Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center’s new CEO reveals first-year goal

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Getting a former top executive for one of the largest defense companies in the U.S. to lead a 100,000-square-foot high-tech facility in Osceola was a pretty smart move. And already, that decision is paying off.

Chester Kennedy, former vice president and chief engineer for training and solutions at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Training business in Orlando, was tapped as the new CEO of the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research Center — the organization that will manage the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Osceola.

While construction of the $75 million facility is set to be completed by first-quarter 2017, Kennedy already is busy working on his first-year goal of getting dozens of companies signed up for the consortium — a task that may not be so daunting, thanks to his 30 years of experience at Lockheed Martin.