Image from AAR Corp Official Website
AAR Corp is an international provider of aviation services with offices in more than 20 countries. As an independent company based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR Corp draws on its 65 years of aftermarket experience and commercial best practices to service its government and military customers. Get to know the AAR Corp leaders, founders, & executives here!
John Holmes, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
John Holmes is the Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of AAR Corporation. Under his leadership, AAR achieved substantial sales and profitability growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As Chairman, Holmes develops strategies that drive the company’s continued growth while ensuring strong culture and core values.
With Holmes as the CEO, AAR Corporation saw many notable accomplishments: the Integration Solutions expansion through the acquisition of Airinmar in 2011 and the MRO Services expansion through the acquisition of Premier Aviation in 2017. Under Holmes’s leadership, AAR Corporation also launched AAR Digital Services, which supported the growth of existing businesses and created new revenue streams.
John Holmes joined AAR Corp in 2001 as the Director of Mergers and Acquisitions. Before joining AAR Corp, Holmes was an Investment Banking Analyst at William Blair.
Jessica Garascia, Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, and Secretary
Jessica Garascia is the Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary, and Chief Administrative Officer of AAR Corporation. She oversees litigation, NYSE compliance, and corporate governance for AAR Corp.
Before this role, Garascia served in multiple roles at USG, including Senior Corporate Counsel, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, and Deputy General Counsel.
Garascia has led a team of attorneys and support staff responsible for mergers and acquisitions, compliance, and financing. She also supported the Board of Directors, handled mergers and acquisitions, and managed filings and securities law compliance as a General Counsel and Assistant Secretary at USG.
Rahul Ghai, Vice President, Chief Digital and Technology Officer
Rahul Ghai is the Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Technology Officer of AAR Corporation. He has taken on these roles since 2019.
Ghai brings more than 20 years of experience in technology. Before joining AAR Corp, he was a Managing Director of Digital Technology at United Airlines. He led multiple industry-leading transformations in United Airlines’ operational and commercial functions, particularly the Inflight Services/Flight Ops and Tech Ops divisions.
As AAR work on using digital solutions to enhance and differentiate the company’s offerings, Ghai initiated the move to go paperless within two years by replacing task cards and documentation with a mobile device tied with images, documents, and data history.
Sean Gillen, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Sean Gillen is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AAR Corporation — roles he has held since January 2019. He is responsible for AAR’s financial, accounting, tax, treasury and investor relations functions. Gillen leverages his expertise in financial management, M&As, divestitures, hedging strategies, debt financing, corporate spin-offs, and capital return programs.
Christopher Jessup, Vice President Chief Commercial Officer
Christopher Jessup is the Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at AAR since 2017. Before this role, Jessup was a Chief Commercial Officer of AAR’s Aviation Services segment, responsible for the commercial global sales, marketing, and business development for the Parts Supply, Integrated Solutions, OEM Solutions, and the MRO Group.
Lori Knudson, Vice President, Chief Ethics, and Compliance Officer
Lori Knudson has been the Vice President, Chief Ethics, and Compliance Officer of AAR Corporation since October 2021. She oversees AAR’s compliance functions and ensures the company’s adherence to the highest ethical principles.
Knudson brings her expertise on real estate, corporate law, joint ventures, internal audit, and records management as she joins AAR Before her role, she served as a Senior Vice President of Compliance, Risk, and Internal Audit at Aegion Corporation, a construction and engineering firm.
Lori Knudson holds a Compliance and Ethics Professional-International certification from the Compliance Certification Board.
Eric Pachapa, Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer
Eric Pachapa is the Vice President, Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer at AAR Corporation. He is responsible for the company’s global accounting policies and practices, reporting, income taxes, and internal controls. Before this role, he was a Senior Director of Accounting and Reporting. Before joining AAR Corp in 2014, he was a Global Controller at Glanbia Performance Nutrition.
Tracey Patterson, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Tracey Patterson is the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of AAR Corporation. She oversees global communications, human resources, and other functions. Patterson brings two decades of experience building HR organizations, operations, and employee experience. She focuses on transformative social practices and policies that address the causes of poverty, health inequity, and structural inequalities.
Before joining AAR in February 2023, Patterson was a Managing Director at Accenture, where she handled the company’s global human resources operations comprising over 10,000 employees and complex HR concerns for Fortune 500 companies.
Art Smith, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer
Art Smith has been the Vice President and Chief Quality Officer since January 2011. He oversees the execution and development of plans and strategies within the company and establishes policies, protocols, and guidelines to maintain efficient operations. Smith has over 15 years of experience in aviation, aerospace, and airlines.
(Above Executive Photos from AAR Corp Official Website)
AAR Corp Board of Directors
Here’s a list of the AAR Corporation Board of Director members:
- John Holmes, Chairman, President, and CEO
- Anthony K. Anderson, Independent Business Consultant
- Michael R. Boyce, Retired Chairman at PQ Corporation
- John Dietrich, President and CEO at Atlas Air Worldwide
- Robert Leduc, President of Pratt & Whitney (Ret.)
- Ellen Lord, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
- Duncan McNabb, General at the U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
- Peter Pace, General at the U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
- Jennifer L. Vogel, Co-founder of Invista Advisors LLP
- Marc J. Walfish, Founding Partner of Merit Capital Partners
Who Is the Founder of AAR Corp?
Ira Eichner founded Allen Aircraft Radio in 1951, a radio and equipment provider servicing the commercial aviation industry. In 1969, the company was renamed AAR Corp.
Eicher served as the Chairman of the Board from 1955 until his retirement in October 2005. Under his leadership, the company grew from a small supplier of radios and components in Chicago to an international NYSE-traded aviation and aerospace service provider.
What Are the Solutions AAR Corp Offers?
Commercial: AAR Corp’s commercial solutions support cargo, regional, and commercial airlines. These include aircraft maintenance, engineering, landing gear, component repair, and wheel and brakes services. AAR Corp’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Airinmar, helps reduce operational costs for airlines through warranty, repair cycle management, and online systems.
Government: AAR Corp is a trusted partner to the U.S. government and its allies. It offers customized integrated solutions according to program and mission-specific needs. The company is also a prime contractor for aircraft maintenance programs, performance-based logistics, third-party logistics, and contractor logistics support.
OEM: AAR’s OEM Solutions strengthen OEMs’ reach, aftermarket strategy, and return on invested capital (ROIC). The company is the largest OEM partner delivering new factory parts for defense and military use.
Creating a Seamless Experience in the Aviation World
AAR Corp, North America’s largest MRO services provider, has created a seamless experience for the aviation industry. It combines an integrated set of solutions and services that help airlines optimize their fleet investments and use new technology to improve operability. AAR Corp reported a revenue of $1.82 billion in 2022.