AZ SBA Person of the Year – John Stonecipher, CEO of Guidance Aviation

award photo
AZ SBA Person of the Year 2013

May 16, 2013, Scottsdale, AZ. – John Stonecipher, President, CEO of Guidance Aviation, accepted the Arizona Small Business Administration’s Person of The Year Award from the State’s SBA CEO, Rick Murray and National SBA District Director, Robert Blaney, pictured here during the State’s SBA 20th Annual Enterprise Business Awards at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Established in 1998, Stonecipher started Guidance with one helicopter and himself as the sole instructor pilot and employee.  Today, Guidance Aviation is recognized as a leading collegiate helicopter flight training academy with a fleet of fifteen aircraft, fifty employees, and hundreds of graduates throughout the country now working in the aviation industry.

Selection of The Person of The Year by the Arizona Small Business Administration is based upon the following criteria:  (1) Staying power, (2) Growth in number of employees, (3) Increase in sales, (4) Current and past financial performance, (5) Innovativeness of product or service offered, (6) Response to adversity, and (7) Evidence of contributions.

“Our success is a result of the great people that work at Guidance.  These people are simply the best of the best,” stated Stonecipher.

AZ SBDC Network helps small business
AZ SBDC Network helps small business

Stonecipher and Guidance Aviation have been working with Fred Kennedy, a senior business advisor with 21 years of experience, at the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center (YC SBDC).  Pictured here are Fred Kennedy, John Stonecipher and Janice Washington, Arizona Small Business Development Center Network Director. Mr. Kennedy said, “It is always a pleasure and a privilege to work with small businesses…with their prosperity come new jobs, more profitability, additions in revenue to local, county, and state municipalities, and real success, providing the capital needed to maintain schools, roads, fire and police protection.  I met John Stonecipher in 2005 when his business advisor, Rick Gibson, a business professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, asked me to assist John and Guidance with strategic business planning.  Since those early days, John and his team have brought Guidance to the forefront of successful businesses in Yavapai County and in Arizona.  The accomplishments that John and Guidance have made are far too many to mention here, but nonetheless, accolades are deserved.  It was my humble privilege and unpretentious honor to nominate John as the SBA Person of the Year and see him win the honor and, in turn, the admiration of his peers, the community, and his country.”

Stonecipher’s next big step is to represent the State of Arizona and Helicopter Aviation at the National Small Business Luncheon in Washington, D.C. on June 21st.


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