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Aerospace group finally has a pilot

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By Michelle Dunlop
Herald Writer
  • Melanie Jordan

    Melanie Jordan

  • Visitors at the Paris Air Show in Paris in 2011.

    Remy de la Mauviniere / The Associated Press

    Visitors at the Paris Air Show in Paris in 2011.

One of the region's best-known aerospace groups has a new face to represent it at the Paris Air Show later this month.
A longstanding presence in Washington, the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance named Melanie Jordan as the organization's executive director in February at its annual conference. PNAA previously had just a board of directors and lacked a focal.
"It was time for PNAA to have a face, a point of contact," Jordan said.
Jordan, who's a pilot, calls herself a "seasoned aviation enthusiast," having worked in the industry for four decades. She served on PNAA's board since 2007. Settling into her new role, Jordan recently talked about what distinguishes PNAA, which represents more than 700 companies in the region.
"We're the go-to organization for aerospace companies, lawmakers and anyone seeking information about the industry," she said.
In recent years, jetmakers have boosted production and competition among suppliers -- as well as regions. Here in Washington, there has been an effort to align education and workforce training to support the industry's needs.
"It's an exciting time in aerospace manufacturing," Jordan said.
Jordan's goals for PNAA in the coming years include growing the association's annual conference, increasing PNAA membership and continuing to build relationships with other aerospace organizations, regionally and internationally.
PNAA's annual conference has grown significantly over the past few years, drawing an increasingly international audience. The three-day event features speakers from jetmakers like Boeing, Airbus and Embraer. It also connects small and medium-sized companies with each other and with large suppliers. Notable analysts like Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group and Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co. also provide perspectives on the industry.
Jordan anticipates the conference will be "more successful than ever" when it's held Feb. 4-6 next year in Lynnwood.
Part of PNAA's role has been working with other organizations, including the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, Washington's Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee and several aerospace coalitions in Canada. It's in that spirit that Jordan will represent PNAA in Paris, where she'll meet with the French chamber of commerce to share information about their respective aerospace clusters.
"As you collaborate with these other organizations, your level of visibility goes up," she said.
After landing her first job in aviation after high school, Jordan, who lives in Renton, has been "absolutely hooked on aviation," she said. She helped create the Future of Flight Foundation, which with Snohomish County and Boeing created the aviation center in Mukilteo. The Foundation also oversees several education programs, including a public event Saturday featuring NASA astronaut Mike Foreman.
For more about PNAA and its upcoming events, visit

Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3454;



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