Over the course of his 20+-year career with major companies like General Electric, Motorola, Energizer, and Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Gerardo Blanco has developed a motto that says it all: Simplicity Drives Productivity. Today, as the newly installed director at GKN Aerospace, Gerardo is responsible managing the firm’s nine buildings on their San Diego, California campus. As with many of his previous positions, including a 10-year tenure as director of operations at Carlisle, Gerardo is in charge of overseeing the company’s quality, delivery, supply chain, and finances. With Carlisle, he handled the operations of some of their plants in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe.
GKN Aerospace produces components for military engines and aircraft, and other major clients include Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, GE and Honeywell. They also produce many of the parts for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter Pratt engine. Their processes are unique, and they manufacture parts in a top-secret way that no other company in the world does. With an engineering degree and 100 different certifications, the last of which he earned from the Kelly School at Indiana University, Gerardo also has a deep understanding of the company’s products and processes from the inside out, and has been working in the aerospace industry since 2009. His first job, back in 2000, was through General Electric's leadership program, in which he worked in a different position in a different city every six months. After that, he was a production manager for Motorola in their automotive department before being promoted to logistics manager. In 2011, he began what would become a 10-year career at Carlisle, running some of their largest plants with responsibility of sites in the U.S., Switzerland and Mexico.
Today, he brings that wealth of experience to handle manufacturing, operations, and the financials for GKN, including risk and profit. “If the company makes money, it’s on me, but if it doesn’t, that’s also on me,” he says. To ensure success, Gerardo relies on his slogan of simplicity. “We live in a world that is already complicated, and people make it more complex with certain systems or processes,” he explains. While he’s a realist and understands the need for systems and processes, he strives to keep everything as simple and streamlined as possible. “When people stop wasting their time in non-value-add initiatives or tasks, things actually become more productive,” he says. And he’s got the record to prove it, boosting productivity and increasing output in every position at every company he’s worked with over the past two decades. Today, Gerardo is looking forward to working with GKN for the foreseeable future, helping them streamline, simplify, and increase productivity the way he has in his previous positions, and is especially glad that he gets to stay in California with his family.
Director — GKN Aerospace