We’re in the People Business: The Growth of Airway Services in 2022

2022 was a big year for Airway Services. In fact, 2022 was a big year for all of the TAKKION companies but, for Airway Services specifically, 2022 was the year that proved just how far they have come since the company’s inception. 

In 2022, Airway Services hired 447 people. 

This statistic may be surprising to some, but it wasn’t to Chase Hord, the Chief Operating Officer of Airway Services. 

“Our growth in 2022 was expected,” Hord said. “We’ve been very successful in growing it 30-plus percent year over year for the last five years. It’s something that we’ve been able to do, both with our organic customer base and new opportunities that our operations teams create as well.”

Hord stated that the growth of employees is directly related to the growth of clientele, and vice versa.

“This happened, really, through collaboration and partnerships with our key customers, in order to make sure that we’re ahead in the manpower game,” he said. “It’s important to have your headcount ahead of your customers’ growth, so that you have the people to support their work; otherwise, you’re just kind of late to the game.” 

Airway grew in a number of ways throughout 2022, but the biggest growth occurred in terms of field technicians, according to Keith Grigsby, the Director of Field Operations for Airway Services.

“The biggest part of our growth was in our technicians out in the field – which really drives our business,” Grigsby said. “That’s our key core of our business, is the technicians that are out there in the field. So that’s probably what we’re most proud of. Last year, in 2022, we started out with 390 technicians out in the field, and our peak headcount was 538. So, there was a big growth there.” 

It wasn’t just the number of technicians, either. Many employees were promoted from within, as well. 

“We promoted two field supervisors,” Grigsby shared. “We promoted them from field supervisors to 

operations managers. And we also promoted one of our operations managers to a senior operations manager. And we developed close to 10 field supervisors that were some of our leading technicians, who showed the capabilities of leading our teams. So, we’ll develop those guys to be future leaders in the company. And we’re pretty proud of that as well.” 

Proud, they should be. Airway Services has seen tremendous growth in many areas, and a lot of that growth can be attributed to its acquisition by TAKKION.

“TAKKION has provided not only the liquidity and the financial stability for Airway to grow in the marketplace but, really, it’s allowed us to cross-sell our services around other entities and collaborate on the field services side,” Hord said. “I would say RENEW was our biggest competitor when getting down to some of the transactional work that we would bid with customers for. So, for us to be able to collaborate and work together, now, whether RENEW wins it or Airway wins it, it’s a win for TAKKION. The cross-selling of services and the collaboration of the brand has helped us grow in this market.” 

Grigsby agrees. 

“Growth-wise, TAKKION has helped us have the financial ability to be able to grow the way we need to,” he said. “It’s been great for us all the way across the board. So anytime we have a need in there, they’ve enabled us to grow and fulfill those needs, especially in our training facilities.”

While TAKKION played a role in Airway’s growth, as did – obviously- Airway’s employees, the biggest reason for the company’s growth is, as always, the customers. 

“One of the main things that drives our success is our customers,” Grigsby said. “Our customers reach out to us, and we do a good job, and so then they want more of our technicians out in the field, supporting them in the wind industry. So, some of our biggest customers have reached out and wanted us to grow with them. So, as their demand increased, we were able to fill that demand and train more people and get them onboarded. 

For 2022, the wind industry all together saw a big growth. And we help support that growth in the wind industry with our labor force.” 

Airway’s growth directly correlates to the growth of the wind industry. Both are sure to grow even more in the coming years, as wind energy gets more and more popular. With that will come even more growth, even more success for companies like Airway Services. But for Airway, it’s not just about quantity; it’s about quality too, above all. 

“There are a lot of companies that can grow,” Grigsby said. “But they sort of fail when it comes to the quality and the expectations with customers and with technicians themselves. We have the quantity and the quality of technicians and we support them completely. And our work with customers is topnotch. Everybody that works for Airway wants to work here, and wants to be here, and enjoys their time here. And they know that when they’re working for Airway, they have the capabilities to be considered the topnotch wind technicians in the field.” 

It is those technicians and other employees, Hord said, that are responsible for the success of Airway Services.

“This would be impossible without the people on our team,” he said. “It takes everybody – from the back office support team to the operations teams in field, everyone is instrumental in our success. We strive to constantly push the brand and culture that we have here at Airway. It’s important that we lead with service, with that service mentality. The only reason we’re in business is because of our people. We’re in the people business. And that needs to continue to be the foundation of what we do and why we do it.”

Airway Services: James Sudbury Retirement

James Sudbury, the Director of Finance for Airway Services, has learned many lessons throughout his career, the biggest of which is this: 

“The one thing I know, after doing numbers for a pretty long time, is that the number guys should never be in charge.” 

He said that with a laugh, but he meant it. Sudbury has been “working in numbers” for more than 30 years. In that time, he has helped a lot of companies grow. But, he says, the company needs visionaries just as much as it needs realists. 

Sudbury is a realist. He is, pardon the phrase, a very paint-by-numbers type of guy. But that mindset has lent itself well to a career that has spanned more than three decades. 

And now, after more than thirty years in his line of work, Sudbury is getting ready to retire. 

“It’s my birthday present to myself,” Sudbury said. 

But before we get to the end of Sudbury’s career, we have to talk about the beginning, and the middle. 

It was in the middle of his career that Sudbury became the Director of Finance for Airway Services. Previously, he and a partner owned a consulting business, helping other companies find ways to grow. Airway Services was one of those companies. One of the owners of the company wanted to buy out the other partner and, in order to do so, they hired Sudbury’s company to help ‘get the books in order.’ 

Throughout that process, Sudbury became friends with Chase Hord, the Chief Operating Officer of Airway Services. The two began discussing the possibility of Sudbury coming on board, as Airway was growing at a tremendous rate and Sudbury himself had one eye on retirement already. So, he decided to come work for Airway Services in 2017. It was a win-win – he could wind down his own practice in preparation of his retirement, while also helping a company get its own affairs in order as it began its ascent. Sudbury liked the challenge and he accepted a position. 

“Wind is a great business,” Sudbury said. “I recognized that. But it was really about the people I knew at Airway and doing what I could to try and help the company. I found Chase to be a really great leader. He’s great at being able to select the talent around him and once he selects a person, he’s not the kind of guy to micromanage. He’s of the belief that you hire good people and then turn them loose to do their job. And everybody is pulling together, to the same end.” 

Sudbury name dropped Jonathan Click and Dusty Jensen as two people for whom he held a great deal of respect as well, and said it was the leadership that made him want to join the Airway team. 

“The tone is set from the top,” he stated. “If we mess something up, we’ll say so. We own that, and we’ll come back with a solution. As a business, I think that’s a great way to do business and what sets us apart from many of our competitors.” 

That’s not the only thing that distinguishes Airway Services from its competitors, though. 

“I think it’s our commitment to excellence and doing the right thing and working with our customers as a true partner,” he revealed. 

That’s what sets Airway Services apart and that’s the message that they want to continue to spread.  It’s that mindset that has helped Airway to grow exponentially over its short history. 

“When I started being involved with the company in 2015…the company is four times bigger today than it was back then,” Sudbury claimed. 

Despite his self-deprecating tone, Sudbury was a big part of Airway’s success. And now, after helping to ensure the company’s future, he wants to focus on his present. 

Sudbury has worked long hours, both for Airway Services and for his own company. The biggest thing he’s looking forward to with his retirement is a simple notion. 

“I’m looking forward to spending some time with my wife, to tell you the truth,” he said. “It’s been a pretty busy several years, going through a couple acquisitions and having the kind of growth that we’ve gone through. So, I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with her. We’re planning on doing some traveling and I bought a retirement place in a golf course community, so I plan on playing a little golf, and doing some volunteer things with my church and in the community. It’s important for me to stay active and to be contributing to something…to the greater good, if you will.” 

For 8 years, first as a consultant and then as an employee, Sudbury has contributed to the growth of Airway Services. Though he was the numbers guy and, in his own words, should never have been in charge, he was instrumental in the company’s success. Sudbury is helping to train his successor and is committed to ‘ensuring a smooth transition,’ but what he may not know, or believe, is that he’s actually irreplaceable. 

“James joined the team as a consultant in 2015 to help Airway Services navigate a partner buyout,” Chase Hord said of his employee, of his friend. “After working closely with James over the next year, I began to admire his knowledge and unfounded respect in the banking world and asked him to relocate and join the Airway team full-time. A lot of people say when a person is leaving an organization that they were instrumental in their success, but I can honestly say Airway Services flat out wouldn’t be here today without James’s leadership and commitment to the organization’s success. Over the last 8 years, he has helped us grow our business 3.6 times; he has led and mentored our finance team, and helped align our organization to be the best postured ISP in the industry. I can’t say thank you enough for all of the long hours and countless nights of sleep to help the organization to be the best. 

“May your retirement days be long and filled with fun and family. You’ve always set a great example and been a mentor throughout your career, and I know whatever you are doing in retirement, you will have a positive impact on those around you. Wishing you nothing but sunny days on a golf course and peaceful nights on a cruise ship from here on out! I’m excited for all the new opportunities with Lisa and your life.

“Take care my friend.”

Airway Services: Reid McIntyre Spotlight

Name: Reid McIntyre

Title: Asset Manager

Tenure: 1 ½ years

Hobbies: Fishing, Raising Sheep, Hunting, Camping, Outdoor Activities, and “All of the Texas things.” 

Marital Status: Married with a new son.

Bio: Reid McIntyre isn’t afraid of heights. That fact, along with an interest in wind energy that began in high school, led to McIntyre joining Airway Services as the company’s Asset Manager. 

McIntyre has been in the wind industry going on 11 years. He graduated from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas and worked for Upwind Solutions before it was acquired by Vestas. 

“It really started about my junior year in high school,” McIntyre stated. “Wind was a growing industry and a four-year degree was not something that I saw myself pursuing. I wanted to do some sort of trade that would provide for a family and offer some travel and some other perks, without going into the oilfield. This is a steady industry with exponential growth and so from about 2008 on, I wanted to go where the wind led me.” 

Eventually, the wind led him to Airway Services. 

“They actually reached out to me through some of the people that they know in the industry,” McIntyre said. “I guess my name came up whenever they were on their search for an Asset Manager.” 

He interviewed with both Chase Hord and Jonathan Click, but it was less of an interview and more of a conversation. They knew they wanted him. He knew they wanted him. It was just a matter of meeting and finding out if they clicked. 

They did. 

As the Asset Manager, McIntyre manages the entire fleet, all of the tooling, and all of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Airway Services. 

At just 30 years old, McIntyre is a vital part of Airway Services, and it’s an opportunity that he does not take lightly. 

“It means the world to me,” he stated. “It means that, at the end of the day, if I do my job right and have people believing in me that I’m doing the right thing and I’m taking the right steps for my career and my company, I’ll be here for a long time.” 

For example, McIntyre began working for Airway Services in June of 2021. At that point, Airway Services had 172 trucks. Now, they are up to 347 trucks – a 45% increase in just a year and a half. 

“Our tooling has increased roughly 30 or 35 percent,” McIntyre said. “With growth comes challenges, but I’m kind of that guy that likes challenges.” 

This job, as with any other, comes with its own set of challenges. But it also comes with a satisfaction that McIntyre finds immense purpose in. 

Part of that satisfaction comes from knowing that the company he works for is committed to service excellence and ensuring that their customers are taken care of every step of the way. 

“It’s the quality of the job that we do, and it’s the culture that Airway has built over the years in the wind business,” McIntyre said. “We have higher standards of service, and we make sure that the quality is right. That’s the main thing. And you can ask just about anybody who works for us. I won’t say that we’re a small family or a mom-and-pop shop anymore, but we care about each other like we’re family.” 

It’s that family-like atmosphere, both in-house and with its customers, that has proven Airway Services to be the standard bearer for wind energy projects. 

Reid McIntyre knows this; he’s part of the reason why. He loves his job, and he loves this industry. And he has for a very, very long time. 

“Growing up, I was always building something or figuring out how things work or trying to fix them,” he said. “I really enjoyed working with my hands. I like to skydive. Now I like to climb towers. Because I’m not afraid of heights.” 

In this job with Airway Services, McIntyre will undoubtedly reach new heights.

Airway Services Employee Spotlight: Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson (MJ) is not afraid of heights, and that’s probably a good thing given that he’s spent the
majority of his adult life scaling tall structures.

MJ has been working in wind energy for more than 15 years, 12 of which have been spent at Airway Services. Before AWS, MJ worked for a telecommunications business on cellphone towers that eventually expanded to include a wind division.

“The company I worked for took a bunch of guys from Wisconsin who were young and dumb enough to work on cellphone towers, and stack guide towers with cable winches and a gin pole. We had barely seen a wind turbine before and they sent us down to Guyman, Oklahoma,” MJ laughed. “Our job was to drop rotors and swap out blades on the ground. We’d never worked on wind turbines before, let alone had any clue how to. There was definitely a learning curve. It took us 16hrs to drop our first rotor. By the end of that project we were dropping a rotor, swapping out all 3 blades, and flying the rotor in a day. That was a good start to my career, because we learned exactly what not do and why.”

It was the definition of ‘learning on the job,’ and that’s exactly what MJ did. Eventually, though, it paid off.

“I have built eight different manufacturers of towers and then 15 different models within those eight different manufacturers,” MJ revealed. “Building them as a top out crew in construction, working as a lead flagger all the way to a foreman. I’ve also done a bunch of large corrective work, large corrective lead (which is basically their foreman), gear boxes, generators, main bearings, rotor drops, and single blade swap outs for all four of the major wind industry OEM’S.”

In short, he’s done a lot.

For the last three years, he’s been a TFA (Technical Field Advisor) and Lead TFA at his current project in
California, he’s somewhat of a one-man-show. “At this project in California, it’s only one tower,” MJ said. “I’m the Site Manager, the Lead TFA, the TFA, the stockkeeper, and the Safety guy’s not on site all the time, so I fill that role when he’s gone too.”

MJ makes it easy to place him within the construction realm due to his vast knowledge and experience. The
OEM’s have recognized him for several safety achievements and continue to entrust him to lead large
complex issues for the AWS team without their leadership on site.

“Heights don’t really scare me.” MJ said “The highest I’ve climbed is 1,420 feet to paint a broadcast tower. If you have trust in yourself, you have trust in your equipment and the people you work with, then you will be able to accomplish anything.”

Every time MJ climbs a tower, he takes his life into his own hands. But that’s nothing new for him.

MJ is not afraid to make decisions, work hard, tackle challenging scopes of work, and have fun while working with his teammates. And he’s certainly not afraid to reach for new heights.

About Airway Services HR Team

Anyone who’s been in the workforce for a long time knows one thing: There’s a job, and then there’s a career.

A job is something you clock into, do what you’re supposed to do, and clock out. You don’t have to be
passionate about it because it’s just a means to an end. It’s designed to put money in your pocket, and nothing Else.

A career…well, a career is something else entirely. A career is something that you study for, something that you prepare for. A career is something that you actually want to pursue. A career not only puts money in your pocket; it puts purpose in your step.

Airway Services is determined to be more than a job for its employees; it’s designed to be a career. And that’s how the company approaches every single hire.

That’s why Airway Services Human Resources and Recruiting team is so vital to the company.

Airway Services began 2022 with just one HR representative and one recruiter. Now, in September, they’ve added an HR Administrator and a remote recruiter. Together, this team works to find exceptional employees who are searching for a career with an exceptional company.

“On July 1st, of 2021, [Airway Services] created an HR department, which was myself and one recruiter,” said Veronica Sanchez, the HR Manager for Airway Services. “I received my SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certification a month prior to stepping into this role. Starting out with Airway, our headcount was approximately 280 employees, and we were inching our way up to 300. Now, I’m happy to say our current headcount is 525.”

That is exponential growth for the company and, Sanchez says, it’s due in large part to the effort of their two Recruiters.

“They are doing a phenomenal job of getting these employees in, getting them through training, and setting up manager/employee communication prior to sending them out into the field,” Sanchez stated.

It’s a process, to be sure, but this team of four seems to have the process down pat. The team uses a variety of methods to attract new employees, including social media posts and partnering with colleges.

“Right now, we’re utilizing Indeed, Facebook, Zip Recruiters, and various job fairs,” Sanchez revealed. “Our
turnaround is pretty quick. We review the candidate’s resume, utilize Convey IQ and Calendly for virtual
interviews and scheduling, if the candidate meets all requirements an offer letter is prepared, if offer is
accepted, personal information is requested to process a background check and schedule drug
screening/worksteps, lastly on Wednesday prior to the start date the recruiting team lines out all logistics and Itinerary.”

Which may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Everyone knows what it feels like to apply for a job. When you apply for a job and offer your time and energy, only to be ignored for a few weeks, it doesn’t exactly make you feel like you’re an important addition to the team.

Airway Services knows that their employees are the most important aspect of their company, which is why they go to great lengths to ensure they’re aware of their value.

“The transitional phase is subtle and quick,” Sanchez reiterated. “We’re ready to begin onboarding either the following week [after the interview], or two weeks down the road.”

Communication, Sanchez said, is an important component to the process; communication between HR and the recruiters, and communication between the company and prospective employees.

“Itʼs all about coordinating,” Sanchez said. “We have a great system in place. Our two recruiters have their
processes down and communicate well with each other. One of our recruiters is on-site and the other is
remote, so we use Microso Teams a lot. They’re really dedicated to our industry and to promoting a positive experience to our candidates .”

One of the many ways the Airway Services recruiters bring new employees to the company is via college job

“What we’re doing now is reaching out to colleges who have wind technician programs as well as electrical and mechanical programs. Graduates are new talent in the workforce that companies like Airway Services are competing to attract. Adding a personal touch and staying visible in the hopes that our efforts will spark some interest in these graduates is one of our goals,” Sanchez said. “We’re definitely looking for experienced and trained prospects that can mentor and lead our entry-level technicians.”

But hiring employees is only half the battle; the other half, arguably the most important half, is actually
retaining employees.

Airway Services excels in that, as well.

“Our focus right now is retaining talent, employee engagement and development,” Sanchez said. “For the
month of August we had the lowest turnover rate that we’ve had in all of 2022, which means we’re headed in the right direction.”

They are headed in the right direction, and if prospective employees want to follow in that direction, if they want a career instead of just a job, then they should consider working for Airway Services.

“We’ve got an amazing leadership team that believes and supports our efforts.,” Sanchez said. “That drives this HR team to accelerate towards achieving our personal and professional goals.”

Airway Services Technician Rushes to Aid Man Who Crashed Vehicle

To respect the privacy (and the humility) of our technician, we have changed his name for the purpose of this story.

At Airway Services, safety is always at the forefront of everything we do. That includes when we’re working on projects and it even includes when our technicians are off the clock, simply living their lives.

Such was the case recently when one of our technicians, let’s call him Charlie, rushed to try and save the life of a stranger on the side of the road. 

Back in April of this year, Charlie was driving down the road and saw a vehicle veer off the side of the road and hit a telephone pole. 

“He hit the telephone pole on the driver’s side of his truck and, when he did that, his truck landed parked in the middle of the road,” Charlie said. “I saw it all happen, and another gentleman did too, so we both got out and went to his truck to see if he was awake.”

He wasn’t. 

Charlie said the man was unconscious and also had a very slight pulse.

At the same time, the man’s wife also happened to be driving down the road, coming home from a baseball game. She pulled over and Charlie asked her if the man was diabetic, or if he had any other health concerns that might have contributed to the accident. 

She confirmed that he was, in fact, diabetic. 

“So I went to check for a pulse again,” Charlie remembered. “And I didn’t feel one. I didn’t feel anything. So, I started performing reps [chest compressions] while the ambulance and the firetrucks and all of those were on their way. I kept doing reps. And I’d say it was probably not even two minutes or so before the firetruck and ambulance came over and then they took over, and the police showed up and I gave them my report.” 

Previously, Charlie had worked as a firefighter. So he was trained in First Aid and CPR. 

“Ever since I was, like, 16 or 17 I’ve always been CPR certified,” he stated. “Because you just never know. This was the first time I ever had to use it, but I used to fight wildfires and stuff like that, so we were trained for that.” 

First aid training is also a major component of Airway Services. 

As our website states, “With an industry-leading commitment to safety, our goal at Airway Services is to achieve zero incidents every day. That commitment to excellence in our safety standards is the key reason our technicians receive continuous, comprehensive and state-of-the-art safety training and employ the latest in safety technology.”

Part of that training includes First Aid and CPR. 

“Airway’s training was a pretty good refresher,” Charlie revealed. “I think it had been, like, a year since I had done a CPR class. So when I went to Airway and they did their First Aid and all of their other training, it really kicked in and helped me remember things.” 

Though this was the first time Charlie had ever needed to utilize his training, he didn’t hesitate to begin issuing chest compressions on the man, as soon as he realized that he needed them.

When something like this happens, when tragedy strikes and you are thrust into a position that you never expected to be in, four things can happen. Most human beings experience one of four responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn. All of these reactions are perfectly normal, but when faced with a do-or-die situation, one like what Charlie was in, it was important to act. To fight. And that’s exactly what Charlie did. He fought for this man. He did everything he knew how to do and he didn’t stop fighting until actual medical personnel arrived on scene. 

“During the moment, I didn’t really feel anything at all because I was just pumped so full of adrenaline,” he said. 

He could have just driven off. He could have looked the other way and said ‘Not my problem.’ But that’s not the kind of man that Charlie is. When he saw something was wrong, when he saw somebody was in trouble, he didn’t hesitate. He rushed to the scene and did everything he could to save the life of a man he had never met. 

And he didn’t do it for the recognition. He didn’t do it for the accolades. He did it, simply, because it was the right thing to do. 

At Airway Services, we train our people to be the best employees they can be. We give them opportunities to better themselves, to train, to learn something new. There are many things about this job that we can teach. But we can’t teach integrity. We can’t teach courage. Those are things that have to be inherent; they have to come from inside. Charlie, as well as every other member of the Airway Services Crew, has that integrity. He has that courage.  And it was something he carried with him, long before he ever walked through our doors. 

“I just sort of did what I thought was right,” he said. “You know, if that was me in that position, I would want somebody to try and help me.” 

Airway Services Receives Safety Training Certification from Global Wind Organization

When it comes to wind energy projects, Airway Services sets the highest standards of service and expert solutions, and a big reason for that is their training program.

Of course, when it comes to any of their services, safety is the most important factor to consider, which is why they focus much of their training program on how to safely perform the tasks required of the job.

“The main focus of our training is helping our guys to recognize the up-tower hazards that they’re gonna encounter on the job, as well as how to mitigate that risk,” said Dustin Jenson, the Director of Safety and Training for Airway Services. “We focus a lot on fall protection and proper climbing techniques. But rescue is also a big part of our training. If something goes wrong up tower, our team needs to be prepared to get an injured worker down tower quickly and safely.”

Jenson said that the Airway Services training program also focuses on climbing, fall protection, first air techniques, fire awareness, and basic manual handling.

“We also get into some of the technical side,” Jenson stated. “We do electrical safety training, like how to recognize potential for an electrical shock or an arc flash. We teach our folks how to recognize the equipment that poses certain levels of risk, and the higher levels of risk when it comes to high voltage electrocution and arc flashes, and how to protect themselves. We also teach them the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that’s required to be able to work in those environments.”

Additionally, the Airway Services team learns about confined space awareness – how to recognize confined spaces and some of the processes that need to be put in place before actually entering a confined space.

It’s not just the safety aspect that the training program focuses on, however. Airway Services also provides technical training that focuses on basic electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic training that ensures each technician understands what is actually taking place in the work that they do.

Before the creation of this training program, technicians would spend a few hours learning the basics of tower maintenance, and some of the safety hazards that go along with that. But both technicians and supervisors realized that this kind of work required a much more thorough, well-rounded, intentional training program.

“The first thing that we did was put together a training plan,” Jenson said. “We turned from an as-needed basis to a very structured process for when we hire a technician. We outlined the training requirements that they had to have. We committed time to that training, and we went from a two or three day training up to about a minimum of two weeks of training, and then we committed to that kind of timeline. And we made sure that all of our teams went through the same training program. We’ve added courses over time. We’ve dedicated more time, more resources, and more personnel to be able to deliver that training, to make sure that we have the best team possible.”

And that’s exactly what they do have. Airway Services has seen an uptake in employee satisfaction and they have also gotten an enormous amount of positive feedback over the years, commending how much time, energy, and resources they’ve spent to make their training program the very best it could be.

“We get technicians that come to us from other companies and many times we hear from those folks that ‘Hey, this is probably the best training I’ve ever gone through,’” Jenson revealed. “They say ‘This is the best training that we’ve ever received.’ We continually get that feedback.’”

The feedback doesn’t just come from technicians, however. It also comes from other industry leaders who have recognized just how vital the training program is to not only Airway Services, but to the wind industry in general.

Airway Services recently achieved their Global Wind Organization Certification for teaching wind organization, basic safety, and basic technical training courses. Airway was audited by a third party, who evaluated their safety management system, their curriculum, and the qualifications of their trainers, in order to ensure that their training aligns with the Global Wind Organization standard.

It does.

“What GWO has done is, they’ve partnered with a lot of companies, just like ours, and made them external training providers under their certification,” Jenson said. “What this certificate shows is that Airway Services is now certified as its own GWO Training Facility, completely independent from the other partners that we’ve worked with in the past.”

The GWO certification is proof positive about how much time, energy, and care has gone into Airway Services’ training program. Airway Services is committed to ensuring the safety of its technicians, and the standard of quality that it has become known for.

“Our thorough training program has helped us keep our technicians safe, which is the most important aspect,” Jenson said. “But it’s also allowed us to bid certain projects, to go out and get bigger contracts with larger owners and operators and OEM’s because they look at us as a company that is committed to our team. We’re committed to training our people in the way that the industry recognizes as the very best.”

TAKKION Acquires Harvest Energy Services

Acquisition Continues the Expansion of TAKKION’s Renewable Energy Operations and Maintenance Services 

DALLAS, Texas, May 3, 2022  — TAKKION TP&L Holdings LLC (“TAKKION” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”) today announced that it has acquired Broomfield, CO-based Harvest Energy Services, LLC (“Harvest”). Harvest is an independent services provider of operations and maintenance (“O&M”) solutions to the renewable energy industry.

TAKKION is a premier independent services provider supporting the energy transition. The acquisition of Harvest demonstrates the continued expansion of TAKKION’s capabilities in long-term O&M solutions for renewable energy markets. Harvest is TAKKION’s third significant acquisition in less than 18 months and expands TAKKION’s scale and capabilities in the wind services market.

Harvest acquisition expands TAKKION’s scale and capabilities in the wind services market

The Harvest team will join TAKKION’s leading logistics and O&M services companies: Transportation Partners and Logistics (“TP&L”), Global Specialized Services (“GSS”), RENEW, and AIRWAY SERVICES. The addition of Harvest will grow TAKKION’s wind O&M presence in North America, meaningfully enhancing TAKKION’s ability to provide comprehensive solutions for the evolving needs of the renewable energy supply chain. In particular, the Harvest acquisition expands TAKKION’s technical capabilities in blade repair, and adds a high throughput, state of the art training center in Broomfield, Colorado that will support continued hiring and job creation for the renewable energy industry.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Harvest to TAKKION. Harvest has a long history of performance and we are fortunate to incorporate the expertise of its employees into our businesses. We see compelling opportunities to expand the already market-leading scope of TAKKION’s services, leveraging Harvest’s skills and equipment. The acquisition of Harvest furthers our goal to be the strongest partner to companies across the renewable energy industry.” said Jim Orr, CEO of TAKKION.

Vinson & Elkins LLP acted as legal counsel to TAKKION in this transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to Harvest.


TAKKION is a premier independent service provider of logistics, O&M, and technical repair and remanufacturing services to the renewable energy industry. With the industry’s largest network of people and assets across North America, TAKKION is uniquely positioned to support and optimize the growth and lifecycle of renewable energy. Our brands TP&L, GSS, RENEW, and AIRWAY SERVICES work together seamlessly to deliver quality, performance, and efficiency for our customers. We live by our core values of safety, integrity, transparency, and putting our people & customers first. To learn more about how TAKKION is Moving Energy Forward, visit


Apollo is a global, high-growth alternative asset manager. In our asset management business, we seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three business strategies: yield, hybrid, and equity. For more than three decades, our investing expertise across our fully integrated platform has served the financial return needs of our clients and provided businesses with innovative capital solutions for growth. Through Athene, our retirement services business, we specialize in helping clients achieve financial security by providing a suite of retirement savings products and acting as a solutions provider to institutions. Our patient, creative, and knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees, and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of December 31, 2021, Apollo had approximately $498 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit

Airway Partners with San Angelo Fire Department for Emergency Rescue Training

Airway Services recently partnered with the San Angelo Fire Department to learn more about how to perform rescues on wind turbines. They learned about the hazards that first responders might encounter, as well as what equipment may be used during an emergency rescue in a wind turbine environment.

Additionally, the firefighters shared information about their high-angle rescue equipment and offered techniques to help Airway’s safety instructors understand their functions and limitations.

This was the first of several planned meetings between Airway Services and the department.

The partnership began when Buddy Lemons, the Master Trainer of High Angle Rescues with the department reached out to Airway.

“The San Angelo Fire Department has one unit, one truck, one crew that’s dedicated to high-angle rescue,” said Dustin Jenson, the Director of Safety and Training for Airway Services. “They’re often called out into the county and sometimes into surrounding counties, for emergency rescues. Buddy’s concern was, with the wind industry really growing in our area, and wind turbines starting to creep into Tom Green County and some of the surrounding counties that we work in…he was concerned that there might be a need for some familiarization with a wind turbine and their crew.”

Jenson said the big thing they wanted to learn more about was the rescue equipment.

“We found out that there’s a big difference between the devices and equipment that we use in the wind industry, as opposed to what they use for fire and rescue situations,” Jenson revealed. “It’s the same principle, but the pieces of equipment are very specific to our industry. And so, they needed to get themselves trained in the proper use of our equipment, so that if they’re ever called upon to do a rescue in a wind turbine, they know what they’re facing.”

The first meeting centered around general hazards and equipment. The department brought their high-angle rescue truck to the facility and, Jenson said, they showed the department around their own equipment. The department then showed Airway techs the kits that they have, showcasing their various ropes, hooks, pulleys, and more.

But Jenson said that future conversations will focus on the training aspect.

“We want those guys to come here while we’re doing a training class and teaching our technicians how to be those first responders and how to perform rescues,” he stated. “We want them to see what our guys are trained to do”

Jenson said that it was an honor that the fire department reached out, because they recognized the expertise that Airway Services offers when it comes to wind turbines.

“It’s flattering,” he said. “We like to think of ourselves as a leader in the industry, but when our local first responders start to recognize that too, and they say ‘Hey, these guys at Airway, they know their stuff,’ and they see the training that we’re doing right outside our back door; it’s catching their attention. It means a lot that they would take that initiative to reach out and help us coordinate their training and also coordinate that relationship as well.”

And it’s not just that the department thought of Airway Services when it came to learning more about wind turbine rescues; it’s that they thought about wind turbine rescues at all.

“The more conversations you can have in advance, and the more knowledge that your team can have on each individual organization’s role during an emergency situation, the better you’re gonna perform when the stuff hits the fan,” Jenson said. “I think more than anything, it gives our customers a little more confidence in what we are prepared for. It gives them a little more confidence on that training and that understanding of what emergencies we could encounter. It gives them confidence to know that we’ve done our homework, we’ve done the work to lay the foundation to prepare for the most likely scenario so that, if something does happen on their sites, we’re prepared to respond adequately and efficiently.”

Airway Services Field Supervisor Growth

Airway Services continues to set the highest standard of service and expert solutions for wind energy projects, and the biggest reason for that is our people. Our technicians travel all over the country performing major component exchanges, construction services, preventative maintenance and more on wind turbines. As our company grew, so too did the need to make sure our technicians felt seen and heard which is why we developed our ‘Field Service Supervisor’ positions.

“The reason we developed this position was because we really saw the need to have some supervision out in the field,” said Keith Grigsby, Director of Field Operations with Airway Services. “We have Operations Managers that have a team under them that can be anywhere from 25 to 150 techs who report directly to them. A lot of times, they travel and they’re all over the country, so the Field Supervisor role was designed so they can be out in the field, with those teams, on those projects, making sure that we’re executing those projects to the best of our ability and making sure we’re consistent on all of our projects.”

Another big reason Airway Services designed this position was so that technicians would have somebody to meet with to discuss anything that may come up in the field.

“We also wanted to have that one-on-one time with our guys out in the field,” Grigsby said. “Our Field Supervisors can actually be there, in the field, kicking off the meetings with them, actually going up-tower, working with them, supervising, doing quality control audits, doing safety audits, and those types of things.”

The responsibilities of Field Supervisors are vast and varied. Some of them stay on a project throughout its duration; others can kick the project off and make sure it gets started on the right foot before they head to another project, and then another, and another. With this setup, they get more experience and are able to develop their own skills and expertise, which puts them in a prime position to move forward in their own careers.

“We look at these Field Supervisors for our next Operations Managers,” Grigsby revealed. “So, there’s really a lot of growth potential for them. We want to see these guys progress and grow and we want them to be the next up-and-coming leaders for our whole organization.”

Currently, Airway Services has eight Field Supervisors. The goal is to have 12 and it is a goal we will undoubtedly meet. Each of the Field Supervisors will continue to lead teams of talented, enthusiastic technicians and, together they will ensure that Airway Services remains one of the wind industry’s leading Independent Service Providers.

“Having this position is great,” Grigsby stated. “It’s great to see the guys grow in their careers, and it’s great for everybody in the organization who can see the growth potential. They can actually see us grow internally and see that there is a place for them to grow as technicians. They have goals to work towards. We started out with two Field Supervisors. We’re gonna grow to 12. And that’s a great opportunity for everybody involved.”