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Erickson Hires 3 Executives for Defense, Strategy, DNS Special Programs

By S.L. Fuller | January 8, 2018
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Erickson Inc. has hired three new executives to work under a relatively new CEO. Kevin Cochie is the new VP of defense and national security; Hayden Olson is the new VP of strategy and human capital; and Chris Schuldt is the new chief of staff and senior direction of DNS special programs. Appointments are effective immediately, Erickson said Friday.

“We are delighted to add this exceptional caliber of talent to the Erickson leadership team,” said Douglas Kitani, Erickson CEO and director. “Their expertise will help us build relational capacity with key customers and strategic partners, leading to opportunities for growth and continued service to the nation.”


Cochie is responsible for leading and managing sales, operations and growth. Erickson said he would also manage the Washington, D.C., office. His experience includes more than 20 years in defense, with roles in both the public and private sector. Most recently, Erickson said, Cochie served as VP of Washington operations and special programs for Nammo, a company specializing in advanced ammunition and energetics products.

He also served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, flying helicopters and working procurement and acquisition. While in the Army, he deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regime (qualified in the Boeing MH-47G Chinook and MD Helicopters MH-6M Littlebird).

This is not Olson’s first time at Erickson. The company said he was previously its director of finance business operations and interim VP and general manager for government aviation. Most recently, Olson created Olson Advisory, which is a consultancy that helps businesses. He also has served in management roles with DynCorp and RSM McGladrey Inc.

Schuldt previously worked in sales, program management and had executive responsibilities at Evergreen Helicopters Inc. Most recently, Erickson said, he served as senior director of commercial sales, which focuses on S-64 Aircrane contracts. His new role includes managing key initiatives and assisting the executive leadership team with strategic priorities, Erickson said.

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