After six years as a U.S. Army Ranger and intelligence officer, including deployment to Kuwait, Proctor left the service and entered the business world. Since that time, he has been involved in over $7 billion in aircraft transactions and over $6 billion in aviation business planning. He founded Mente in 2009, and today the business aviation consultancy employs 17 appraisers, brokers and human resource specialists, among others, serving individuals and corporations large and small. In 2015, he was elected as a member of the board of the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA), which was recently renamed the International Association of Aircraft Dealers, and last fall was named its president. He has a BA degree in international studies in politics and diplomacy from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

NARA has existed for nearly three decades. Why the name change now?

Proctor: For several reasons. Although our membership represents just 3% of all aircraft dealers, they account for 60% of all pre-owned turbine aircraft transactions and we wanted a name to reflect that fact. Beyond that, we are seeking more international members. Further, we hope to establish higher industry standards that will be adapted internationally. To help with that, we’re creating a new website called “Aircraft Exchange,” to enhance data integrity and we know making that a go-to place for dealers, buyers and sellers will require a major branding effort. Coincidentally, a research study we funded determined that NARA as a brand had just 36% market awareness. So, it made sense to invest in a whole new brand.

What is the make-up of IADA’s membership?

Proctor: We have 38 dealers and 55 product and service members. Of those 38, one is based in Mexico and another, Jetcraft, is headquartered in London; all the rest are U.S.-based. However, our plan is to expand internationally and we’ve already been in touch with dealers in Asia and Europe who have expressed interest in joining.

As head of IADA and previously NARA, you’ve been quite vocal about the importance of business ethics. Is there a problem?

Proctor: In general, the business aviation community is composed of people who act ethically and whose behavior is beyond reproach. But in every segment of business there are people who are bad players. Our association established a Code of Ethics when it was founded 27 years ago, and I applaud the NBAA for its call for ethical conduct late last year. For us, it’s part of what we embrace. Now, our strategy is to develop standards and join with others to build an accreditation process for dealer companies and the certification of individual brokers in that community. The management will fall to Joseph Allan LLC, an accreditation service headed by professors from the University of North Dakota. Our goal is to have the accreditation process ready within 12 months, but the certification of individuals will take longer, probably two years, since it involves a training program, developing a test and administering the program. 

Is there no vetting process now?

Proctor: There is. Dealers seeking membership must have been in business for at least five years and handled 10 transactions, per year, in that time. They must be well known in the industry and are vetted by our membership committee. They also have to sign our Code of Conduct. Finally, they need to receive at least 80% approval by the members. 

You’re expanding internationally just as tariffs and trade wars are escalating. Will those actions impact IADA members’ business activities?

Proctor: I suspect any trade measures will affect new aircraft sales more than they will pre-owned, which aren’t likely to fall under such requirements. But then again, we’ll have to see the rules to know how to proceed. As a group, our members are small, nimble businesses and I’m confident that they’ll adjust to whatever the circumstances.