A Cause for Celebration

What a year this has been with challenges of the pandemic, a new civil rights movement, a presidential election and much more. Before we wash 2020 away, let’s reflect on the larger picture and some of the successful strides that we have made as a Center.

Top Work Places 2020 – The Oklahoman

First – congratulations to everyone for earning us a spot in being one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces according to The Oklahoman and Energage! Earning a Top Workplace spot is quite an achievement and is certainly something to be celebrated. According to Jerry Wagner of The Oklahoman, "It is very rare that an organization that enters the competition for the first time and earns a placement, as it usually takes about 3 years to hit your stride." It was exciting to be part of a watch party as they revealed the Top Places to Work in Oklahoma. The Aeronautical Center has such a diverse, professional workforce filled with inspiring expertise and passionate dedication. You couldn’t make us any prouder.

This year, we also launched MMAC’s quarterly virtual Tech Talks, where we deliver a glimpse of today’s technologies, highlighting current trends and the ways in which they impact our lives. These events have been quite successful and we’re looking forward to hosting another one after the first of the year. With the global health crisis, everyone was forced to quickly transition to some form of online platform to conduct business. Teams at the FAA Academy demonstrated admirable commitment, never skipping a beat in using virtual training to keep their workflow going. Even during some formidable Oklahoma ice storms, the team’s determination had them teaching from the front seat of their vehicles using a Wi-Fi capable hot spot. Now that is innovation and commitment!

The Enterprise Services Center has demonstrated tremendous cost savings throughout the year, working with 37 different federal customers. They have created more cost and process efficiencies, and provided customer rebates, all while maintaining high customer satisfaction rates on surveys. This is more great news to celebrate!

Congratulations to several of our employees for receiving national recognition in some of our recent award programs like the National Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees with Disabilities’ (NCFAED) Keller-Sullivan Awards and the 53rd Annual Secretary’s Awards Ceremony. You all represent champion public servants and we appreciate your efforts and the positive recognition that you bring to the Center.

This year we were so glad that we could organize and host the first Center-wide virtual Town Hall meeting. We received many positive responses about the event and we are likely to continue these in the future. In a statement made by Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish American Industrialist and Philanthropist, "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." We are eager to see what we can accomplish with the synergy and unity of the Center coming together.

We have demonstrated time and again, that Aeronautical Center employees are trailblazers. We’re not afraid to take calculated risks, innovate, and try new things. This year, with permission from the Office of Personnel Management, the Center made another unprecedented move. We hosted our first ever virtual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) telethon! The event drew the interest of 126 virtual participants and the Center is now in a friendly competition with Tinker Air Force Base for having the highest percentage of employees donating to their favorite causes. If you want to see the challenge first-hand, be sure to check out Kevin’s video conversation with Colonel Filcek who is the 72nd Air Base Wing Commander. The MMAC vs. Tinker Challenge ends December 11th but the CFC campaign runs until December 18th. Please consider donating any amount, as many organizations desperately need your help right now.

Just recently, we had some of our employees who are STEM Outreach representatives participate in a virtual Career Expo hosted by the Choctaw Nation. The event brought over 7,500 high school students together to talk about a variety of careers, including engineering and aerospace. Whenever we can mentor, host or guide young people to take advantage of educational opportunities, it is incumbent upon us to do so, as it benefits their interests and aspirations, but it also helps the FAA in recruiting and filling the career pipeline in aerospace. Whether it’s a career fair, an internship, or a Capstone project, please consider assisting with the philanthropic career pipeline. This year, we also debuted our STEM recruitment video. Feel free to use it whenever you are promoting the Aeronautical Center and encouraging young people to consider aviation as a career field.

Thank you for your diligence in weathering these unprecedented times. We know that it is a tiresome and challenging period for many, but we will get through this together. Let’s continue to remain vigilant by wearing masks, being socially responsible with physical distancing, and washing our hands frequently. These seem like such small actions that we can make to help have a big impact in stopping the spread of this horrible virus. Let’s continue to do our part by helping one another as we can. Let’s keep joy in the season wherever we can.

Wishing you and your family well this holiday season.

Merry Christmas,

Michelle Coppedge
Director, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center

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