Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award

Laurans A. (Larry) Mendelson was born in New York City on July 7, 1938.  He attended Public Elementary School and then Brooklyn Technical High School where he got his background in engineering.  He then attended Columbia College in the City of New York and after, attended Columbia Graduate School of Business where he received his MBA, having majored in Finance and Accounting.

Immediately after graduate school, he was hired by Arthur Andersen & Company where he worked for about six years.  He always knew that he wanted to start his own company, as an entrepreneur, and in 1969 the family moved to Miami, Florida.
Larry was originally engaged successfully in the real estate industry in South Florida.  In the mid-1980s his son Victor Mendelson became interested in a small South Florida public company called HEICO Corporation.  The Mendelson Family became the largest shareholder in HEICO and in 1990, Mr. Mendelson became the companys Chairman, President and CEO.

From then on, until the present time, Mr. Mendelson and his two sons, Eric and Victor, have worked long and hard to build HEICO into a major Aerospace and Electronics company.  When the Mendelsons took over HEICO in 1990, it was a small public company listed on the American Stock Exchange.  The company had a market value of about $25 million and essentially one, single aerospace product.

Today, HEICO is a major international company with a market value of approximately $21 Billion, offers hundreds of thousands of parts, in both Aerospace and Electronic Technologies and employs approximately 10,000 Team Members at facilities located in 15 countries and 21 states in the USA.  Mr. Mendelson and his wife of over 60 years, Arlene, have been very civically and philanthropically active as a members and significant donors to numerous organizations in South Florida and elsewhere.