SEATTLE, WA – August 15, 2019 – Washington state’s advocacy group for aerospace suppliers and manufacturers has named a new leader. The Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA) Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Emily Wittman as President & Chief Executive Officer. Wittman will join AFA August 19 and transition to the President & CEO role August 29.
“Emily perfectly matches the qualities we were searching for in a new leader. She excels in policy at the federal, state, and local levels and has long been involved in workforce and industry development strategies to strengthen not just aerospace employers, but the communities that support them,” said John Monroe, chairman of the AFA board and executive vice president and co-founder of Everett engineering services company TMD Technical Solutions.
An experienced coalition builder, Wittman’s career has focused on growing jobs and economic opportunity for Washingtonians across the state, first with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and then with the Puget Sound Regional Council. Most recently, she led regional aerospace business attraction at Greater Seattle Partners, presenting Washington’s aerospace supercluster to industry leaders in numerous forums.
“Washington is an innovation economy and aerospace has been its driving force for more than 100 years,” said Wittman. “This is the most exciting time to be in aerospace and I am honored to work for our more than 1,400 companies in this role.”
Wittman has extensive experience working with diverse stakeholders on strategies to expand the aerospace industry and strengthen its supply chain throughout the state.
“We are excited about Emily’s proven track-record of collaborating statewide,” said Larry Krauter, CEO of Spokane International Airport. “She understands that aerospace in Washington is an ecosystem that relies on every county in the state in order to maintain its top rank for aerospace competitiveness.”
“Emily’s passion and knowledge about our industry set her apart,” said Rosemary Brester, president and CEO of Hobart Machined Products, Inc. who serves on the AFA Executive Committee and participated in the CEO search. “As both an aerospace and commercial space supplier, I look forward to her leadership in helping businesses like mine stay globally competitive.”
Wittman succeeds Kelly Maloney who is stepping down from the alliance’s top job after four years of growth in the organization’s influence in the state. Under Maloney, AFA quadrupled its membership, achieved numerous legislative victories, launched an industry job fair that attracted 1,500 attendees, raised the profile of the aerospace industry in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest through the global award-finalist LIFT magazine, and oversaw mergers with the Washington Aerospace Partnership and the Washington State Space Coalition.
The Aerospace Futures Alliance, formed in 2006, represents the 1,400+ aerospace companies in Washington state. AFA has been instrumental, individually and in partnership with other organizations, in leading impactful results for its constituents including job creation, new education and training initiatives, and a robust aerospace climate.
Emily Wittman will become President & CEO of the Aerospace Futures Alliance effective August 29, 2019. AFA is a collaboration of business and government leaders working together to ensure Washington state continues to be a thriving global leader in aerospace.
Previously, she led aerospace business attraction with Greater Seattle Partners and economic policy with Puget Sound Regional Council, implementing strategies to sustain job growth and global competitiveness while promoting a more inclusive economy for all. She is an experienced coalition builder and organized the Governor’s statewide council working to strengthen Washington’s aerospace industry. Prior, Emily served Washington communities with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, helping the federal government invest in local workforce, transportation, and economic development priorities in all corners of the state. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both political science and law, societies and justice from the University of Washington and is a 2019 Henry M. Jackson Foundation Leadership Fellow.