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- 2003 - March - 26th -

Chuck Vaughn is the sales director and co-owner of Adtron Sales and Marketing. He formed the company a year ago with his business partner, Wilson Boozer.

WHAT IS ADTRON ABOUT?

“Adtron represents cutting-edge technology companies with high-tech solutions to everyday problems for consumers and government agencies.”

WHY FORM THE COMPANY?

“I was injured in an automobile accident four years ago so my position as a corporate pilot was adversely affected. However, I continued to fly hot air balloons for passenger rides locally. I have been doing commercial ballooning and on-site promotions since 1983 and, after I got back in the saddle, made it my full-time thing. I had an offer to fly a King Air 200 [a corporate jet] and got all my flight licenses, but that went away due to the car wreck. That led me to help run the flight school I attended. I was awarded vendor statutes with FCCJ for their flight program at Cecil Field. After the Sept. 11 attacks, we lost several million in financial backing so I have a $15 million flight contract that is looking for a backer. Until then, a balloon pilot’s got to eat, right?”

FLOATING ON THE BREEZE

“My first real job was writing for the planetarium and museum. I worked there off and on for 20 years, was a photographer for Bryn Alan and interned at Ch. 4. My first day on the job in television was during Hurricane David in 1979 at Ch. 12. I was doing live shots back to ‘The Today Show,’ talking to Jane Pauley in 100 mile an hour winds. It was a hell of a first day. I was the first local hired at Ch. 30. When I saw things could go no further, I left in 1985 to start Freeze Frame, the one-hour photo lab in the old Brandon’s camera shop, with my then-brother-in-law. I also worked for City special events under three different administrations.”

WHAT DOES HE DO AS SALES DIRECTOR?

“Wilson and I jointly call on every client to assure they get a complete feel for our products and listen to their needs so we can see how to assist them. We don’t have a specialty other than aviation.”

WHO ARE HIS CLIENTS?

“We serve regular folks, businesses, municipalities and other government agencies.”

WHAT PRODUCTS DOES HE SELL?

Adsil is a coating that makes the unit it is applied to impenetrable to corrosion, rust, mold, mildew and barnacles. Even bubble gum and graffiti won’t stick to it. Duraliner is used to remediate underground water and sewer lines at a portion of the cost. Soltron is an environmentally-friendly enzyme that cracks carbon molecules to make them burn more efficiently in internal combustion engines. “The City has placed an order [for Soltron]. Jacksonville burns six million gallons of fuel a year. This will save them 8-10 percent on direct costs.”

HOW DOES HE FIND PRODUCTS TO MARKET?

“I’m on the Internet four hours a day trying to find new things. Right now, Disney wants to talk to us about one of their products.”

WHAT IS REWARDING ABOUT HIS WORK?

“Finding out just how much our products can help others. When I fly the balloon, I see a layer of sulfur about 700 feet thick and think of how our product could help clean the air in Jacksonville.”

WHAT’S MOST CHALLENGING?

“Getting people to understand our products are not snake oil and do work.”

HOMETOWN

Jacksonville.

EDUCATION

While attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Vaughn was a flight major who was also minoring in computers. He had to quit in his senior year because of medical problems.

MEDICAL PROBLEMS?

Vaughn struggles with an intestinal disease called regional enteritis. “I was on an I.V. for four years. I did not eat for four years. I put myself out of work and, as I was uninsurable, became a part of the state’s medically needy program for catastrophic illness. The state really screwed that up and, after 16 years, I’m still fighting that one.”

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS?

Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association.

RESIDENCE

Vaughn lives on the Southside in the house where he grew up.

HOBBIES

Aviation, radio-controlled airplanes and NASCAR. “If it’s in the sky, I like knowing about it.”

HIS FAVORITE THINGS

Vaughn gives the movie “The Right Stuff” and the book “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” two thumbs up. He also loves to visit Cape Kennedy and Helen, Ga. but the fishing in central Florida’s Lake George is what he pines for the most. “My favorite foods are barbecue, seafood and barbecue, but I’m getting to like Japanese.”

— by Monica Chamness

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