Willis Lease Finance Appoints Austin C. Willis CEO

Willis Lease Finance appointed Austin C. Willis, the son of company founder Charles F. Willis, to the role of CEO, effective April 1. Charles F. Willis, who is currently the CEO of the company, will become the executive chairman of the board of directors of the company when Austin C. Willis assumes the CEO role.

Austin C. Willis most recently served as senior vice president of corporate development at Willis Lease Finance, a role he started in 2017. He has also been on the company’s board since 2008. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of J.T. Power, a privately-held aviation parts and leasing company, which he started in 2004. Willis also served as a Green Beret in the 20th Special Forces Group.

“I am pleased to make this transition. Austin has earned the recognition. After 50 years in the industry and numerous challenges as well as successes, I am looking forward to providing continued guidance to our company. There have always been inflection points, and these will continue,” Charles F. Willis, said. “I am also looking forward to working on strategic programs, as well as working with the banking community and capital markets.”

“Due to his successful past five years as SVP of corporate development, Austin C. Willis acquired a wealth of knowledge on Willis Lease and its current and future business lines,” Dr. Hans Joerg Hunziker, a board member for Willis Lease Finance, said. “And with his U.S. Army proven leadership skills, Austin will certainly motivate and assist its most valuable staff to weather geopolitical storms and address new market opportunities.”

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