HONESDALE—Local veteran-owned defense contracting company Kitty Hawk Technologies held a celebration last Wednesday, May 30, commemorating its recent reception of the highly sought International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 Certification through funding and aid from the Northeast Pennsylvania Defense Transition Partnership (DTP).
The ISO certification is a quality assurance and quality management accreditation which allows the company greater access to contracts through demonstration of its merit as a company.
“When I started this company five years ago, we had two goals,” said David Suhosky, President of Kitty Hawk Technologies, at Wednesday's celebration.
“We really wanted to continue to support the fleet and the deployed forces, primarily interested in defense ...” and “we wanted to provide an opportunity for people to work in a dynamic and challenging environment.”
Suhosky continued, noting that it becomes necessary over time to develop tools to not only maintain quality occupational practices, but also to demonstrate that to potential high-profile clients both of which come through with the ISO certification.
“Three months after we got certification, we reached out to a company in Huntsville and we are now manufacturing materials that are for NASA, hospitals, nuclear reactors ... and even race cars,” said the President.
“Not only did it help our processes, it signified to our competitors, our customers, and our colleagues that we're an enduring company.”
Kitty Hawk was able to obtain over $21,000 through DTP funding to achieve the necessary requirements for the certification.
Combining the resources of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA Alliance), the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), The University of Scranton and Wilkes University Small Business Development Centers and members of the Northeast Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) Network, the DTP looks to bolster economic development in the region by helping businesses acquire federal dollars for developmental projects.
It is managed by the stated Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Jeffrey Box, President & CEO of NEPA Alliance noted last Wednesday in the three years since the DTP has been formed, it has acquired over $3 million in federal grant funding for the region, assisted over 100 companies and completed over 40 market diversification plans.
Noting the significance of the accreditation, Dale Parmenteri, Vice President of NEPIRC, stated, “ISO certifications are becoming very critical to companies not only in the department of defense industry but also in any industry.”
He explained the certification used to only be a confirmation of quality assurance in produced materials but now also functions as a risk assessment tool for companies who contract with recipients.
“This is not an easy process,” said Parmenteri, noting it takes between six and nine months to complete the necessary requirements for certification.
“For [Kitty Hawk] to go through this, not only is it a major accomplishment, when it comes to major manufacturing companies around the world that ISO certification means an awful lot,” he said.
Acknowledging the behind-the-scenes work that went into meeting all the requirements for the ISO 9001 and the general day to day operations of Kitty Hawk, Suhosky commended his staff stating, “I would put my back office staff up against any of the major companies that I work for that I've had to deal with. They are supremely competent and phenomenally aggressive and moving forward in everything that they do.”
Specifically, Suhosky lauded the efforts of Meagan Brennan to whom the responsibility of meeting the requirements was handed.
“Meagan took this and drove it to completion and just did a phenomenal job,” he said.
Suhosky also commended Stanton Pratt for his efforts in developing Kitty Hawk's Hub-Zone certification, helping drive the area's economy in myriad ways including the establishment of Auto Express Detailing.
Speaking of the Hub-zone certification, Suhosky stated, “It's hard to get going and it's hard to keep going and Stan has done a phenomenal job at making that happen.”
Congratulating Kitty Hawk for its accomplishment, Senator Lisa Baker stated “Good leaders lead, but great leaders inspire. Thank you for being great leaders and having inspired your staff...When you inspire leadership from the top, good things happen.”
Also commending Kitty Hawk, Representative Jon Fritz stated the business' success is a testament that Honesdale carries with it “a very evident spirit of business and success. And it's that entrepreneurial spirit that is the backbone of our community, but as well the Commonwealth and our country.”