Finalist Q&A: Heron Aerospace

Heron Aerospace is a company that offers aerial and technical imaging and analysis, technical consulting, and educational services. Their finalist profile is available here.


How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what were your influences and sources of motivation?

Parker E.C. Bradley, Pres./C.E.O.: I've always had a bit of an independent streak (though I have no problem working with other talented, motivated people to get something done), starting my first business when I was 8 years old -- mowing lawns and doing general yard work in the neighborhood. That independence and desire to create my own thing has stayed with me and I've always practiced it to one degree or another. It was therefore natural for me to ply my trade independently out of university; but there was a special impetus to start the company when I did, towards the end of 1998.

That impetus was a sub-orbital launch contest, the "CATS Prize" (historical link here: which I very much wanted to compete in, and I was sure I could win it. I discussed my idea with Watervliet Arsenal, and some others that I felt might participate in one way or another, and they all felt it was doable for about 1/3 of the prize purse. However, I was unable to raise the necessary capital in time to participate before the prize expired. Oh well , the company, and myself continued to evolve and though our originall goal still stands (developing launch systems and providing inexpensive access to space), we have evolved other product/service venues that utilize our talents and help provide a sound financial base to pursue other endeavors as well.

As for the idea for the "Air Safari" Project: I like flying, I like photography, and I like the sport of geocaching. I also want to share and encourage this activity with others (plus it can be a great educational tool)-- hence the birth of this project.

What do you consider to be a unique feature of your business?

A unique feature of Heron Aerospace is its resource pool of talent. We can call on people of various skills, talents, and connections to get things done.

What are your thoughts on the future of small businesses in a slowing economy and their importance to the vitality of the local community?

Personally, I feel that there will be more opportunities for small business in the future. It is very likely that large corporations, and other large entities are going to have a very hard time (or fail outright) in the future. Nevertheless, people will still have needs, wants, and desires -- so, absent a big mega-corp, it will be up to individuals at the local level to fulfill those needs, wants, and desires. As people and institutions adjust to the new landscape, they will be forced to look inward and local. In otherwords, we're looking at the rejuvination of the "Small-Time-Operator"!

Why should the Idea Cafe regulars vote for you?

When asking someone to justify one thing or another (why should I give you an "A", why should I get you that new "thing-a-mc-bob", why should I give you money), what you are asking for is that person's "Hallmark". To paraphrase the Oxford English Dictionary: Historically it's a mark on articles (originally used by various guilds in England) denoting the special quality or purity of their products. In more general use today, it has come to mean the distinguishing characteristic of something.

So what is the Hallmark of someone that should receive the vote, of Idea Cafe "Regulars"? That person should be well motivated, with a history of accomplishment and following through on one's ideas and goals. That person should not be afraid of working with others -- each person in the endeavor applying their individual talents to the success of the whole. That person should be engaged in a project that benefits not just themselves, but others as well.

The PDF at the following link:
gives a summary of my background and relevant accomplishments for this particular endeavor, and also shows the main members of my team that I will be working with on this projected.

As my record indicates, I have a history of "Follow-Through", and working well with others to accomplish a goal. Also, this project will not just be of financial and professional benefit to myself, but will serve as an economic stimulus for airports and communities across New Mexico and will be a valuable educational tool as well. . . . which is indicative of one with the Hallmark of someone that should receive your vote for the Idea Cafe Grant.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for preventing automated spam submissions.