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Marcellus graduate enjoys long, satisfying career

Inspired by Chester Driver.

Andy Dawson can track his professional career that spanned the globe back to one Marcellus educator. Chester Driver -- the man the school is named after and who was a principal during Dawson's education in Marcellus.

"I have Chester Driver to thank -- he got me started," Dawson said.

Dawson was mad for mechanics and was encouraged by Driver to complete an aviation maintenance apprenticeship program in Syracuse. Here he was recruited by Pan American Aviation - Africa Ltd. in 1942. He went to work as a mechanic setting up operations in Accra on the Gold Coast, of Africa, which is now Ghana.

When the war moved into Europe he was transferred to Casablanca. He stayed overseas throughout the war and beyond, transferring around to serve as chief mechanic in Calcutta, India; Prague, Czechoslovakia; and Brussels, Belgium.

"Calcutta was quite the experience," Dawson said.

He returned to the States in 1949 and continued with Pan Am until his retirement in 1982. He moved from maintenance of aircraft into the maintenance of staff, finishing up his career in human resources. He then founded A.Y.D. Enterprises, an international consultant firm specializing in human resource management and customer service.

If you are interested in learning more of the nuts and bolts of his experience in aviation overseas, he has authored a book with Tom Culbert (air force and pentagon) "Pan Africa: Across the Sahara in 1941 with Pan Am." The book documents the creation of the aviation infrastructure that aided the allies during World War II.

"The urgency of his mission (Pan Am's president, Juan Trippe) was so critical to the British war effort that he began employing people and equipment before implementation plans were completed and before formal contractual agreements were approved," From "Pan Africa: Across the Sahara in 1941 with Pan Am."

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