Jim Corning

Novakinetics Aerosystems, INC

The summer he turned 16, Jim Corning motorcycled from his native Oakland, CA to the East Coast and back. In addition to the inherent life lessons that accompany such a journey, the trip also provided an important turning point – while in Boston, friends of relatives convinced Jim to tour the campus at MIT. Ultimately, he graduated from that university with a BS in mechanical engineering and a focus on aeronautics, vehicle design, economics and energy (the 1973 oil crisis hit while Jim was at MIT.) After working for ARCO Oil & Gas, Gearhart Industries, General Dynamics and the FAA, Jim ventured into self-employment, first as a consulting design engineer, then by starting his own business in Fort Worth, Texas, to manufacture fiberglass and composites for three of his consulting clients. The company, now called Novakinetics Aerosystems Inc., moved to Flagstaff in 2001. It spun off another company specializing in bulletproof armor product for military aircraft, Kinetic Defense Mfg. Building on his interests in alternative energy sources and US energy independence, Jim founded a solar and wind energy installation company, Prometheus Renewables. That has subsequently spun off Plug and Play Solar Kits, which sells individual solar panels that can simply be plugged into a wall outlet to put renewable energy into a home. Together, the four companies employ about 25 people.