketing experience to Thrush. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and holds a BBA in Marketing. As Vice President of Sales, Eric leads our global marketing strategy, communications and brand positioning efforts. Eric has been with Thrush since 2005
Vice President Product Support & Development
Jody is a graduate of the United States Army Test Pilot School and served as a test pilot on the AH-64 Apache helicopter program, and later as a contract civilian test pilot at the Army Aviation Technical Testing Center now located at Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, Alabama. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer. Jody is a licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic with Inspection Authorization. He also holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument ratings for aircraft land and sea, as well as helicopters. Jody has been with Thrush since 2004, and today oversees all product support and flight test operations for the company.
Vice President Engineering
Every aircraft company needs sound engineering leadership, and Jim provides that, and more, here at Thrush. With over 25 years experience in design, development and project engineering, Jim oversees our engineering department and embodies the spirit of innovation we constantly strive for here at the factory. Jim is a structural DER and received a BS of Aerospace Engineering from Boston University.
Marketing, Product Support, Pilot Training
Terry has over 35 years and 12,000 flight hours of experience in agricultural aviation. He served with the United States State Department’s Anti-Drug Program in Latin America for some 10 years, and has been actively involved with virtually every model of Thrush Aircraft since the 1970s, in flying, marketing and product development roles. He is a Certified Flight Instructor and is authorized to do pilot transition training for all Thrush models. Terry joined Thrush in 2011.
Director of Human Resources
Diane joined Thrush Aircraft in 2012 bringing to the company some 30 years of experience in Human Resources. Her varied duties here at the factory include include: Employee relations, developing and implementing company policies, performance and compensation management, and oversight of our training programs. In sum, Diane ensures the trains run on time here at Thrush, and that our staff is trained and ready to be as responsive as possible in almost any situation.