I love being happy and saying “Happy X” to whoever is due a statement like, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, Happy Thanksgiving… heck, the only time I don’t say “Happy” for a holiday or celebration, is when I say “Merry” Christmas! Last November I blogged about Top 3 Reasons to be Thankful at Thanksgiving and now that it’s a new year, I want to share with you Happy Birthdays coming up in 2016.
Number 1: Happy 23rd Birthday InterConnect Wiring! Today is InterConnect’s birthday and I cannot believe how time flies! When we started InterConnect, we were in one small room in a house with two old computers and that’s about all. We booked our first F-16 wiring harness contract a few months later from Hill Air Force Base (OO-ALC) and said, “we need to move into a manufacturing building that can handle the production of harnesses and cockpit panels… and hire an assembler!” Well, we did just that. We moved into a 5,500 square foot facility and started manufacturing F-16 harnesses then two years later started assembling Mid Life Update (MLU) F-16 harnesses for Lockheed Martin as well as cockpit panel, relay panels, and fairing assemblies for their F-16 production line. In 1998 we moved from our 2nd location to a 28,000 square foot manufacturing plant down the road to assemble not only more F-16 electrical products, but electrical items for the F-22, U-2 and C-130. In 2003 we launched into the rotary wing market by making UH-60 wiring harnesses and expanded our capabilities by going into various countries to perform Complete Aircraft Rewire of Military Fighter Jets. We were very successful with our Falcon Wire Program, removing many old, electrical wiring harnesses from an F-16 and replacing it with new electrical harnesses that we manufactured in the USA. In addition to going into country for aircraft rewire, we also had customers fly their aircraft into the hangar we occupied and rewired their aircraft in Fort Worth, Texas. After winning the ARH-70A Electrical Harness Program from Bell Helicopter, where we provided all ship sets of wiring harnesses, we expanded our facilities even more, adding an additional 7,000 square feet. Today, we still manufacture aircraft wiring harnesses, cockpit panels, circuit breaker panels, ground support cables, and “wire up” large consoles and cabinets for the aerospace industry. After 23 short years our HAPPY customer base includes Boeing, Sikorsky, L-3, Lockheed Martin, ACT, Aero Precision, DTE, SES, BAE, ILN, Blue Aerospace, and IOMAX, as well as US and international military aircraft wiring harness and cockpit panel users.
Number 2: Happy 97th Birthday Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Just three years from your centennial! The aerospace and defense industry in the United States is a leading contributor to the world’s safety and security, global travel, beyond earth exploration and domestic economy. The industry had its formal beginnings in America when the first U.S. Secretary of War commissioned six naval frigates for the U.S. Navy in 1794. In the following two centuries the Wright Brothers pioneered the first powered flight, U.S. aviators set records in transcontinental flights, and America broke the sound barrier and also landed a man on the Moon. Today, the aerospace and defense industry in the United States employs more than one million workers across all 50 states. It is also the nation’s largest net exporter and one of the biggest contributors to the annual U.S. GDP. The Aerospace Industries Association, founded in 1919 only a few years after the birth of flight, is the premier trade association representing major aerospace and defense manufacturers and suppliers in the United States. As a member of the AIA Supplier Management Council (SMC) Executive Committee, I can honestly say this association is well worth the time and the money for any company, large or small. Our Spring AIA SMC Conference will be held in Cincinnati, hosted by GE Aviation, March 15th – March 17th. Then, we move to warmer ground in my hometown for our AIA SMC Summer Conference. It will be in June hosted by one of my largest customers, Lockheed Martin, in Fort Worth, Texas. For the AIA SMC Fall Conference, we move west to Tucson, where our friends at Raytheon will host the conference September 20th through September 22nd. Here is AIA’s website. Please consider joining this association.
Number 3: Happy 59th Birthday Quad-A! The Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA or Quad-A) was formed in early 1957 by a small group of senior aviation officers in the active Army, the Reserve Forces of the U.S. Army and industry. The mission of the AAAA is to support the United States Army Aviation Soldier and Family. As a member of the AAAA North Texas Chapter (NTC) Executive Board over the last 6 years, I have had the pleasure to support QUAD-A as the VP/Secretary. This has truly been an honor. One of the marvelous things that the AAAA North Texas Chapter did in 2015 was raising enough money through quarterly events to support fourteen (14) scholarships. These scholarship recipients are family members of QUAD-A Members including children and grandchildren of current and retired soldiers. I can’t tell you how much InterConnect Wiring and I appreciate our fighting men and women in the Army as well as QUAD-A. I am sad to say that I will be relinquishing my board position this year. I only do this to allow others to serve and hold this seat as I have had the distinct honor to since 2010.
Number 4: Happy 104th Birthday Lockheed Martin! Over one hundred years ago Glenn Martin established the Glenn L. Martin Company in Los Angeles, after building his first plane in a rented church, where he took a leap of faith on his risky but innovative new aircraft design at the urging of none other than Orville Wright. Four months later and four hundred miles away, Allan and Malcolm Lockheed founded the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company, later renamed the Lockheed Aircraft Company. The Lockheed brothers were talented mechanics who set up shop out of a garage, constructing seaplanes that would shatter speed and distance records for overwater flights. A church and a garage. Wow. The gift that Martin and the Lockheed brothers shared was a unique ability to look past the obstacles of today to the promise of a brighter tomorrow. And they knew – as we’ve known for 100 years – that innovation, performance and purpose were the keys to accelerating that tomorrow. Lockheed Martin was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. A very exciting addition last year (2015) was Lockheed Martin’s purchase of the Sikorsky Aircraft Company at a cost of $7.1 billion. Happy Birthday Lockheed Martin and congratulations on acquiring one of our favorite customers, Sikorsky! We love the fact that we make H-92, S-76, S-92, and UH-60 harnesses for Sikorsky and look forward to making the Air Force’s Combat Rescue Helicopter electrical wiring harnesses and the Marine’s CH-53K harnesses and panels in the near future.
Number 5: Happy 29th Birthday Me! Okay so I may not really be 29, but I do share the same birthday as my company, InterConnect Wiring: January 12th. Unfortunately for my husband and son, I have to be in Washington D.C. on my birthday this year but I am glad I will be spending it with my fellow AIA SMC friends from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell, L-3, BAE, and Northrop Grumman. And Happy Birthday to everyone this year! This is going to be a fantastic year!