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Wrong Bill Kaman?

Mr. Bill Kaman Jr.

Executive Vice President

Kaman Corporation

HQ Phone: (860) 243-7100

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Kaman Corporation

1332 Blue Hills Ave

Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002

United States

Company Description

Kaman Corporation, founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman, and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut conducts business in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets. The company produces and markets proprietary aircraft bearings an ... more

Find other employees at this company (2,910)

Background Information

Employment History

Vice Chairman of Directors



head of Kaman Music



Western New England College

Web References (26 Total References)

According to Charles' son (and future ... [cached]

According to Charles' son (and future president of Kaman Corporation), Bill Kaman, Jr., Ovation considered "pointing this out" (i.e., legal action), but given its bad track record with solidbodies, figured it wasn't worth the effort.

Vintage Guitar® magazine : Brand Pages [cached]

According to Charles' son (and future president of Kaman Corporation), Bill Kaman, Jr., Ovation considered "pointing this out" (i.e., legal action), but given its bad track record with solidbodies, figured it wasn't worth the effort.

Headlines/Breaking News from The Business Journal of Jacksonville - [cached]

Bill Kaman, chairman and CEO of AirKaman of Jacksonville, which supplies fuel to commercial and private planes at Jacksonville International Airport, has been named vice chairman of the board of directors of Bloomfield, Conn.-based Kaman Corp. (Nasdaq: KAMNA).

AIRKAMAN of Jacksonville, FL! - Fixed Base Operator, FBO [cached]

South strikes right chord for Bill Kaman and his aviation company, Jacksonville is a happy landingAIRKAMAN of Jacksonville, FL! - Fixed Base Operator, FBO

William "Bill" Kaman II, who owns AirKaman (an aviation company based at JIA), plays an Ovation guitar.The guitar type was invented by his father and features a synthetic rounded back. -- Will Dickey/Staff
South strikes right chordFor Bill Kaman and his aviation company, Jacksonville is a happy landing
Bill Kaman's office is pretty sharp, about what you'd expect for a young, hip, well-heeled chief executive officer.
His office at AirKaman, the aviation company he runs at Jacksonville International Airport, is professional looking . . . except maybe for the several guitars propped up along the back wall and the photo collage of Kaman at various ages hanging out and back-slapping with famous folks like Vince Gill, Glen Campbell, the Doobie Brothers, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Mark Knopfler, Jon Bon Jovi, Eddie Rabbitt and Adrian Legg.
"Seeing those people around just always seemed normal to me. Sort of no big deal," he said in the understated, almost laconic way that typifies the man - a big, bearded guy, a couple of inches over 6 feet, who's not heavy, but big-boned.
Rubbing shoulders with celebrities, he said, is just what happens when you grow up working in a factory that makes a unique guitar that was invented by your multimillionaire dad - who also happens to be a pioneer in aviation.
The guitar is Ovation, and it's been used and endorsed by dozens of the best-known pop, rock and country guitarists of the past 35 years.It was launched in the mid-'60s and known primarily for the rounded, fiberglass backs and the way-aheadof-its-time electronics used on the acoustic line.
Bill Kaman (pronounced like "command" without the "d") eventually took over the reins of that company, Kaman Music Corp., located in Bloomfield, Conn.He ran it from the late mid-'80s through the mid-'90s and is still an owner and on the board of directors.
Kaman Music Corp. is one of several companies owned by parent company Kaman Corp., which has interests in music, aviation and industrial parts.When Kaman Corp. divested itself of AirKaman in 1997, Bill Kaman bought it and came south to Jacksonville.He took over as president and CEO of the aviation company that provides fueling services for commercial and private aircraft as well as providing hangar services, offices and maintenance facilities for private planes.
"Frankly, I'm not particularly wild about aviation," he quipped."But over the years I've learned to enjoy being an entrepreneur.So I stay busy running this.You get to interact with a wide range of people.That's what I like."
South for the golf
Ed Miller, vice president and chief of operations at Kaman Music, worked with Kaman for about 15 years.
They became a trademark for Kaman, who, Miller said, "quite honestly became something of an icon himself within the guitar industry."
Kaman pulls those big boots on occasionally nowadays, but admits they have grown to represent perhaps the one negative thing about living on the First Coast.
"For the most part, the boots are too hot down here," he said.
So he's had to resort to wearing other kinds of shoes that reveal his socks.
"I had to actually learn how to use the same color socks and to how turn them right-side out.It's sort of a new skill."
Oh, and to be honest, in addition to the boots and cigars, Kaman also has a penchant for cars and guitars, and not just Ovation guitars, either.His guitar collection includes many makes and models.One of his favorites right now is a rosewood and spruce Collings.
As far as cars, he's partial to vintage models, like a favorite '59 Cadillac with the giant rocket-ship fins.
During the evolution and popularization of the guitar (and its unique pickup), the teenaged Bill Kaman worked summers in nearly every aspect of guitar production.
"I did sanding, finishing - made braces all day.That's quite a thrill by the way," he said.
'Make it run'
Truth is, Kaman liked being around guitars, partly because he's an accomplished blues player himself.He got the bug, like millions of other youngsters, after seeing the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964.
He taught himself to play guitar and got to be comfortable sitting behind a drum kit as well.In fact, he played drums in his one and only musical group, a high school band with a decidedly '60s name: Two Weeks from Yesterday.
Through it all, Kaman kept working at different jobs throughout the company.He took on more and more responsibility in the company, along the way getting a degree in economics from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.
In 1986, Kaman became president of Kaman Music.
Bill responded, "What the hell am I gonna do?"
"You'll figure it out," Dad said.
Thanks, thought Bill Kaman.But he did, in fact, figure it out.
"When Bill took over, we essentially had six independent companies run by six sort of entrepreneurial-type presidents," said Kaman Music's Miller."Bill, though he maintained a sort of low-key presence, essentially consolidated the operation.He put the team together and he did it well.And it worked."
But eventually, Kaman began thinking about taking a break from guitar manufacturing and related businesses.For one thing, he'd been doing it his whole life.
But he also admits he'd begun to lose a feel for today's popular music.
"Where's the Eric Clapton of today?"he asked."Who's coming up to fill those shoes?Where's the Duane or Gregg Allman?
"I'm from the '60s and '70s.A lot of the music was, oh, you know - simple really.But it was good.

AirKaman Gets Certification from NATA’s Safety 1stProgram [cached]

"Having been deeply involved with the Total Quality Management Program at Kaman Corporation, I realized the value of the Safety 1st Program at its inception and made the commitment to make it happen at both of our locations," said Bill Kaman, president and CEO of AirKaman.

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