12 Apr

Origin Story Time

My Favorite Breed of Dog is Under: An ELP Tale

In many ways, founder, CEO, and software pioneer Erwin Ponce is like that scrappy kid from the cornfield with a one-way bus ticket and big city dreams. It’s a tale as old as time, but one that never truly gets old; the scrappy boy with a heart of gold, humbly brilliant and always landing on his feet with catlike grace despite circumstances doing their best to deter his efforts.

It resonates because we love to see it- when good things happen for good people, in part, because of their dedication to the process, it’s the ultimate promise that if you work hard and stay the course, you just might make it. That isn’t always the case for people, but when it does happen, it’s an inspiration and a reminder that we might have more control over our fate than we think we do, if we’re brave enough to reach for it.

The Man Who Wore All the Hats (and Looked Great in Each One)

Erwin got into the aviation game at the ripe old age of 17, and never got back out. From skycap to dispatch, from staffer to Senior Director, he’s done pretty much everything except for flying the plane, although he did complete the Flight Engineer requirements, but now that is aging him, wink wink. After years of working as a Director of Operations Technology, he got to thinking, “what if there was a better way to do this?” That’s when he and wife Linda, decided to start consulting with airlines to help them develop and/or better their software systems.

It wasn’t all a bed of technological roses, however; at one point after having gone in with some other partners things went south… due to a difference in business philosophy. Erwin and Linda lost the money they had put into the collective, as well as some valuable intellectual property. “I lost out on some big money walking away, but I’d rather be able to sleep at night,” Erwin said.

We’re gonna need a bigger hat rack

And sleep he did, dreaming technologically advanced dreams and singing software lullabies. Times were tough until a crash course in airline coding, along with some grit, drive, and 401K faith, ELP was born. All of a sudden, they weren’t just consulting, they were building software- custom programs designed to meet the needs of some of the biggest names in aviation. Developers were hired, goals were reached and surpassed, and airlines were changed.

FYI Steve Jobs was a Fruitarian

Dinner is served in the Jobs household

When you talk to Erwin, you’d never know that he was the head of a booming software development company. Perhaps this is because public perception in the field is influenced by names like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk; turtle-necked clad eccentrics who only ate grapes, or genius inventors with egos to match the size of their smart cars- that’s who I think of when it comes to titans in the tech world. Erwin loves his family. He trusts his employees. He values his customers. As far as I know he has not chosen to name his children after mathematical formulas.

 His is not a dream for clout or celebrity. He just wants to solve problems in an industry that has been plagued by them, especially in these last few pandemic-filled years. It’s a vision that’s as surprisingly simple as it is ambitious. So many airline procedures just exist; it’s the way it’s always been done. No one ever asked, “what if this could be better; what if payroll didn’t have to weep at the thought of processing profit sharing checks?” It was a given- scheduling is constantly engulfed in a metaphorical fire and payroll will routinely pull ghastly all-nighters in the name of pay stubs. Crews will suffer from the fallout of outdated and overworked systems, and management will alternate audible sighs and disappointed shakes of the head.

Enter, ELP. By wearing all the hats in his ascent to software greatness, Erwin has a working knowledge of pretty much every department along with a perspective that many developers miss; he’s worked on the other side. He knows the current procedures, and he knows why they suck; that inside scoop means that not only is the programming good on paper, it actually works to solve the problem.

Ultimately, ELP is a living lesson in questioning the status quo, while always remembering that said questioning should come from a place of curious helpfulness. Innovation for innovation’s sake is pointless (you hear us, Jeff Bezos?), but innovation with heart? That’s where the magic happens.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, ELP is a reminder that if your intentions are good, and your means are honest, you should never hesitate to bet on yourself.

This company may have been established as a last-ditch effort- a result of a moral speed bump and the fallout that occurred after. Cashing out a 401K to start a business later in life…that sentence is a great way to make your financial planner cry.

Actual footage of your banker if you ask him to withdraw your 401K

But, deep down, Erwin and Linda saw the need. That’s why, despite the risk (I use that word lightly- does it count as a risk if your boss probably crafted a cost/risk analysis that I assume was the length of a CVS receipt?) they knew the reward would be great, they just had to be brave enough to start. They’ve also been careful to curate a knowledgeable staff to help their various departments shine. Diddi is one of the OG developers who is now a partner, who heads that ever-changing industry with skill and discernment that has brought ELP technology an ascent to the pinnacle of the cutting edge. Bryan Elmore was brought on board as COO and newest partner to manage the staff and the overall operation of the company. He likes to shake things up for the admin staff, and as a member of the marketing department I can attest to his limitless creative input, thoughtful curiosity, love of The Cardinals, and his whip-fast, dry sense of humor- truly Sahara level. The blending of personalities, perspectives, and talents has only refined and strengthened Erwin and Linda’s mission for ELP, and now the sky is (literally) the limit.

Posted by | Posted at April 12, 2022 9:13 pm |
About us

Airlines depend on ELP Aviation because our software improves operational efficiencies, eases crew interactions, and increases profitability. We offer products that provide scalable and agile solutions based on the individual Carrier’s needs. We’re already thinking about how to solve the next problem.

Learn more
Locations

Headquarters:  103 W Spring Ave, Conway Springs, KS, USA

Branch Office: Narayana Enclave, Plot No 610, Road Number 33, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad-500033, Telangana, India.

Contact Us
Account
If you are an ELP CrewPortal App user please contact your Department for questions.

@ ELP Aviation, Inc. 2020

About us

Airlines depend on ELP Aviation because our software improves operational efficiencies, eases crew interactions, and increases profitability. We offer products that provide scalable and agile solutions based on the individual Carrier’s needs. We’re already thinking about how to solve the next problem.

Learn more
Locations

 

Headquarters:  103 W Spring Ave, Conway Springs, KS, USA

Branch Office: Narayana Enclave, Plot No 610, Road Number 33, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad-500033, Telangana, India.

Contact Us
+ 1 (316) 239-6080

info@elpaviation.com

 

Account
If you are an ELP CrewPortal App user please contact your Airline Department for questions.

@ ELP Aviation, Inc. 2020