Denise Fox has been with Jet AirWerks for 11 1/2 years & has been pivotal to the growth of the company from 3 to 45+ employees. She oversees all of the day-to-day operations that keep your parts moving through the shop & acts as a great mentor to our employees.
Denise is a graduate of Cowley County Community College & held management positions throughout her career. She spent time as the Carbon Fiber Research and Development Manager at Conoco & the Senior Programs Manager at Tech Aerospace prior to joining Jet AirWerks.
She is married to her husband Brad & has several children (Leah, Teri, Alex & Nathan) that she views as her greatest accomplishments. She enjoys spending time with her friends playing Texas Hold'em & Bunco.
We asked Denise some questions to learn a little more about her.
My first job was as a caregiver at the Winfield State Hospital when I was 14 years old. Kansas had a pilot program for children in the system and I was fortunate to be chosen. When I was told my summer would be working 30 hours a week and going to classes at the college, I had the typical teenager, who wanted to spend her summer at the pool, reaction. However, a few weeks into the program I knew it was having an impact. I was not aware at the time just how much of a catalyst it was for my approach to work standards and ethics.
If I wasn’t playing a sport, I was drawing, doing leatherwork, wood-burning, molding clay, or painting - basically anything artistic.
My days at JAW start off pretty early. I begin my day going through aging items and identifying any potential problem parts. Then I do some general reconciliation in the business system and catch up on emails. After attending our morning production meetings, I assist the team with any problem-solving issues they need my assistance with. Finally, it’s on to taking care of day-to-day activities related to the overall health and growth of the employees, the facilities, our quality systems, and our customer’s needs.
We laugh and enjoy each other at JAW, but at times I think I can come off as somewhat stern. Many positions at JAW require a great deal of responsibility and trust. I believe that, at times, you have to try and fail to learn. My advice can feel personal and abrasive until you begin to fully understand how critical quality is in our field. I have had many employees have the “ah-ha” moment and later tell me that they get it now. I hope that each of our employees knows and feels that I am fully invested in their growth and happiness at JAW.
Take in all learning opportunities for growth. I’ve been doing this for years and still learn things from those with greater experience and entry-level employees. It’s not only about growing your industry knowledge but also about knowing yourself and your partners better, to get to the next level.
Nachos and a beer.
I care about many, but the cause that drives me the most is emotional and domestic violence, especially against children.
Primarily, as a loving mother and friend, but also a truly invested and dedicated team member. I hope my handling of adverse and challenging situations is remembered and inspires my kids to be the best versions of themselves they can be.
I would tell her to breathe; although it doesn’t feel like it at this time, she has a strength in her she is not yet aware of. That her questions about why life is currently the way it is will never be answered, but she will endure and thrive in ways she cannot yet imagine.
Who you will be tomorrow is far more important than who you were yesterday. I’m also a true believer in the old saying, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit".