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Pasadena’s Stonecipher is 2013 ‘National Small Business Person of the Year’

Published on Monday, June 24, 2013 | 1:31 pm

Pasadena-native John L. Stonecipher was recently named the 2013 National Small Business Person of the Year by Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration during SBA’s celebration of National Small Business Week.

As a young boy, Stonecipher grew up in Pasadena. His future was forged as he watched police helicopters fly overhead, according to a news statement.  By 18, he was certified to fly. By 19, with an instructor’s certificate in hand, he was teaching others the intricacies of helicopter flight.

Now he is now President and CEO of Guidance Aviation in Prescott, Ariz.  He founded Guidance Aviation in 1998 and the company took residence at Prescott’s Municipal Airport.

The school won Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals, created alliances with the Yavapai Sheriff’s Office, won approval from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to train veterans, and received accreditation with Embry-Riddle University. 

Yavapai College has partnered with Guidance Aviation and offers an Associate of Applied Science Professional Helicopter Pilot Degree Program. Today Guidance Aviation has a staff of 55, fourteen aircraft and a waiting list of students, according to a news statement. 

“John is a perfect example of a person who is driven to reach his childhood dreams.  He exemplifies what it means to be an entrepreneur,” Mills said. “He has never given up and is always moving forward and up – literally and figuratively.  I couldn’t be more pleased to name him as this year’s Small Business Person of the Year.”

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