Marc Kramer is a certified flight instructor, an aircraft mechanic turned avionics technician, engineer and business consultant. He grew up in an Air Force family, and has spent several years volunteering in Civil Air Patrol. He has almost as many life lessons as flight lessons to teach students, should they choose to listen.
Having watched the space race as a child, Mr. Kramer pursued model rocketry, model airplanes, electronics and photography as hobbies. He briefly attended Georgia Tech on a Navy ROTC scholarship, but wanted to get more hands-on experience with aircraft. He moved to Los Angeles to attend the Northrop Institute of Technology. On evenings and weekends, Mr. Kramer worked three part-time jobs to afford flying lessons, completing his private pilot license at 19 years of age. He then graduated with an Airframe and Powerplant (aircraft mechanic) certificate.
From there, his life is a story of serendipity. After moving to Silicon Valley, Mr. Kramer did not get a job in aircraft mechanics, because he passed an electronic skills test that qualified him as an aircraft avionics technician, which gave him a wage twice that of an aircraft mechanic. Those skills came about from his hobbies and one of the jobs he had held to help pay for his flying lessons. From one of the other part-time jobs, he had gained experience as a laser technician, which eventually led to a position as a laser manufacturing junior engineer--another unexpected promotion. Within a year, he was promoted to the company’s Advanced R&D Department. Memorable projects included testing lighting for the Space Shuttle’s flight control panel. Throughout these career advances, Mr. Kramer continued with aviation as a hobby, even training for aerobatic flying.
Eventually Mr. Kramer returned to engineering school, majoring in optical engineering and then continuing on for his MBA. It was while he was working towards his master’s degree at the Peter F. Drucker School of Business that the first seed of teaching was planted. His entrepreneurship instructor was Peter Drucker himself, and he made a comment Mr. Kramer would never forget.
“After I presented my paper to the class, in a rare moment he took me aside and said he really enjoyed the way I developed the business case, leading students through the material,” Mr. Kramer still recalls. “He asked if I would ever consider becoming a teacher. That really struck me, because Peter Drucker was an advocate of developing your strengths, and having read all of his books on management, I was a disciple.”
After some time in high-technology sales, as a product manager, and an international business consultant (including IBM and Adobe), Mr. Kramer took some time off to raise his two daughters. He and his daughters joined Civil Air Patrol, and while attending air shows he was reintroduced to flying, which he had been forced to give up while working in the corporate realm. It also gave him a new challenge, as he began teaching the young cadets about flight. Alongside his daughters, he learned to fly gliders and soloed.
After his youngest daughter Noelle enrolled in R-MA, Mr. Kramer became more and more impressed with what he saw going on at the Academy. When a flight position opened up in April of 2017, he knew it was time to try out that dream of teaching. Now he teaches the ground school in the classroom and flight lessons in the cockpit of R-MA’s Cessna 172s. The students of R-MA benefit from not just his time flying (and towing) gliders, the skills he gained flying aerobatics and his knowledge of aircraft systems in general, but also from personal life lessons, his career in technology, the executive business world and its expectations.
- M.B.A., Peter F. Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University
- B.S., Optical Engineering, University of LaVerne
- Airframe & Powerplant Technician, Northrop Institute of Technology
- Courses: Private Pilot Ground School, Flight Instructor
- R-MA Mentor