Since Littleton-based Oakman Aerospace was named a Colorado Company to Watch in 2015, business has been soaring.
Stanley Kennedy Jr., President and Co-Founder of the small spacecraft architecture and engineering company, said that revenue has nearly doubled since last year.
“We’ve had tremendous growth since we became a Colorado Company to Watch,” Kennedy Jr. said. “And I really think that has a lot to do with the award. When you’re selected as a Colorado Company to Watch, it lends some gravitas and credence to the idea that you’re doing something right.”
In 2015, Oakman Aerospace had about 10 employees. Today, Kennedy Jr. said they are boasting 17.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but everyone on our team is very focused and dedicated to getting the job done,” Kennedy Jr. said. “Having a great team that is all pulling in the right direction makes it so much easier.”
Kennedy Jr. began his career in aerospace 30 years ago. He got his start in launch vehicle technology at Lockheed Martin and grew through time and transitions to run the Denver operations for a department called Advanced Mission Studies – Small Satellite Systems. Eventually, Kennedy, Jr. joined Comtech AeroAstro in a management role focused on Civil and International Space.
Upon the closure of Comtech AeroAstro in 2012, Kennedy Jr. took Maureen O’Brien, the chief operating officer of Comtech AeroAstro and his father, Stanley Kennedy Sr., and the three started Oakman Aerospace through an IP transfer of developed technology along with the supporting employees.
Oakman Aerospace officially began providing cutting-edge products and services for small space systems; architectures for spacecraft and satellite design; and development and mission payload and data distribution services in 2012.
“I would have never done it if we we’re forced to do it,” Kennedy Jr. said. “But I’m glad that we took that leap of faith and had enough wherewithal to keep it going for so long.”
Oakman has also expanded internationally to help develop more efficient technologies for companies abroad. Kennedy Jr. said that being able to work with people from all around the world, and making their aerospace systems better and less expensive is what he enjoys most about Oakman.
But there is one other secret to the company’s rising success – Friday Afternoon Club.
“We have a regular gathering that we call the FAC,” Kennedy Jr. said. “We close down the office, get everyone together and do everything from trying to figure out new products and services to lip sync battles. We’ll watch movie trailers or try to figure out a good crowd source funding hit, anything that comes up!
He said: “I think that really builds the team and camaraderie, but it also brings out some very unique ideas and innovations that you wouldn’t get in a traditional work environment.”