Remember back to Septembers of grade school past, when you were tasked to write the inevitable “What I did last summer” essay? Well, 82-year old Wally Funk has a whopper of a tale to tell this year. On the morning of July 20 ,Wally and her fellow crew of intrepid space travelers – billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen took off on the flight of a lifetime. Wally, an “honored guest” on the trip, trained to be an astronaut in the 1960s, but was turned down for a space flight because she was a woman. With this trip, she not only broke through that glass ceiling but became the oldest person to fly into space – and Oliver became the youngest. Bookends for a whole new chapter in the ongoing saga of the wild blue yonder.
Pioneers in their own right, the men and women who launched skyward aboard the Blue Origin New Shepard, and those on Sir Richard Branson’s six-person July 11 Virgin Galactic Unity excursion, were excited beyond words. A journey undertaken with indominable heart, mind, and spirit. Talk about a blue sky moment!
In this month’s Power Question, we asked a sampling of executives for their impressions of those ‘tourist’ flights and whether they’d be buying a ticket to space in the future. Their perspectives are both fun and fascinating.
Speaking of soaring to the heights, we’re showcasing general aviation at its best in this edition of Business View, with Airport visits to Oscoda-Wurtsmith, Evansville Regional, Brainerd Lakes Regional, and Florida’s Airglades International.
When it comes to going above and beyond, community banks do indeed go that extra mile for every customer they have the pleasure of serving. Especially notable, the teams at First City Bank, Citizens National Bank Bluffton, Farmers & Merchants Bank – Ohio, and First Fed Delta. Customer service is also paramount for Gold Heat (RV underfloor heating); Allied Alloys (metal recycling management); and Evergreen Forest Products (transportation specialists for the forestry sector).
Strength is a key descriptor and tenet for the American Foundry Society, as well as Jacksonville, Florida’s Allstate Steel Company. Flippo Construction is making great strides as an employee-owned general contractor and heavy construction powerhouse in the Maryland – DC region. While Plexos Group, a Louisiana-based consultant and IT company, is the go-to provider of critical data services for large-scale disaster recovery and response scenarios. Such a comfort to have them on hand.
The Baltimore Convention Center also played a stellar role over many months during the pandemic, as a field hospital and warehouse for essential stores of PPE. They are now looking forward to ‘slowly and safely’ opening back up as a world-class entertainment and conference venue. At the other end of the spectrum, Wild Birds Unlimited (the popular avian product franchise) offers joy from a different kind of entertainment – right in your own backyard.
Keep looking up my friends, there is much good news on the horizon… enjoy the read!
Editor in Chief
Lorie Lee Steiner