SGTC 1979 aviation graduate honored as distinguished TCSG Alumnus

Published 2:40 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ATLANTA — Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner Gretchen Corbin recognized Dan Linginfelter, Senior Airworthiness Inspector for Gulfstream Aerospace and a 1979 aviation maintenance technology graduate from South Georgia Technical College (SGTC), as a distinguished Alumnus at the TCSG Leadership Summit in Atlanta.
Linginfelter and two of his brothers, Bill Linginfelter, area president for Georgia and South Carolina – Regions Bank, and Hank Linginfelter, executive vice president Distribution Operations – AGL Resources, were selected to serve on the Commissioner’s panel titled “From College to Career: A Georgia Family Success Story” at the Leadership Summit. Their youngest brother, Matt Linginfelter, who is a graduate of Kennesaw State University, was unable to participate on the panel.
“These three individuals represent an incredible family success story,” said Commissioner Corbin as she introduced the three brothers to the leadership of the Technical College System of Georgia. “Bill is a graduate of the University of Georgia; Hank is a graduate of Georgia Tech and Georgia State, and Dan is an alumnus and graduate of South Georgia Technical College. They are all incredibly successful and each one chose a different path. This panel shows the importance of partnerships in higher education to provide a trained workforce, but it also shows that the path to success can be both – technical education as well as traditional post-secondary education.”
“Every dollar I have made over the last 37 years can be traced back to South Georgia Tech,” said Dan Linginfelter, who is currently with Gulfstream Aerospace. “Having my A & P (airframe and powerplant) license has opened doors for me since 1979.”
Dan Linginfelter is currently living on St. Simons Island and enjoying his second “retirement” job. He joined Gulfstream in 2015, after retiring from Certified Aviation Services, a leading provider of MRO services for fleet operators around the world. He served as director of Operations and was responsible for supporting CAS management and staff in both East Coast and West Coast stations as well as Los Angeles, Seattle, Ontario, California; San Diego, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
He had previously retired from Delta Air Lines, where he had worked for 32 years, most recently as Atlanta Station manager, International.
“I wish I could tell you that I wanted to be an aviation mechanic and go to South Georgia Tech all my life,” laughed Dan Linginfelter. “But it didn’t happen that way. I defaulted to Brunswick Junior College for a year and my grades were not too good. So one day I came home and my mom had four brochures for me. Three involved the military and the fourth was for South Georgia Tech. I chose South Georgia Tech!”
Dan was still not sure what field he wanted to pursue at South Georgia Tech but he had an uncle who was a Navy pilot and he encouraged him to consider the aviation maintenance field.  “I am certainly glad that I listened to him. An A&P license will take you anywhere and everywhere.”
As a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensed mechanic Dan Linginfelter has been tremendously successful. “My two instructors at South Georgia Tech – Mr. Frank Gassett and Mr. Thomas Munn – had a tremendous impact on my life and the things they taught me still impact me today. They prepared me well for life and my career. They were deadly serious and they stressed safety and compliance. I can truthfully say that the enjoyment and success that I have today relates directly back to those two instructors and what they taught me at South Georgia Tech.”
The South Georgia Tech alumnus went on to add, “The accountability that they demanded was the difference in my life. At traditional college, no one cared whether I came to class or not. They didn’t care if I made good grades or not. But at South Georgia Tech, you had to be there and you had to do the work. The FAA had regulations. If you did not come to class and put in the time, you did not pass. There is no better preparation for the workforce than accountability.”
Commissioner Corbin asked Dan’s brothers to share their experiences as well. Hank explained that he attended Georgia Tech, his father’s alma mater. “My Dad played football under Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech and it changed his life. Dad always said challenge yourself and we all did that.”
Both Hank and Bill Linginfelter have served as president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and actually passed the gavel from one to the other.
Bill Linginfelter attended the University of Georgia. His parents attended many of the Georgia – Florida football games and he said that might have made the decision for him to not follow in his father’s footsteps. “Things were different then. I think I applied to the University of Georgia on Monday and was accepted on Friday. That doesn’t happen today and I probably would not be able to get in if I had to apply now,” laughed Bill.
All three brothers also praised their parents for their encouragement and support. Their father died at the age of 45 and their mother passed away at age 51. “They led by example. Despite dying young, they had a lasting impression on each of us,” said Bill. “We all give back. That is something that they instilled in us and even though Matt was still in high school when they died, we all followed their lead.”
Bill also encouraged everyone to find their passion and a mentor who will help them in college or in life. “In college many times there is a sink or swim mentality. Danny found his encouragement and mentoring from his instructors at South Georgia Tech and that made a big difference. We all need that type of mentoring and then we need to mentor the next generation.”
All three brothers agreed that higher education had made a tremendous difference in their lives. “Education is important. I would encourage all young people coming out of high school to consider a University System of Georgia or Technical College System of Georgia higher education path and chose some type of meaningful work. Georgia is very fortunate to have exceptional educational choices for high education – both technical and traditional. College prepares you for life and people who have meaning work are more successful,” concluded Bill Linginfelter.”
As Corbin closed out the panel discussion, she thanked all three individuals for coming and then asked SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., to the stage to make a presentation.
“On behalf of South Georgia Technical College I would like to present you with this small token from our faculty and staff,” said Watford. “We are extremely proud of your accomplishments and proud to have you as a representative of South Georgia Tech and the Technical College System of Georgia.”