Kevin Padrick credits the rigorous and disciplined thinking of being a pilot to setting himself up for success in the business world. He was a successful entrepreneur with broad business interests in the financial advisory, business lending, and broadband financing areas. “I used aircraft for business purposes – they got me to where I need to be in an efficient manner,” said Kevin.
It was probably pre-ordained that Kevin would have a life intertwined with aviation. His grandfather introduced him to personal aviation when he was five. “My grandfather was a Navion Aircraft dealer and I flew with him often when I was growing up,” said Kevin. His mother was a pilot and his father was a high-ranking NASA engineer. “It is not every 7 year old who can take a real astronaut’s space suit to show and tell!” said Kevin.
After high school, he achieved an appointment at the United State Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. He wanted to be a pilot and a JAG (Judge Advocate General) but after two years the joint program was cancelled and he transferred to Santa Clara University where he completed undergraduate degrees in mathematics and psychology. He then went on to complete a law degree and MBA from the same institution. It was after graduate school, while studying for the bar, that he started flying lessons.
“I have always been a life-long learner,” said Kevin,“and general aviation lends itself to continuous learning and improvement.” At the time of his death, he had over 7,000 flight hours and held ATP, CFII (fixed wing and rotor), and CFI glider ratings. Like most pilots, he can rattle off his airplanes like most people can name the birth dates of their children. “I started off owning a 1952 Piper Pacer, then a 1978 Turbo Cessna 206, etc.”
Given his lifelong passion for personal aviation, Kevin was an EAA member through and through and designating the EAA Aviation Foundation as part of his and his wife Karen’s estate plan was an easy choice. According to Kevin, “We choose organizations that have the potential to have broad, nation-wide impact on the future and that focus on youth and STEM programming. We wanted to make sure that the next generations have the same opportunity that we had. Naming the EAA Aviation Foundation to carry on our values and our legacy was a natural fit.”