Aerospace industry comes to Lynnwood for PNAA conference

By Dan Catchpole Herald writer

EVERETT — More than 400 movers and shakers of the aerospace industry are converging on Lynnwood today for the 13th Annual Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference.

This year’s conference will focus on understanding the forces behind changes in the aerospace industry, a major economic sector in Snohomish County and the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee is to deliver the keynote address.

Top industry analysts and executives will offer their thoughts and forecasts for the industry at this year’s three-day conference.

Speakers include executives from the Boeing Co., Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Rolls Royce, GE and Pratt &Whitney, and industry experts such as Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group and Scott Hamilton of the Leeham Co.

Several sessions will look at what’s ahead for the military and civil aviation markets. Other sessions will unpack the supply chain to help companies better understand where their products fit in the overall picture.

The conference is the largest of its kind on the West Coast, according to a news release from the non-profit PNAA. Last year’s conference had 434 attendees representing 270 businesses from Europe, Asia and the Americas.

During the conference, PNAA will highlight some of the industry’s top performers.

Mukilteo-based Electroimpact was chosen as the aerospace company of the year for its “unique style of operation, cutting edge tooling and for bringing bold ideas to fruition,” according to the aerospace alliance.

“The company has worked to improve our industry through legislation, education, training and community service. Electroimpact’s philanthropic generosity has benefitted STEM, FIRST Robotics and the aerospace industry as a whole,” according to a PNAA release.

The company makes automated assembly equipment for customers that include the Boeing and Airbus, and it has more than 600 employees in the U.S. and abroad.

PNAA also will recognize Jon Buccola, CEO of Greenpoint Technologies, as its aerospace executive of the year. Buccola has expanded the Kirkland-based aerospace interiors manufacturer by “adding extensive engineering, certification, manufacturing and heavy maintenance capabilities,” according to the release.

Silicon Forest Electronics, based in Vancouver, has been tapped for PNAA’s Inspire Award because of its efforts to increase high school students’ exposure to educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

PNAA is recognizing two people for helping raise the aerospace industry’s standard in the Pacific Northwest with its Chairman’s Awards.

The recipients are Linda Lanham, executive director of the Aerospace Futures Alliance in Kent, and Larry Sowa of Human Strategies Consulting in Seattle.

Lanham has been an advocate for aerospace companies in Olympia, and Sowa has managed PNAA’s scholarship program.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com.