We Are Honeywell Aerospace: Kevin Robillard

October 17, 2017 | Author: Honeywell Aerospace Employee Communications

Kevin Robillard has had a challenging night at Grasslawn Park with his Honeywell softball team. In addition to a fielding error, he’s also had an average night at the plate. On this clear 68 degree Seattle evening, the muscular Honeywell Operations Leader takes a few more sweeping practice swings in the on-deck circle. By his own admission, “competitive” is the number one word that describes his personality. The look on his face as he approaches home plate indicates something big is about to happen.

Kevin Robillard 

“I enjoy the challenge of facing my fears head on,” Kevin says. “You know that kind of sick feeling that you get when you're doing something that you're not really comfortable with? I actually really, really like that feeling.”

We started our day with Kevin around 8 a.m. at Honeywell’s Renton, Washington site. He’s been here awhile getting ready for the day.

“I had night training exercises until 11 p.m. last night,” Kevin energetically says as he chugs a chocolate protein drink out of an old-timey mason jar. “In my other career, I fly a Blackhawk helicopter for the Army National Guard. I take it very seriously. There's a lot of pressure that comes with flying a helicopter.”

“Knowing that the person sitting next to you, any passengers that you have, they're entrusting you with their lives 100 percent. But you deal with it and you keep people safe, and it's rewarding.”

His crisply starched button-down shirt neatly tucked into his pressed gray slacks complements his military-style buzz cut. Kevin grabs his agenda-filled black binder and heads to his 8:30 a.m. tier 3 team meeting. He walks confidently and with purpose, like a high school wrestler approaching an opponent he knows he can handle with ease.

“I actually won a state wrestling championship my senior year of high school at 145 pounds, which was a couple pounds ago,” Kevin casually mentions.

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The tier 3 meeting is held in an open area bordered by nine 8-foot tall white boards full of strategy, updates and other customer information. Eight team members take turns presenting updates in their areas of expertise.

Kevin chews his gum, sways rhythmically, clicks his pen but is clearly laser-focused. When it’s his turn to approach the board, he’s efficient and self-assured.

“Every time I get in front of a group of people and talk, I get a little bit of that little twinge of nervousness, but I've done it enough now, and I have confidence in knowing that I'm going to be okay on the other side.”

After the tier 3 meeting, Kevin picks up his black binder and mason jar and strides over to check in on the flight control team he oversees.

“I am blessed to have Kevin here in Renton with me,” Kevin’s boss and site leader, Bill Stovall, brags. “I was 12 years military. I was an aviation officer, just as Kevin is, and you know it doesn't matter if you're flying helicopters or you're leading soldiers on the battlefield. You cannot do the mission without people. Anything he does leadership wise, he makes a valued impact and I've really enjoyed that with him and he just makes it fun to come to work.”

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Sometimes, that means making sure the team has time to laugh together. Right before lunch, in a sea of beautifully constructed industrial work desks, Kevin looks in on all 27 members of his flight control team.

It’s cat shirt Wednesday, so a few of Kevin’s co-workers briefly step away from their avionics repair and overhaul jobs to show off designs like Star Wars cat or Batman cat.

“I have my grumpy cat shirt on order,” Kevin proudly admits.

Kevin Robillard

I may have the opportunity to lead teams, but it’s the teams that build me up, keep me honest, and provide me with the means to be successful.

“It's showing them that you're willing to go out of your way to do what it takes to make sure that they're successful,” Kevin preaches in a tone indicating he lives and breathes that philosophy. “Inspiring that within your team, inspiring that confidence that we have their best interest at heart all the time, and as a boss I'm going to lead from the front.”

Kevin Robillard 

Later in the afternoon, we hop into Kevin’s fully loaded Ram pick-up truck. He’s making a quick stop at his Army National Guard base before driving over to the Honeywell softball game.

At the military base, Kevin takes us on a brief tour, introduces us to his fellow pilots and crew and shows off the Blackhawk helicopter he flew in the dark of night just 17 hours ago.

Kevin looks at me proudly and says, “Honeywell as a corporation, has a dedication to their veteran service members that are a part of the team. They’ve been amazing in supporting me so that I can be successful in my career at Honeywell and my military career.”

He pauses, then adds, “That's awesome, that's a great feeling.”

Kevin RobillardKevin Robillard 

At the game, Kevin digs his right foot into the batter’s box. Dirt floats into the orange light of the setting sun. His Honeywell recreational softball team is getting beat in the 4th inning and they need a boost.

Kevin Robillard

“You know it's funny. Sometimes I almost get the nervous feeling more on the softball field than anywhere else. When I'm thinking about being up to bat, you know, yeah I get that little pit in my stomach.”

“And I know I'm going to be fine, but I want to perform for my team, I guess. I want to make sure that I'm setting them up for success. Well, limited success [laughs].”

The count is zero balls and one strike. The pitcher lofts the ball into the twilight. Kevin slowly shifts his weight back then powerfully springs forward and swings. A high pitched, but thick sound rolls through Field 2 at Grasslawn Park. As he sprints around first base, Kevin looks up. The ball bounces in front of the outfield wall, just short of a 300 foot homerun. Unprepared for the monster hit, the left fielder has a long dash toward the fence. Kevin barrels around second base, takes one last look and flies past third. The looping, but strong throw comes in from the outfield. Kevin finds another gear and beats the throw by a step.

Fans from both teams cheer wildly for his inside the park homerun. Kevin flashes a half smile, puts his head down, trots into the dugout and humbly greets his teammates.

Kevin RobillardKevin Robillard 

“You know, honestly, I'm really kind of reveling in the fact that I'm super blessed where I am in my life right now. I have a fantastic career, I have a fantastic second career in the military, I've got a fantastic wife, we have a great place where we live. We're surrounded by family and friends and love and I don't think I could ask for more, to be honest with you, so I'm just a happy, happy man.”

Kevin Robillard

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