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.