The Foundation aims to drive a diverse talent pipeline for Michigan’s Aerospace industry

ROCHESTER, Michigan — May 21, 2024. Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM) announces the appointment of Brittany Telander as Executive Director for the AIAM Foundation. She will be the first leader of the foundation, which was established to provide broad support to the aerospace industry, primarily through talent development, enabling suppliers, and community collaboration. Telander brings more than a decade of experience as a fundraising and communications professional, with a proven track record of strategic development, building and nurturing corporate and community relationships, and achieving revenue goals.

“This is an exciting new chapter for us,” said AIAM President Tony Vernaci. “Brittany’s level of experience and passion for impacting lives is what we need to advance the work of the Foundation and its mission. She arrives at just the right time, as we have identified several talent and supplier development programs that will greatly benefit Michigan and the aerospace business community for generations to come. I look forward to having Brittany’s vision and leadership to help guide us through these incredible new opportunities and beyond.”

As Executive Director, Telander will collaborate with the Foundation board and AIAM leadership to develop and manage a strategic fundraising plan to meet annual and long-term resource development objectives. She will oversee and manage the AIAM Foundation’s fundraising events, recruit and cultivate major donors and sponsors, and oversee all grant proposal submissions and reporting.

“Leading the AIAM Foundation is exciting because of the strategic opportunities for industry growth,” noted Telander. “Michigan is an adventure state—it’s a place to dream big. The Foundation will be a driver of progress and prosperity for Michigan aerospace companies and workforce. I look forward to working with the people, communities, and businesses that seek to fuel career advancement, grow innovative research, and realize increased economic development through aerospace. Together we’re going to uplift the aerospace industry in Michigan.”

Most recently, Telander served as Director of Donor Relations for Lourdes University in Ohio, where she cultivated a portfolio of 200 donors and increased annual charitable revenue by 29% over three years. In previous positions she managed an annual revenue pipeline of $1.7M in corporate and foundation giving, growing foundation giving from $30,000 to $400,000+ over three years.

Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan established the charitable foundation in January 2023 as a response to unprecedented industry growth, which is expected to continue for decades to come. The growth has brought a significant need for more suppliers and talent to meet the increasing demands. The goal of the AIAM Foundation is to help bolster the aerospace industry — and with it, the state’s entire economy — by strengthening Michigan’s people, companies, and communities.

“Growing up in Michigan I was completely unaware of the hundreds of companies that support the aerospace industry right here in our great state, said AIAM Foundation Board Chair, Stacy Paul, who is also CEO of Array of Engineers. “The foundation is going to help change that. The future of the industry depends on the innovation and diverse thought of the next generation. Brittany will be a key player in helping us expand the aerospace ecosystem and ensure that Michigan remains a leader and frontrunner in the industry’s future.” Vernaci added, “The opportunities for individuals living in Michigan and companies operating in our state is incredible. Through the work of the Foundation, we will turn dreams into reality for families and companies who have a desire to work and operate in the global aerospace industry. While Brittany’s role is specifically focused on fundraising and creating endowments, it’s just as much about changing lives.”

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The AIAM Foundation supports the aerospace industry in fulfilling its full potential in Michigan, which will strengthen local economies across the state and provide a spectrum of employment opportunities for individuals from various backgrounds. 

AIAM is primarily a membership organization and exists to serve and support its members and their growth. The Foundation was established to provide broader support to the industry, primarily through talent development, supplier support, and community collaboration. 

The AIAM Foundation will strive to: 

CREATE A DIVERSE PIPELINE OF TALENT 

STRENGTHEN SMALL BUSINESSES 

RAISE AWARENESS 

Address the importance and beneficial impact that a strong aerospace industry can have on Michigan, the nation, and globally.