December 5, 2022
Elvis arrived in a sequined jumpsuit, and Marilyn wore that legendary white dress while singing “Happy Anniversary, Mr. President” to Jarid King, and “Happy Birthday” to his father and founder, Jerry King.
Longtime King Aerospace team members came to the party, too, as did team members executing our mission from distant Southcom and Africom military sites. BBJ operators and many other customers flew in for the occasion.
They were among 250 employees, friends, advisers, customers, and supporters – all part of our extended King family – who gathered Oct. 28 in Dallas to help us mark 30 years in business with an evening of fine food, music, dancing, and catching up.
The event celebrated more than a milestone, though, as we honored those we are fortunate to serve and our commitment to God, Country and Family. Fittingly, the night began with a U.S. Marine color guard presenting Old Glory.
Soon after, Chairman Jerry King, in his legendary heart outfit, shared his heartful thanks to team members, customers, friends and others present. Later in the evening, clad in sparkling suit and toupee, he sang duets of “My Girl” and “Wake Up Little Susie” with Vice President Keith Weaver helping carry the tunes.
A Song of Achievement
And though Elvis and Marilyn weren’t the real thing, the milestone being celebrated certainly is. The family-owned company founded on faith by Jerry King in 1992 has defied all the ugly statistics about the survival of new businesses. Begun with a loan and a vision, King Aerospace now has 400-plus employees, major maintenance and modification facilities in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and dozens of outposts around the globe.
“The party was awesome; there were lots of good people there,” says Jerry King, mentioning that he’s known some partygoers since the 1970s and 1980s, back before the company existed.
Friends, New and Old
Weaver, a team member since 1999, says it “blew his doors off” to see people he hadn’t seen in ages, like an early financial adviser and a longtime company banker. That homecoming aspect also struck Jarid King.
“The biggest thing was getting to celebrate with past and current team members, along with friends who have supported King Aerospace and our family before there even was a company,” Jarid King says. “It was great getting to visit with people from each site and their significant other. Hearing how King Aerospace has impacted their lives reinforces why we must live up to our Cornerstone Principles and commitments.”
A King Aerospace A&P mechanic represented his overseas Southcom site’s representative at the event, answering the company’s call for workers, not just managers, to attend. “I enjoyed the fact that I was invited and flown up there. They took really good care of me,” he says of his first visit to the company’s home base.
He’s encountered Jerry King in his duties but never seen him in action like this – wearing the heart, singing duets, playing washtub in a King family band onstage. It was quite the spectacle and together with meeting new people, earned a thumbs-up review from someone “in the trenches.”
“It wasn’t a have-to type of party to me. It didn’t feel like work – it was fun,” he says.