Today, on March 11, 2022, Nikki Malcom was named as the 32nd recipient of the AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award as part of AeroTime’s Women in Aviation Campaign.
Nikki was interviewed by the AeroTime team in September 2021 as part of a ‘six-month’ special for our ‘Women in Aviation’ campaign. During the interview Nikki shared her career experiences in the aerospace and defense sector, which span over two decades. Her work has been focused on introducing people in the industry to new technologies, supporting scholarship programs and inspiring younger generations to participate in STEM programs. She also explained her work to help diversify aviation businesses and their supply chains.
Nikki is the CEO & Executive Director of Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), a non-profit organization based just outside of Seattle, Washington, that brings together a coalition of aerospace companies serving North America’s largest commercial aerospace manufacturing market, which is centered around The Boeing Company. The organization also connects leaders from around the world and businesses within the aerospace supply chain by hosting several annual conferences, workshops, and networking opportunities.
She is also a sales coach and the President of NFM Enterprises, a firm she founded in October 2020, which represents and supports multiple companies in the aerospace and defense industry.
Nikki says: “Anybody that’s worked in aerospace for a long time will say it’s like a vacuum. It just sucks you in, and you can try to leave, but you’ll get pulled back into it.”
As the CEO & Executive Director of PNAA Nikki says: “We’re constantly trying to introduce our membership and the people in the northwest to the new technologies that are coming out of the industry. We also have a scholarship program that we’re really proud of. We get donations for [that] every year and are able to give scholarships to local students to attend aviation-themed or aviation-related colleges.”
In addition to the scholarship programs, the organization participates in STEM projects and donates resources to STEM projects for younger students to help inspire younger generations to participate in STEM programs.
Through her involvement in these projects, Nikki hopes to broaden a widely held perception of there being limited roles and careers that can be pursed in the industry. She also advocates for the industry to become more welcoming and more inclusive.
Nikki says: “Historically, we’re a very traditional industry and that, from my perspective, has been a barrier to people coming into the industry. I think that there is so much that people don’t know exists in aerospace and some of those jobs are exciting and really challenging and rewarding. I’m on a mission to change that perception, [not just] saying ‘you have to be an engineer’…, because it doesn’t all look the same.”
A current focus of Nikki’s is the assembly of a team of women from different roles across the industry who will visit schools and talk to young girls about aerospace and the various jobs available in the sector. They will attempt to change the perception that there is one direct path into the industry.
Nikki explains: “The intent [behind NFM Enterprises] was that companies could have somebody [who possessed] the breadth and depth of experience in sales of over 20 years [but] not have to necessarily pay the full amount that they would [usually have to] pay. So, helping support [businesses to] get through this, and also helping diversify their business because we’re so heavily dependent on one OEM here. [Also] trying to help diversify their businesses just for the long-term success of their supply chain.”
She continues: “COVID-19 made us uncomfortable, and you can make change when you’re uncomfortable. You can make change for the better or for the worst, but you can also see it as an opportunity to make things different.
“Multiple people ask me, ‘what are you doing starting your business in the middle of a pandemic?’ and I say: ‘I’m already uncomfortable. So, I might as well be uncomfortable pursuing something that I want, rather than just sitting here waiting for something to happen. Either way, I’m uncomfortable. So, I’m going to choose my discomfort.’ And so, I think that having started my career so young, I became adaptable to change really easily.”
You can watch the full interview with Nikki here:
Presenting Nikki with the award, Richard Stephenson, Chief Executive and Editor in Chief of AeroTime, said: “Nikki has spent years encouraging people to pursue a career in aviation and is no doubt the reason behind many decisions to explore a career in our industry. Mentoring, career development, supporting STEM projects, scholarships are just a few of the areas Nikki cares passionately about and her energy and determination is inspirational. We have no doubt that she belongs in the Club of AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award recipients.”
Nikki Malcom AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award Citation:
In recognition of her dedication and commitment to the aerospace and defense sector; for connecting the industry; for supporting people in aviation through scholarship programs; for promoting aviation careers and advocating inclusion across the industry; for her encouragement and efforts to support STEM projects for young students and inspire the next generations. The AeroTime Global Executive Committee recognises the positive influence of these efforts and the significance of their impact on the aviation industry and its people, both today and into the future.