The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Local News

January 24, 2014

Reaching the skies by starting in Greenville

Zachary Reeder credits hometown for aviation success

GREENVILLE — Aviation engineer Zachary Reeder gets to help build some of the world’s most advanced aircraft, but he owes it all to the lessons he learned while growing up in Greenville.

“I, as a creative engineer, am a product of this community,” Reeder said.

Reeder was the keynote speaker for Thursday’s Greenville Chamber/Board of Development Annual Banquet. Reeder graduated Greenville High School and Texas A&M University and currently works at Scaled Composites, an aerospace and specialty composites development company located in Mojave, Calif.

Reeder explained much of the wisdom he acquired from his childhood he uses every day in his career, lessons he put to use almost immediately upon graduating.

“I had been out of school with a bachelor’s degree for about three months when I got started in all this,” Reeder said.

His current project is the “Stratolaunch”, which will be the world’s largest aircraft when completed.

Reeder said one of the common misconceptions about engineers is that they are all genius nerds and obsessed with science and math. Instead, Reeder believes the most successful engineers are the ones who truly love what they do.

“Some of the best kinds of fun are really hard and exhausting,” Reeder said. “You can design an airplane with seventh grade math, maybe less.”

Reeder said some of the most important words of advice he put to use came from when he built model airplanes as a kid.

“Doesn’t matter how nice the paint is, if the wing is on crooked,” he said.

Two other principles came from his days being part of Odyssey of the Mind (now known as Destination Imagination) in the eight grade.

“Don’t be afraid to start something you have no idea how to finish, you’ll figure it out,” Reeder said. “If the rules don’t say you can’t do it, then you can.”

Performing in the Greenville High School Band taught Reeder that, “Talent is sort of a myth; practice makes perfect.”

And, as a member of the Greenville High School football team, Reeder said his coaches taught him “You are capable of about 50 percent more than what you think will kill you.”

Reeder said his two most important lessons came from his parents. He noted it was his dad who taught him, “Everything can be broken down into chunks simple enough to understand,” while his mom learned to appreciate his artistic creativity and told him, “It’s OK to paint a lizard on the wall in the bathroom.

“That all happened before I left Greenville,” Reeder said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Band1.jpg Roaring with pride

    The Greenville High School Lion Pride Band performs well under pressure, according to GHS band director Joel Weisburg

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Royce Tawater.jpg Shooting suspect changes mind on guilty pleas

    On second thought, a local man will leave it up to a jury to decide whether he is guilty of multiple charges in connection with two shootings in Greenville last summer.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Easter Eggstravaganza stork photo.jpg A hunting we will go

    There will be lots of brightly colored eggs hidden in the grasses across Hunt County this weekend, and plenty of opportunities for children to find them.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • GEUS Operations Center.jpg Saying thanks to police

    The board of the local electric utility system intends to take time tonight to thank officers with the Greenville Police Department for catching suspects who allegedly broke into the company’s headquarters last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Field.jpg GISD trustees approve replacing track, turf

    When the Greenville High School football team takes the field in August, they will be marching out onto new turf.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Royce Tawater.jpg Guilty pleas expected in July 2013 shootings

    A  Greenville man, sentenced to state prison earlier this year on a weapons charge, is scheduled to plead guilty today to multiple counts involving two different shootings in July 2013.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • GPD stock photo.jpg Guilty plea given in child injury case

    A local woman has pleaded guilty to seriously injuring a child in Greenville in February of last year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greenville Police Department patch.jpg Trial set in BB gun vandalism case

    A trial date has been set for a Greenville man, charged with causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage by firing a BB gun at dozens of local homes, vehicles and businesses.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joshua Flowers chase wreck.jpg One arrested following stolen vehicle chase

    A Tarrant County man is in custody at the Hunt County Jail, after being thrown from a stolen vehicle which he allegedly crashed following a brief Sunday afternoon chase.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jefferies.jpg Bond issue questions asked, answered

    If the proposed $72.275 million Greenville Independent School District bond passes, the district will move from the third-lowest school district tax rate in Hunt County to sixth out of 11 school districts in tax rates.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

Poll

What's your favorite spring high school sport?

Swimming and diving
Wrestling
Basketball
Soccer
Tennis
Golf
Track and Field
Softball
Baseball
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Must Read
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Reader's Choice