PNAA's Aerospace Industry
Our award recipients are chosen by PNAA’s Board of Directors with input from the membership. PNAA presents Industry Excellence Awards for four categories: Aerospace Executive of the Year, Company of the Year, Chairman’s Award and Inspire Award.
PNAA's Company of the Year Award
2024 Winner JEMCO Components and Fabrication
PNAA’s Aerospace Company of the Year Award is presented to the aerospace company located in the Pacific Northwest that has exhibited exceptional organizational and managerial characteristics while continually maintaining a strong competitive posture, thus raising the industry standard for the Pacific Northwest.
Jemco Components and Fabrication celebrates their 40th anniversary in 2024 – 40 years of raising the bar and truly bringing excellence to the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Industry.
Founded in 1984, Jemco's journey started with grit, determination, and an entrepreneurial spirit that transformed a home garage and kitchen filled with parts, machines, and boxes into a thriving business in a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Kirkland, Washington. The early years were marked by long days and sleepless nights, but never devoid of fun or purpose. Today the narrative of the company's evolution reflects a commitment to excellence, adaptability, and familial values.
For 40 years Jemco has served the industry and community with an experienced, creative, and energetic team, turning rough sketches, models, and concepts into parts you hold, test, and utilize. It starts with prototype machining, moves to production machining, sheet metal machining, contract assembly, finishing options, laser etching and engraving services and is then capped off with Jemco’s quality assurance process.
Travis Moore, President of Jemco, attributes the success of the company to the foundational principle instilled by his father that the customer is the "King of the Castle." The company's evolution has been a deliberate and strategic process over the decades. It was clear from the beginning that Jemco would end up in the hands of Travis and because of that, he learned the ropes early. He didn’t just walk the factory floor with his father, he attended meetings with attorneys and accountants, being immersed in the full and delicate business ecosystem. This multifaceted education not only shaped his understanding of the industry but also fueled his passion for the art and science of manufacturing.
Amidst the challenges and stresses inherent in the industry, Jemco has carved a distinctive path by fostering a culture that values teamwork, resilience and precision. Moore acknowledges the ups and downs, describing their growth as "10 steps backward and 11 steps forward.” Part of those 11 steps forward is the great achievement of building a dynamic team of leaders and developing a diverse customer base in Washington State, the Pacific Northwest, and along the West Coast.
Today, Team Jemco still includes Travis’ mom and dad who started it all, along with employees dedicated to Jemco’s purpose to provide solutions and be in service to their community. Someday, Travis’ children too hope to work in the business to continue the legacy at least another 40 years.
PNAA's Executive of the Year Award
2024 Winner Deloit R. Jr.
PNAA’s Executive of the Year Award is presented to an executive of an aerospace company located within the Pacific Northwest who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the Pacific Norwest Aerospace Industry.
As President and Center Director of Impact Washington, a non-profit organization committed to assisting small- and medium-sized manufacturers in Washington State, Deloit has proven to be an influential figure in fostering growth and innovation within the industry. Impact Washington, who serves as the Washington State affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Program (NIST MEP), provides valuable services to manufacturers, helping them enhance capacity, productivity, and global competitiveness.
Deloit's journey with Impact Washington began in 2013 when he joined as the Director of Business Development. His visionary leadership and strategic acumen led to his appointment as Center Director in 2019. In this capacity, Deloit has overseen the organization's strategic initiatives, growth strategies, and overall performance. During Deloit's tenure, Impact Washington has achieved remarkable outcomes, demonstrating the tangible impact of his leadership. The organization has assisted 2,500 manufacturers in creating over 8,500 new jobs, increasing revenues by $1.1 billion, and attracting $315 million in new investments.
Deloit's background in senior management positions at notable companies such as Georgia-Pacific's Consumer Productions division, the Seattle Supersonics, and the Miller Brewing Company has undoubtedly contributed to his effectiveness in steering Impact Washington towards success. Under Deloit's guidance, Impact Washington has strengthened its collaboration with the Washington State Department of Commerce, particularly in programs supporting manufacturers throughout the state. The organization has played a pivotal role in developing the state's strategy for fostering innovation in the maritime industry.
A standout achievement is the establishment of a remote training program, developed in partnership with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Job Skills Program. This initiative allowed rural manufacturers to upskill their incumbent workers, demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity and skill development.
Deloit and Impact Washington showcased their resilience and commitment to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. They played a crucial role in supporting manufacturers in pivoting towards the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Deloit's guidance and support were instrumental in ensuring the industry not only stayed afloat but also contributed to the broader effort to keep employees safe.
Deloit recognizes the significance of the aerospace supply chain in Washington State's economic health. Under his leadership, Impact Washington has been instrumental in assisting suppliers to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and develop innovative new products. Deloit played a key role in securing an Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program grant as part of the PNAA team, strengthening the aerospace industry in the state and accelerating economic development.
Deloit's dedication to the industry extends beyond his role at Impact Washington. He serves on various advisory boards, including the Industrial and Resource Development Advisory Board of the Economic Alliance Snohomish County, and the boards of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition and the American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative. Additionally, Deloit is an advisor to the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition and has served as a board member of Washington Maritime Blue and the Washington Manufacturing Council.
Deloit holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, with a focus on Business Management, both earned at the University of Montana. His educational background, combined with his extensive leadership experience, has undoubtedly contributed to his success in driving Impact Washington and advocating for the aerospace industry in the Pacific Northwest.
PNAA's Chairman's Award
2024 Winner Skills Inc.
PNAA’s Chairman’s Award is presented to the individual, company or organization that has in PNAA’s discretion, made the greatest contribution through innovation or growth, thus raising the industry standard of the Aerospace Industry in the Pacific Northwest.
Skills Inc. (Skills), a nonprofit social enterprise with a social mission of expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities, was established in 1966 with a $5,000 grant from the Boeing Employee Good Neighbor Fund. Originally located in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, the organization now operates out of three facilities in Auburn, Washington, with approximately 200,000 square feet of space, and has a team of 300 employees. As a contract manufacturer, they provide a broad set of manufacturing capabilities and special processing (finish) services to the aerospace industry.
As one of the largest aerospace suppliers in Washington State, Skills is part of the supply chain for OEMs such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin. Leading the organization is CEO Todd Dunnington, a graduate of the Stanford Executive Leadership Program. He believes that the future of aerospace manufacturing will include a broad and diverse workforce. And the quickest way to that vision is through lean manufacturing practices that promote standardization and the streamlined transfer of knowledge to new employees.
The goal at Skills is to provide safe, capable and efficient processes to meet customer requirements. They have proven that setting employees up for success and making sure no one is left behind is just good business. In an effort to address the looming crisis of too few workers joining the industry, Skills embraces a culture of continuous improvement and has worked to remove tribal knowledge and embrace standardized processes. Walking through their facilities, you see tremendous investment in state-of-the-art equipment and technology, ensuring Skills remains at the forefront of innovation in the aerospace industry. Such investments and process improvements, however, are completed with an eye towards making sure they are accessible, standardized and employee friendly.
Skills serves as a model for inclusion and best practices in recruiting, onboarding, and employing individuals with disabilities. It might surprise some readers that most disabilities are non-apparent. Mr. Dunnington points out that “. . . disabilities may be physical, medical, sensory, learning, or emotional. Our goal is to change the narrative and we do this by normalizing disabilities and removing the stigma that people with disabilities may feel.”
At Skills, employees are valued for their abilities, and the focus is on job fit; where employees are hired for what they CAN do. The organization has implemented a structured onboarding process to identify potential accommodations, fostering an environment where individuals with and without disabilities successfully work side by side across all departments. “We focus on hiring outstanding people,” says Dunnington. Workplace expectations center around respect for coworkers and working to one's full potential, creating a culture of shared success. The result is a level of teamwork and collaboration that helps Skills stand out as a preferred place to work. This helps with both recruiting and retention. Noteworthy, sixty percent of the employees at Skills have a disability and workplace expectations are the same for everyone.
In addition to being a highly respected aerospace supplier, Skills also provides vocational programs for adults and youth. For over two decades Skills has managed an Aerospace Internship Program serving high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. This initiative has equipped over 1,000 students with essential work readiness skills, preparing them for successful employment journeys once they leave high school.
The challenges posed by the pandemic did not deter Skills but rather spurred them to further invest in their quality management system and workforce culture. Looking ahead, Skills is poised for substantial growth. Its broad set of capabilities in both manufacturing and special processing, coupled with expansion into the military and space sectors of aerospace, positions the organization for future success.
Truly, Skills winning the 2024 PNAA Chair Award is a testament to its unwavering dedication to a culture of inclusion. Skills, along with PNAA, supports the notion that “aerospace manufacturing is for everyone.” As they continue to inspire change and lead by example, Skills stands as a role model for a more inclusive and innovative future in the Pacific Northwest aerospace industry.
PNAA's Inspire Award
2024 Winner Pathfinder Manufacturing
PNAA’s Inspire Award honors businesses and individuals in the aerospace community that have shown exceptional creativity in working with young people and diverse populations in an effort to promote diversity and inclusion in the aerospace industry and cultivate interest and skills leading to aerospace careers.
Founded in 1991, Pathfinder Manufacturing has emerged as a leader in precision machining, fabrication, and assembly, serving aerospace, space, and defense. Initially known as the Work Force Development Center, the organization started with just 12 employees in an 8,000 sq. ft. facility in Everett. Over the years, it expanded its capabilities, moving to larger facilities, adding electrical assembly in 2005, and incorporating CNC capabilities in 2014. In 2022, the organization rebranded as Pathfinder Manufacturing and relocated to its current 42,000 sq. ft. facility in Everett and boasts a dedicated team of 65 full-time employees alongside 32 high school trainees.
Pathfinder specializes in CNC machining, mechanical and electrical assembly, forming a crucial part of Boeing's Premier Bidder Program. The organization's remarkable track record for on-time delivery and quality has consistently earned it Boeing's Supplier Excellence award for the past 12 years.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Pathfinder Manufacturing goes beyond conventional business models. It provides vocational skills training to at-risk high school juniors and seniors facing disabilities or socioeconomic disadvantages. Over the years, the organization has collaborated with 36 high schools in King, Snohomish, Kitsap, and Island counties, making a significant impact on the lives of young individuals facing unique challenges.
Pathfinder Manufacturing's mission is to operate as a "Work Force Development Center," focusing on the personal growth and economic independence of high school students and adults with disabilities and/or employment barriers. The vision is to ensure that all disabled, at-risk students in the Puget Sound region graduate from high school equipped with the skills and confidence to succeed in life.
The organization's programmatic training approach involves a comprehensive cycle from September to June, including in-classroom training and on-the-job skills training with assigned mentors. Students undergo modules in various skills, from computer numerical control (CNC) to quality assurance, packaging, and shipping.
Today, Pathfinder is led by CEO David Trader, who joined Pathfinder in 1994 having held every position on the shop floor and has been in his current role since 2001.
Apart from his role at Pathfinder Manufacturing, Trader is actively involved in advisory boards for organizations like Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) and Everett School District’s Engineering and Manufacturing PAC. His commitment to community engagement is evident through his participation in boards such as Everett Rainbow Girls Assembly #9 and Shoreline Community College Manufacturing Advisory Board.
Pathfinder Manufacturing's commitment to inclusion, diversity, and skills development exemplifies its role as a beacon in the aerospace industry. The Inspire Award serves as recognition of the organization's outstanding efforts to inspire and empower the next generation of aerospace professionals.
PNAA's Women in Aerospace Rising Star Award
2023 Winner Missy Felix
PNAA’s Rising Star Award honors a woman who demonstrates a drive for excellence that has inspired change & innovation.
PNAA's WIA Rising Star Award recognizes a woman who has demonstrated a drive for excellence that has inspired change and innovation. The nominee is not afraid to break molds. She understands the importance of sharing new ideas and fostering a thought process that has a positive influence in the workplace and community. The nominee is a creative forward thinker who puts ideas into action.
Missy Felix is a rising star at Blue Origin and in the space industry. She is a Technical Fellow Engineer in the field of vibro-acoustics with expertise in dynamic Finite Element (FE) model development and analysis, vibro-acoustic predictions, and damping design. Missy is one of the critical few vibro-acoustics experts in the space industry and is currently working on Blue Origin’s New Glenn Orbital Launch Vehicle.
Missy’s passion for aerospace was launched at a young age with encouragement from her father, who immigrated to the United States from Haiti to become a mech anical engineer, and her mother who encouraged her curiosity and interest in science. She simultaneously studied for her bachelor's and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, PA, graduating in 2009. After graduation, Missy began work at Boeing in Seattle, WA on the 787 Interior Noise and Interior Noise Technology teams. She had the opportunity to participate in extensive flight tests on the 787 and work on noise control technology projects on both the 787 and 777X vehicles. In 2011, she received the Achievement Award for significant noise mitigation contributions to customers of the 787-8.
In 2017, Missy moved to Blue Origin where she had the opportunity to lead the design and implementation of the acoustic treatment on the inside of the New Glenn Payload fairing. She developed a novel acoustic material system for the fairing before broadening her scope to work on vibro-acoustics issues across the entire vehicle. In 2021, her leadership in the field was recognized by Dexter Johnson (Technical Fellow at NASA and Head of the Loads and Dynamics Technical Discipline Team), who asked her to join the NASA Engineering and Safety Center’s Technical Discipline Team for Loads and Dynamics as an affiliate member, focusing on vibro-acoustics.
Missy has also demonstrated a deep passion for her community. During her time at Boeing, she was a technical mentor for new team members, trained engineers in technical modeling and prediction processes, and served as an advisor and subject matter expert for FE projects for new team members. Missy has continued her service at Blue Origin, where she was the inaugural lead of New Jackson, Blue Origin’s Black Business Resource Group, receiving an award in 2020 for her leadership of that team. She served as an executive mentor for the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, a program that provides Black students with mentoring and a work experience in aerospace. She also serves as a technical and career mentor for engineers and has implemented initiatives that supported community growth and engagement, employee retention, and youth STEM outreach activities.
Bill Kindred, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Blue Origin states “I have been a DEI Director for the past 15 years and have rarely met someone who is not only a technical genius on a strong growing path, but also spends a great deal of her own time inspiring internal and external people to become scientists and engineers.”
PNAA is proud to recognize Missy Felix with its 2023 Rising Star Award.
PNAA's Women in Aerospace Woman of the Year Award
2023 Winner Deana Harris
PNAA’s Woman of the Year Award recognizes a woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership & success over several years.
PNAA’s WIA Woman of the Year Award recognizes a woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and success over several years. The nominee will have a track record of long-term achievements, professional growth, and community involvement and has distinguished herself in her organization, her profession, and her community. This woman is known for her positive influence and competent abilities. The Nominee epitomizes the values for which PNAA stands and represents the best of who we are as women and as leaders.
Deana Harris embodies the definition of PNAA’s Woman of the Year. In 1988, Deana and her husband, Mark, founded CNC Machine Services, Inc, a company that provides manufacturing solutions with an emphasis on advanced technology. For the past 35 years, Deana has been a leader, role model and mentor to all that work at CNC. As owner and Vice-President, Deana works closely with every employee in every department of the company. She describes her role at CNC as a unique one, stating “I am not an engineer creating outside-the-box aerospace manufacturing solutions. I am not a service technician keeping the manufacturing equipment operational to make parts. I am not a technology innovator that our company is so well known for. I take great pride in my behind-the-scenes role. I am grateful to play a role in hearing ideas, empowering execution of those ideas, and facilitating success for our CNC team and our customers.”
Her employees wholeheartedly agree with Deana’s far-reaching impact within the company. Kendra Rider, CNC’s Accounting/HR Manager states “Deana always makes everyone feel like we are part of her family. We all feel very fortunate and blessed to have someone like her in our lives. Deana is always there for everyone no matter the time or day. She wears her heart on her sleeve and will help in any way she can. She is very hands on with the company and is someone that wears many hats. Deana is very compassionate in everything that she touches.” CNC’s Sales Engineer, John Landau, comments “I have been with the company for five years but have worked with CNC Machine Service for 25 years as a customer. Deana brings a certain amount of integrity to our industry as a shop owner and shop manager that is invaluable. As an active member in our community, working alongside Deana brings such an abundance of knowledge, trust, and partnership to our local industry, which equals success.”
Outside of CNC Machine Services, Deana tirelessly gives her time and energy to organizations and causes that are meaningful to her. She gives back to the manufacturing and aerospace community by volunteering for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS), Women in Manufacturing, PNAA’s Women in Aerospace, I-90 Aerospace and more. She partnered with WATR Center to develop robotics and machine tool repair educational programs.
Deana is also deeply committed to inclusivity and helping individuals affected by disabilities. She devotes her time, her heart, and her soul to Little People of America. Within the Puget Sound Chapter of Little People of America, Deana has been the Fundraising/Event Coordinator since 2013 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2014. This past year, her efforts helped raise over forty-thousand dollars for dwarfism awareness. On a national level, Deana serves on the Advocacy Committee and the Fundraising Committee. In 2022, Deana was honored with Little People of America’s Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, Deana served on the Washington State Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment from 2020 to 2022 and was responsible for CAMPS 2022 Conference breakout session that focused on solving workforce solutions by practicing inclusivity.
PNAA is proud to award Deana its 2023 Woman of the Year Award.
PNAA's Technical Advancement Award
2021 Winner Xemelgo
PNAA’s Technical Advancement Award honors a business in the aerospace community that has shown leadership in helping companies to overcome technical challenges in the aerospace industry.
PNAA’s Aerospace Technical Advancement Award honors a business in the aerospace community that have shown leadership in helping other companies in the industry overcome technical challenges.
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Company of the Year
Executive of the Year2023: Mark Behrends
2022: Tom Brosius
2021: Frank Nichols
2020: Cindy Watson
2019: Daniele Cagnatel