Julie Dickerson, CEO of Shannon Engine Support, or SES, has been at the helm for over 10 years and has seen the company go from strength to strength with over 500 engines now leased to CFM operators worldwide.
After moving from her native South Africa to Ireland, Dickerson began her career in aerospace at GECAS Engine Leasing before being asked to move to SES. “I have a degree in economics, so I’m one of the few running a very technical company and I’m neither in finance nor an engineer,” she explained. “I was fortunate early on when I got into GECAS as I was doing a project management type role which gave me a very deep understanding of how business operates. I was doing a lot of process improvement and learned a lot of influencing skills, but I’ve always wanted to be in a leadership role and I made that very clear early on in my career.”
Decades of growth
SES was established in 1988 and was part of the GPA joint venture, before CFM joined the family structure. It only leases CFM engines and offers shorter term leases rather than the sales lease model. “While it has changed, and the shareholding changed fairly recently, that hasn’t really changed what we as a business do,” said Dickerson.
“We are now five or six times bigger than when I started and have just celebrated 500-plus engines in the portfolio. The growth has really been significant, and the team has had to really grow to support that too.”
The company recently opened a new office in Singapore to help the company expand into the burgeoning Asian market. Dickerson commented, “Asia is such a huge growth region, it really is where we see significant growth happening over the next while. We do have two offices in China already which is a very big region for us, but Singapore is really central to our strategy of growing in Asia.”
The company has seen five- or six-times growth in terms of revenue in Singapore in the past five years, and Dickerson believes the country is well placed to support the whole region. “We have a really strong team there, and it is good to have people on the ground. That is something really important to SES, we try to get out to our customers – that is part of our growth and customer story.
“We work in partnership with our customers to enable us to develop and deliver the bespoke solutions and services they need,” she continued.