This is the second year that Business NH Magazine compiled a list of NH’s Veteran-Owned Businesses. This year we featured 41 businesses, ranging from the state’s largest car dealership to manufacturers and tech companies. We salute all these businesses for their accomplishments and for adding to the strength of the NH economy. Here is a profile of one of these companies:
Elizabeth Bendel wanted to find the perfect place to raise her family after she and her husband decided to leave Miami and their federal law enforcement careers. Their search led them to Keene, where Bendel charted a new career path in 2008 as president of Monadnock Aviation Inc.
Today her company employs 13 and offers jet and corporate services, flight training, and aircraft maintenance and storage at Keene’s city-owned Dillant-Hopkins Airport. “We provide jet services 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. My company provides all of the aviation services at the airport,” she says.
The airport has a 6,200-square-foot runway and a 4,000-foot crosswind runway so it can accommodate aircraft up to a 737 in size. “We are the third largest airport in the state, and the location is definitely a factor in the success. We serve all of southern Vermont, northern Massachusetts and this part of New Hampshire.”
Bendel, who is originally from Harrisburg, Pa., says her path to owning a successful company began when she served as an officer in the Navy from 1989 to 1999. “I was an aviation intelligence officer and I got my introduction to aviation, if you will, with P3 squadrons, which are submarine hunting aircraft.”
She helped squadrons plan and execute missions from the Philippines and Japan. “It taught me organization, perseverance and the value of a positive attitude and treating people with respect. I really don’t think I would be in this position right now without the military service. It gave me the skills to run an aviation company and the skills I need to run any company,” she says.
“I will always consider hiring a veteran first because I know their experience and I know they will get the job done,” Bendel says.
Bendel plans to expand Monadnock Aviation to serve more aircraft by adding a large hanger to house corporate jets. They currently house a few, but there’s room for more. She also wants to offer private aircraft services to businesses in the region. “I really believe there is an opportunity there,” she says. “I am a huge cheerleader for this airport.”