Eric W. Paulson

Eric Paulson

Eric was born and raised in Astoria, Oregon. In 1980, Eric graduated 6th in his class from Astoria High School and attended Willamette University from 1980 until 1982, when he left to assist his parents in running LEKTRO, which was in a state of economic hardship. He became president of LEKTRO in 1985, and purchased the company in 1988, becoming the second generation owner of LEKTRO.

When Eric became president of LEKTRO, he restructured the company and implemented a new business plan that staved off bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter, he redirected the company’s marketing efforts to sell LEKTRO’s unique line of towbarless, battery powered aircraft tugs. While marketing the novel tugs, he developed a relationship with General Motors, which enabled the company to design and produce over 500 custom vehicles for them. Concurrently, he developed a relationship with Walt Disney Company to design and produce their parade float chassis.

To accommodate growing global demand for LEKTRO’s tugs, Eric created a global marketing and distribution network that comprised of dealerships and customers in nearly every country in the world. Since the 2000s, LEKTRO has focused on its electric aircraft tugs, becoming a major leader in the aviation ground support industry. From the time Eric took ownership of LEKTRO, it has grown from a 10 person company with sales under $1 million, to employing 90 people and nearly $30 million in sales.

Eric is an avid member of his community in the North Oregon Coast, and is a lifetime member and deacon at Bethany Lutheran Church, as well as a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Alumni Association. He is the board treasurer for the Friends of Astoria Column, and remains active in various charities through generous contributions including a financial scholarship to every valedictorian graduating from Astoria High School. Eric headed the 2011 Astoria Regatta, which was the premier event for the City of Astoria’s bicentennial celebration. As Regatta president, he hosted such dignitaries as Lord Astor of Hever/John Jacob Astor VIII; the Burgermeisterin of Waldorf, Germany and an event featuring Reba McEntire.

In February 2019, Eric sold LEKTRO to JBT Corporation. LEKTRO became JBT LEKTRO and Eric retained leadership of JBT LEKTRO as the Vice President/General Manager of JBT LEKTRO.

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