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Episode no.3

Unlocking The Skies with Stanley Kennedy Jr.

Hosted by Bryan Taylor and Pat Linden

Podcast details

Have you ever gazed at the night sky and wondered what it takes to reach for the stars? To transcend the bounds of our terrestrial home and venture into the cosmic unknown? Stanley Kennedy Jr. did just that, and his remarkable journey from a wide-eyed dreamer to an aerospace titan is a testament to the boundless potential of human ambition and ingenuity.

In this episode, Stanley Kennedy Jr., a veteran in the aerospace industry, shares his journey from being inspired by the Apollo 16 lunar launch as a child to founding Oakman Aerospace. He discusses the importance of teamwork, customer feedback, and financial prudence in running a successful business. He also shares his experience selling Oakman Aerospace to Red Wire, highlighting the importance of finding a middle ground in negotiations. The episode concludes with a personal anecdote about the company logo, which Stanley has tattooed on his arm.

Stanley’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and partnership. I hope his story inspires you as much as it inspired us. Tune in to the full episode here to hear more about Stanley’s incredible journey in the aerospace industry.

What We Discuss

  • [00:00:26] – Meet Stanley Kennedy
  • [00:02:16] – Journey to Oakman Aerospace
  • [00:04:04] – Partnership and founding Oakman Aerospace
  • [00:11:36] – The importance of customer acquisition
  • [00:13:46] – The value of preparedness and experience in entrepreneurship
  • [00:15:57] – The significance of customer feedback and communication
  • [00:25:51] – Hiring strategies and team dynamics
  • [00:33:57] – The dark days and financial resilience
  • [00:37:06] – The cause of the downward spike
  • [00:38:45] -Transition to software and recurring revenue
  • [00:46:21] – Reasonable negotiations and good buyer-seller relationship
  • [00:52:07] – The future of commercial space exploration
  • [00:54:52] – Resilience and bouncing back from failure
  • [01:00:29] – The importance of mentors and support structures

Notable Quotes

  • [00:12:39] – “I think it’s always better to be lucky than smart. I think preparedness brings you luck, and puts you in a position for luck. I truly believe that if you really work hard and you take good care of people, in the end, things will come your way.” – Stanley
  • [00:23:50] – “You have to understand everybody in your organization as well as everybody that is either providing the stakeholders, the suppliers, the customers, and all of those things. And so, again, I really believe you have to make sure you’re communicating to the way that they’re hearing you, not the way you think you’re talking to them. That’s really thoughtful.” – Stanley
  • [00:37:24] – “You can have some ebb and flow in those lines that don’t necessarily mortally wound the overall endeavor.” – Stanley

Our Guest

Stanley O. Kennedy, Jr. is a part-time Aerospace Consultant at OTMV Texas and the Chief BBQ Master at the O&K Ranch in Llano, TX. With 36 years of hands-on experience in Aerospace Engineering, he has contributed to heavy-lift launch vehicles, spacecraft programs, and ground systems for government and commercial clients. Stanley holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University and an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado. He is an active member of AIAA, the AIAA/SmallSat Frank J. Redd Student Competition Technical Chairman, and has served on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Industry Trade Advisory Council on Aerospace.

Resources and Links


By Chairman of Space Force Cadet Corps, Aerospace Consultant at MTMV Texas, and Chief BBQ Master at O&K Ranch

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By Chairman of Space Force Cadet Corps, Aerospace Consultant at MTMV Texas, and Chief BBQ Master at O&K Ranch

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