The Oklahoma Defense Industry Association (ODIA) officially launched this morning, aligning itself to be the premier–and only–defense association in the state. The ODIA aims to be the trusted leader and representative voice of Oklahoma’s defense industry, military installations, and national security interests in the state and Washington, D.C.
“We are thrilled to bring ODIA to Oklahoma. With our rapidly growing defense community, the need for organization and advocacy has become more apparent than ever,” said Robert Cox, ODIA chairman. “Through the leadership of ODIA, we have the potential to tell the story of Oklahoma’s long-standing history in the defense arena and set up the state for major growth.”
ODIA focuses on three key pillars:
“At ODIA, we believe Oklahoma’s defense industry thrives because of our communities, schools, financial institutions, and universities,” said Cox. “We are proud to have a strong, diverse group of founding members, and we are looking forward to welcoming new members to the association with our wide range of membership options.”
Founding ODIA members include:
Additionally, both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma have signed on as Advisory members for ODIA.
“Oklahoma not only has a proud legacy in aerospace and aviation, but this sector also forms the backbone of Oklahoma’s high-tech economy. While Oklahoma’s aerospace sector is diverse, defense plays a dominant role and as such needs strong partnerships to provide a voice in the state. OSU’s aerospace engineering and aviation programs are excited to help support the growth in this critical industry by being a part of ODIA,” said Dr. Jamey Jacob, Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at Oklahoma State University.
ODIA members will have the opportunity to collaborate with Oklahoma policymakers, industry leaders, and academia. We seek to create a favorable policy environment for the state’s defense industry while expanding university research opportunities, enhancing the education system, developing the workforce, and improving our state’s overall quality of life.
“ODIA is about growing an ecosystem where defense installations, industry, workforce, and research institutions can prosper together. The opportunities are vast, and we’re only getting started,” said Rusty Appleton, ODIA Executive Director.
The executive leadership team includes Robert Cox, Aviation Training and Consulting, Chairman; Rick Nagel, Acorn Growth Companies, Vice Chairman; Michael Morford, Sustainment Tech, Secretary; and Mark Brace, BancFirst, Treasurer.
About ODIA: The Oklahoma Defense Industry Association is a 501(c)(6) trade association founded to educate and foster cooperation to improve Oklahoma’s defense industry. The ODIA membership comprises corporate and individual members among Oklahoma’s defense industry contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers. ODIA is the only organization in Oklahoma committed to promoting those that serve the defense mission of every branch of the military and intelligence services.
Chairman: Robert Cox – Aviation Training Consulting
Government Affairs: Brian Hackler – Cornerstone Government Affairs
Executive Director: Rusty Appleton – GR Pro