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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.



Angela Thurmond joined American Aero, a fixed-base operator, or FBO, at Meacham International Airport in June 2017 and quickly rose through the ranks from customer service representative to general manager. She oversees a team of 26 and manages the daily operations of what has become Meacham’s premier private aviation terminal, serving the needs of corporate and private flight crews and passengers.

Thurmond’s commitment to creating exceptional customer experiences earned her a spot among the 25 best customer service representatives in the world in the 2018 Aviation International News (AIN) FBO reader survey – the only independent evaluation of FBOs worldwide. In April 2018, Thurmond was promoted to customer service manager and in February 2019 she was handed the reins as general manager.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Thurmond moved to Burleson in 2008. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee.

Thurmond’s motto: “If you take care of your people, they take care of the customers.” She sees Meacham as a gateway to the community and is committed to creating a welcoming first impression that supports local economic development.

Under Thurmond’s leadership, American Aero has experienced year-over-year sales growth and a meteoric rise in industry rankings – coming in as one of the world’s top five FBOs in the 2019 AIN survey.

American Aero is also ranked the best private aviation terminal in Texas and in the Southwest.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

As a teenager I had many odd jobs – babysitting, grading papers, teaching gymnastics. One summer, I worked in the warehouse of a publishing company.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

I did not watch a lot of television. My neighbor had the original Mario Brothers video game, and I spent an entire summer trying to save the princess, but my real influence was nature. I  practically lived outdoors. I rode and showed thoroughbred horses with my father, which taught me confidence.

What other profession would you like to try?

Tough question. I didn’t consider a career in aviation before American Aero. Right now, I believe I am where I am supposed to be. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or

she was important.

Two people have influenced my career. Terri Foreman, my first boss when I worked at a fitness center, demonstrated grace in her leadership. She taught me that being a leader doesn’t mean talking at someone, but rather talking to someone. I want to emulate those qualities.

Bob Agostino, vice president of American Aero, is the most influential person in my career today. He knew what I was capable of before I did. Bob has a tremendous reputation and understands our customers’ mindset. He is a resource, support system, and sounding board. Our customers are better served because he pushes me to excel.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I found my calling in this role. I work with great people in an exciting, dynamic environment. We are leading the industry in safety and service and transforming the customer experience. I plan to continue proving myself and helping others succeed.

What is your favorite song?

Come Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

I chose a canvas photo of my two boys because everything I do is to give them a good life. I also selected a model airplane because aviation has become more than my career; it’s my passion. I’ve learned that every plane is unique and has its own personality. It’s fun to go somewhere and find one I recognize. It’s like seeing an old friend.


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