It is with great sadness that we report that Jim Reum passed away on Sunday, June 14th due to complications resulting from an automobile accident. He was 83 years old.
Jim was one of the original three founders of MARPA. The idea of MARPA started when he was a delegate on the FAA’s Part 21 ARAC Working Group (parts and production approvals). As those meetings conrttinued, he and others recognized that there was a need for a permanent voice for PMA in Washington, DC. Over lunch during a break from the working group meetings, he agreed to start MARPA with George Powell and Jason Dickstein. As it is with many great foundational documents, the agreement to form the trade association was written on a placemat from a Washington DC Irish Bar.
Jim served as the original Chairman of the Board of Directors of MARPA and he established a tradition of strong support for MARPA among the Heico family of companies. He introduced other companies to the MARPA community. He helped to set the pattern of strong MARPA support for safety and for FAA compliance programs. He believed that MARPA should always stand for the highest ideals of safety and compliance, and he was always generous with his time in these pursuits. Even after leaving the Board, he continued to serve as a mentor to the MARPA community.
I will always remember Jim for his patience in teaching me how things really work. He would take me through the Jet Avion facility and explain how things were built, and would unselfishly detail the innovations in production and testing of which he was most proud. He understood that a lawyer needs to understand the technical side of PMA, if that lawyer is going to adequately represent the industry.
In those days, we fought shoulder-to-shoulder just to convince the industry that PMA parts were safe and acceptable. Jim was always happy to share the industry’s safety data; and he was always willing to give anyone a tour of the Jet Avion/Heico facilities. After a tour of those facilities with Jim, it was easy to understand how much effort went into compliance and safety, and to trust PMA.
Heico’s President Eric Mendelson eloquently eulogized Jim in an address to the Heico staff:
Jim was an incredible friend to HEICO and mentor to our team members for the last 25 1/2 years. We will miss him greatly. Our values and quality focus exist as a result of Jim’s efforts and beliefs and HEICO has lost a truly incredible human being. HEICO wouldn’t be the company it is today without Jim Reum.
After a long and distinguished career in the aviation industry with General Electric, United Airlines, Aviall, and Chromalloy, Jim joined HEICO as a consultant in 1990. His initial project was to recommend where HEICO should focus its efforts, after successfully saving the worldwide narrow-body fleet from grounding after an OEM-redesign of the JT8D Combustion Chamber.
Jim recommended that HEICO “become the NAPA of the Aerospace Parts Industry” and then came out of retirement to become EVP-COO of our Flight Support Group in order to help HEICO achieve his vision. Along the way, Jim created the quality technical focus for which HEICO is known, and helped to instill our values which have permitted HEICO to become the company that it is today.
Those who were lucky enough to work with Jim until he retired from full-time service on his 70th birthday in 2001, and then again as an EVP until his passing, remember his kind and patient temperament combined with his incredible judgement, knowledge, passion, dedication, loyalty, humility, and respect for people. He gave so much of himself and so many of us at HEICO received opportunities to grow as a result of his unwavering confidence and support.
Jim’s passing has created a permanent void in our hearts, but his spirit lives on in all of us, and for that we can be very proud. Jim frequently commented that “HEICO is the highlight of my career.” Words can’t express the love that Jim felt for HEICO and our Team Members.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ann and son Rex and their entire family. The Reum Family can take great comfort in knowing the outpouring of gratitude and collective appreciation for sharing Jim with us and for letting us learn so much from such a fine human being.
There will be a Memorial Service for Jim at 11am on Saturday, June 20th:
9215 West Broward Blvd
Plantation, FL 33324
Flowers and Cards may be sent to:
c/o Jim Reum Memorial Service
Attn: Chaplin Rocky Cook
9215 West Broward Blvd
Plantation, FL 33324-2404