In Focus: 3 Who Have Served an Industry

Sept. 5, 2014

Craig Sincock – Avfuel president takes his company to the global market

In 1985, Craig Sincock acquired a ‘mom and pop’ fuel distribution company in Ann Arbor, MI. Through the years he has led Avfuel from a four-person shop to one that employs hundreds nationwide and has various subsidiaries – Avtank; Avlease; Avsurance; Avflight; and Avplan. The company’s latest focus is targeting the growing international marketplace.

To grow the company to its present size, Sincock through the years orchestrated some 16 major acquisitions, four of which were public company spin-offs. Among them: Pride Aviation (1988); Triton Fuel Group (1993); PS Trading, Inc. (1998); Texaco General Aviation (2001); and, Avplan Corporation (2009).

He relates, “We’ve always tried to emphasize a high level of customer service and treat customers as friends. It’s been our model all along. We took that high-touch model and put it together with the fuel and branding, and then added services and product lines.

“One of the bright things I discovered was the more I got into this industry, the more great people I met. It is so rich with many, many people who you can trust.”

His biggest disappointment over the past three decades? “My biggest disappointment is probably the industry has not been able to change enough the public perception about what business aviation is about,” he says. “I wish we had been able to move the perception on how valuable this industry is.”

Regarding the future of the industry Sincock comments, “It’s going to be different in that the expansion areas will be in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America, as demonstrated by where the aircraft manufacturers are selling airplanes. Aviation is the venue in which people connect – people, culture, commerce. You can look up people on the Web, but eventually you’re on a plane. Future growth will be more global than domestic.”

What’s he most looking forward to in the years ahead? He answers, “What I’m looking forward to in the next 25 years is the segue into the NextGen of people. We’ve been on a campaign for about five years to hire the next leadership team. We look at who can replace us. The younger group -- the 30-40 years old range -- is a real good group of people.”