April 11, 2016
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Gov. Inslee picks longtime aerospace executive John Thornquist to lead Office of Aerospace

Gov. Jay Inslee has tapped longtime engineering and manufacturing CEO John Thornquist to head the Washington Office of Aerospace. He began Tuesday as director of the agency, where he now serves as the primary point of contact for North American and international aerospace companies looking to expand their presence in Washington, where aerospace is already a $70 billion-plus part of the economy.

Thornquist brings 28 years of private sector experience to the job. He was managing director and CEO of Carbon Aerospace, an Everett-based engineering and manufacturing consulting firm specializing in carbon fiber composite structures. He co-founded engineering services company Global Aerosystems, which later became Kaman Engineering Services, where he served as director of Boeing programs. Under Thornquist’s leadership, KES earned Boeing’s supplier of the year honors in 2013.

“The aerospace sector is a major economic driver for our state, and I’m delighted to welcome John aboard in his new role,” Inslee said. “With his strong industry background, John will be a highly effective liaison between business and government as we work together to keep our state in its preeminent position as a global leader in aerospace innovation and manufacturing.”

He replaces Alex Pietsch, who left to become Washington State University’s associate vice president for industry relations.

Thornquist is a graduate of Arizona State University in mechanical engineering and earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

GeekWire and The Herald have more on the story.

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