Hello, AIAM Business Community,

As the year begins to wind down, I am sure many will say it has been an exhausting 12-months for our business and personal lives.  Some may even wonder what they really accomplished in the midst of constantly dealing with unplanned circumstances that resulted from the pandemic.  It is always helpful to pause and take an inventory of the great work you and your teams have done despite the difficulties. 

At AIAM, while there is much more to do, we feel good about the work that has been done this year.  However, none of this would have been possible without the tireless work of so many within our organization and network.  I’d like to begin by highlighting the ongoing commitment from our executive board of directors who continue to steer the organization with a clear vision, sound guidance, and balanced governance based on their years of experience in the industry. 

Multiple committees formed that are completely supported and driven by our members.  Early in the year, the Women of AIAM launched along with 3 additional teams whose work is focused on our 3-pillars of Networking, Talent & Education, and Advocacy.  All of these keep us focused on the priorities that ultimately deliver more value for AIAM members. 

There is an old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Similarly, it takes a business community to support the village for our children.  Michigan is the best place in the country to raise our families and conduct business.  Unfortunately, we have been typecast as primarily an automotive state.  While it’s true Michigan does this extremely well, our aerospace industry is significantly larger than anyone understands.  Your financial support is helping to change this for our state.  Last month members spent the entire day in Lansing meeting legislators and their staff with the sole intent to educate and inform them on how important this industry is to our economy.  We rented the Speaker’s Library, and 150 of our lawmakers and their staff joined us for lunch and toured the company exhibits while speaking with business leaders. 

The day concluded with an invitation for Dr. Kevin Michaels from our board and myself to testify before the Senate Economic and Small Business Development committee.  Again, our purpose was to provide them with facts on the global aerospace industry, the impact of COVID-19 as well as the recovery, and the tremendous opportunities it holds for companies in our state.  The full testimony was recorded and may be viewed here.

Life is resuming to some sense of “normal” and it feels so good! The face-to-face networking opportunities, business-to-business connections, and continued growth of AIAM has been quite humbling to be a part of. The country’s aerospace industry needs Michigan and we are dedicated to building the awareness and brand recognition that is long overdue!

I hope you will take a moment to read through this quarter’s newsletter.  We have a lot to cover – from highlighting member companies to recapping some of our events and sharing business resource opportunities – there’s something for everyone in this edition.

On behalf of our board of directors, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your investment and commitment to AIAM.  What was once a vision has developed into an organization that has touched the lives and businesses of hundreds throughout Michigan. Your engagement does not go unnoticed. Thank you for letting us be a part of your network.

– Tony