Clear for landing

In its eighth year, the Oklahoma Aerospace Summit and Expo touches down in Tulsa.



The thousands of Tulsans who witnessed the city’s first foray into flight — a Fourth of July balloon ascension back in 1897 — could scarcely have imagined how important their hometown would become to the aviation and aerospace industries.

More than a century later, the arrival of the eighth annual Oklahoma Aerospace
Summit and Expo in Tulsa — June 15-18 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel — pays tribute to the city’s ongoing importance in all things aeronautical.

The four-day event is presented by the Oklahoma Aerospace Alliance, a privately funded industry association representing the more than 400 aerospace companies in the state.

MEETING CHALLENGES
This year’s summit and expo continues a lofty history. What began in 2002 as a joint effort between Rose State College and Tinker Air Force Base to address supplier and workforce challenges has grown into an annual networking and business enhancement opportunity for anyone connected with aerospace.

This year’s programming is expected to draw more than 500 attendees, including a diverse group of aerospace leaders and employees, company owners, government officials, educators and representatives of companies hoping to do business with the Oklahoma aerospace industry.

An important theme of this year’s summit is how aerospace companies of all sizes can best navigate economic turbulence.

“The summit has always carried the ‘Oklahoma: The Global Aerospace Destination’ banner,” says Mary Smith, who directs both the aerospace division of SpiritBank and the Oklahoma Aerospace Alliance. “Due to the changes and challenges that have been manifested in the world economy, a sub-theme of ‘Thriving in Today’s Economy’ is being incorporated into the agenda.

“Aerospace companies, like all Oklahoma companies, need information on how to survive and thrive in a very different and fluid economy. Consequently, breakout tracks that address funding/financing solutions and a series of business-solutions breakout sessions a
re part of the agenda.”

STATEWIDE INDUSTRY
More than 100 companies are set to exhibit at the expo. One previous exhibitor increasing its presence this year is American Airlines Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (AA-MRO), which employs almost 8,000 workers in Tulsa.

“It has become apparent that the summit and expo is a meeting place for aerospace in a statewide fashion,” says Rachel Henderson, corporate relations manager for American Airlines and OAA co-chair. “As the largest commercial maintenance facility in the world, it is our duty to do our part to promote aerospace and its importance to our state.”

This year’s summit is both the first in the series to be organized by the OAA and the first to be held outside Oklahoma City. According to Smith, the decision to locate in Tulsa was driven by the desire to more fully represent the entire state’s aerospace industry.

“Tulsa has a much larger concentration in commercial and business aerospace, as compared to Oklahoma City, which has a much bigger military MRO emphasis,” she says.


Because it is a statewide event, organizers plan to alternate the summit location between Tulsa and Oklahoma City in future years.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
More than anything, holding this year’s summit in Tulsa just makes good business sense. Almost 200 aerospace or related companies are located in the Tulsa region. Collectively, these companies employ nearly 20,000 workers.

“The multibillion-dollar economic impact is essential to the quality of life for all who live and work in the northeast part of Oklahoma,” Smith says. “Tulsa’s aerospace companies are very active in supporting much of the nonprofit world’s needs as well. Plus, non-aerospace businesses depend heavily on doing business with the region’s aerospace companies.”

René Witten definitely sees the summit as a potential economic development tool for Tulsa and surrounding areas.

As vice president and co-owner of Mingo Aerospace, a repair and manufac
turing facility in Owasso, Witten knows firsthand how difficult getting a foot in the door at some of the larger companies can be for a small business such as hers. She helped organize a “matchmaking” portion of this year’s summit — designed to provide introductory opportunities.

“OKAero Matchmaking is a segment of the summit that provides a venue for Oklahoma aerospace companies to introduce themselves and their core capabilities to many OEMs — original equipment manufacturers — and aerospace companies in Oklahoma and surrounding states,” Witten explains. “It also helps the OEMs and larger aerospace companies identify new suppliers in Oklahoma.”

Spirit Aerosystems, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Nordam, Flight Safety, Boeing, L-3 Communications/Aeromet, First Wave, Triumph Group, Tulsa Metro Chamber, Oklahoma City Chamber, the FAA and Tinker Air Force Base are some of the confirmed p
articipants in this year’s matchmaking segment.

Smith is confident that the summit will cast Tulsa in a positive light.

“In addition to raising awareness of the importance of the existing industry, economic development efforts will be enhanced as the region’s aerospace companies are showcased,” she says. “Hundreds of aerospace, government, education and training professionals, as well as non-aerospace business owners and legislators, will get a good look at what Tulsa has to offer.”

Pictured: Rachel Henderson, corporate relations manager for American Airlines and Oklahoma Aerospace Alliance co-chair; Mary Smith, OAA executive director and SpiritBank aerospace division director; Mayor Kathy Taylor; Robert Connor, Oklahoma Aerospace Institute executive director; and Fred Cleveland, vice president of base maintenance for American Airlines, at American Airlines' maintenance facility in Tulsa.   

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information about this year’s Oklahoma Aerospace Summit and Expo, visit www.okaero.com/summit_expo.

Aerospace education


One of the summit’s highlights is the second annual Aerospace Education and Training Day. Hosted by the Tulsa Technology Center’s Riverside Campus, the day’s activities are specifically designed for teachers and academic counselors.

Since retiring earlier this year, Ben Robinson, former Boeing executive and retired Air Force general, has dedicated himself to the cause of aerospace education, so he’s particularly excited about this part of the summit.

“The Aerospace Education and Training Day is the perfect opportunity to remind our educators that one out of every 10 jobs in Oklahoma is, directly or indirectly, related to aerospace,” Robinson says. “Helping our teachers help our students who, in turn, will someday help the state’s aerospace industry is the goal of the day.”

Soar into aerospace history

Eager to learn more about the history of aviation and aerospace in Oklahoma? A number of museums offer unique perspectives on the Sooner State’s long-term love affair with flight, including:

Offers an incredibly rich look at the history of Tulsa aerospace, including airport history and contributions of major companies such as Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.
Offers one of the world’s most comprehensive exhibits on the history of rocket flight.
  • Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd St., Oklahoma City; (405) 602-6664; www.omniplex.org
Includes the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame.
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October 2019

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View map »


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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
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View map »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

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Cost: $1,250

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View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
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Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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Cost: $0

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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
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Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
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Cost: $24.50-$75.00

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Sponsor: Compassion Live
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Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

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VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
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Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

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Signature Symphony at TCC celebrates the work of the late Ernie Fields, a Tulsa icon who had a career as a bandleader and trombonist. Fields’ music developed at a time when R&B, swing,...

Cost: $36 - $58

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

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The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
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Nimrod Journal will host its annual Conference for Readers and Writers on Saturday, October 19th, at The University of Tulsa. The conference will feature workshops on fiction, poetry,...

Cost: $10-70

Where:
Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S Gary Ave
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: Nimrod
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
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Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry will host its annual Conference for Readers and Writers at The University of Tulsa on October 19th, 2019.   The Conference offers the...

Cost: $10-$70

Where:
TU's Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S. Gary Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

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Willkommen to four days of Oompah (or Bavaria or Oktoberfest) in Oklahoma  with nationally known German bands, authentic European foods, arts and  crafters MarktHaus, full carnival, and fun...

Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
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Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
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Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
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The Karbach Games and Competitions Arena becomes our own center of the universe Saturday at 2:00 PM for true fans of German bier. Why? Because it is ground zero for the Linde Oktoberfest Bavarian...

Cost: $40

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 South Jackson Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: River Parks
Contact Name: Ryan Howell

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Folk Salad Radio Show celebrates its 20th anniversary with a potluck meal followed by a concert featuring Grammy-nominated singer songwriter John Fullbright and several other Tulsa musicians on...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Stone Church
4225 W. Fifth St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Folk Salad Radio Show
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Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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Join us for Nimrod Write Night, the opening event of our Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers weekend, on Friday, October 18th, at the Tulsa Historical Society, 6:30 p.m. Write Night is...

Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
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Flashes of vivid colors, laughter, dancers whirling around keeping pace with the energetic music, more laughter……this is what you will experience at Guthrie Green this Saturday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: SAPAF
Telephone: 918-665-6419
Contact Name: Mohan Kelkar
Website »

More information

Signature Symphony at TCC celebrates the work of the late Ernie Fields, a Tulsa icon who had a career as a bandleader and trombonist. Fields’ music developed at a time when R&B, swing,...

Cost: $36 - $58

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

More information

Tulsa in Harmony is a congregation of community choirs, lending their voices in one accord. They sing of their hopes and their faith and aspirations of a more unified community and a more unified...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Website »

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Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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What's New


3.06: Representing District 73 - Regina Goodwin

A conversation with the state representative about issues in her district, plus what it's like being a Democrat in the state legislature. Plus Tulsa Architect Foundation's Amanda DeCort on the Blue Dome District and new music from Count Tutu.

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Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Oct. 13

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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CLIFFDIVER on mental health, Tulsa and their new music

A Q&A with the Tulsa band that describes its sound as "Elevator Emo Pop"

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Oklahoma Best-Sellers: Oct. 6

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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Henna Roso on food insecurity and songwriting

Members of the Tulsa funk, jazz band discuss their new album and what drives them

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