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Oklahoma is the premier location for the ever-evolving unmanned systems sector. Companies like Kratos Defense, Skydweller and Vigilant Aerospace are advancing the industry here. And key assets and test sites across the state are setting the stage for research and development, manufacturing and more. 

Meet the Oklahoma Team

Oklahoma is committed to helping your company achieve success in our state. The Oklahoma Team offers the highest quality, one-stop professional assistance to make that happen.

Hopper Smith, Brigadier General, ARNG (Ret.)
Hopper Smith, Brigadier General, ARNG (Ret.)
State Director of Aerospace + Defense
Leshia Pearson
Leshia Pearson
Deputy Director, Oklahoma ACES

AUVSI 2023 Partner Directory


Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education

Jennifer Holcomb, Events & Outreach Manager

We are embarking on a new golden age in aerospace, tipping over the precipice of epic expansion due to emerging technologies like autonomous systems, advanced manufacturing, and innovative energy. These exciting challenges are pushing commercial, federal, and academic stakeholders to come together and take flight.

With a long history of expertise and excellence in engineering, aviation and multidisciplinary collaborations, Oklahoma State University has answered this opportunity by creating the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE).

Through a robust workforce of faculty, engineers, researchers, and students, OAIRE will act as a center of gravity — driving innovation, collaboration, and connecting aerospace and aviation across the university and beyond. Our ecosystem is made of global leaders in emerging aerospace technologies. Through championing research, scholarship, and service, we will fulfill OSU’s preeminent land-grant mission and go where no land-grant has gone before.

OMADA International logo

OMADA International

John Paul Libby, Director, Marketing and Business Development

OMADA International is a manufacturer of high-performance, metallic aerostructures. Core capabilities include precision machining, complex sheet metal fabrication and assembly. OMADA operates two manufacturing facilities totaling 235,000 square feet. The Machining Center of Excellence in Oklahoma City, OK specializes in 5-axis machining of large, monolithic structures with capabilities for parts up to 75 feet in length. The Fabrication Center of Excellence in Sumner, WA specializes in titanium hot forming and forming of nickel alloys and specialty steels. Both sites have robust assembly capabilities to complement machining and fabrication.

WindShape Logo

WindShape, Inc.

Jay Shears, VP, Business Development

WindShape Inc. designs, manufactures and operates digital wind facilities – an alternative to wind tunnels – for aerodynamic and flight research and education, as well as drone certification.


Teira Cole, FISTA Strategic Operations Manager

The Fires Innovation Science and Technology Accelerator (FISTA) has invested over $25 million to date in the acquisition and renovation of a facility that is quickly establishing itself as an ecosystem of innovation and growth. FISTA’s mission is to make investments in industrial development and activities that not only supports the United States Army’s needs, technology gap fillers, and shortfalls, but also promote the laying of a foundation for ongoing high-tech job creation and economic growth in the City of Lawton and surrounding areas.

Greater Oklahoma City logo

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Brooke Hoehner, Business Development Manager

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber supports aerospace companies considering an expansion into the market as well as existing businesses to ensure all entities, new and established, are thriving and poised for growth. Home to Tinker Air Force Base which employs over 26,000 as well as FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, the aerospace industry in Greater Oklahoma City is deep-rooted and ever-growing. We would love to share the reasons why industry leaders like Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Kratos, Skydweller, Northrop Grumman and more are rapidly expanding in Greater Oklahoma City.

Tulsa Innovation Labs logo

Tulsa Innovation Labs

Daniel Plaisance, Senior Associate, AAM

Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL) is a tech-led economic development organization building innovative public-private partnerships to drive workforce development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry growth across Tulsa’s top emerging tech niches.

In 2022, TIL spearheaded the development of three projects as a part of the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility (TRAM) Cluster Build Back Better Regional Challenge application, resulting in ~$70M in funding to develop a world-class advanced mobility ecosystem in Tulsa.

TIL is seeking strategic and programmatic partners interested in designing, deploying, and scaling innovative solutions to the toughest challenges facing the UAS and AAM industries.

Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission logo

Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission

Andrea Post, Executive Assistant

The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission is the lead state agency for promotion, advocacy, and development of aviation and aerospace, ensuring the needs of commerce and communities across Oklahoma are served through the network of 108 airports in the Oklahoma Airport System and supporting the viability of the state’s second largest industry. The Commission also houses the UAS/AAM Program Office established by the Oklahoma legislature in 2021, which serves as the lead entity to help coordinate, organize, and strategically plan UAS/AAM activities on a statewide level, ensuring Oklahoma continues to lead the Country in testing, development, and integration of emerging aviation technologies.

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