From a 25,000-square-foot facility in Englewood, Colorado, Reata Engineering provides contract manufacturing solutions with an emphasis on precision machining and assembly.
Christina Collette, Director of Operations at Reata Engineering, took time out of her busy machine shop management schedule to explain how the continually growing company has advanced since becoming an NTMA member in 1999.
Reata Engineering: A Production Manufacturer with a Passion for Others
Thirty years later, Reata Engineering’s expansion-focused operation houses 11 CNC production machines and provides prototypes, tooling, production machining, and assembly to an extensive range of industries, including:
- Aviation and aerospace
- Fluid handling
- Material handling
Reata Engineering Supports Other Manufacturers with NTMA
Since its formation, Reata Engineering has grown financially and operationally every single year, becoming a natural influencer in the rapidly evolving manufacturing industry. The Reata team embraces the role wholeheartedly.
Christina credits Reata owner and founder Grady Cope with initiating the company’s involvement with NTMA. “Grady is a strong believer in associations and their role in giving back and empowering the industry,” she shares. “He’s still on NTMA’s trustees board.”
How NTMA Powers Radical, Enduring Success for Reata Engineering
“Reata’s NTMA membership connects us to shop owners and CNC business professionals across the country,” Christina says. “These are people who have been where we’ve been and can offer guidance and support whenever it’s needed.”
She values the easy access to the association’s executive committee and even NTMA president Roger Atkins himself. “They’re all equipped to guide you in the right direction, whether you have questions about purchasing a machine, your tools, the way you’re setting up parts, your hiring practices, or generally how to run a machine shop—anything you need.”
Christina credits NTMA for enabling US manufacturers to join forces on the issues affecting today’s machine shops. “We can have our voices heard and influence change,” she says.
She also speaks highly of the vendor discounts NTMA develops and maintains on behalf of its members. “You can be a small company with only 10 people, but when you join NTMA, you gain the buying power of a much larger company.”
NTMA offers support for every stage of growth
The many training solutions available through NTMA make membership beneficial to all types of manufacturing professionals. “Emerging Leaders is such a great platform for peer-to-peer conversations,” Christina says. “Yes, NTMA is great for owners and others in machine shop management, but it also benefits the front lines of a company. In the cohort, people can ask questions about their roles and get insights from others facing similar uncertainties.”
Along with group Zoom calls and in-person meetups, the Emerging Leaders cohort allows for one-on-one connections that can lead to lifelong professional and personal relationships.
NTMA creates safe spaces for connecting and learning
2023 has kept the Reata team busy with a new ERP implementation, but as the company nears the project’s final stages, Christina and others from Reata are finding enhanced value through NTMA Connect, the association’s members-only community platform.
“You’re getting help with pricing, help with knowledge and information on decisions you need to be making…” describes Christina. “What does the market look like? Is it okay to pass this increase on to our customers? Being part of NTMA gives you answers to all of those questions, whether through NTMA Connect, your local chapter, the ENGAGE conferences, or any of the other resources.”
To anyone afraid to share too much about themselves or their processes, Christina explains, “Just look at the diversity among NTMA members! Every company has different specialties and different strategies for how to run a machine shop. Some companies have decades of experience, like Reata. Others are only a few years young, with a totally fresh perspective. Sharing our stories and helping our brothers and sisters in the industry just feels GOOD.”
Reata Engineering holds fast to the belief that helping others ultimately helps Reata, too. “We aren’t looking at ‘What’s good for Reata?’” Christina says. “We look for ways to better the industry because, inevitably, it makes us better, too.”
NTMA advocates for manufacturers from coast to coast
Like others in machine shop management, Christina stays busy with the day-to-day responsibilities of Reata’s operations. Her full schedule only enhances her gratitude for NTMA’s work in Washington, DC.
“Through One Voice, NTMA stays on top of the legislation affecting our industry and acts on our behalf,” explains Christina. “NTMA hears directly from those of us who are in the industry every day, and they leverage our experiences and concerns to create real change for manufacturers. The combination of all of our voices together is so much more powerful than trying to make a difference when you’re alone on your own little island.”
Manufacturers like Reata Engineering Grow Stronger with NTMA
“The long-term relationships we’ve formed through NTMA are invaluable. Being able to refer work, vent about issues, and celebrate wins with people who understand what you’re going through is extremely beneficial.” – Christina Collette