FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today new additions to its Executive Leadership Team (ELT). Effective immediately, Gunnar Kleveland will assume the role of senior vice president, Integrated Operations; Dr. Cathy Ferrie will serve as senior vice president, Engineering; and Matt Hasik will take on the position of senior vice president, Commercial Programs. Kleveland, Ferrie and Hasik will succeed Pete Riley and Jeff Lowinger in their respective roles as executive vice president, Integrated Operations, and executive vice president, Engineering and Commercial Programs.
“We are excited to welcome these new members to the ELT at Bell Helicopter. Gunnar, Cathy and Matt are ready to assume their important new responsibilities, which is a testament to the efforts we have made in talent development and to our focus on building leader capability,” said John Garrison, president and CEO at Bell Helicopter. “We wish both Pete and Jeff every success in the next phase of their lives and we are thankful for the significant contributions they have made to our company.”
Gunnar Kleveland will assume the role of senior vice president, Integrated Operations. Kleveland joined Bell Helicopter nine years ago and has held a number of leadership roles in strategic sourcing, supply chain and logistics. Most recently, he led the company’s supply chain optimization efforts, resulting in reduced cycle times, increased supplier performance and a stronger supply base. Kleveland holds degrees from the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, as well as a Master’s degree from Midwestern State University.
Ferrie will take on the role of senior vice president, Engineering. Ferrie joined Bell Helicopter 15 years ago, serving in technical and leadership positions of increasing responsibility in Engineering. Most recently, she held the position of vice president, Xworx and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. Under her leadership, the team has made dramatic improvements in advanced research and development efforts for the OH-58 and Bell 407 armed aircraft demonstrators, next generation rotor blade and hub technologies, as well as advanced materials and analytical tool development. Ferrie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University, a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Ferrie is the Southwest Region director-at-large for the American Helicopter Society and is part of the NASA Aeronautics Roundtable.
Matt Hasik will serve as senior vice president, Commercial Programs. Most recently the program manager for the V-22 program, Hasik has held several strategy, operations, engineering and program management positions during his seven year tenure at Bell Helicopter. He has led significant design and development efforts for key programs, including the Bell 525 Relentless, and as chief engineer for the V-22, Hasik led efforts toward solving critical fleet readiness challenges with respect to gearboxes, blades, and engine time-on-wing. A U.S. Navy veteran, Hasik has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering from Duke University, as well as a Master of Business Administration and Master’s degree in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pete Riley, executive vice president, Integrated Operations will retire at the end of the year after eleven years of service at Textron. As a leader of Bell Helicopter’s Integrated Operations (IO) team, he has been a driving force across manufacturing, supply chain, quality and assembly operations. Under Riley’s leadership, Bell Helicopter increased its output in both Fort Worth and Mirabel, and successfully completed the production ramp of the V-22 program, achieving production of 40 V-22s per year in less than five years. Riley also contributed to the establishment of a safety first culture throughout the company. He will remain with Bell Helicopter through the end of the year to ensure a smooth and effective transition.
Jeff Lowinger, executive vice president, Engineering and Commercial Programs, will be taking a leadership position outside of Bell Helicopter. During Lowinger’s five year tenure with the company, he has been instrumental in the development of new products like the Bell 525 Relentless and the recently announced Bell SLS, as well as customer-driven upgrades to legacy aircraft. Lowinger fostered a renewed focus on research, innovation and talent development throughout the Engineering and Commercial Programs functions that will enable Bell Helicopter to better meet the needs of its customers and conquer challenges in the future.