Tennessee State Seal
Sky's the Limit for Aviation Businesses in Tennessee
(Published: June 3, 2013)

Terry Mullins, the chief executive officer of Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering, Inc., has a pretty simple business philosophy:

"We just go after where the money is. We're able to pick and choose which markets are hot."

While the philosophy may be simple, the services the company provides are anything but. Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering designs and builds equipment used on some of the world's most complex machinery - everything from submarines to the International Space Station.

Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering is one of the businesses highlighted this month in the Secretary of State's Tennessee Business Spotlight. This month's theme focuses on businesses with connections to the aviation industry.

Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering does aviation work, including manufacturing parts for Apache helicopters used by the military, but the company serves many other high-tech clients as well.

Mullins' father and two other men founded the company in 1962, with plans to provide equipment for Department of Energy projects in the Oak Ridge area. Since then, the company has branched into numerous other areas, including aerospace and the nuclear power industry.

Mullins said there are many reasons his company has chosen Tennessee as its headquarters. Central location, proximity to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tennessee's status as a right-to-work state are all pluses. So, too, is the region's climate and its mountains and lakes.

"We sell this community to our customers as a great destination," Mullins said. "A lot of our customers come here on vacation. We have it just about perfect."

Tennessee Business Spotlight is a feature on the Secretary of State's web site that showcases some of the state's businesses that create jobs, produce quality products and give back to their local communities. People visiting the Tennessee Business Spotlight web page can learn about the selected companies' goods and services, operations, employment figures, photos and links to web and social media sites that can provide additional information.

"Tennesseans should be proud that our state has so many fine companies involved in the aviation industry," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "These companies produce high-paying jobs that have a positive impact on our local economies. These businesses are essential for Tennessee to compete in a global economy."

In addition to Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering, the other featured companies this month are:

To visit Tennessee Business Spotlight, go to www.spotlight.tnsos.net.

To nominate a company to be recognized in Tennessee Business Spotlight, please visit the web page and click the "Submit a Business" link or call (615) 253-8800.