Thank you for your interest in the 2023 conference, we are working hard to line up a great roster of keynote speakers, panelists, and more. Check back soon for even more additions to this years event!
2023 I-90 Aerospace Corridor Conference Speakers
Alex is the CTO at New Charter Technologies, assisting their 25+ managed service providers (MSP) in achieving best-in-class growth and operations. He is also the Founder and CEO of Exbabylon, an award-winning MSP achieving consistent placings in the INC 5000 and INW Best Places to Work lists. He has 20 years of experience in IT, delivering security solutions in the defense, aerospace, and manufacturing sectors. He is a regular speaker on cybersecurity and culture at Inland Northwest conferences with his HUMAN > TECH approach. He advocates for education on cloud, security, and Digital Transformation across public, academic, and enterprise environments.
ExBabylon Professional IT Solutions
Ben joined Spaceflight, Inc., a premier launch services and mission management provider in Bellevue, in 2018. He brings nearly 15 years of experience in several industries, including energy, IT, non-profit, and aerospace, and various supply chain roles ranging from over-dimensional transportation planning to full-scope supply chain planning. As the Senior Manager of the Supply Chain, he oversees Spaceflight’s supply chain and uses his breadth of experience to improve the reliability, efficiency, accuracy, and operating costs of Spaceflight’s supply chain. He holds a B.S. in Supply Chain and Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University.
Chris learned firsthand the value of ingenuity and hard work–growing up on a small farm in Deer Park, Washington. Even when young, he was drawn to repairing and building machines and equipment. Before college, he apprenticed with Bob Graham, a skilled engineer and the owner of Horizon Engineering. Chris helped design and build equipment for industries that ranged from food and beverage companies to nuclear facilities. After graduating from Spokane Community College with a degree in fluid power technology, he continued to do fabrication and design work for local contractors for several years. In 1995, Chris realized his longtime dream of starting a business when he opened Hydrafab Northwest. What began with just a welder and handmade bender in Chris’ garage has grown into a successful company with more than 40 employees and an international customer base. But one thing will never change: his commitment to ensuring that every customer and project receives the highest quality craftsmanship and specialized expertise in the business. Chris has been involved in many industry associations and boards, including the American Welding Society, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and Deer Park School District Career and Technical Education.
Dan is the President of Kocer Consulting + Engineering and has over 25 years of experience with diagnosing, designing, and improving production, distribution, and administrative operations and business systems. Dan has helped hundreds of large and small companies streamline or design new operations. His acute ability to diagnose problems and recommend the best systems, solutions, or operational improvements comes from his many projects that involve implementing change and his experience managing and directing operations. He has a broad view of the organization and the connections between people, culture, processes, systems, facilities, equipment, organizational structure, supply chain, customer needs, financials, and product flow.
Dave has 49 years of technical, management, and executive experience providing services to government and commercial nuclear clients. He established McCormack Consulting in April 2018 to provide strategic services to small and large businesses seeking business opportunities in the nuclear industry. McCormack Consulting has provided contract services to Leidos, Environmental Assessment Services, Dade Moeller, HukariAscendent, Tri-Cities Local Business Association/Clean Energy Supplier Alliance, and Port of Benton. Dave is presently contracted as CEO of the Clean Energy Supplier Alliance (Alliance), a Tri-Cities-based association of business and labor members working, in partnership with the Port of Benton, to establish the supply chain and workforce necessary for the deployment of the advanced nuclear clean energy generation. The Alliance was formed in 2022 by the Tri-Cities Local Business Association, where he's served as executive director since 2019.
Dean began his Aerospace Career in 1990 in the plastics industry serving most major aerospace seating companies. The experience of working from concept to completion and delivering complex assemblies allowed Dean to work with numerous suppliers and unique processes. After 28 years in manufacturing, Dean turned to support those suppliers by publishing Northwest Aerospace News Magazines, Aerospace Vendors database, and now Let’s Go Aerospace Jr. Aerospace magazine.
Northwest Aerospace News/Top Drawer Media
Don Bolling was hired in 2011 as Accra-Fab’s Quality Manager to spearhead their transition toward becoming an aerospace manufacturer. Don successfully led the team to certify the international AS9100 standard in 2012. In 2018 he was promoted to the Accra-Fab Executive Team and the Director of Quality position. In 2021 he transitioned to his current role at Accra-Fab, Director of Manufacturing. Don grew up in upstate New York and joined the United States Air Force. During his 21-year aircraft structural maintenance career, he worked at Loring AFB, Maine, Osan AB, Republic of Korea, and nearby Fairchild AFB. Don also repeatedly deployed overseas to the Middle East, Far East, and Europe to support our nation’s interests. He obtained his associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology through the Community College of the Air Force before his retirement in 2011. Don’s extensive airframe knowledge and 30+ years of experience in sheet metal have been pivotal to Accra-Fab’s current success as a significant regional aerospace manufacturer.
Jennifer writes for Northwest Aerospace News Magazine and other aerospace and manufacturing trade publications. She operates Ferrero Agency (www.ferreroagency.com), a content marketing company, and conducts work for aerospace, manufacturing, space, and AI companies. She is also the host of NW Aerospace News Live, a 15-minute interview-style vlog that features three new episodes each month. Please look for the playlist on YouTube under Top Drawer Media.
Establishing his practice in 2012, John is a Fractional VP of Sales with Sales Xceleration. John works with CEOs and Business Owners to build proper sales discipline, accountability, and effectiveness. John’s hands-on engagement expertise focuses on the elements needed for Sales Teams to achieve sustainable growth results. John provides clients with a custom-tailored sales strategy and an integrated sales process and implements a proven tactical sales execution plan that drives aggressive revenue growth. He is also a certified Integrity Selling Training facilitator and can help train sales teams or solopreneurs with this proven system. John has been a successful manufacturing business owner, managing multiple companies on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies and 18 years on the Portland Business Journal Fastest Growing Private & Technology Companies lists.
Sam Wolkenhauer is a labor economist with the Idaho Department of Labor. In addition to providing economic insight, data, and analysis for the people of Idaho, he manages several forecasting projections for the State, producing projections of Idaho’s labor market, workforce trends, and demographics. Before joining the Department of Labor, he earned degrees in economics and mathematics from Eastern Washington University. He currently fills a timely and interesting niche: outside of his formal work as an economist, his main hobby is studying Russian and Soviet history.
Idaho Department of Labor
Tod Byquist, vice president of program management and supply chain, manages all contracts and program execution for LeoStella customers throughout the new proposal, contract execution and product delivery stages. Tod assists with managing client priorities and budgets and helping in collaboration with the engineering team. He also manages export and trade compliance for LeoStella.
Tod is a mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of experience, holding engineering, design and project management roles at Blue Origin, Intel Corporation and Boeing. He has significant experience in product development, which, coupled with his engineering experience, has required close interaction with supply chains. Notably, he has led development efforts in consumer electronics and witnessed how the critical collaboration between the supply chain and engineering resulted in successful, high-volume product development
Rick Taylor is Vice President of Altek, Inc. He oversees business development, operations, engineering, assembly, quality, and the mold shop in this role. Rick joined Altek in 1985, starting as a CNC machinist working the swing shift. Rick worked his way up to programming and, shortly after that, Machine Shop Manager. Rick was promoted to Vice President in 2001. He led the effort to expand Altek’s offerings beyond its original industry focus to provide contract manufacturing for five industries: aerospace, medical, space, technology, and defense. He is the Vice Chair of INWAC (Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium), which he helped co-found in 2002. Rick is a former board member of PNAA (Pacific Northwest Aerospace Association).
Rafael, shared work business outreach manager, Washington State Employment Security Department. He promotes ESD’s business-friendly programs. He serves as ESD’s representative on the Small Business Liaison Team, helping businesses thrive in Washington State. He has a B.A. from Washington State University, completed several MBA-level managerial and organizational leadership courses, and has several professional certifications. He is a proud military brat whose father’s-distinguished service of over 27 years in the United States Army includes the Congressional Gold Medal with the 65 Infantry Regiment–The Borinqueneers.
WA Employment Security Department
Nick is passionate about understanding manufacturers' challenges and being a resource hub that the Eastern Washington manufacturing ecosystem can rely upon for support. He started his career with boots on the ground as a front-line manufacturing supervisor. He can relate and interface well with everyone, from the production floor to the CEO. Nick has experience diagnosing and delivering solutions to manufacturers across enterprises: continuous improvement, operations, quality management systems, organizational strategy, team building, cybersecurity, ERP, and market intelligence. Nick understands how time-critical business decisions can be and operates with the same urgency and drive as his clients. At Impact Washington, his broad experience in manufacturing methods is an asset. When not working, his therapy comes from the outdoors. In the summer, you can find him mountain biking and, in the winter, skiing somewhere in the back country. Recently, trail-building has become a labor of love.
Mark Norton has been active in various industry roles within advanced manufacturing for over 40 years. He has been Chair of the non-profit Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium since 2017. He also facilitates the aerospace and aviation committee in the state legislature and serves as a subject matter expert on manufacturing policy at regional, state, and federal levels. Mark is deeply grounded in business development, product development, and strategic planning. He is an influencer on LinkedIn with almost 2,000 followers and posts daily on advanced manufacturing news and topics.
Norton Strategic Consulting
Kevin Williams is the Division Executive of System Advancement for the Spokane Workforce Council. In this role, he functionally oversees the job seeker and business services operations on the Spokane American Job Center campus, as well as the Next Generation Zone, Spokane County’s comprehensive youth and young adult employment center. Kevin is a United States Air Force veteran, where he served 25 years in the AF Medical Corps. He has extensive educational and practical experience as an organizational leader, change manager, instructional facilitator, and all-around workforce development nerd. He holds a undergraduate degrees in Public and Education and a graduate degree in Organizational Management from Iowa State University.
Spokane Workforce Council
CM Manufacturing, Inc. has been in business since 1984. During this period, his business has become experts in manufacturing high-strength steel and non-ferrous parts for aircraft. They have achieved an unsurpassed reputation for on-time delivery of quality parts, meeting or exceeding specifications, and ISO 9001 & AS9100 Rev C. They manufacture parts for almost every aircraft flown by the U.S. military and many foreign countries. The company specializes in fracture-critical and flight safety-critical landing gear components, but they are not limited to these parts. CM Manufacturing, Inc. works daily with extensive non-destructive testing requirements, chrome-plated, cadmium-plated, and painted parts. They are accustomed to working with all the major aircraft manufacturer’s specifications.
Kelly is Vice President of Communications for Altek, Inc., a custom injection molding and precision machining contract manufacturer based in the Spokane, WA area. She is also CEO of OLI Global, a strategic branding and marketing communications firm focused on space and aerospace. Kelly is a Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor to Space Northwest, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the space ecosystem throughout the Pacific Northwest. Previously, Kelly was Vice President of Strategic Communications and Relationships for AeroTEC, which provides testing, engineering, and certification for aerospace-related projects. As the former President and CEO of the Aerospace Futures Alliance and the Washington State Space Coalition, Kelly has worked statewide, nationwide, and internationally to grow and strengthen Washington's aerospace and space industries. She has been part of several successful start-ups throughout her career. Her industry experience ranges from space, aerospace, and manufacturing to high-tech, medical, and higher education. She has her master’s degree in Communications and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.
Before joining Stoke as COO, Kelly held executive and engineering roles at Raytheon and multiple engineering, program management, and strategy roles at Northrop Grumman. Kelly’s rich experience leading development programs, including proposing, capturing, and executing significant contracts, has earned her a clear and respected reputation in aerospace. Kelly has been awarded 10 Patents and 5 Trade Secrets and multiple awards and distinctions for innovation and engineering. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. As COO of Stoke, Kelly strategically guides the company creating efficiency and process while preparing to scale.
Katrina is a change expert with over 25 years of experience discovering, developing, and manufacturing medicines and related technologies. She is an expert in laboratory and technical operations and an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence and Pharmaceutical GMP Professional. She is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane and is active in the local bioscience industry. Katrina is the CEO of Evergreen Bioscience Innovation, a modern innovation cluster focused on expanding life science contract research in the Northwest. Her executive services firm specializes in helping entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders change the world with their new medicines and medical devices. www.krogersconsulting.com
Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster
A talented engineering leader with broad-ranging experience, including certified aircraft design, automotive systems, global supply chains, and venture capital. Josh has spent nearly a decade in autonomous vehicles, first as CTO of AutonomouStuff, then as founder and CEO of PolySync. More recently, Josh has focused on implementing lean principles and automation in building a grassroots manufacturing and e-commerce company, Holstery.
As CEO of Titus Talent Strategies, Jonathan is a visionary, entrepreneur, and game-changer. He is energized by inspiring company leaders and equipping them with unique approaches to understanding their people better, fostering organizational alignment, and creating optimum performance among their team members. His fun stories and British accent will draw you in, while his cutting-edge ideas and practical strategies will empower you to implement change. Jonathan is a bestselling author of Right Seats, Right People: A Leaders Guide to Hiring and Developing Top Talent, and currently leads a unique team of talented consultants that has been on Inc. 5000's list of fastest-growing companies for four years in a row.
Titus Talent Strategies
Dr. Shovic joined the Computer Science Faculty in Robotics/AI at the University of Idaho in Coeur d’Alene in 2017. In 2022, he was appointed director of the University of Idaho research organization, the Center for Intelligent Industrial Robotics (CI2R). His technical expertise is focused on the following fields: manufacturing and industrial robotics and applications of advanced AI techniques to robotics, embedded systems, cyber security, and real-time operating systems. Dr. Shovic has a strong business background, running several high-technology companies and start-ups. Dr. Shovic is working on many projects involving applying AI techniques in robotics, industrial robotics, vineyard automation, and aquifer-pumped hydro with power generation. He has authored several papers, articles, and books, including “Python All-In-One for Dummies,” published by Wiley, including sections on using Python for AI, big data, machine vision, and robotics.
University of Idaho
Tyler is a serial entrepreneur and an active member of his community. He is co-founder and partner of a number of businesses including Seven2 and 14Four, two nationally recognized digital creative agencies; Strategy Labs, a customer acquisition media agency and Slingshot, a nonprofit, based on a book he wrote, that coaches young people for purposeful direction in work and life. Living out his passions, he sits on many boards including Ignite Northwest, Capable International and the Innovia Foundation. He regularly speaks on topics of leadership, company culture and finding vocational alignment. Tyler is a graduate of the University of Washington and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three kids.
Vicki is the Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development for North Idaho College. Vicki has worked for the college for under four years. Still, she has spent her entire career in workforce development, developing apprenticeships, career awareness events, and doing whatever she can to help fill the workforce gaps. She has a bachelor’s in Management from LCSC and a master’s in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. Vicki has lived in northern Idaho much of her life and has one son, a computer programmer who recently moved to the Netherlands.
North Idaho Workforce Training Center
Tyler is the CEO and co-founder of Continuous Composites. With an extensive background in organizational leadership, strategy, finance, legal, manufacturing, and technology, Tyler has a rare ability to intimately understand the entire company from both a business and technical perspective. Combining this with his interpersonal and communication skills, Tyler is a unique strategic and technical leader. He has a proven ability to build, lead and motivate a team while generating value for all stakeholders. Tyler is a successful business owner and entrepreneur with a contagious passion for building and growing businesses correctly. Tyler holds a BA in Accounting, an MBA, and a CPA.
Trevor has worked in the manufacturing sector for 27 years. He started in the rubber industry, producing gaskets and seals and working on rubber projects for other industrial applications. Then, he moved to sheet metal, machining, and custom finishes, where he’s spent the last 16 years of his career.
Tom is the Vice President of Sales at Servatron and has held this position for 16 years. With over 25 years of sales experience, he is responsible for providing top-tier sales leadership to increase revenue and strengthen and expand new and existing customer relationships. Before joining Servatron, Tom was the VP of Sales at Respond Inc., where his leadership resulted in Respond's inclusion in the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing companies multiple times. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Idaho and an MBA from Northwest Nazarene University.
Sondra Barrington is the Manager for the Talent Solutions Team by Worksource Spokane. In this role, she leads business services operations for the Spokane American Job Center Campus. Team members are Certified Business Services Consultants who specialize in helping area employers with recruiting and retention challenges, hosting job fairs and hiring events and providing layoff services. Sondra enjoys contributing to the workforce development community and the economic vitality of the Spokane region. Connect with the team at Talent Solutions by WorkSource Spokane on LinkedIn.
Sarah is a globally recognized export compliance expert, trusted consultant, and national speaker with almost 20 years of international business experience. As the President of S Massie Consulting LLC, she specializes in export consulting, creating written ITAR and export compliance programs, and training companies to navigate complicated laws and regulations for U.S. exports. Before starting her consulting company, Sarah Massie was a Senior International Trade Specialist for the Idaho Department of Commerce. She organized promotions at international trade shows and governor-led trade missions in over 10 countries worldwide. Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boise State University with a B.B.A. in International Business and is the author of an upcoming memoir titled "The Two Lives I've Lived." Learn more about S Massie Consulting LLC at smassie.com.
S Massie Consulting