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AVIAN announces new Chief Operating Officer

Jan 3rd, 2022

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – Leadership scholar Warren G. Bennis once said, “Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality,” and AVIAN’s rising chief operating officer is ready to do just that.  

On January 3, George Franz assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer for AVIAN. Prior to being named COO, Franz served as AVIAN’s Vice President for its Test and Evaluation | Flight Support (TFS) sector. As the TFS Sector Lead, he worked to enhance, strengthen, and reaffirm AVIAN’s foothold within T&E communities nationwide. During his eight years at AVIAN, Franz also held Senior Instructor and Course Developer positions in support of the Naval Air System Command’s College of Program Management. 

“George is taking the helm at a time when AVIAN is bursting with growth in the middle markets,” said Kevin Switick, chief executive officer at AVIAN. “He will design and implement next-level business operations for our current market sectors and promote a growth mindset, all while building excitement around employee ownership and our corporate value of taking care of each other. That’s no small feat, and I know he’s going to do an incredible job.” 

As AVIAN’s Chief Operating Officer, Franz will oversee all market sectors for AVIAN and its subsidiaries. He will work to increase profitability through lean processes, tools implementation, enhanced productivity, and organic growth. Franz will also work cross-functionally with other leaders in the organization to execute the corporate vision set out by CEO, Kevin Switick, to achieve near-term goals.   

“George will operationalize our 3-5-year sector strategies and strengthen our core offerings in the here and now,” Switick said. “I’m excited to see how the AVIAN business map comes to life under his leadership.” 

Franz is a retired U.S. Naval Flight Officer and a United States Naval Test Pilot School graduate. While on active duty, he served in multiple operational squadrons and supported NAVAIR for over 10 years as a test NFO, Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead, Assistant Program Manager for Systems Engineering (APMSE/Class Desk), and Assistant Program Executive Officer for Acquisition (APEO-ACQ).  

“These experiences allowed George to gain a wide breadth of experience in T&E, Systems Engineering, and Program Management, which he will bring to bear in his new position,” Switick said. 

Franz succeeds AVIAN’s founder, Jeff Sherman, who retired on January 3, which is the 17th anniversary of when he formed the company.  

"The moves AVIAN made as we closed out 2021 demonstrate there are tremendous growth opportunities on our horizon,” said Franz. “I’m honored and excited to take on this new position and help build on AVIAN’s success.”  

About AVIAN 

AVIAN (*ae-v-yin*) is an employee-owned small business, founded in 2005 that delivers resourceful, responsive, and reachable solutions to government and commercial clients.  
AVIAN provides program, financial, and logistics management; engineering design and systems engineering; test and evaluation of manned and unmanned aerial, surface, and subsurface systems; workforce development and training; communication strategy and graphic design.    
AVIAN has consistently grown over the past 16 years and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies for 10 consecutive years, as well as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work. AVIAN has over 400 employees serving more than 80 clients in 13 states with annual revenues exceeding $75 million.   
Its headquarters is in Lexington Park, Maryland with employees located across the country in support of organizations including the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) and the United States Intelligence Community (USIC).

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