AIAM grows the michigan aerospace community

board of directors

AIAM Board Member

Mirko Gamba

Associate Professor – College of Aerospace Engineering

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Chairman Emeritus

geororge kiefer

George Kiefer

Retired- VP/GM, Avonics- Computing & Networking GE Aviation

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AIAM Treasurer

Jeff Simek

General Manager of Operations, RCO Aerospace & Engineering

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AIAM Board Member

Larry Martin

Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Network, GE Aviation

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AIAM Board Member

Ryan Dean

General Manager, AutoAir Pratt & Whitney

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AIAM Board Member

Sara McMurray

VP of Sales and Marketing, Autocam Medical

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AIAM Board Member

Todd Brassard

Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, Calumet Electronics

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AIAM Chairman

Matt Eurich

Chief Operations Officer, Genuen

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AIAM Secretary

Mike Stratton

Product Line Manager, Combustion Woodward

woodward logo

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AIAM President/Founder

Tony Vernaci

President/Founder, Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan 

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AIAM Board Member

Stacy Paul

CEO and Aerospace Engineer, Array of Engineers

Array of engineers logo

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AeroDynamic Advisory

Mike Stengel

Principal

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Liebherr-Aerospace Saline, Inc.

Will Dew

Managing Director Commercial

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Eaton Aerospace

Tyler Ford

General Manager

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member services

Directory

Quickly locate the resources you need within our fully searchable membership directory.

Training

Get the right training for your employees when you need it.

industry data

Be a part of something bigger and help propel Michigan into the future of aerospace.

Recognition

Our members receive national and international recognition.

Networking

AIAM is a collective of aerospace professionals working together.

Why we're here

mission

To further strengthen Michigan’s aerospace ecosystem by expanding talent, research and market access.

vision

For Michigan to be ranked the number one aerospace industry cluster in the nation.

values

DEDICATION
We are passionate, driven, focused, and committed to delivering value.

RELATIONSHIPS
We interact, communicate, and collaborate effectively within our board and with our constituents.

RESPONSIVENESS
We respond quickly and effectively to requests, questions, and concerns.

INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE
We leverage our collective aerospace knowledge and expertise for the benefit of our stakeholders.

Over 900 companies and organizations are conducting business in the global aerospace industry from their Michigan-based operations.

testimonials

Joseph Gustavus

Miller Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.
Miller Canfield has found AIAM to be vital to galvanizing Michigan aerospace businesses and projecting their national presence to the key actors in the aerospace industry, governments, and the rest of the world.

James Gorman

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
We appreciate AIAM’s leadership and support with navigating Michigan’s growth in the aerospace sector. Together, we’re assisting manufacturers as they pivot into aerospace, as well as continuing our work helping established aerospace companies to grow and thrive.

Lisa Barron

Barron Industries
As a manufacturer of investment castings for the aerospace industry, Barron Industries has greatly benefited from its AIAM membership. By attending the organization’s numerous networking events, we have connected with new customers and suppliers.

AIAM Board Member

Mirko Gamba

Associate Professor – College of Aerospace Engineering

Education

The University of Texas at Austin
Mechanical Engineering
MSE 2002

Politecnico di Milano
Mechanical Engineering
Laurea 2003

The University of Texas at Austin
Aerospace Engineering
Ph.D. 2009

Professional Experience
2018 – Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan
2019 – Associate Direction, University of Michigan Space Institute
2012 – 2018 Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan 2009 – 2012 Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University

Awards and Honors

  • AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion Best Paper, AIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
  • U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2015
  • U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2014
  • AFOSR Young Investigator Award, 2014
  • AIAA Propellants and Combustion Best Paper, AIAA Scitech Forum, 2011
  • AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Best Paper, AIAA Scitech Forum, 2011
  • ENI Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 2000-2002

Chairman Emeritus

George Kiefer

Retired- VP/GM, Avonics- Computing & Networking GE Aviation

George was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated with a B.S. degree in operations research. He served 20 years between the academy, active duty and the navy reserves retiring in 1994 at the rank of Commander. During active duty and reserves he was a naval flight officer where his experience included tactical coordinator and mission commander of P-3 combat aircrews. George joined Lear Siegler in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1985 as a systems engineer where he obtained his master of business administration from Western Michigan University. Lear Siegler was later acquired by Smiths Aerospace and subsequently by General Electric in May 2007. His responsibilities with Lear Siegler and Smiths Aerospace included engineering line management positions through engineering director, programs director of large-scale integration programs, product line business director, vice president of the 787 common core system program, and vice president/general manager of 787 programs. He continued in this role after the GE Aviation acquisition of Smiths and assumed the position of VP/GM Avionics North America in 2009. He assumed his current position in November 2016. He has been the site leader for the Grand Rapids facility since 2009. George is married to Wilma and they have three grown children and two grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling together, scuba diving, and maintaining his country home.

AIAM Treasurer

Jeff Simek

General Manager of Operations, RCO Aerospace & Engineering

Jeff Simek is the General Manager of Operations for RCO Aerospace and RCO Engineering. Mr. Simek has a passion for building teams that strive for quality and delivery performance, while reducing costs. Jeff began his career working for Tier 1 automotive suppliers where he held the roles of Program Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Greenfield Site Launch Manager and Plant Manager. Following these positions, Jeff was hired as the Business Unit Manager at RCO Engineering – Automotive Plastics Division. After working for 15 years in the automotive industry, Jeff was promoted to the role of General Manager of RCO’s new Aerospace division. In this position for the last 8 years, Jeff has been responsible for developing and leading the operations offering VIP passenger seating and interior products for large cabin business class jets. He is now in charge of both the Aerospace and Automotive production operations at RCO. Jeff graduated from Ferris State University with a B.S. in Plastics Engineering and Technology.

AIAM Board Member

Larry Martin

Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Network, GE Aviation

Larry Martin is the Vice President and general manager for Computing and Networking with GE Aviation. Larry is responsible for program and product management while working across the organization to develop the strategy to grow and execute the computing and networking business. Previously, Larry was the product leader, Integrated Solutions for GE Aviation. Prior to this, Larry held several roles in program and product management for civil, military and new business pursuits. Larry joined Smiths Aerospace (now GE Aviation) in 2002. Prior to Smiths, Larry was a business team and operations leader at Eaton and spent 10 years at Amway, holding positions in Finance, Marketing, Business Development and Engineering. Larry began his career as an application engineer at Bohn Heat Transfer in Danville, Illinois. Larry holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Grand Valley State University.

AIAM Board Member

Ryan Dean

General Manager, AutoAir Pratt & Whitney

Ryan Dean is the General Manager of Pratt & Whitney AutoAir, with locations in Lansing and Holt, Michigan. Pratt & Whitney AutoAir, Inc. was established in 1956 and acquired by P&W in 1999. The site has grown to 500 employees. The company produces hybrid metallic fan blades for Pratt & Whitney’s game-changing Geared Turbofan engine, as well as manufacturing jet engine test equipment and offering overhaul & repair services. Ryan has 15 years of experience in the aerospace industry. He began his career at P&W in 2006 at the North Berwick, Maine facility where he held positions in EH&S / facilities & operations supervision and received his MBA from Southern New Hampshire University before joining the 2 year United Technologies Operations Leadership Program. In the UTC OLP Ryan rotated through 3 manufacturing rotations at UTC Aerospace Divisions in Pennsylvania (Sikorsky) & Connecticut (P&W & UTAS). After graduating from the UTC OLP, Ryan returned to the P&W North Berwick facility with positions of increasing responsibility in Materials and Business Unit Management. In 2017 Ryan moved back to Connecticut to become the P&W Materials Director of Hot Section Module Center in East Hartford, CT. Prior to joining PWAA in April 2021, Ryan was most recently the P&W Quality Director of the Product Delivery Center in Middletown, Connecticut. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife Melinda and two daughters, Abigail and Victoria. As a family they enjoy hiking, skiing, kayaking and are avid sports fans.

AIAM Board Member

Sara McMurray

VP of Sales and Marketing, Autocam Medical

Sara McMurray, VP of Sales and Marketing for Autocam Medical – a global contract manufacturer of precision-machined components – is an accomplished executive with 23 years of experience in manufacturing. Sara is responsible for developing strategies to support the company’s strategic growth objective and plans geared towards existing and new international markets. She is an accessible leader, managing a global sales and marketing team to drive best in class business development and account management performance. Prior to joining Autocam Medical, Ms. McMurray was Director of Sales & Marketing for Premier Thermal. At Premier Thermal she was instrumental in forming the direction of the company by managing the sales and marketing organization, leading expansion into new markets (industries and geography) and assessing strategic M&A opportunities. Her manufacturing industry experience is vast and includes, aerospace, agriculture, automotive, defense, material handling, and medical. Sara began her career as an Executive Recruiter specializing in the recruitment of engineering and IT professionals. She joined Bodycote as an Account Manager in 2003 and moved to Specialty Heat Treating as Sales Manager in 2007. After a 5-year period in the plastics industry as a Global Sales and Customer Service Director for Flow-Rite Controls and Director of Medical Sales for Custom Profile, she returned to the heat treating industry and joined the Premier Thermal Sr. Leadership team in 2018. Ms. McMurray is known for being a high-achieving sales, customer service, and marketing leader finding solutions for customers and employees. She thrives in executing market strategy and change culture. In 2021, Sara was appointed to the Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan’s Board of Directors. Sara is a proud graduate of Western Michigan University, where she earned her B.A. in Organizational Communication and a minor in Women’s Studies.

AIAM Board Member

Todd Brassard

Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, Calumet Electronics

Calumet Electronics is an award-winning engineering and manufacturing company that fuels industrial collaboration to advance production of next-generation electronics in the United States. Calumet is recognized for industry thought leadership and the advancement and commercialization of circuit board and microelectronics substrate manufacturing processes necessary for domestically sourced electronics. Calumet is 100% American owned and operated with zero offshoring shipping over 4 million circuit boards annually from its 160,000 sq. ft. facility located in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Todd Brassard is VP/COO principal to Calumet’s strategic planning process within industry, education, and government, providing thought leadership backed by Calumet’s rapidly increasing product complexity delivered to the marketplace. Todd has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University (1993), working much of his career as a network engineer, software programmer, and systems integrator.

AIAM Chairman

Matt Eurich

Chief Operations Officer, Genuen

Matt is the Chief Operations Officer at Genuen, and oversees a staff of over 100 engineers and Skilled Trades team members that focus on improving the safety and reliability of technology deployed by some of the world’s largest manufacturers and innovators. He graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and has thirty years of experience in the field of engineering and engineering management, focusing his efforts on a wide variety of test systems and custom equipment for a diverse set of clientele. The key element of these systems has been a commitment to developing test systems that simulate real-world conditions using open architecture systems featuring non-propriety, off-the-shelf technology. These principles provide many benefits to Genuen’s growing customer base. He has been involved in systems touching almost every industry including Automotive, Aerospace, Consumer Products, Telecom, Industrial and medical devices. Over the last 20 years, he has focused on developing a strong foothold in the aerospace industry by developing unique, custom test equipment for hydraulic, actuation and electronics systems including safety/mission critical systems. The aerospace team at Genuen has strong, systems level experience with aerospace standards including DO-178C, DO254, DO-160, and DO330. During his career, he has participated in every aspect of test system development including system assembly, LabVIEW programming, electrical design, project management, sales, marketing and corporate management. He has also been involved in First Robotics serving as a Mentor and Coach for several teams.

AIAM Secretary

Mike Stratton

Product Line Manager, Combustion Woodward

Mike Stratton has been the Product Line Manager for ATS combustion products since 2014 and the Strategic Account Manager since 2018. For the 10 years before that, he was a combustion design engineer, module leader, process engineer, and quality manager all for GE Aviation in Boston and GE Global Research Center near Detroit. Mike is Six Sigma Greenbelt certified. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Fluid Dynamics from WPI, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Grand Valley State University.

AIAM President/Founder

Tony Vernaci

President/Founder, Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM)

For Tony Vernaci, the opportunity to establish the Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM) is a culmination of more than 30 years of experience and passion for aerospace. Tony joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2014, as Vice President for Global Business Development. As he stepped into his new position Tony noticed aerospace was not a target industry causing him to probe deeper. He recognized the potential synergies of the automotive and aerospace industries and soon the team discovered there were nearly 600 companies and organizations in Michigan conducting aerospace business. In 2015, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) concluded their annual aerospace manufacturing attractiveness study and ranked Michigan as #2 in the nation. This generated a great deal of excitement from the Governor’s office and economic development organizations throughout the state, setting off a chain of events over the next 2 years raising global awareness for Michigan’s aerospace industry. In an effort to draw more attention to Michigan’s strength in aerospace, Tony led the effort to attract an aerospace conference to the state. As a result, SpeedNews and Aviation Week held their annual aerospace manufacturing conference in Dearborn in May 2017 and in June, Michigan had its first booth at the Paris air show. It is because of these great accomplishments, a vision for the future aerospace opportunities and a conversation with Governor Snyder, Tony decided to launch AIAM to advance Michigan’s place in the industry. Prior to joining the MEDC Tony held executive positions at Global Advantages, Doncasters, and Textron. He held positions as Senior Vice President of International, Director of Global Integrated Supply Chain, Director of Six Sigma, General Manager of Manufacturing, and Regional Director of Distribution. Before joining Textron, Tony spent 10 years in the automotive industry at both an OEM and a Tier-one supplier. Accentuating his automotive and aerospace experience is Tony’s 12 years in International Business where he further developed his networking abilities, interpersonal influence, resilience and adaptability, not to mention his proficiency in cultural diversity. His unique experiences have provided him with an opportunity to lead organizations, develop strategic plans and implement global projects across multiple industries and countries. He is a results-focused leader driven by challenge and diversity of responsibilities. He has a proven record of accomplishment in achieving financial and operational performance by leading and engaging diverse teams. It is with these skills and experience, Tony will lead AIAM to further strengthen and grow Michigan’s aerospace industry.

AIAM Board Member

Stacy Paul

CEO and Aerospace Engineer, Array of Engineers

Array of engineers logo

Stacy Paul is an aerospace engineer and the CEO of Array of Engineers. Since 2000, Stacy has worked in the aerospace industry supporting various projects ranging from the manned space program at NASA to modern commercial aircraft to planetary exploration programs. Stacy grew up in a small town in Northern Michigan where she found her love of exploring, creativity and the night sky. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1999 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. After graduating she worked on the Space Shuttle and Space Station program for the United Space Alliance at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Stacy supported technical Day of Launch activities in the Mission Control Room and worked on Space Shuttle enhancements outside of launch operations. Missing Michigan, Stacy moved back in 2005 and supported numerous commercial aircraft projects which included software development, verification activities, and project management. Following a long held personal dream, Stacy sought to create a company to help bring more high technology and creative engineering jobs to Michigan. A company that would promote innovation, personal and professional growth, and STEM for younger generations. In early 2018, Stacy helped form Array of Engineers, a company dedicated to advancing these core values. Array of Engineers specializes in automated testing, embedded software, and custom hardware design. In addition to its core values, the company differentiates itself by empowering their customers and partners with self-sustaining automation capabilities and maximum design flexibility. Array of Engineers has supported a variety of satellite, space vehicle, and planetary exploration programs at NASA, numerous commercial aerospace projects, and multiple defense programs. Outside of work, you can likely find Stacy enjoying outdoor activities with her family and many pets, reading a good book, or supporting STEM activities for younger generations.

AeroDynamic Advisory

Mike Stengel

Principal

Mike Stengel is a Senior Associate at AeroDynamic Advisory, where he is responsible for project management, intellectual property development, & analysis of aerospace markets. Mike’s project experience has spanned multiple disciplines, including market analysis & forecasting, business strategy, and transaction advisory across the aerospace industry. In addition, Mike has been an invited guest speaker to industry conferences, associations, company events, and universities to provide industry outlooks and insights. Previously, Mike was an Associate at ICF International’s Aerospace & MRO consulting practice from 2014-2016. Prior to that, he interned at United Airlines in their San Francisco, CA engine maintenance facility, as well as at AeroStrategy in 2011. In addition, Mike is an FAA-certified commercial pilot with an instrument rating and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Liebherr-Aerospace Saline, Inc.

Will Dew

Managing Director Commercial

Will’s aerospace experience spans over 30 years with military, commercial airline, and OEM aftermarket assignments. From 2006, progressed in various capacities with Liebherr-Aerospace Saline, a FAR145 Service Center providing support for Liebherr customers domiciled in the Americas. Presently serves as managing director commercial, responsible for the domains of Customer and Field Service, Sales, Quality Assurance, and Finance.

Eaton Aerospace

Tyler Ford

General Manager

Tyler Ford is the General Manager for Eaton Aerospace’s Engine Solutions and Electrification (ESE) business, a part of Eaton’s Industrial Sector. Tyler’s business is responsible for 14 product lines spanning a range of systems including pneumatic ducting, fuel connection, static/dynamic sealing, debris monitoring, pressure sensing, power conversion and electrical distribution for both commercial and military Aerospace applications. Overall, the product lines represent $430M in revenue across nine manufacturing plants with sites in the United States, Mexico, India, France, China, and Indonesia. Prior to this role, Tyler served as Director of Engineering for Eaton Aerospace’s Fluid and Electrical Distribution (FED) division, providing fluid, pneumatic, and electrical conveyance products for a variety of Aerospace customers. The FED Engineering team numbers some 350 engineers globally, and provides engineering leadership for new product introduction, researched/development, and product sustainment efforts for all product lines within the FED portfolio, including the ESE business. The team spans 13 design centers and supports 19 manufacturing facilities around the world, with presences in the US, UK, Germany, France, Indonesia, India, Mexico, and China. Before transitioning to the Director Role, he was a Senior Engineering Manager with Eaton’s Fuel and Motion Control business, responsible for the development of Fuel systems and components related to fuel distribution, gauging, and inerting. Before that, he held several engineering leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including leading the electromechanical actuation and ground fueling teams. He started his career with Eaton in 2008 as a participant in the Engineering and Technology Leadership Program. Tyler considers himself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see such a breadth of products across the Eaton portfolio, and has worked with many incredible individuals at each point along the way. He’s looking forward to expanding the awareness to Eaton capabilities with customers, suppliers, and academia, pursuing technology partnerships that will enable a more sustainable future for the Aerospace industry. Tyler graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a BSE, Aerospace in April 2008. In his spare time, he participates in the Corporate Advisory board for Wayne State University, and volunteers as Coach for AYSO.