Sintavia's CEO Speaks To Greater Fort Lauderdale's Global Importance
Flight, aviation and the space industry have been a part of the Florida landscape and its warm sunny beaches for a long time. Greater Fort Lauderdale in particular, continues to create the ideal business climate for these industries to grow and thrive. Sintavia is a shining example. Headquartered in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Sintavia is a designer and additive manufacturer of critical components for flight and launch customers. CEO Brian Neff founded Sintavia in 2012 after working with metal additive manufacturing at CTS Engines, a jet engine MRO he acquired in 2010. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brian and discuss Sintavia, the Greater Fort Lauderdale business climate and why he thinks his company is enjoying such great success.
Q: Brian, how has establishing your headquarters in Greater Fort Lauderdale benefited your company?
A: Well, in general, Southeast Florida is a hub for aviation repair and manufacturing activities—and has been since the days when Pan Am and Eastern Airlines had maintenance bases here. Greater Fort Lauderdale in particular is a great location because we can draw people from a very broad geographic area. For example, Sintavia currently employs technical personnel from as far south as Homestead and as far north as Port St. Lucie—a distance of approximately 150 miles.
Q: What have been the advantages for you personally moving to Greater Fort Lauderdale?
A: I've found that the local governments (in the City of Hollywood, Broward County, and the State of Florida) have been extremely approachable when we have had issues or have wanted to expand. In my experience, they are very willing to listen to our plans and react to them. Additionally, public/private advocacy groups, such as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, are extremely active and involved with local companies, which is refreshing because I haven't experienced that in other locales where I've had companies.
Q: Does being located in Greater Fort Lauderdale give you an advantage within the global market?
A: For sure, it is recognized as an aviation hub. Each year there is at least one major aviation conference held here, which speaks well to the region's global importance.
Q: What would you say to other CEOs in your industry looking to relocate?
A: Give me a call and stop by! But don't hire my people.
Q: Is there any big news/technology on the horizon for Sintavia?
A: Sintavia's great strength is in the design and additive manufacturing (3D printing) of advanced thermodynamic components for the aerospace industry. An area that we are focusing on is the treatment of waste heat, and we're in the process of proving some really interesting concepts in this area regarding pulsating heat pipe technology—optimized via the 3D printing process. If we're successful, it will have massive implications in all areas of people's lives, not just aviation.
Q: What market trends are you seeing within your industry?
A: It is no secret that sustainability is a huge focus for all industrial industries, including aviation. Luckily, 3D printing lends itself to this trend. In 2019, we founded a green trade association called the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (the AMGTA) to highlight the relationship between 3D design, printing, and its inherent environmental benefits. Like Sintavia, the AMGTA is also based in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Q: What's your opinion on the workforce offering in Greater Fort Lauderdale? Have you seen any advantages, in terms of recruitment, from a location standpoint?
A: As mentioned, we do quite well geographically in hiring local talent. With respect to recruitment from other states, South Florida is obviously a HUGE draw due to its tax/regulatory environment and also its weather. I was speaking with a young engineer today who is working in upstate New York, and he is champing at the bit to come down to work at Sintavia, and the geography is certainly a part of that.
Q: Sounds great. Thanks for your time, Brian. Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Keep your eyes on Sintavia!