Sr. Vice President Corp. Operations & Strategy
Bill Beard currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations and Strategy. A native of North Augusta, South Carolina, Bill enlisted in the Navy immediately after graduating from high school. His record of success includes over 20 years of active duty with the Navy and over 20 years in the aerospace and defense industry. His insights gained from experience ranging from apprentice level technician to corporate executive brings critical insights and perspective to the Vertex team molded by hands-on experience at every level of the MRO/CLS market segment.
During his service with the Navy, Bill served in a variety of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and special mission aircraft organizations. He logged more than 4,000 flight hours in the EP-3E and P-3C Special Projects Aircraft earning Air Medals for missions flown during Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, and in Bosnia during the Balkans conflict.
Bill’s post-Navy career began with L-3 Communications at Waco, Texas Navy program office. He worked there for 10 years and his last assignment at Waco was as Senior Director for Federal Programs where he led projects upgrading Navy, Army and CBP aircraft. Next, Bill served as Vice President of Operations at L-3 Vertex Aerospace in Madison, Mississippi, where he led more than 11,000 employees performing aircraft and vehicle maintenance around the world.
An opportunity to lead operations for DRS Technologies C3 and Aviation business unit moved him to the Washington, D.C. metro area for four years before he returned to South Carolina in 2013.
Bill then served as Vice President and General Manager of GKN Aerospace’s South Carolina Operations overseeing operations manufacturing flight-critical components and assemblies for Boeing, Honda Aircraft Company, and Honeywell. During this period, Bill ramped up assembly operations in one factory while standing up a completely new 100K sq. ft. factory producing engine inlet lip skins for Boeing aircraft.
Bill holds an MBA from Baylor University with honors recognition and a bachelor’s degree in business from New Hampshire College. He is also a graduate of an Executive Leadership Program taught at the Imperial College of London; Center for Creative Leadership’s Leadership at the Peak, and the Advanced Program Manager’s course at the Defense Acquisition University.