Welcome to 2024!

Now that the holidays are becoming a distant memory, we could not be more excited about everything on the horizon for the new year. However, we also feel this is an appropriate time for reflection. Looking back on the past year, it is rewarding to see how much we have grown collectively as an organization. The strides we made together to strengthen the aerospace industry in Michigan makes it all worthwhile. I especially enjoyed connecting with so many of you at AeroOne 2023. Plans are already underway for AeroOne 2024 and a committee from our executive board of directors are hard at work to create an agenda that will provide additional value enabling conference attendees to connect, learn and grown in the industry.

2023, we turned the page on new chapter through the establishment of the AIAM Charitable Foundation. The foundation’s work is dedicated to serve two critical needs of the industry. First, to create a diverse talent pipeline that includes K-12 schools through postsecondary institutions with a particular focus for individuals in underserved and rural communities. These efforts will be supported through scholarship opportunities in certificate/degree programs, schoolbased competitions, summer camps, afterschool programs, and more.

The second area of focus is to assist companies in better understanding the regulatory environment and complexity required to be certified and successfully compete in the industry. Again, an intentional strategy will be to connect with companies located in under-resourced communities to create access and opportunities for those who have historically missed out in the past. Ultimately, the AIAM Foundation will enable Michigan’s aerospace industry in fulfilling its full potential, which in turn will strengthen local economies across the state and provide a spectrum of opportunities for individuals and companies.

The AIAM event program created an environment that brought over 700 people together representing hundreds of companies from more than 20 states and an international audience. Attendees connected and collaborated to brainstorm, and problem solve on current issues many business are facing today. Our event program continues to be a center piece for AIAM and its members to you guessed it…connect, learn and grow in the global aerospace industry!

The new year is getting off to an exciting start. The AIAM board of directors and our newly formed foundation board of directors will be holding the annual offsite meeting on January 25th. This year’s meeting is being hosted by long-time AIAM member company, Metro Bolt & Fasteners. The day will conclude with our board and members networking at Little Caesar’s Arena to see the Detroit Red Wings take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

On February 20th AIAM will be taking members to Lansing for the day to meet with state legislators and share the importance Michigan’s aerospace industry has on our economy. Our annual golf outing is scheduled for June 17th and AeroOne 2024 will take place at The Royal Park Hotel in Rochester September 4th-6 th . These events continue to grow and expand every year and something you will not want to miss! Be sure to check the event calendar on our website for more information on registration, exhibiting and sponsorships.

We truly appreciate the joy and blessings received in 2023 and the road to a prosperous 2024. Cheers to an exciting year ahead!

Warmest Regards,

Tony Vernaci AIAM, President