Air Force STARRS

STARRS Leadership Spotlight: Ron Olds, Maj (Ret), USAF

Ron Olds, Maj (Ret), USAF, is the STARRS VP for Administration and on the Board of Directors.

If you ever have the privilege of meeting Ron Olds, you are certain to be impressed by his experiences, wit and wisdom.  For example, Ron relates a humorous anecdote from his cadet days (USAFA ’69), in which the Cadet Wing donned fake mustaches for the noon meal parade to teasingly mock then-Commandant and fighter pilot, Brig General Robin Olds, who was forced to shave his legendary mustache as a condition of assuming command.  Brig Gen Olds’ reply?  A single finger.

Ron’s Air Force tenure was brief, but exciting.  Ron met and married Nanci Pollock after completing navigator training.  They moved to Okinawa where Ron was assigned to F-4s.  Ron fought in North and South Vietnam in 1972, amassing over 100 hours in 45 combat sorties. Whether dropping “chaff carpets” to mask strike package routes or escorting bombers, every mission was dangerous – four surface-to-air missiles were launched at his jet on his very first mission north of Hanoi.

Shortly after returning to the U.S., Ron separated from the Air Force to spend more time with Nanci.  He continued to serve in the AF Reserves as a USAFA Admissions Liaison Officer in five states, retiring in 1992 as a Major.

Ron’s post-Air Force career is best characterized by one word: Leadership.  Ron joined Michelin Tire Corporation, which he felt was a good fit, given his engineering background.  Indeed, Michelin initially hired Ron as an engineer, but after 10 years in various engineering assignments, the company recognized his true talents, and placed him in sales to pioneer Michelin Aircraft Tires.

Ron’s success in this undertaking launched him on a trajectory that would span over his 38-year ascent through Michelin’s leadership ranks – from his beginning, effectively as a one-man “department” as Director of Radial Aircraft Tires, to his ultimate position as the Vice President of Sales and Zone Director for Michelin Aircraft Tires, for both North and South America.

Over this span, Ron led teams that developed and marketed tires for the Space Shuttle, C17, F-15E, F-35, 787 and many other military and commercial aircraft, worldwide.

Ron has remained active in his post-retirement life.  After Michelin, Ron and Nanci moved to Colorado in 2012 to be near USAFA and Ron’s tight knit classmates.  The kids and grandkids followed in 2014.  The couple mentors cadets and participates in local AOG events.

In July 2020, however, Ron was shocked to view a USAFA video which seemingly promoted the group Black Lives Matter.  Recognizing the danger posed to the military by Marxist ideologies, Ron became a Founder for the newly created organization STARRS.  As a STARRS Director as well as its VP of Administration, Ron draws heavily on his administrative and leadership backgrounds at Michelin to focus staff meetings, to prioritize agenda items for Directors and VPs, and to maintain accurate corporate records.

When not working for STARRS, Ron and Nanci enjoy worldwide travel, driving around in his 1968 Corvette, time with his ’69 classmates and sharing a good bottle of wine.

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