Mary Smith of Tulsa has been appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to serve a six-year term as District 1 commissioner on the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.
She replaces Bob Jandabeur, also of Tulsa, whose six-year term has expired.
Smith, as the vice president for economic development for the Tulsa Metro Chamber, leads the chamber’s efforts to retain and expand the region’s aerospace companies, and attract new aerospace companies that will enhance the existing aerospace cluster, including workforce development and talent attraction.
Smith hails from a district that is home to more than half of the approximately 400 aerospace companies in Oklahoma, such as American Airlines, Spirit AeroSystems, NORDAM, Bizjet, Mingo Aerospace, Southwest United Industries, First Wave and Southern Aeroparts.
Altogether, the aerospace industry provides approximately 150,000 jobs in Oklahoma, making it the state’s largest employer. It also produces an annual industrial output of $12 billion.
Smith has served on numerous boards of directors for various professional and civic organizations, including the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Tulsa Metro YMCA Board of Directors, Tulsa 99s/Women’s Pilot Organization and Airports Council International of North America. She served on several advisory boards, such as the OAA. She is a Leadership Tulsa graduate and was appointed by Gov. Henry in 2003 to the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA). She later resigned from OSIDA, citing scheduling conflicts with her job at the Airport Authority.
Smith was also a member of the 2004 Governor’s Aerospace Task Force, comprised of leaders from the aerospace industry, education and government whose role was to recommend actions that would improve the ability of Oklahoma aerospace companies to compete in the global marketplace. The Commission was the driving force behind the creation of the task force.
Smith was raised in Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University. She and her two daughters, Sara and Maggie, live in Tulsa.