Growing up in Erie, Pa., Tim Neubert had dreams of becoming a pilot. In fact, right out of high school at just 17 years old, he signed up for the United States Air Force (USAF) and wound up serving in active duty for 10 years.
“While serving in the Air Force, I was assigned to the ground support crew, which, unfortunately, never sent me soaring into the skies; however, my assignment didn’t put a damper on my fascination with flying,” says Neubert. “I soon began taking flying lessons at a local aero club and started attending Embry-Riddle, where classes in airport management and accident investigation led me to pursue jobs in the airport industry once I completed my time with the USAF.”
After serving in the military, Neubert landed airport administration positions in Florence, S.C., Binghampton, N.Y. and eventually in Tampa Bay at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE).
“As the assistant airport director at PIE and by then an instrument-rated pilot, I often found myself wondering why the industry wasn’t supplying airports with better products. After getting fed up with the inability to find products in the market place, I decided I would start inventing my own,” Neubert says. “That’s how I became an entrepreneur and ended up starting Neubert Aero Corp. (NAC), which now offers airport friction testers, a dynamic friction decelerometer, geographic information systems software and by far my most well-known product – huge yellow barricades, which light up in the shape of an ‘X’ that alert pilots that a runway is out of commission.”
Nowadays, Neubert, who runs NAC, which is based at the Brooksville - Tampa Bay Regional Airport & Technology Center, full time sells his products to airports across the country, but he says Tampa Bay is the ideal spot to continue growing his business.
“I found the perfect place for Neubert Aero Corp. in the smaller community of Hernando County, but that’s not what every business or entrepreneur might be seeking, and I understand that of course,” says Neubert. “What’s so great about Tampa Bay is that it is made up of eight immensely different counties, so one way or another, there’s a perfect place for your business. “
According to Neubert, the same holds true for the region’s quality of life, the exact three words and phrase that wrap up what Tampa Bay means to him.
“This region’s quality of life surpasses that of anywhere else I have ever lived,” says Neubert. “If you don’t trust me, come experience it for yourself. As soon as you set foot in Tampa Bay, you’ll fall in love, and you’ll fall in love hard. Believe me, 4.3 million people don’t live in this region for no reason. It’s hard to visit and not want to stay forever.”