Leading Edge Names Rod Friese as COO

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25-year aircraft painting executive to lead efficiency, collaboration, and standardized processes of Leading Edge and Associated Painters

Rod Friese, COO at Leading Edge Aviation Services

The benefits of being a merged company means we now have vast resources and capabilities we can utilize to raise the bar and outpace our competitors at every level.

Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. (Leading Edge), announced today that Rod Friese has been named its Chief Operating Officer (COO). In his new role, Rod will expand on his leadership as President of Associated Painters and champion the substantial growth and industry positioning of the newly merged companies.

"With airline fleets growing and companies continuing to focus on the importance of customer perception, these larger fleets need more aircraft painting capacity and capabilities from service providers like Leading Edge, and that reality drove our merger with Associated Painters," said Mike Manclark, founder and CEO of Leading Edge Aviation Services. "We're bringing to the market premium capability and capacity to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of our customer base, which includes virtually every major carrier in the United States.”

As COO, Rod will oversee all business operations at each facility, determine and implement the best practices already in play at each, and align the business operations of two companies as one.

"The benefits of being a merged company means we now have vast resources and capabilities we can utilize to raise the bar and outpace our competitors at every level. My team and I will create a Leading Edge that is not just larger but more efficient, has faster turn times, and has safety and reliability un-matched in our industry," said Rod.

Rod brings to Leading Edge boots-on-the-ground experience in aircraft painting, high-end customer care, continuous improvement, and lean manufacturing and business programs, having entered the industry first as an aircraft painter for 5 years at Boeing, then as the 25-year business owner and President of Associated Painters.

"I learned early on, there is no one more prideful than an aircraft painter," said Rod. "Leading Edge and Associated Painters have the most knowledgeable and experienced team of painters in the industry. Now as a merged company, our clients can expect an even higher level of customer service and painting outcomes."

About Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc.
Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with operations in eight state-of-the-art facilities nationwide, Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. is a leading commercial, military, and VIP aircraft painting company. Founded in 1989, the company’s success is attributed to its strong vision and a continuous commitment to quality and excellence. Today, Leading Edge delivers an extensive range of commercial services including aircraft interior and exterior paint, OEM production coatings application support, mod-center paint services support, VIP aircraft interior completions and exterior paint, aviation graphics, aircraft weighing, long and short-term aircraft storage, field audits, fleet assessments, interior deep cleaning, and aircraft exterior wash and polish. For more information, visit our web site at http://www.leadingedgecorp.com.

About Associated Painters, Inc.
Headquartered in Spokane, Washington, with four state-of-the-art facilities in the United States, Associated Painters has been reimaging and painting all types of domestic and international aircraft since 1986. With over 2,000 aircraft painted to date, Associated Painters has emerged in the aerospace industry as the service provider of choice for aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, modification centers like Aviation Technical Services, Inc. (ATS) in Everett, Washington, AAR Aircraft Services (AAR) – in Oklahoma, and FlightStar in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as international and domestic airline companies. Currently, Associated Painters refinishes over 200 aircraft per year in four strategic locations in the United States. For more information, visit our web site at http://associatedpaintersinc.com/.

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Alicia Castle
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