Industry Council Member

Wayne C. Heller retired as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Republic Airways Holdings in 2015.  Republic Airways was a holding company that owned up to six regional and low-cost airlines, growing revenue from $100M to almost $3B in less than 10 years.During Wayne’s tenure, Republic grew from a small turboprop operation to the nation’s second-largest regional airline, later acquiring and operating Frontier and Midwest Express Airlines. Wayne was the chief architect of a strategic growth plan that built systems and capabilities to support sustained rapid organizational expansion that also improved all aspects of operational and cost performance. Wayne managed and administered $1.8B annual budget and operating plan encompassing, Flight Operations, Maintenance & Engineering, Training, Safety, System Operations Control, Supply Chain, Customer Service and Labor Relations. Additionally, Wayne has over 35 years experience in the airline industry and is a licensed commercial pilot and licensed dispatcher.

Areas of Expertise

  • Operational Excellence and Efficiencies
  • Organizational Change
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Safety Improvements
  • M&A
  • Private Equity/IPO Experience


University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Carlson School of Management, Executive Management Program, 1999

College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA, General Business Studies, 1979 – 1981

Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA, General Business Studies, 1976 – 1978