General manager for Crow
Executive Air | 62
Why he’s interesting … He’s sold commercial explosives, flown hot air balloons and lived in Australia. That was all before he settled here to manage a charter airline service and co-found the Tremont Trek home tour fundraiser with his wife.
Ballooning bug … Judd was hooked after watching a hot air balloon race take off from Chicago’s Grant Park in the early ’80s. “They disappeared into the mist, and I thought it was one of the most interesting and fun things I had ever seen.”
Hot-air highlights … He moved to Australia in 1986 after leaving his commercial-explosives sales job and flew tourists on hot air balloon tours. He returned to the U.S. in 1989 to take care of his mother and ended up staying to fly Planters’ Mr. Peanut hot air balloon as his full-time job.
Which led to … In 1999, the company that hired Judd to fly the Planters balloon purchased a charter flight service at Burke Lakefront Airport and needed someone to manage it. “I figured I’d better try a job that has some semblance of stability.”
Tremont and the Trek … After renovating a home in the heart of Tremont and meeting his wife, Margy, he helped co-found the Tremont Trek home tour with her in 2002. The summer event to fund neighborhood improvements allows visitors to tour six private homes and enjoy Tremont food at each stop.
Second-favorite place he’s ever lived … Cleveland. Nothing tops Sydney, Australia. “[Cleveland] is my favorite city I can actually afford to live in.”