Meet the Public Affairs and Community Investment Specialist: Al Wright

As Gulfstream’s longest-serving employee, Al Wright shares 50 years of expertise in product support, innovation and customer service, putting 469 students (and counting) on a path to brighter futures.

How was Gulfstream’s mission to exceed customer expectations established?

Grumman’s customer base had been military, but now it was expanding to include private aviation. To have repeat customers, we had to let them know, we’re going to take care of you. That hasn’t changed. We’re going to deliver the best product. Gulfstream has always been on the cutting edge of technology, and we look at all the details of comfort in flight—all the human factors, all the safety features—and once the aircraft is delivered, we support it.

Early in your career, you managed parts distribution and supply. What are some examples of customer service you recall?

Before there was an Interstate 95 or FedEx delivery, we had one road in and out of the Savannah, Georgia, plant, and we were often delayed getting to the airport by trains crossing the road. If we missed a flight, customers wouldn’t get their parts. We went to the airport commission and got permission to cross the runway from the back of Gulfstream property. We got radios to communicate directly with the tower and our trucks would cut over to the terminal.

You now work with Gulfstream’s Youth Apprentice Program, helping high school students prepare for college and an aviation career. How does your management experience help prepare these students?

I show them some of the innovations I helped bring about. One example is solving a problem we had in Receiving. Deliveries were piling up and people were complaining. I told our team we were going to cut holes in walls and create a conveyor belt system from the dock all the way to the stockroom. Everyone said, You can’t do that! And I said, Sure we can. Within a week our backlog was gone. Twenty years later, we’re still using much that same system. I can show these young kids that system, put their hands on that conveyor and talk about everything we had to overcome to achieve that success.

You are nearing retirement. Hypothetically, if you could be given a Gulfstream as a parting gift, which one would you choose?

A Gulfstream G500 or G600. Even when I buy an automobile now, I try to get one with all the technology, all the bells and whistles, so I would want the latest and greatest.

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