Jerry Tarnacki has been appointed as the senior vice president of the company's recently formed Space Business Unit. In his new role, Tarnacki will report directly to Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. He will oversee all NASA programs, defense and commercial launch systems, advanced space and launch strategy programs, and in-space propulsion system programs supported by sites throughout the country, and will be based out of the company's West Palm Beach, Florida, facility.
Tarnacki first joined Aerojet Rocketdyne in December 2015 as vice president of Quality and Mission Assurance. Over the past 14 months, he has led efforts to incorporate a new operating system and to improve the organization.
Prior to joining Aerojet Rocketdyne, Tarnacki garnered more than 30 years of diverse leadership experience in the aerospace and defense industry through the US Air Force, General Electric Aircraft Engines, and United Technologies Corporation's Pratt & Whitney division, where he held four different vice president positions, including leading a multi-billion dollar Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business which consisted of 18 plants in eight countries.
Tarnacki's career began as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force (USAF), working as program manager for the Rocketdyne ATLAS MA-3 engine overhaul program and launch services contract at the Los Angeles Air Force Station, now known as the Space and Missile Systems Center. While there, he received the USAF Roland Obenland Engineering Memorial Award for top engineering performance. Tarnacki served two tours for the USAF, continued his commitment in the Air Force Reserve, and retired in 2002 as a lieutenant colonel.
Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake stated, "After conducting an extensive internal and external search, I couldn't be more pleased to name Jerry to this key leadership role for our company. Jerry's impressive background includes a unique variety of leadership positions in the areas of MRO, Manufacturing; Quality; Supply Chain; Environmental, Health & Safety; and Continuous Improvement. On top of that, he's a proven team leader and strategist who is laser-focused on customer satisfaction—the perfect person to lead our Space organization in this exciting and pivotal time in Aerojet Rocketdyne's legacy."