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Tad Ihns

Founder and President, Avalex Technologies Corporation

A Pensacola native, Tad Ihns founded Avalex Technologies in 1992. Based in Gulf Breeze, the company designs and manufactures special mission avionics used by military and law enforcement. Ihns serves on the Advisory Board for UWF’s Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.

Your company has seven product lines and serves customers nationally and internationally. Did you envision this level of growth when you began?

When I started, I was your typical guy in a garage with a computer. I moved into an initial office space in Atlanta, and as the company grew, we added staff and moved to larger space. We wanted to be closer to our family here in Florida, so we made the decision to move our headquarters here. It’s given us the capacity to expand our capabilities and serve a broader client base, but I certainly didn’t expect this in the beginning. Today, we have over 70 employees.

You have been an advocate for the growing tech sector in Northwest Florida. Why is that important to you?

We have a number of technology-focused companies in Pensacola that are growing, and the more we can establish a critical mass of talent and opportunities here, the more we will be able to attract professionals to our community and contribute to a growing local economy.

What inspired your business?

I always had an interest in flying. I got my pilot’s license over 30 years ago. Professionally, I was working in the IT industry when my wife suggested combining the knowledge and experience I’d gained with my passion for flying.