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Oklahoma Aerospace Forum to bring industry experts from across the state – set for October 28

The City Sentinel, Staff Report

Oklahoma’s aerospace community is gathering to hear industry leaders discuss a variety of topics including lessons learned from COVID-19, technological advancements, workforce development and more at the annual Oklahoma Aerospace Forum, sponsored by INTRUST Bank. The forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the brand-new Oklahoma City Convention Center.

The forum is an opportunity for Oklahoma aerospace executives and senior managers to meet and discuss the current state of aerospace in Oklahoma, learn about new industry technologies and network with one another.

National Defense Industrial Association President and CEO General Hawk Carlisle, USAF (Ret.), will provide the keynote address on national defense followed by a variety of panels featuring leaders in Oklahoma’s aerospace industry. These panels include:

Technological Advancements and the Future of Aerospace in Oklahoma” – Moderated by Choctaw Nation UAS Executive Director James Grimsley, panelists will discuss the latest and emerging technological advancements in the aerospace industry and what’s in store for Oklahoma’s future. Panelists include Skydweller Director of Structural Engineering and Manufacturing Clay Pearce, Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority Executive Director Craig Smith, Infinite Composites Technologies Founder and CEO Matt Villarreal, Tinker OKC Air Logistics Complex Technical Director Dr. Kristian Olivero and Frontier Electronic Systems President and CEO Brenda G. Rolls, Psy.D.

Lessons Learned from COVID: How the Industry is Pivoting in a New Era” – The past year and a half has presented challenges for the entire world and the aerospace industry was no exception. Hear from leaders in Oklahoma’s aerospace industry, such as Acorn Growth Companies Managing Partner Rick Nagel, Boeing VP Nancy Anderson and Kratos Defense Unmanned Systems President Steve Fendley, about lessons learned regarding supply chain, workforce and more and how we continue to pivot. Moderated by Alex Sedlacek, Senior Commercial Relationship Manager, INTRUST Bank.

Oklahoma’s Efforts to Elevate Aerospace” – The industry continues to evolve and so do the needs of Oklahoma’s aerospace companies. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell will join panelists,

including OAC Director Grayson Ardies, DRG CEO Phil Busey Sr., Oklahoma Department of Commerce Aerospace State Director Geoff Camp and AAR VP of Workforce Development Ryan Goertzen, in a discussion about how our state is working to bring in new skilled workers, train and recruit, market and brand Oklahoma as a fly-to state and incentives for companies.

Workforce Development & the Education Renaissance” – Connecting Oklahoma’s aerospace education to industry, representatives from Oklahoma educational institutes will explore what is being done at our colleges, universities and career technology centers to prepare the workforce pipeline for the skills needed in today’s aerospace companies. Panelists will also discuss how education is connecting to industry for research and development, training and more. Panelists include Travis Hurst from Rose State College, Dr. Marcie Mack from Oklahoma Department of Career Technology and Education, Jeffery James with the Air Force Association’s Cyber Patriot and Stella Xplorers program, Dr. Jamey Jacob from OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) and Dr. Randa Shehab of OU’s Gallogly College of Engineering. The panel will be moderated by Cherokee Nation Senior Advisor Aaron Emberton.

Those working in Oklahoma’s aerospace industry can register online here.