Summer 2001
Vol 18 No. 2

Celebrating 160 Years, and a Bright Future

Overcoming Years of Bitterness

New Arts & Sciences Dean

Kelly Jones Claims Miss Alabama

The Business of Jets

Picturing Samford's History

Choir Pleases Russian Audiences

Exciting Swiss Winter Escapade

A Conference for All Sports

Bulldogs To Spread Field, Rely on Defense

Other Stories

Samford Names Brad Creed to be Associate Provost

Samford Gets $100,000 FIPSE Grant for PBL Project with Maastricht

Faculty Compendium: Ross Article Cited in Microsoft Ruling; Bass Book Nominated for Pulitzer Prize

New Arts and Sciences Dean Samford ÔAnything But SleepyÕ: Chapman Davis

Davis Proudest of Hiring Strong Faculty

Teaching Aspect of Nursing Has Always Attracted New Dean

Baur Steps Down as Nursing Dean, Will Continue to Teach

John Carroll Brings Breadth of Legal Experience to Role as Cumberland Dean

Early Edmund D. Pellegrino Medal Honors Namesake, Secundy and Fletcher for Bioethics Contributions

Biology Students to Map Nature Conservancy Properties

Cumberland Professor Ware Writes the Book on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Samford ODK Celebrates 50th Year, Recognizes 50 Leaders with Impact

Samford hosts Alabama GovernorÕs School

Halbrooks Inaugurated as President of Colgate Rochester Crozer

Frank Stagg Library Adds Greatly to Samford Baptist Collection

Student Callers Raise More than $137,000 in Phonathon Effort

Issue Photo: SCIENCENTER

 
Dana Arnold Still Excited About his "Dream Job," Managing Corporate Jet Sales to Fortune 1000s

Dana Arnold's father was a pilot, so Dana grew up around airplanes. When he finished Samford business school in 1971, he took a job selling medical equipment. But by the early '80s, he had formed his own firm managing business jet aircraft for companies in Baltimore.

That put him in touch with Learjet. In 1989, the business jet manufacturer offered him a job, and he accepted a position in sales.

"It was my dream job," he said recently. "Worldwide, less than 200 people do what I do."

Arnold sells business aircraft. He is vice president of sales, Central Region, for Bombardier, Inc., of Montreal, Canada, which acquired Learjet in 1990. Bombardier Aerospace is the world’s third largest air transportation company and one of Canada's most respected companies.

Arnold manages the sales process to the majority of the Fortune 1000 Companies from Bombardier’s North American headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

Former Samford debater Dana Arnold '71 is vice president of sales, Central Region, for Bombardier, Inc., which builds Learjets and other business aircraft. He's also an airline transport-rated pilot with 8,000 hours.

"I travel over 100,000 miles a year on commercial airlines and more than that on our own jets," he said. "The business jet industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth for four or five years, and most manufacturers are in a backlog situation. There's a little slowdown now with the economy, but forecasts for the industry are very positive."

Arnold's region sold 44 business jets last year valued at $590 million. In terms of revenue, a midsize Learjet 60, which seats eight people, costs $12 million. Bombardier also builds planes as large as commercial MD-80s. Its Global Express sells for $44 million.

"A good part of the sales process in business jets is getting corporations to think long-term," said Arnold. "It takes about a year to assemble an aircraft. For our new Continental (which debuts in 2002), we’re taking orders now for 2006. The plane costs $17 million complete."

Arnold deals primarily with corporate senior executives, but occasionally with celebrities in sports and media. Business and racing legend Roger Penske (winner of this year’s Indy 500) is one of his clients.

"Bombardier sponsors the Kelley Racing Team, as well as Rusty Wallace of NASCAR Winston Cup fame," he said. "I coordinate the company's involvement in Indianapolis racing."

Birmingham is a strong midsize market for business jets, Arnold said, so he visits the area from time to time. He recently hosted a three-day static display of Bombardier jets at the Birmingham airport with former astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. "Gene, with his vast aviation experience, is great to have around when talking with potential clients," said Arnold.

The aviation executive said he is always glad to get back to Birmingham.

"I had a great experience at Samford," he said. "The business school was outstanding, but probably what has helped me the most are the speaking and debating skills I learned under Brad Bishop."

Arnold was a member of Bishop’s 1971 national champion debate team. His debate partner was David Peterson '72, and through an ironic twist, he and Peterson saw each other recently for the first time in 30 years.

"I didn’t know it, but Peterson owns an automobile dealership in several states," said Arnold. "One of my salesmen called on him (in California), and the subject of where they went to school came up. When the salesman found out David went to Samford, he said, 'My boss went there.' 'Who is he?' David asked. When he found out, he said, 'He was my old debating partner.'"

The two subsequently visited when Arnold was on a sales trip west.

Arnold resides in Southlake, a Dallas suburb. He and his wife, Leslie, a '73 Samford nursing graduate, have three daughters. Kathryn is a senior at Southern Methodist, Lindsey a sophomore at Samford, and Beth a 10th grader in Southlake.