Steve Townes, founder and CEO of Ranger Aerospace in Greenville, South Carolina, has been named the chairman of SCAerospace, a private-sector leadership group managed by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness.
“Businesses serving a common industry naturally cluster in a geographic location, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with aerospace in South Carolina,” SC Council on Competitiveness CEO and President Ann Marie Stieritz said. “Proactive leadership is crucial to promoting the industry cluster, accelerating innovation and growing markets. Steve’s energy and expertise will do just that for aerospace in South Carolina.”
Townes, a graduate of West Point’s engineering school, has logged over 35 years in the aerospace industry. He founded Ranger Aerospace in 1997, and has remained the company’s CEO through a rapidly changing technological landscape and through several successful aviation services consolidations, working with thousands of industry professionals during his tenure.
“Steve Townes is a respected, dynamic leader in the aerospace world and is the perfect fit to be founding chairman of SCAerospace,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. “This industry-led group will build on the strategic plan developed by the Aerospace Task Force in 2013 and help position our state as a solutions-oriented competitor on the global stage.”
“I am committed to serving the aerospace industry in South Carolina and am honored to be selected as chairman of SCAerospace,” said Townes, who will serve a two-year term. “I see phenomenal potential for our state and region as aerospace takes off across the Southeast. I will tirelessly advocate for our industry’s growth and urge fellow CEOs from other regions to take a close look at South Carolina for their next branch operation.”
The formation of SCAerospace is one of a planned series of action items of the SC Council on Competitiveness and the SC Department of Commerce with the objective to advance the aerospace cluster in South Carolina. The organizations have also scheduled networking events throughout the year to provide an opportunity to connect the industry with prospective assets that are already in the state.