Who Knew?: Exhibit Designer by Day, Plane Modeler by Night

Posted by Josh Terceira on Aug 14, 2014 1:30:00 PM


Welcome to our new blog series, Who Knew?, where we take a look behind the scenes to spotlight the little-known interests that contribute to who Our People are. In this edition, we sit with John Grogan, Hill & Partners' Senior Exhibit Designer, who, when not modeling exhibits, models planes instead.

I had been into aviation in general as a small kid and was always mesmerized by the world of flight. I have many different interests within aviation, from the history of aircraft and their pilots, to the mechanics of the planes themselves.  Being of the type that always liked to build and tinker with things I got into modeling when I was a young child, thanks to a teacher that gave me a model kit as an award at school.  My thoughts go back to building that model with my father and that soon inspired me to see what else was out there to build.  To this day many years later I still build models, creating that connection to my love of aviation. The models I built as a child took mere hours where the models that I work on creating now are measured in months of effort.


One of my most memorable models that I have built is for the president of Hill & Partners, Michael McMahon. The model built for Michael came about after a casual conversation about his father, who was Korean War aviation pilot. He mentioned that he had a picture of his dad flying over Mount Fuji, which, in turn, inspired me to build his father’s aircraft with as much accuracy as I could obtain. Without letting him know, I worked on creating the model and, with it being a month away from Christmas, I decided it would make the perfect gift. Building a model under a month, which is short for me, meant many late nights getting things perfect.  A picture of his Father along with his Units Insignia adorned the inside of the case with the aircraft pictured above the background of a setting sun over Mount Fuji.  The Model was set upon his desk for him to find the following morning when he came into work.


Overall, scale modeling has contributed to many aspects of my life.  It taught me many life lessons such as things take time and patience to get the results you want.  It showed me the understanding of how things go together and the persistence it take to see a project through even though it might seem difficult by breaking it down into achievable goals.  It’s been a big part of my life and will always be something I look forward to!  And my love of aviation has also broadened to collecting flight helmets and even an Ejection Seat; yes, an actual Ejection Seat!

For more information on what Our People can do for you, download our Hill & Partners Brochure and keep an eye out for new editions of Who Knew!

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Topics: Authentically Us, Our People