Monthly Archives: April 2017

By ricklakin


When retired employees gather, the funny tales fly back and forth. Here are stories from people employed over eight decades at General Dynamics, a U.S. aviation and aerospace company headquartered in San Diego, California that began as Consolidated Aircraft, later Convair, became part of General Dynamics branching into Astronautics, Space Systems and then spun off several other corporate entities.

From Southern California to the beaches of Cape Canaveral, these employees created thousands of B-24 bombers that helped win World War II, some of the first commercial airliners, the Atlas Rocket which took Astronaut John Glenn into orbit and the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, which revolutionized Naval Warfare.

Tom Leech’s newest book is Fun on the Job, Amusing and true tales from Rosie-the-Riveters to

Rocket Scientists at a Major Aerospace Company. Tom Leech was with the San Diego General Dynamics aerospace operation for two decades, with assignments in business development, engineering and internal communication (including as division ombudsman, one of the first in corporate America). That GD career provided a solid base for starting his own consulting firm as a presentations coach, seminar leader and conference speaker.

His articles have appeared in many publications, including San Diego Magazine, Presentations, Frontier Airlines, Executive Excellence, and The Toastmaster. His article “How General Dynamics Integrated the Cape,” originally in the San Diego Union, was reprinted in Quest: the History of Spaceflight Quarterly.

The third edition of his highly-successful book, How To Prepare, Stage & Deliver Winning Presentations (AMACOM, 2004), was lauded as one of only two “Top of the Class” books on the subject by Presentations Magazine. He’s author of Say it like Shakespeare: the Bard’s Timeless Tips for Communication Success, an update of the McGraw-Hill First Edition, which has received high praise from many quarters.

Wearing his weekend hat he is co-author, with GD colleague Jack Farnan, of Outdoors San Diego: Hiking, Biking and Camping (Premier 2004) and was longtime Editor of the Outdoors Forum for San Diego Magazine. With his traveler’s hat, he describes his six-months’ wandering the world in On the Road in ’68: a year of turmoil, a journey of friendship. Donning his poet’s cap, he and wife Leslie Johnson-Leech are authors of the children’s tale The Curious Adventures of Santa’s Wayward Elves.

For information about all of his books, visit For information about Tom’s coaching, training and speaking services, visit And to expand your nature enjoyment, visit