HEICO's Mendelson receives Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Award

Larry Mendelson of HEICO was presented he Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award in California last week.

By Doug Gollan, January 24, 2024

Laurens “Larry” Mendelson, CEO of publicly traded aviation and aerospace parts, components, and technology manufacturer HEICO Corp., was awarded the Living Legends of Aviation Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award.

The presentation was made by Ricci himself and took place at the 21st annual awards ceremony held last week in Beverly Hills, California.

Mendelson, 85, joins past winners, including the Directional Aviation founder and current Flexjet Chairman, Solairus Aviation founder and CEO Dan Drohan; Avfuel Corporation Managing Partner Craig R. Sincock; Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos; Bigelow Aerospace Founder Robert Bigelow; and the late Dr. S. Harry Robertson III, founder of Robertson Aviation.

Mendelson and his sons Eric and Victor (pictured with Ricci above) acquired a controlling stake in HEICO in 1990.

HEICO grew under Mendelson’s leadership to become a multinational powerhouse employing 9,600 people in 15 countries with a market capitalization of approximately $21 billion.

“Larry’s visionary leadership has left an indelible mark on me and other entrepreneurs worldwide,” said Ricci.

He added, “What Larry and his sons have accomplished in building this amazing family-oriented company and a prominent player in our industry is perhaps one of the best flight paths for any in this business to follow.”

Mendelson and his wife of over 60 years, Arlene, have also been civically and philanthropically active as members and significant donors to numerous organizations in South Florida.

Living Legends of Aviation

The annual event serves as one of the largest fundraisers for the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring future aviation enthusiasts.

John Travolta hosted this year’s event, which also honored Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who was inducted as a member of the Living Legends.

The Living Legends of Aviation was founded in 2003.

It includes pioneers, achievers, and other people of accomplishment in the field, such as astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell and pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, and it convenes annually to recognize those who have achieved great things in aviation and to welcome new additions to its ranks.

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