Day 1 — Tuesday 23rd February, 2016
Steve Jurvetson, Partner, DFJ
No Longer Small - Differentiating Miniature Satellites, Growth of the sector
Promising Areas for the Future - The View from NASA, Academic and Business Worlds
Risks & Regulation In Small Sat Launches – What are the dynamics?
Financing New Small Sat Operations
Launch Provider Roundtable – Efficiency, Innovation & Trends
Cost Savings & Budgetary Considerations in Small Satellite Alternatives
Day 2 — Wednesday 24th February, 2016
John Paffett, CEO, Surrey Satellite Technology US
Dr. John Paffett is chief executive officer of Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of world-leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in the United Kingdom. As a long-time executive of SSTL, Dr. Paffett was named CEO of Surrey US at its inception in 2008 to cultivate the rapidly growing U.S. market for cost-effective small satellite systems, applications, and services.
In a dual role, Dr. Paffett continues to serve as director of telecommunications and navigation for SSTL with responsibility for those programs and the group’s strategic development activities. He is also the chief executive officer of Surrey Satellite Services Limited, the SSTL subsidiary responsible for provision of launch and launch service activities.
Dr. Paffett has proven engineering, management, and business development skills, with a track record of working with international space industry partners in securing new business opportunities and delivering projects. He is accustomed to interfacing with senior officials in the international space community and skilled at developing innovative approaches to meet challenging space business goals.
Dr. Paffett holds a bachelor of science with honors in electronic engineering and a PhD in electronic engineering from the University of Surrey. He is an author and co-author of over 35 scientific and engineering publications.
Structuring Financial Alternatives
Defense and Government: Policy & Regulation - What are the Considerations?
Hosted Payloads & Shared Launches – Key differences, costs and advantages
Structuring Small Satellite Ops - Efficiency, Efficacy & Risk
Mobile Communications – The Future of Mobility
COTS - Their new role in space based hardware
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Jason Andrews, CEO
Jason Andrews is the CEO of Spaceflight Industries (Spaceflight), a next-generation space products and services company that is transforming the model for building, launching and operating satellites. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries and service lines Spaceflight Systems, Spaceflight Services and Spaceflight Networks, Spaceflight streamlines the process and reduces the cost to access and operate in space.
Andrews co-founded Spaceflight Systems in 1999 as Andrews Space with the mission of being a catalyst in the commercialization, exploration and development of space. Today the company produces affordable, high-performance commercial satellite components and spacecraft. Andrews then founded Spaceflight Services, the “space logistics company,” in 2010 to provide cost-effective, commercial “rideshare” launch services that open up access to space for more organizations and applications. In 2014, Andrews announced Spaceflight Networks, a business dedicated to cost-effective spacecraft communications and operations for small-satellite customers. Under Andrews’ direction, all of these companies were combined and rebranded under the Spaceflight name in 2015 to form Spaceflight Industries.
Prior to Spaceflight, Andrews served at Kistler Aerospace Corporation from 1995 to 1998, where he held a range of positions including K-1 Vehicle Two project manager and design integration manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Washington and was a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2006.
Jason Andrews, President
Mr. Baugh serves as the President and Founder of Northern Sky Research (NSR), which he created in 2000 to provide independent, actionable market research and consulting services to the satellite industry. Mr. Baugh directs all NSR multi-client research reports and single-client consulting projects, and manages a global team of analysts that stand at the forefront of satellite industry expertise.
Before forming NSR, Mr. Baugh served as Senior Analyst for Pioneer Consulting where he covered all aspects of the satellite market. Prior to Pioneer, Mr. Baugh was an International Trade Specialist and Economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. While at the Department of Commerce, Mr. Baugh was a recipient of the Charles F. Meissner Memorial Award for his work on trade negotiations in the International Trade Administration.
Mr. Baugh also has extensive legislative and analytical experience from his work for the Committee on International Relations and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, both in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Baugh holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Westminster College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Johanne Lecomte, Vice-President, Sales and Business Development
Thales Alenia Space
Johanne Lecomte is Vice-President, Sales and Business Development for Thales Alenia Space, in Arlington, VA. She is responsible for increasing business in North America in all four space segments, Telecom, Observation, Exploration and Navigation.
She has more than 20 years experience in the telecommunication and satellite industry. She was Vice-President of Sales and Marketing in North America for almost a decade at EADS Astrium (now Airbus Defense and Space) leading programs with DirecTV, Telesat, Terrestar and Intelsat. As Vice-President, Sales, Marketing and Communications at International Launch Services (ILS), she provided leadership in the development of sales and price-to-win strategies which translated into contracts with Inmarsat, Koreasat, Eutelsat and SES. She also held leadership Sales positions at Satellite Operators Amos by Spacecom and Telesat.
She holds a BSEE, from Ecole Polytechnique and an MBA/MSEE, from Sherbrooke University.
Amir Blachman, Managing Director
Space Angels Network
Amir comes from a multidisciplinary management background, including service as an instructor in the Israeli Air Force, an acquisitions analyst on a $65 million real estate investment fund, and operations leadership roles at three companies, where he helped grow them from mom-and-pop companies to IPO or acquisition.
He supports aerospace investors and early stage companies by finding and facilitating investment opportunities, examining startups’ viability, and supporting angel investors in their due diligence. He helps portfolio companies achieve their goals by introducing them to an ecosystem of investors, clients, business advisors and technology experts. Amir is responsible for establishing strategic partnerships and sponsorships with space agencies, aerospace prime contractors, and co-investors.
He holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, and is a graduate of the joint UCLA Anderson/NASDAQ Director Certification Program on corporate governance. He served as a volunteer Big Brother for nine years, and is an instrument-rated pilot.
Dr. Sean Casey, Managing Director
Silicon Valley Space Center
Dr. Sean Casey is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Silicon Valley Space Center, a business accelerator for NewSpace entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and has over two decades of experience as an airborne astronomer. Dr. Casey’s work has been recognized as an example of NASA’s goal for “more efficient and cost effective methodologies to instrument design and construction…”. He served as a Senior Scientist with the NASA/DLR SOFIA program as management and technical lead for SOFIA’s science instrument development program, lead for science instrument integration and commissioning, and science liaison for the review of system level requirements for SOFIA’s final operating capability. He is an author and co-author on several dozen of science publications and has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Chicago and dual MBAs from the Berkeley Haas and Columbia Schools of Business.
Umesh Ketkar, Director, Advanced Spacecraft
Boeing Phantom Works
Umesh Ketkar is the director of Advanced Spacecraft, part of the Air and Space unit of Boeing Phantom Works. He leads a Phantom Works team that develops next-generation satellites and Remote Sensing mission opportunities, with particular focus on small agile platforms, remote sensing payloads, and data processing to create value-added information products.
Ketkar has broad experience in space systems program management, system engineering, and advanced technology development, as well as hardware and software design and analysis. Prior to his current role, he led development of a space-based commercial remote sensing system with an innovative business model. Previously, he was Director of National Space Communications Programs, a set of programs for the U.S. Government which included high-speed communication systems, development of a modular spacecraft bus, long-term operations and advanced technology development.
Ketkar received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Master of Science degree from University of California, Los Angeles with an emphasis in Dynamics and Control Systems. A Boeing Associate Technical Fellow, Ketkar holds five U.S. patents and has received multiple Boeing Special Invention Awards. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Lori and daughters Mila (11) and Shanti (8).
Stuart Daughtridge, Vice President of Advance Technology
Kratos Technology and Training Solutions
Mr. Daughtridge has been with Kratos-Integral Systems since 1999, and in the satellite and aerospace industry since 1986. Prior to his current role, he held several senior management positions, including SVP & GM of the Integral Systems Products Group, SVP & GM of the Integral Systems Commercial Group, as well as Program Manager of several major commercial programs. Before joining the Company, Mr. Daughtridge held various management and engineering positions with Orion Satellite Corporation, Intelsat, and Spacecom. Mr. Daughtridge holds a Bachelor of Science from Lafayette College.
Hoyt Davidson, Managing Partner
Near Earth LLC
Hoyt Davidson is the founder and Managing Partner of Near Earth LLC, a Connecticut based investment bank and advisory firm focused on the satellite industry, commercial space and aerospace/defense. Near Earth’s clients include: satellite communications and commercial space companies, aerospace/defense companies, private equity and hedge funds, and early stage entrepreneurial firms seeking private equity capital.
Before founding Near Earth, Mr. Davidson was a Managing Director in the Telecom Group at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Davidson’s 28 year investment banking career began in 1987 at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette where he was a co-founder and Managing Director of the firm’s Space Finance Group, Wall Street’s first dedicated coverage group for the commercial satellite industry. While a member of the Space Finance Group, Mr. Davidson was an integral participant in public and private debt and equity financings totaling over $15 billion.
Hoyt is frequently asked to speak at satellite and space industry conferences on financial and investment matters. He also currently serves on the Boards of XO Markets Holding, Inc., the parent company of NanoRacks LLC, the National Space Society, and the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES). He was also a member of the Commercial Space Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.
Mr. Davidson received his Science Masters in Management (MBA) in 1987 from MIT’s Sloan School where he was awarded the Henry B. duPont III Scholarship for academic excellence. Before entering Sloan, Mr. Davidson worked as a Senior Research Engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (Sunnyvale, CA) from 1979 to 1985 where he held a top secret clearance. Mr Davidson received a BS in Physics from MIT in 1979.
Dr. Lars Dyrud, CEO
Dr. Lars Dyrud received a BA in Physics from Augsburg College conducting research on ultra-low frequency geomagnetic pulsations. He was a Fulbright Scholar in space and plasma physics at the University of Oslo and received a Ph.D. from Boston University conducting doctoral research on plasma turbulence using theory and super-computer simulations and observations. He was also a Senior Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. As a professional, Dr. Dyrud has served as PI on R&D grants and contracts from NSF, DOE, NASA, AFOSR, Air Force SMC and Industry and is involved in basic and applied research in plasma physics, applications and techniques of tomography, software radio, GPS, inertial navigation and radar. He is the founder of the APL Center for Public/Private Partnerships and OmniEarth LLC. Lars has led space-related missions and projects as head of the Earth and Space Science group at Draper Laboratory and previously as senior scientist and section lead at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in the areas of space physics, GPS tomography, Novel Earth observation missions, and mobile applications. Lars has founded three companies and enjoys advising engineers and scientists on innovation and entrepreneurism.
Dr. Shahin Farshchi, Partner
Shahin is a Partner at Lux Capital. He has a passion for cars, aircraft, space, robots, and computers. He started his career as a C++ and ColdFusion developer for a number of startups in Silicon Valley before heading to Detroit to design hybrids at General Motors. He started a company doing wireless health monitoring based on his research on brain-computer interfaces before joining Lux in 2007. He sourced Lux's investments in Silicon Clocks (NASDAQ:SLAB), SiBeam (NASDAQ:SIMG), Planet Labs, Plethora, Scaled Interface, and works closely with Nervana. Shahin completed his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering Computer Science at UC Berkeley with Honors, and his Master's and Ph.D. at UCLA. He is based in Palo Alto.
Nick Flitterman, Managing Director
Portland Advisers is a financial advisory firm specializing in project and structured finance across multiple industry sectors in transactions that span the world's developed and developing regions. Nick has over 15 years experience acting in senior advisory and lending roles across the spectrum of communications, technology and satellite sectors. He previously held senior roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland, PricewaterhouseCoopers and as Head of Telecoms for the Project & Export Finance team at HSBC.
Nick's recent corporate clients include Seaborn Networks, O3b Networks, Kacific, Skybox Imaging, Spectrum Five, Cable & Wireless, Indosat, Yahsat, Etisalat, Huawei and Digicel. Hi recent Government clients include the Azercosmos (Azerbaijan), the Welsh Government (Next Generation Broadband Network), the UK Department of Health (Ambulance Radio), UK Foreign Office (Global Telecom Network), Norwegian Ministry of Justice (Tetra project), the European Commission (Galileo Satellite Navigation project) and the European Space Agency (GMES, Satellite Broadband).
Nick has a BA (Hons) in International Economics and a Maitrise in International Commerce. He is also an associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA, CGMA), a member of the UK Satellite Finance Network Advisory Board and a regular speaker on the telecom and satellite sector conference circuit.
Dr. Steve Goldberg, CEO and Co-Founder
Steve joined Venrock in 2009 after having been CEO of several early stage companies including DataRunway, Vidient, Arcwave and CoWave Networks. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Research and Development at Nokia Internet Communications and Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless Communications Division at Cylink Corporation. Steve also held senior management and engineering positions at Trimble Navigation and Hewlett Packard. At Venrock, Steve focuses on investments in connectivity, M2M/Internet of Things, robotics and embedded systems. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Asoka, FutureDial, Red Seal, and Quantenna Communications. Previous board seats include Canesta (Acq by Microsoft), Kineto Wireless (Acq by Taqua), Newport Media (Acq by Atmel), and Teranetics (Acq by PLX Technology).
Steve received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Ben Haldeman, Launch and Strategy
Ben Haldeman works on corporate strategy, new technologies, and rocket launchs at Planet Labs. Ben has flown over a hundred payloads in space and leads the design of Planet's instrument payload. He previously created the first global robotic telescope network to provide persistent imaging of space objects. Ben completed his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley where he designed life detection instrumentation for a Mars rover mission. Ben specializes in bringing an agile approach to hardware and space. In addition to space challenges, Ben has won ultramarathons, was a professional cyclist, and speed climbed El Capitan.
Keith Karuntzos, Manager, Business Development
United Launch Alliance (ULA)
Keith Karuntzos serves as manager, Business Development, for United Launch Alliance (ULA). In this position, he is responsible for supporting Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office, NASA, and commercial customer launch needs, which includes understanding and assisting with mission requirements that will match closely with Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. Keith also has responsibility for all ULA rideshare marketing activities in support of dual manifest, auxiliary, and secondary payload mission opportunities.
Keith began his career in 1992 as an officer in the U.S. Air Force where he held leadership and management responsibilities as an acquisition program manager. He was first assigned to the Training Systems Program Office as a system safety manager, working on Air Force flight simulator programs and the T-3A Enhanced Flight Screener aircraft. He then transferred to the Delta II Program Office where he was the mission integration manager for the GPS IIA-27 and P91-1/ARGOS launches.
In 2000, Keith joined Boeing Launch Services as a customer engineer, developing technical solutions to U.S. government and industry customers on new launch opportunities. He also served as the point of contact for all secondary payload business activities.
Keith received a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.
Adam Keith, Managing Director
Adam Keith is the Managing Director of Euroconsult Canada. In his 15+ years working in the space sector, Adam has advised a wide range of clients including space agencies, government organizations and commercial actors along the value chain. Leading to 2015 he was the Director of Euroconsult's Space and Earth observation practice.
When joining the firm in 2006, Adam initiated Euroconsult's research and consulting activity in the EO sector. He managed and contributed to numerous consulting missions, specializing in the Earth observation market and industry, satellite operations and government programs. Adam leads the firm's EO research reports, including the flagship Earth Observation: Market Prospects, now in its 7th edition (2014). Starting in Euroconsult's Paris office, he helped set up the firm's North American offices in 2008.
His previous experience includes working for the European Space Agency (ESA-ESRIN). Projects focused on Earth observation market development. He also served as an ESA delegated project manager to the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters and worked in R&D for applications development focused around the Envisat mission. The early part of his career was spent working for the UK National Remote Sensing Center (now Airbus Defence & Space).
Adam holds a Masters in GIS and Remote Sensing from Cambridge University and a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of London. He is a frequently invited speaker and moderator at international events focusing on evolution, market trends and dynamics within the space and EO sector.
Carlos Niederstrasser, Business Development & Special Initiatives
Carlos is a Master Systems Engineer with Orbital ATK, and currently supports corporate strategic activities, new business pursuits, and a number of special initiatives. He recently served on the staff of the Antares Accident Investigation Board. Some of the programs Carlos has supported at Orbital ATK include the Dawn interplanetary spacecraft, the OrbView remote sensing system, and the Cygnus CRS resupply mission.
Carlos leads a number of cross-group activities and outreach efforts. Carlos conceived and leads the Orbital Academy – a series of professional development courses taught by and for Orbital ATK employees. He is responsible for Orbital ATK’s Warp 10 program – an innovation incubator established for the development of new employee-driven ideas. He coordinated the team of mentors and served as the principal advisor helping Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology build TJ3Sat – the first high school CubeSat, launched in 2013.
Prior to joining Orbital ATK, Carlos served as program manager for Stanford’s student, built, and managed satellite – OPAL. OPAL’s primary mission demonstrated the feasibility of launching multiple picosatellites from a mothership satellite, and served as the direct predecessor to the CubeSat standard.
Carlos earned a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and an EAA from Stanford University where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He is also a graduate of the International Space University.
Al Tadros, Vice President of DoD and Civil Business
Al Tadros is Vice President of DoD and Civil Business at SSL, a full-service provider of communications satellites and space systems. In this role he is responsible for applying SSL’s best value solutions, including hosted payloads, to U.S. Government mission needs. He also develops and maintains relationships with U.S. Government agencies and manages sales and marketing activities.
Mr. Tadros has worked at SSL for more than 23 years in increasingly responsible positions and has most recently helped to draw attention to the value commercial satellite technologies and system solutions bring to government missions.
Before being named to his current position, he was the Director of U.S. Government Programs for five years and prior to that he was Payload Manager, MTSAT Program. In that role, he was the responsible engineer for integrating the world’s most advanced geostationary meteorological imager for the country of Japan.
Mr. Tadros worked for ten years in Systems Engineering and Dynamics and Controls Analysis Engineering before he took on program manager responsibilities. During the course of his career, he worked on 13 missions and launch campaigns, many of which deployed cutting edge communications and remote sensing systems.
Mr. Tadros holds patents in the field of attitude control systems, and he was responsible for early telerobotics research for the International Space Station.
He holds a Bachelors Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Ronald Goedendorp, Vice President of Space Opportunities
With 20 years in business, and corporate development experience in imaging systems, aerospace, semiconductor, sensor, medical device, data analytics and risk industries, Ron has secured business and M&A over $200 million and closed over $20 million in venture capital. He is a former CEO, COO and Analyst with clients and customers including GE, AIG, AON, Zurich, Bertelsmann, Norsk-Hydro, General Physics and Texas Instruments.
Ron is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and a co-founder of the UCSD Bay Area Alumni Scholarship Fund. He speaks English, Dutch, German, and French. Ron enjoys sailing, cycling and anything turbocharged.
Clayton Mowry, President
Clayton Mowry has worked for over 20 years in the commercial launch and satellite sectors serving in government, as the leader of an industry trade association and as a senior executive for the world’s leading commercial launch services company.
Mr. Mowry joined Washington, D.C.-based Arianespace, Inc. as its President and Chairman in 2001. As the head of the Arianespace’s U.S. subsidiary, he is responsible for managing the company’s sales, marketing, strategy, government relations and corporate communications activities.
Before joining Arianespace, Mr. Mowry served for six years as Executive Director at the Satellite Industry Association, a non-profit alliance of U.S. satellite operators, manufacturers and ground equipment suppliers.
Prior to his role at SIA, he worked as a commercial space industry analyst and Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.
Clayton Mowry received a Master of Business of Administration from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Arts in politics and government from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
In addition to his work at Arianespace, Mr. Mowry currently serves on the board of the Hosted Payload Alliance, on the advisory board of the Space Generation Advisory Council, and as Chairman of the Future Space Leaders Foundation.
Will Pomerantz, Vice President for Special Projects
Will Pomerantz is the Vice President for Special Projects at Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. In that role, Will helps extend Virgin Galactic’s business beyond suborbital space tourism, developing efforts such as the LauncherOne orbital launch vehicle for small satellites as well as suborbital research campaigns on board SpaceShipTwo. Will is also a member of the Federal Aviation Administration's Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. Will also serves as a Trustee and the Chair of the Board of Advisers for the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the world's largest student space organization, and is a member of the Professional Development Committee of Women in Aerospace.
Will is a graduate of Harvard University, the NASA Academy, and the International Space University. Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, he ran space prizes at the non-profit XPRIZE Foundation, where he served as the primary author and manager of the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE and the $2 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE. Will has also worked at Brown University, the Futron Corporation, and the United Nations, and was the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of SpaceAlumni.com, an early social network for space professionals.
Chris Quilty, Senior Vice President - Equity Research
Raymond James & Associates
Chris Quilty concentrates his research efforts on the satellite & space sector along with select companies in the defense communications sector. In addition to his industry-leading coverage list, Mr. Quilty publishes ongoing analysis of industry affairs and is the author of the highly acclaimed “The Space Handbook,” a comprehensive 200-plus page industry primer. Mr. Quilty is regularly a featured speaker at industry conferences and a major contributor to leading industry trade publications. Mr. Quilty joined Raymond James in 1996 and has covered technology and communications companies in a variety of industry niches over the course of his career. Mr. Quilty has twice been recognized by The Wall Street Journal as a Best on the Street analyst within the Defense sector, including a first place finish for 2004. He holds a B.S. degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Raymond James, Mr. Quilty served five years as a deep-sea diving officer in the Navy special operations community.
Rex Ridenoure, CEO and co-founder
Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation
Rex is CEO and co-founder of Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation, a 15 year-old privately held space avionics and sensor systems firm. He is responsible for Ecliptic's financial results and for coordinating the firm's overall corporate strategy, business-development, partnering and branding initiatives. He also helps shape R&D planning and selectively contributes to various technical contracts.
Ecliptic is the world’s leading supplier of rugged video systems used on rockets and spacecraft—its RocketCam™ product family—and is known globally for providing iconic onboard views from over 135 pioneering space missions. Ecliptic also produces space avionics for the control and data handling of science payloads, space experiments, hosted payloads and secondary payloads, as well as imaging subsystems to support space vehicle rendezvous and proximity operations and in-orbit servicing. Ecliptic also develops CubeSat subsystems and conducts CubeSat integration and testing. The firm is the prime contractor for the privately funded LightSail CubeSat program. The first of two LightSail missions was successfully completed in May-June 2015, and the second is on track for a 2016 launch.
For the first half of his 37-year space career Rex was a space-mission engineer and space-mission architect, working on more than a dozen missions, including Viking/Mars (as a student intern at JPL); some of the earliest communications satellites deployed from the Space Shuttle (at Hughes Space & Communications); the Hubble Space Telescope (at Lockheed); Voyager/Neptune, Lunar Observer pre-project and Deep Space One (at JPL); and several small-satellite and secondary payload studies. For the past 18 years he has been a ‘NewSpace’ entrepreneur and a champion of expanding commercial space activities beyond the established commercial markets of space-based telecommunications, Earth remote sensing, launch services and tracking/operations services. During this period as a senior manager and space-mission architect at Microcosm, SpaceDev, BlastOff Corporation and Ecliptic he has actively promoted the broad prospects for small satellites, and in particular the emerging market for commercial deep-space missions.
Rex earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (with honors) at Iowa State University (Ames), where he was also a 4-year NCAA gymnast. He also has a M.S. in Aeronautics from Caltech, and has taken other classes from Caltech, USC, UCLA and Stanford. He presents and lectures often on commercial space initiatives and space entrepreneurship.
Dr. Alex Saltman, Senior Vice President
Alex is Senior Vice President of GeoOptics. In that role he oversees operations, business development, marketing and public affairs. Before joining GeoOptics, Alex was the Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a trade association that represents the dozens of companies that are reinventing the space industry. At CSF he led policy development, lobbying and business operations and spoke to many audiences about the benefits of commercial space. Prior to joining CSF, he was Legislative Director to Congressman Adam Schiff, where he advised on a wide variety of issues, taking a leading role in advancing a NASA Authorization bill as well measures on energy research and development, space exploration funding and nuclear forensics. Alex has a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Stanford, both in Physics.
Louis Zacharilla, Director of Development
Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)
Louis A. Zacharilla is Director Development for the Society of Satellite Professionals International, where he serves as strategist and spokesperson for the Society and the industry. He oversees SSPI’s corporate development program and works to develop new chapters and events worldwide. Mr. Zacharilla also created the current Better Satellite World awareness campaign with the SSPI team in New York.
Mr. Zacharilla has written numerous articles for trade and business publications, appears in the media and is a co-author of three books, the most recent, Brain Gain.
He also serves as Director of Development for World Teleport Association, another industry trade association and is a founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, an international think tank that studies the relationship of satellite and broadband technology on the growth and sustainability of cities and communities.
He holds a Master Degree from the University of Notre Dame (USA).
Tom Boyer, Vice President
Tom is the Vice President and General Manager of Kymeta Government Solutions, Inc. (KGS); a wholly owned subsidiary of Kymeta Corporation. KGS was established to deliver solutions to government customers with challenging and unique mission requirements by leveraging the commercial Kymeta technology and products.
Tom has over fifteen years' experience leading business development and program management activities. Tom’s broad industry experience includes working with a variety of information and communication technologies to include: satellite systems, cellular networks, cell phones, terrestrial broadcast and various other consumer wireless standards. Tom has a proven track record delivering product and systems solutions to customers in both commercial and government markets.
Prior to joining KGS, Tom worked as a Program Manager for SAIC’s Space Systems Division in Kent, WA; Business Line Manager for RavenWing and as an Electrical Engineer at various technology companies.
Tom holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and a MBA from The George Washington University. Tom was born in Monterey, California and spends his free time enjoying the northwest with his wife and four children.
Doug Patterson, VP, Military & Aerospace Business Sector
Aitech Defense Systems
Doug Patterson is VP, Military & Aerospace Business Sector, for Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. Doug has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, business development, and product management, including technical and communications accomplishments in telecommunications and harsh environment electronics.
He also holds three patents in advanced metered mailing systems and nonvolatile memory redundancy mapping in severe/harsh environments. Doug holds a BSEE from BEI/Sacred Heart University.
Micah Walter-Range, Director - Research & Analysis
Micah Walter-Range is the Director of Research and Analysis for the Space Foundation, where he has worked since 2006. He oversees development of all Space Foundation research products, including an annual authoritative guide to global space activity, The Space Report. He has authored papers on topics such as export controls and the role of space technology in aviation. He graduated from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in astronomy and political science, and he earned an M.A. in international science and technology policy, with a concentration in space policy, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
John Booher, Partner
John Booher is a partner in the Silicon Valley office of the international law firm Hogan Lovells. John has over 16 years’ experience as an attorney representing clients on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. John has extensive experience representing clients in several industries, including the aerospace and satellite industries. His clients include multinational corporations, private equity and venture capital firms, start-ups and emerging growth companies. John received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1998 and his B.A., summa cum laude, in Economics from The College of William and Mary in 1995.
David Hartshorn, Secretary General
David Hartshorn is Secretary General of the GVF, the London-based non-profit international association of the satellite industry. GVF consists of member organisations from every major region of the world and from every sector of the industry, including mobile and fixed satellite operators, manufacturers, system integrators, and other service providers.
Supported by 15 affiliate offices, two regional offices and seven working groups, Mr. Hartshorn leads the Forum’s global efforts to facilitate the provision of satellite-based communications solutions throughout all nations of the world.
Mr. Hartshorn works closely to support national-, regional- and global-level policy makers as they formulate state-of-the-art satellite regulatory, policy and spectrum-management frameworks. He is also responsible for creating greater awareness of the commercial, economic, political and technological advantages that satellite-based communications provide. GVF’s training, product quality assurance, network validation, and other programmes are an important means by which these aims are achieved.
Susan J. Irwin, President
Irwin Communications, Inc.
Susan J. Irwin is President of Irwin Communications, Inc., a consulting and market research firm focusing on the satellite communications industry. Since 1985, when the company was founded, Irwin Communcations has provided strategic consulting services to hundreds of major corporations worldwide, including satellite operators, manufacturers, broadcasters, government agencies and telecommunications companies. Ms. Irwin also heads the U.S Office of Euroconsult, the leading global research and consulting firm for satellite communications and space, headquartered in Paris.
For more than 35 years, Ms. Irwin has been researching and analyzing industry trends and developments in satellite communications for voice, data and video applications. She began her satellite career in 1977, implementing some of the early satellite distance learning activities in the US and emerging regions. As a consultant to the Appalachian Regional Commission, she worked on a project that demonstrated the use of satellites for education and public services in rural areas. She was then a telecommunications policy analyst for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she managed the Satellite Applications Program. Ms. Irwin then joined the start-up team of Private Satellite Network, a company that pioneered the use of satellites for training and corporate communications.
Ms. Irwin is widely published and a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the world. Since its inception in 2002, Ms. Irwin has been the conference chair of SATCON, a major satellite industry conference that takes place in New York City annually. Ms. Irwin is on the Advisory Board of Kymeta Corporation, co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Society of Satellite Professionals International, a Director Emeritus of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation and Vice President and a Director of the American Astronautical Society. In 2013, Ms. Irwin was inducted into the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) Satellite Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements in the industry. She holds a Masters of Arts degree from San Francisco State University.
Joe Rothenberg, Director of Engineering and Operations
Joe Rothenberg is Google's Director of Engineering and Operations for Skybox. He has over 50 years of experience in the Space Industry spanning traditional Aerospace, NASA and for the last 14+ years the Commercial Space Industry. From 2009 through joining Google at their acquisition of Skybox in August of 2014, he was an Independent Consultant and his primary client from 2011 through Acquisition was Skybox. Joe has served as a member of the Board of Directors and President of Universal Space Network Inc. Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA, Director of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Executive Vice President of CTA Space Systems and is widely recognized for leading the 1st Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission Team that corrected the flawed optics.
Daniel Lim, President and CEO
Mr. Lim currently serves as the President and CEO of Xtenti, LLC, a new solutions provider seeking to bring disruptive enablers for the space industry and create tangible solution sets that intersect the space industry with other non-space industries. He has over fifteen years of experience in systems engineering and design on major Government and commercial programs, including mission integration for numerous Government space missions. Mr. Lim received a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He also has served on Active Duty service in the Air Force in flight test, launch vehicle systems, and mission integration, and continues to serve as a Reservist for the Air Force Space and Missile System Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.
Suzi McBride, Vice President
Suzi McBride is the Vice President of the Iridium Program Management Office (PMO) and Launch Services. Early in this position she developed the PMO, and led the launch strategy and supplier selection for Iridium NEXT. She currently directs the PMO for the Technology, Development and Operations organization. Mrs. McBride’s team is chartered with managing technical development projects and institutionalizing common processes and tools for program controls. These projects include Iridium NEXT, Aireon development, and new Iridium product and services.
Mrs. McBride has spent more than 20 years in program management and engineering in the aerospace and telecommunication industries. Prior to joining Iridium, she held the position of Program Manager at General Dynamics (now Orbital ATK) where she managed NASA and U.S. Air Force satellite programs. Before coming to General Dynamics, Mrs. McBride was a Program Director at Motorola where she managed new technology cellular system implementations in the Asia Pacific region that included on-the-ground experience in China and Australia. In her first six years at Motorola’s Satellite Communications Group Mrs. McBride focused on design for manufacturability and streamlined launch operations to accomplish launching the entire Iridium constellation (72 satellites) in only one year. Early in Mrs. McBride’s career she worked for Price Waterhouse in New York City as a senior consultant.
Mrs. McBride received her MBA from the University of Tennessee in the Executive Aerospace & Defense program and her dual undergraduate degrees, a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and a B.A. in Management Engineering from Claremont McKenna College. She also holds a Master’s degree in Program Management from George Washington University and is PMI certified. She is also an advisory board member for the Aerospace & Defense Institute at University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business.
Richard M. Rocket, CEO and Co-Founder
NewSpace Global, LLC
Richard M. Rocket is CEO and Co-Founder of NewSpace Global ("NSG"). NSG is a leading competitive intelligence provider that tracks over 900 privately held and publicly traded companies worldwide.
Rocket has been invited to speak at numerous events and venues worldwide including the Small Satellite Conference, Satellite 2015, Stanford University, the Swiss Embassy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Harvard Business School, the Wharton School and others.
Prior to launching NewSpace Global, Rocket worked as an investment fund attorney in the New York and London offices of an international law firm. Rocket is a regular source for Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg Business, Le Temps and has appeared on CNBC, NBC, Fox News and others. He holds a JD from Berkeley Law School and is currently an industry advisor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Commercial Space Operations program.
Randy S. Segal, Partner, Co-Lead Satellite Practice
Randy Segal is a global satellite and "frontier technology" transactional lawyer, representing clients in space, UAS (drone), wireless and other disruptive technologies. The scope of representation includes financing, joint ventures, system procurement, technology development, mergers and acquisitions, and international cross-border transactions.
Prior to joining the firm, Randy served as general counsel and/or a member of the Board of Directors of a variety of telecommunications and media companies, both public and private, where she worked extensively with the private equity owners who funded and then took public the various companies. As general counsel she had been involved in the full lifecycle of those companies, advising on acquisitions, financings, divestitures and company sales, as well as numerous system deployments, infrastructure acquisitions, joint ventures, and diverse regulatory compliance.
Randy is a frequent speaker and has written widely on the practical logistics of doing transactions, including a “How To” Guide with respect to Satellite and Hosted Payload Procurements.
Randy received her B.S. and M.S. from Cornell University, and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.
She is recognized as a top Satellite, Technology, Telecoms and M&A lawyer by Chambers, Legal 100, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal 100.
David Strobel, CEO and Program Manager (PM)
Mr. Strobel brings
40 years-all in space components
MBA, Claremont Graduate School,
BS Systems Management, University of Southern California; BS Nuclear Engineering, Cornell University; BS Astronautical Engineering, US Air Force Academy
SBIR Assignment: Mr. Strobel will perform as Applications and Commercialization on this effort. His responsibilities include ensuring technical objectives are achieved, schedule tracking, financial tracking, ensuring R&D remains relevant to NASA needs, and for capturing follow-on production contracts.
Experience: Mr. Strobel adds his expertise in technical management of complex technologies for space and space market penetration experience. This was gained during his 7 years as President of Space Electronics Inc (SEi) and 18 years at SAIC and Northrop Electronics. He built SEi from a small R&D startup company to over $13M in annual space sales with 125 employees before Maxwell Technologies acquired SEi. This resulted in the Inc 500 award for Fastest Growing Companies in America two years in succession. He also won the SBA Tibbetts Award, for SBIR excellence; with a focus on rapidly commercializing technologies initiated under SBIR. At Space Electronics Inc Mr. Strobel led four Phase I and two Phase II contracts from NASA, Air Force, and BMDO. Previously he managed IC production for both space and military markets. As an Air Force officer he managed R&D programs for microelectronics for the MX, SICBM, and Minuteman rad hard missile programs.
Patents: He holds six US patents for space radiation shielding and microelectronics, including versions of RADPAK and RADCOAT.
Dr. Marco Villa, President & COO
Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
Dr. Marco Villa grew up in Italy and developed an early passion for airplanes and spacecraft. After obtaining his private pilot license and serving in the Italian Parachutists Corp, Dr. Villa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1999 from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Throughout his career Dr. Villa has worked on some of the most advanced and cutting-edge programs in the industry, from technology demonstration satellites to leading commercial efforts, and he has developed a unique expertise that combines management, finance and technical knowledge.
Following a brief stint as a structural analysis at Carlo Gavazzi Space in Milano, Italy, he moved to the United States and earned his Doctoral Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2005 while also leading a small satellite development projects. Dr. Villa also earned his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management while working as system engineer and project manager for Swales Aerospace and as a contractor for NASA and the Air Force. This period provided Dr. Villa with a broad understanding of spacecraft systems as he performed leading roles for many innovative small satellite and launch vehicle systems, including the Air Force sponsored TacSat 3 spacecraft and the Autonomous Flight Safety System.
In 2007, Dr. Villa joined Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he served as Director of Mission Operations, with direct responsibility over the definition and execution of the Dragon spacecraft’s mission to the International Space Station. Dr. Villa was integral in the effort to secure and execute $2.5B in contracts for ISS cargo resupply and crewed Dragon development programs while also supporting the sales and business development department. Before leaving SpaceX in 2013, Dr. Villa played an important role in the on-going effort to develop the crewed version of the Dragon capsule, with responsibilities ranging from the definition of the overall concept of operations, to the establishment of the crew training methodology.
In 2010 Dr. Villa and Max Vozoff founded mv2space LLC, a Business Development, Strategy formulation and support services consultancy. Its clients include both start-ups and established companies in the government and commercial space domains, energy, automotive and digital media sectors.
With mv2space, Mr. Villa brings deep experience in strategy formulation and implementation, program management and systems engineering, and has developed advanced financial modeling and analysis tools that, when customized for each client, form the basis for their business plans, strategies and priorities.
Dr. Villa currently serves as the President and COO of Tyvak Nan-Satellite Systems Inc. His responsibilities span from day-to-day management of the company, to direct the company strategic efforts, to acquisition and execution of all nanosatellite opportunities for government, commercial and university customers both nationally and internationally.
Bruce Yost, Project Manager
NASA Ames Research Center
Mr. Bruce Yost is the deputy lead for the Small Spacecraft Integrated Product Team (IPT) at NASA Ames Research Center. Prior to this role, Mr. Yost served as the Mission Manager for all of the NASA Cubesat missions developed and launched by ARC from 2006 to 2010 and was recently the Small Spacecraft Technology Program Manager for the Space Technology Mission Directorate prior to joining the Small Spacecraft IPT in 2014.
Hartley Lesser, Editorial Director
Mr. Lesser has held the position of Editorial Director at Satnews Publishers for more than nine years, working on Satnews.com, which provides daily SATCOM news, as well as two monthly trade magazines, SatMagazine and MilsatMagazine.
Lesser is a U.S. Army Vietnam combat veteran who served with the 9th Infantry Division. He has been an author, journalist and editor for more than 17 high-tech magazines that included the first Apple II inCider magazine and Channel, the first semiconductor magazine for SEMI. Hartley was also the Publications Manager for eight years for Apple Computer’s Developer Group.
"Back in the day," Hartley developed and published some of the first news forums for institutions such as General Electric’s Genie, America Online and CompuServe. His other accomplishments include a number of entertainment magazines and websites as well as filming, directing and editing two regional TV programs and FM radio program management and on-air talent. He provides voiceover narration for Amazon’s Audible.com digital books and he has moderated online webinars and video tutorials.
Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner
The Tauri Group
Carissa Christensen is an internationally-known expert on the space industry and technology forecasting. She led the creation of widely-used data tools now considered global metrics for the commercial space and satellite sectors. She is a frequent speaker and author on space and satellite trends, serves as a strategic advisor to government and commercial clients, and has been an expert witness and testified before Congress on market dynamics.
Ms. Christensen is a Managing Partner of The Tauri Group, an analytic consulting firm serving science and technology clients that she cofounded in 2001. Tauri serves NASA, the FAA, Department of Defense agencies and services, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as space and defense firms. She was a partner in CenTauri Solutions, a Tauri spin-out sold to CSC in 2010.
She is an active investor in technology-focused startups and advises several companies she has helped seed. She chairs the Board of QxBranch, and early stage quantum computing firm.
Carissa holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she specialized in science and technology policy. She also completed the General Course in Government at the London School of Economics, and was a Douglass Scholar at Rutgers University. She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Debra Facktor Lepore, VP and GM of Strategic Operations
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp
Debra Facktor Lepore is the vice president and general manager of Strategic Operations for Ball Aerospace. Lepore is responsible for increasing Ball Aerospace's profile in the market and facilitating collaboration across the company. She is the company's senior executive in the Washington, DC area and leads Washington Operations, Communications and Strategic Development.
Lepore brings over 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry to her current role. Prior to joining Ball in January 2013, she served as the president of DFL Space LLC, an aerospace consulting firm focused on developing innovative business strategies for a wide range of customers. As an industry professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, she led its Master's of Engineering in Technical Leadership program and served as Director of Strategic Programs for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). She was Principal Investigator on the SERC research project "Expedited Systems Engineering for Rapid Capability and Urgent Needs," sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, and has used this research toward PhD studies.
Lepore has extensive business experience including serving as president and an owner of AirLaunch LLC, a small business which won funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force to develop an operationally responsive small launch vehicle. She previously served as vice president of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Kistler Aerospace Corporation. Earlier in her career, she was Chief of Moscow Operations for ANSER's Center for International Aerospace Cooperation.
Among other distinctions, Lepore was honored with the University of Michigan 2014 Alumni Merit Award for Aerospace Engineering and as the Women in Aerospace (WIA) "Most Outstanding Member" for 2012. She is the former chair of the board of WIA and founding president of the WIA Foundation. She is also an appointed member of the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Lepore is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). She holds a B.S.E. (magna cum laude) and M.S.E. in aerospace engineering, both from the University of Michigan, and is an alumna of the International Space University summer session program in space policy and law.
Chris Stott, Founder, Chair & CEO
Chris Stott is the founder, Chair and CEO of ManSat, the world’s first, and now largest, commercial satellite spectrum firm and was also key in founding the multi billion dollar space and satellite industry on the Isle of Man. He is presently Chair of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), the largest professional association in the global space and satellite industry. He was named Celton Businessman of the year in 2010.
A founder of the International Institute of Space Commerce, he is also a passionate activist for STEM & STEAM education serving as faculty at the ISU and on the University’s Main Board and with the Conrad Foundation, Challenger Centers, and the United Space School. At ISU he teaches entrepreneurialism, networking, and other business topics and is a past Co Chair of the School of Management and Business. He also teaches on the TED Fellows program.
Chris is also a co founder of the Manna Energy Foundation and Geeks Without Frontiers, focused on bringing clean energy, clean water and clean telecoms (the ‘world wide well’) to the developing world via sustainable enterprise, and recently completed the world’s first IEEE Certified Open Source 80211s Mesh Networks protocols with the support of Google, RIM, Microsoft, Laptop Per Child, Global Connect, and Nokia.
Chris serves on the Board of the AMAR US Foundation, having worked with Baroness Nicholson on AMAR in the early 1990s when AMAR was first founded. Chris was then working in the House of Commons for Emma when she was a Member of Parliament, having come to this position from interning and volunteering in the US Senate and on at a senior level on two US Presidential Campaigns.
He is a published author and produces the occasional movie, with three projects currently under work. His work has been featured in Forbes Magazine, the Financial Times, Le Monde, the BBC, and Wired Magazine.
A fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Member of the Reform Club, and the International Institute of Space Law, Chris is also a TED’ster and TEDx Curator (ISU, Douglas, and Sugarland).
After working in executive positions with Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Chris left Lockheed Martin in 2000 to become an entrepreneur in the space industry before it was trendy.
Born on the Isle of Man, Chris is a now an American Citizen by choice (having read way too much Jefferson). He resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, retired NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott, and their son. He is a keen shot (skeet, trap, pistol and rifle), SCUBA diver, and is currently working on his Rotor (Helicopter) pilot’s license.
J. Armand Musey, President and Founder
Summit Ridge Group
Armand Musey is a leading expert in valuation and related financial analysis in the telecom, media and satellite industries. He founded Summit Ridge Group in 2008 after 15 years of equity research, investment banking and consulting experience. Armand has completed dozens of financial valuation, strategic analysis, business development, corporate governance and business plan creation assignments in the communications industry and has experience working on numerous financing and M&A transactions. His involvement with a wide breadth of companies has allowed him to develop a deep understanding of a range of media and telecom issues and the complex web of relationships underlying the sector’s competitive dynamics and associated regulatory issues.
Dara A. Panahy, Partner
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
Dara A. Panahy is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and a member of the firm’s Transportation and Space Group. He has been a partner since 2007 and joined Milbank in 1999.
Primary Focus & Experience
Mr. Panahy’s practice focuses on representing clients involved in the aerospace and communications industries. His experience includes representing satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, banks, private equity firms and hedge funds in numerous financings involving public offerings, high yield debt, investment grade bonds, project and vendor financings, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructuring and reorganizations and in negotiating project contracts. He also counsels clients on domestic and international regulatory and trade matters, including licensing of satellite, wireless and wireline communications systems, economic sanctions, regulation of foreign direct investment, anti-bribery and corrupt practices, national security and export control laws and regulations and risk management.
His recent representations include:
- numerous commercial satellite and launch services procurements for clients in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia
- procurement and financing of next-generation, multi-billion dollar regional and global fixed and mobile satellite systems
- various satellite, aerospace and communications company mergers & acquisitions, strategic venture transactions and restructurings in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia
- bank and capital markets financings, and private placements, involving global, regional and national communications, broadcast, broadband, remote sensing and asset tracking companies and service providers
Recognition & Accomplishments
He is a regular speaker at space and communications conferences, a visiting lecturer at the International Space University and has published articles and delivered numerous presentations on finance, commercial and regulatory aspects of the aerospace and communications industries. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer in Telecom, Broadcast and Satellite Financing in Chambers USA and The Legal 500. Mr. Panahy speaks fluent Spanish and Farsi.
David Barnhart, Director/Co-Founder
USC Space Engineering Research Center
David Barnhart is a Research Professor in the Department of Astronautical Engineering at USC, the Director/Co- Founder of the USC Space Engineering Research Center, and the Director of Space Systems and Technology Division at USC/ISI. At USC he specializes in developing innovative technologies and architectures for 2nd generation space morphologies, satellite robotics and inspiration-based engineering techniques through hands-on projects with students, faculty and staff amongst the various Schools at USC, with outreach to industry based on the “engineering teaching hospital” construct. David was most recently a senior space Project Manager at DARPA, pioneering cellular spacecraft morphologies, satbotics and space robotics on the Phoenix and SeeMe projects, and represented the first DARPA space project presented at the United Nations COPUOS in Vienna Austria.
At the Space Engineering Research Center he has helped develop innovative solutions in aerospace and small satellite systems and technologies, new satellite design-synthesis tools to cut design time down to days from months and incorporate integration as a design tool, hybrid robotics concepts for satellites with the ability to be demonstrated in very large multi-dimensional low cost ground testbed, the creation which was only 2nd only to NASA’s in scope and the largest University research facility of its kind to pioneer small satellite swarm interactions.
Prior to USC David helped initiate two commercial space companies; co-founding and serving as Vice President and CFO of Millennium Space Systems, which has grown into a sustainable aerospace business with both Government and commercial customers in Los Angeles CA; and was the youngest elected member of a three-person international Executive Management board for a German startup in Bremen, Vanguard Space. At Vanguard he energized international space re-insurance and financial institutions on the technical attributes of a new space market, while developing US and European engineering contracts to execute the business plan.
David served as an AF civilian for over 13 years and helped birth several notable projects over that time, including pioneering demonstration of a miniature lunar lander vehicle modified from KKV technologies, showcased to the Vice President on the 25th Anniversary of Apollo 11; and created and lead the first $150M Small-Satellite Project team for the Air Force that formed the initial basis for US technology infusion in micro-satellite systems. Both the XSS-10 and XSS-11 team’s received the National AIAA Space Systems Award in 2003 and 2007 for pioneering developments and contributions to the aerospace industry.
David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University and a Masters of Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and has authored over 35 research publications and has been a keynote speaker at multiple national and international space conferences on 2nd generation space architectures.
Barbara Plante, Founder and President
Barbara Plante is the founder and President of Boreal Space, located at NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, California. Barbara is an aerospace industry veteran with over 25 years of experience on the Spacelab, BBXRT, NPOESS, Earth Observation System, Ikonos, and MUOS programs. More recently, Barbara and the Boreal Space team played key roles in the highly successful IRIS program (NASA GSFC) and LightSail - a citizen funded project by the Planetary Society, which in May 2015, demonstrated solar sailing technologies in Low Earth Orbit. LightSail received the Mission of the Year award (Aug. 2015) at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah. Boreal Space is actively developing space-based products enabling connectivity with the industrial internet. Barbara attended Singularity University in 2013 and actively embraces industry disruption and exponential technologies. She holds a M.S. Degree in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley and a B.S. Degree in Earth and Space Science from Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.
Michael Vinter, Executive Vice President
International Space Brokers
Michael Vinter is an Executive Vice President of International Space Brokers, a division of Aon Risk Services. Mike has over twenty five years of experience in the insurance industry, the last eighteen years dedicated exclusively to the space industry. His duties include the design and placement of insurance programs for a wide variety of space sector clients. In this role, Mike has worked with many of the leading satellite operators, manufacturers and launch vehicle providers to deliver innovative risk management and insurance solutions.
Mike received his B.S. in Business Management from Virginia Tech and has also earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designations from the Insurance Institute of America.
Daniel Faber, CEO
Deep Space Industries
As a serial entrepreneur in the aerospace and mining industries, Daniel Faber has lead several high tech start-up companies. He has acquired broad leadership experience, both at the management and technical level, while working on innovative space systems with the premiere small satellite developers in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States.
Daniel has held senior roles in many successful spacecraft projects, included a space telescope for locating and characterizing asteroids, a constellation of astronomy spacecraft, operational ship-tracking, pressurized habitation modules, and remote sensing systems. The satellite technologies he has developed span telecommunications, computing, radiation tolerance, propulsion, power distribution and spacecraft pointing. In the mining industry, he invented and brought to market a field-deployable geochemical assay instrument based on non-contact real-time nuclear measurement techniques. He is the recipient of multiple innovation awards and been granted a number of patents in the fields of mining, medical imaging and aerospace.
Daniel holds engineering qualifications from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He founded and has served as director and officer in several non-governmental organizations and stat-up companies. He is currently the CEO of Deep Space Industries, a space technology and resources company.
Roger C. Hunter, Associate Director for Programs
NASA Ames Research Center
Roger Hunter is NASA Ames Research Center Associate Director for Programs, and Program Manager for NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program. He also served as a Technical Lead for DARPA’s Phoenix program. Roger served almost six years as the Project Manager for NASA’s Kepler mission. Kepler is NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets around other stars in the Milky Way galaxy. The scientific objective of Kepler is to determine the frequency of earth-size habitable zone planets in our galaxy. Additionally, Roger is a technical lead for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s PHOENIX program.
After graduation from the University of Georgia, Roger was commissioned as an Officer with the US Air Force. During his Air Force career, his assignments included command of the Air Force 2nd Space Operations Squadron, and 50th Space Wing Operations Group Deputy-Commander. While assigned to the Air Force Research Laboratory, he was the Project Manager for the Clementine II and XSS-10 microsatellite technology demonstration programs. After retiring from the US Air Force, he led the Boeing Global Positioning System Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While with Boeing, Roger led the sustainment, maintenance, and analysis support to the Air Force for all GPS ground systems and satellites.
Roger holds a BS degree in Mathematics, an MS in Space Physics and Operations, and an MA in Airpower Doctrine and Strategy. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Air Force Institute of Technology, US Air Force Air Command and Staff College, US Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies, and the US Air Force Air War College, and retains his Program Manager Certification with NASA. He has received NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and numerous US Air Force Citations. While leading the NASA Kepler Mission, his team received the US Space Foundation’s Jack Swigert Award for Space Exploration and The National Space Club’s Robert Goddard Trophy in recognition of significant impacts in space exploration. Roger is also recognized by the UGA Franklin College of Arts & Sciences as an Outstanding Alumnus.
Chris Boshuizen, Principle
Data Collective VC
Chris is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Data Collective VC, a boutique investment firm specializing in hard, data-driven science and engineering companies.
Chris is the co-founder of Planet Labs, a company providing unprecedented daily, global mapping of our changing planet from space. As the company's CTO for 5 years he took the company from the drawing board to having launched more satellites into space than any other company in history, completely transforming the space industry along the way. Fundamental to Chris's approach is a dedicated investment in people, especially youth and recent graduates, to create a powerful, connected global workforce capable of achieving anything.
Chris was previously a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research Center. After working on a number of traditional spacecraft programs at NASA, Chris co-created Phonesat, a spacecraft built solely out of a regular smart phone. The cost was so low, and the concept so simple, that space exploration is now within grasp of the everyday person, and many other groups around the world are pursuing their own low-cost space programs as a consequence.
Whilst also at NASA, he established Singularity University, a school for studying the consequences of accelerating technological development. Initially fulfilling the role of Interim Director, Chris helped raise over $2.5 million to establish the university, assembling the faculty and serving as co-chair for the University's Department of Space and Sciences.
Chris received his Ph.D. in Physics and BSc. with honours from the University of Sydney.
Tony Lin, Counsel, Washington, DC
Tony Lin is a global satellite and communications regulatory attorney based in the Washington, D.C. office. He has extensive experience in international satellite and communications regulatory matters and advises clients on such matters before international organizations and federal and state agencies, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and state public utility commissions.
Tony has years of experience assisting clients, including both traditional satellite operators and cubesat entrepreneurs, in obtaining satellite licenses for fixed-satellite service, broadcasting-satellite service, earth exploration satellite service, mobile-satellite service, and hybrid satellite-terrestrial wireless service. His satellite transactional experience includes negotiating and drafting orbital use agreements (with both foreign administrations and satellite operators), frequency coordination agreements, non-disclosure agreements, satellite transfer of control and assignment agreements, satellite manufacturing agreements, and other commercial satellite arrangements. Tony's technical expertise includes knowledge of satellite operations in the C band, Ku band, Ka band, 17/24 GHz band, L band, and 2 GHz band, and wireless operations in the L band, Broadband Radio Service (BRS)/Educational Broadband Service (EBS) band, and various Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) and Wireless Communications Service (WCS) bands.
Tony also counsels clients on a variety of other communications law matters, including wireless spectrum policy and licensing, equipment authorizations, unlicensed device operations, regulatory enforcement proceedings, spectrum auctions, compliance with law enforcement requests (CALEA), universal service fund (USF) regulations, and mass media issues. Tony has assisted clients in challenging U.S. regulatory decisions before federal appellate courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Tony worked at another international law firm where he concentrated on communications law matters. Tony also holds a Ph.D. in economics, and prior to entering the practice of law, he taught economics at Southern Illinois University.
Peter Beck, CEO & CTO
Peter Beck founded Rocket Lab in 2008 following a decade and a half of propulsion research and market development in the international space community. Peter has since established Rocket Lab both in New Zealand and the United States as a premier institute for innovative space systems. As comfortable on a CNC mill as he is in a board room, Peter is both the head visionary and technical adviser for the Electron program.
Peter is an acclaimed scientist and engineer, having been awarded a Meritorious Medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society for service of an exceptional nature in New Zealand aviation, and the Cooper Medal, presented by the Royal Society bi-annually to those deemed to have published the best single account of research in physics and engineering. In 2015, Peter was awarded Innovator of the Year at the New Zealander of the Year awards.
Jenny Barna, Launch Manager
Spire Global, Inc
Jenny is the Launch Manager at Spire Global, Inc., a satellite powered data company headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Jenny spent about 10 years as a launch vehicle propulsion engineer at Orbital Sciences, supporting and ultimately leading the propulsion team on successful Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) launch campaigns out of Vandenberg. Jenny then took a role at SSL in Palo Alto, focusing not on GEO satellites, but shifting to business pursuits in emerging markets like smallsats and hosted payloads. Coming from an 'Old Space' background on a missile defense program, Jenny got her first real taste of 'NewSpace' during an SSL visit to Skybox Imaging in Mountain View and was immediately inspired to be part of it. Jenny has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University.
Chris Kunstadter, Senior Vice President
Chris Kunstadter is Senior Vice President and Global Underwriting Manager –Space at XL Catlin, and manages XL Catlin’s space insurance portfolio. He is actively involved in all aspects of XL Catlin’s space business, including technical, financial, and actuarial analysis, policy wording construction, claims handling, and business development.
Chris has worked closely with satellite operators and manufacturers, launch providers, and government agencies to enhance industry understanding of space risk management issues, and has served on numerous failure review boards for satellites and launch vehicles.
Chris is a member of the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and Chairman of COMSTAC’s Business and Legal Working Group. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI).
Chris joined XL Catlin in 2006, after 23 years at U.S. Aviation Underwriters, where he was Executive Vice President in charge of the Aerospace and IT departments.
Chris received a BA degree in Literature and an MS degree in Engineering from the University of California. He holds a Commercial Pilot license with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings, and is a Certified Flight Instructor. Chris is an avid musician, and serves on the boards of several music-oriented not-for-profit organizations.
Tom Stroup, President
As President of SIA, Tom Stroup is the trade association's lead advocate for regulatory and policy issues of critical importance to SIA's membership, including spectrum and licensing issues, defense and public safety matters, and export control and international trade issues. He also manages the day-to-day operations of SIA, including member communications, staff leadership and organization of SIA sponsored events.
Prior to joining SIA, Mr. Stroup was with Shared Spectrum Company (SSC), a leading developer of spectrum intelligence technologies, where he served as CEO. For more than a decade, he served as the President of the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA). Previous to his position at SSC, he founded and ran several companies in the technology industry, including Columbia Spectrum Management, P-Com Network Services, CSM Wireless, and SquareLoop.
Mr. Stroup holds a BS, summa cum laude, in Public Administration from the University of North Dakota. He is also a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center where he served as Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Dr. Clare Martin, Vice President of Programs
Surrey Satellite Technology US
As vice president of programs, Dr. Clare Martin leads the Surrey project management and engineering teams to ensure that Surrey’s low-cost methods, and the benefits they bring, are applied to the execution of programs. She also provides guidance to project managers and engineers, guaranteeing the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience are incorporated into all areas of the business. Clare supports the Surrey U.S. executive team on the proper bidding, negotiation, and execution of projects.
Clare joined the Surrey U.S. team after serving more than seven years with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in the United Kingdom. She brings a thorough knowledge of all Surrey spacecraft and systems and ethos and culture to the U.S. team. She held several positions there including head of telecommunications and navigation and senior project manager. Prior to Surrey, Clare worked at QinetiQ, formerly the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA), as a project manager and scientist. She earned an M.Sci. in astrophysics and Ph.D. in mathematics and computational sciences, both from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
Randa Relich Milliron, CoFounder
Randa Relich Milliron--Interorbital Systems' CoFounder--has served as the company’s CEO since 1995. Her professional experience spans aerospace, media, the arts, and academia. Milliron holds a BA in Existential Phenomenological Psychology and an MA in African Languages and Area Studies from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with additional studies in Chemistry at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, and doctoral studies in Communication at Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin. Randa helms Interorbital Systems’ marketing and promotional efforts, and on the engineering side, specializes in the development and use of high-temperature composite materials. She is an award-winning television director and producer, video artist, and electronic musician. Her media experience includes three years as a television news director and producer for AFN Berlin. For over two decades, she has taught advanced television production, communication, and science courses at universities in Europe and America, and is currently on faculty with the University of Phoenix. Milliron is also active as an Officer of the Pacific Rocket Society; as Co-Founder of space tourism company Astro Expeditions LLC; as Co-Founder of the nonprofit educational organization Trans Lunar Research; and as a Founding Member of Google Lunar X PRIZE Team SYNERGY MOON.
John P. Janka, Partner
Latham & Watkins LLP
John P. Janka, a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP in the Washington, D.C. office, focuses on the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector. His clients include investors, banks and companies from start-up entities to global leaders. Mr. Janka has negotiated a wide variety of business transactions, including buying, selling and financing satellite companies, procuring satellite networks, and leasing and selling satellite capacity. He also is experienced with the domestic and international processes that govern the use of radio spectrum. TheFinancial Times highlighted one of Mr. Janka’s projects, providing a “standout” ranking for advising on issues involving new uses of radio spectrum. Mr. Janka has been consistently recognized as a leading communications lawyer in publications such as The Legal 500 US, Euromoney’s Expert Guides to the World’s Leading TMT Lawyers, Euromoney’s The Best of The Best USA-Telecoms, The International Who's Who of Telecoms & Media Lawyers andSuper Lawyers.
Mr. Janka has served as a United States delegate to an ITU World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Cynthia Holcomb Hall, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Janka holds a JD degree from the UCLA School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif, and an AB degree from Duke University, where he graduated magna cum laude. His book, The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review, in its sixth edition, addresses the impact that innovation has had on our lives, and how it has outpaced the development of the law around the world.
Eric Petkus, Director of Innovation - Responsive ISR
With engineering degrees from Michigan Technological University and the University of South Florida, Mr. Petkus has over 35 years of experience in engineering, product line and business development fields, covering a wide range of technologies and disciplines. At Harris Corporation, Eric has held numerous roles over his 24 years with the company, and is currently a director of innovation in the Responsive ISR Group within the Space and Intelligence Segment. An honored recipient of numerous engineering, new business and presidents awards, Mr. Petkus along with the other members in the Responsive ISR Group, is responsible for solving customer mission needs in creative, responsive ways.
Andy Hoskins, In-Space Propulsion and Power Business Development
Andy leads Aerojet Rocketdyne's Business Development for In-Space Propulsion and Power
Andy has worked in electric propulsion for Aerojet Rocketdyne for over 25 years, and is a leader in electric propulsion for the company. He has managed many of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s electric propulsion programs across the spectrum of EP technologies for programs for NASA, the Air Force, and commercial satellites manufacturers. His work includes leading programs that use arcjets, pulsed plasma, Hall Effect and gridded ion systems technologies. He led the NEXT gridded ion engine program for AR, a NASA program to develop the next generation of high efficiency electric propulsion thrusters for deep space and commercial missions. AR’s technology enabled a record breaking 50,000 hour life test demonstrated by NASA. He led the pulse plasma thruster on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 mission, which is still flying today. Andy spent 19 years working at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Redmond, Washington. In 2009, Andy moved to Washington DC to lead Aerojet Rocketdyne’s in-space propulsion and power business development efforts there, including miniaturized and advanced propulsion systems for small satellites of all sizes down to cubesats.
Andy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Yale University and a Master of Science and Engineering degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.
Craig Clark, Founder
Clyde Space Ltd.
Craig has a BEng in Electrical Power Engineering from the University of Glasgow and an MSc in Satellite Engineering from the University of Surrey. After 11 years at a major space company in SE England, Craig returned to Glasgow and founded Clyde Space Ltd. Clyde Space is now one of the most successful suppliers of small satellites in the world, becoming a 'household name' in the space industry. The company continues to grow and develop cutting-edge products for the space market, in particular in the area of tiny satellites called 'CubeSats'. Presently in its 11th year of trading, Clyde Space has over 70 highly skilled, full-time staff. Clyde Space launched Scotland's first satellite in July 2014. In June 2013, Craig was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday Honours list for his services to Innovation and Technology.
Dr. Jenny Gautier, Director of Commercial Programs
The Aerospace Corporation
Dr. Jenny Gautier is the Director of Commercial Programs at The Aerospace Corporation. The Aerospace Corporation is a California non-profit organization that operates a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force. Through Commercial Programs, Aerospace seeks to provide private industry the benefit of our unique laboratory capabilities and analytical tools developed over the past 55 years, and provide the US Government the benefit of the innovation and reduced cost of commercial space solutions. Aerospace is now engaging commercial space companies and offering core services across the entire systems development and operations lifecycle.
Dr. Gautier received her PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 2003, focusing on the integration of Space-based Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services with inertial sensors. She also earned her MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University in 1994 and a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1990.
Dr. Gautier’s experience has ranged from academia to industry to government. Most recently before joining The Aerospace Corporation, she was the Deputy Vice President for Research in the University of California Office of the President. She served as Senior Advisor in the PNT National Coordination Office in 2005 representing NASA Headquarters and supporting the interagency coordinating body for the GPS program, the National Executive Committee for Space-Based PNT. She has worked at Lockheed-Martin, Trimble Navigation, Ltd., and Honeywell Technology Center.
Dan Lopez, VP of Technology
Dan Lopez is an innovative entrepreneur and architect who has advised a wide variety of web-centric businesses and brands by lending his creative, strategic, and technological vision. With leadership and technology experience that spans over a fifteen years, Mr. Lopez is a seasoned startup and open source veteran, with domain expertise in Federal, Defense, and consumer web. Having served as Director of Technology at JUXT in the heart of Silicon Valley, and Web Architect at the Linux Foundation, he has built bleeding edge consumer-facing technology and applications. Mr. Lopez leverages his engineering expertise, and a focus on open source and cloud technologies, to harness imagination and entrepreneurial spirit.
Dr. Josef Koller, Senior Advisor
Office of the Secretary of Defense for Space Policy
Dr. Josef Koller is a senior advisor at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. In this position, he serves as a thought-leader and senior staff analyst responsible for providing technical advice and analyzing space-related United States Government and DoD policy matters. He directly supports key international strategy efforts in order to implement the President's National Space Policy and the Secretary's National Security Space. His portfolio includes space traffic management, space situational awareness, Congressional engagements, and public affairs related issues. Prior to this assignment, Dr. Koller was co-leading the Space Science and Applications Development Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, founder of the Los Alamos Space Weather Summer School, and project lead for a number of satellite conjunction analysis and space weather projects. In his previous positions, he developed novel data assimilation and machine learning techniques and holds a U.S. patent on space weather modeling in decisional time frames. Dr. Koller is an author and co-author of over 40 referenced publications with 500+ citations. He is a topical editor for the Journal of Geoscientific Model Development and received his PhD in Astrophysics from Rice University in 2004. He enjoys spending time with his family with four children and perfecting his piloting skills with a Cessna 172.
Mike Safyan, Director of Launch and Regulatory Affairs
Mike Safyan is the Director of Launch and Regulatory Affairs at Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that designs, builds and operates the world's largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites. Mike was part of the founding team at Planet Labs and previously worked at NASA Ames on the PhoneSat project as a Systems Engineer. Prior to that he worked on Mission Design for the Barcelona Moon Team competing for the Google Lunar X-Prize. Mike received his M.Sc. from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, and his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA.
Catherine Melquist, Senior Vice President, Satellite Division
Catherine Melquist is senior vice president of Sage’s satellite division, bringing over 20 years of industry experience to the company’s space clients. She has held a number of leadership positions in market development strategy, business development and product management and marketing at multiple satellite communications companies.
Before joining Sage in 2015, Catherine served as vice president of market development at MTN Government, a division of MTN Communications. She led a number of key business development initiatives and assembled the company’s Government Advisory Committee, designed to guide MTN’s corporate strategy of delivering secure communications to government customers.
Previously, Catherine was director of business intelligence and marketing for Airbus Defence’s Astrium Services Government unit – formed from the 2011 acquisition of satellite communications provider Vizada. Catherine led rebranding efforts to help reposition the company as a provider of managed fixed satellite services and launched its new portfolio of machine-to-machine (M2M) data services.
Prior, Catherine led global and regional strategic marketing, channel development efforts and product development at Vizada. This was a continuation of her role of director of strategic initiatives and marketing at Telenor Satellite Services, a Norwegian telecommunications company from which Vizada was formed in 2007.
Catherine previously served as director of marketing for Lockheed Martin’s Global Telecommunications division, staying on when Telenor acquired the division in 2002. She first joined Lockheed Martin in 2000 when the company acquired Comsat Corporation, one of the world’s leading satellite operators at that time. As director of product marketing and management at Comsat, Catherine led multiple key business development endeavors during her seven-year tenure.
Catherine is the newly elected president of the Mobile Satellite User’s Association and held memberships in the Satellite Industry Association, the Society of Satellite Professionals International, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, the Washington Space Business Roundtable and Women in Technology. She holds an MBA in international marketing from the American University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Randy Culver, CEO
Randy Culver is the CEO of AMERGINT Technologies, Inc.
AMERGINT builds satellite communications software products. One of the company’s founders, Randy directs AMERGINT’s business strategy, partnerships, and new product planning. He has worked closely with customers on more than fifty distinct space systems over the past twenty years.
Prior to AMERGINT, Randy was the President of Real Time Logic, Inc. He held that position from the company’s formation through 2008. During the period, RT Logic was acquired and continues to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Randy began his career at IBM, working as an engineering manager at various locations including Boulder, CO. This was back when space systems required mainframe computers! He left IBM in 1996 to pursue entrepreneurial goals and to demonstrate how small businesses could be highly successful in the space market.
Randy has a BS degree in Engineering Science from Virginia Tech and a MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.
He is an active racing cyclist and recently competed for Team USA in the 2014 ITU World Duathlon Championships.
Sunil Nagaraj, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Bessemer Venture Partners
Sunil, a vice president in the Menlo Park, CA office, focuses on investments in space, developer tools, and security companies.
Sunil serves as a Board Director for Auth0, Nitrous.IO and Zoosk. He is a board observer at GetInsured, Rocket Lab, Spire and Virtru. Sunil is also closely involved with Bessemer's investments in Box, DocuSign, Simply Measured, Tile and Zapier. His past investments include Twitch (acquired by Amazon), Defense.net (acquired by F5 Networks) and Grow Mobile (acquired by Perion).
Prior to joining Bessemer, Sunil was the founder and CEO of Triangulate, a venture-backed online dating startup that used social media behaviors to drive algorithmic matching. Previously, Sunil worked in consulting at Bain & Company, in Cisco's Corporate Development group, and in product management at Microsoft. He has also worked at several early-stage startups (Sendio, ZeeWise, Celito) as a software engineer and in business development. Sunil frequently speaks about best practices for growing startups.
Sunil holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with honors. Sunil is Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the NextGen Board of the Computer History Museum and is Co-Chair of NextGen Partners, the largest pre-partner VC networking group in the Bay Area. He also serves on the board of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers. In his free time, Sunil enjoys sailing and stargazing.
Chad Frost, Deputy Director of Engineering
NASA Ames Research Center
Chad Frost is Deputy Director of Engineering at NASA Ames Research Center. For over 25 years, Mr. Frost has been at the forefront of aerospace technology. His responsibilities cover new mission concept formulation and development, spacecraft engineering efforts, advanced manufacturing, and spacecraft mission operations at Ames. He previously served as Chief of Ames’ Mission Design Division, and head of the Autonomous Systems and Robotics section, responsible for developing and deploying technologies that make aircraft safer, spacecraft more affordable, and robots smarter. Mr. Frost has worked in industry as a product design and manufacturing engineer, a spacecraft structures program manager, and as a problem-solving consultant to DoD programs. He joined the Army/NASA joint rotorcraft division in 1997, and contributed to the development of the award-winning CONDUIT control-law optimization software, the RASCAL fly-by-wire Black Hawk research helicopter, and the Autonomous Rotorcraft Project. In collaboration with industry, he developed flight control laws for a wide variety of manned and unmanned VTOL and STOL aircraft. In 2005, Mr. Frost joined NASA’s Intelligent Systems division, where he led the Intelligent Mission Management project, led NASA’s rotorcraft flight control research program, served as Co-Investigator on the Spacecraft Handling Qualities project, and performed in a variety of leadership positions in the division. Mr. Frost has served as a member of the NASA Flight Sciences Steering Committee, and was an invited speaker at the National Academy of Engineering’s 2010 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the California Polytechnic State University.
Karl A. Kensinger, Deputy Chief, Satellite Division
FCC International Bureau
Karl A. Kensinger is a Deputy Chief of the Satellite Division of the Federal Communications Commission’s International Bureau. He began his career at the FCC in 1987 in the FCC’s Mass Media Bureau, regulating radio and television. In 1994, he joined the FCC’s then newly formed International Bureau, where he served as an attorney, as the Chief of the Satellite Division’s Satellite Engineering Branch, and as a Special Advisor and then Associate Chief of the Satellite Division, before assuming his current position.
Mr. Kensinger’s expertise covers a broad range of satellite policy and licensing matters, including areas such as international coordination of satellite networks, radio spectrum policy, and transfers of FCC licenses. He has been the primary FCC point of contact on orbital debris matters since 1995, and was instrumental in the FCC’s adoption of orbital debris mitigation rules in 2004.
Mr. Kensinger is an attorney by training. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and a 1982 graduate of the University of Chicago.
Richard (Ric) A. VanderMeulen is Vice President, Space & Satellite Broadband
Richard (Ric) A. VanderMeulen is Vice President, Space & Satellite Broadband at ViaSat the world’s largest operator of Satellite Communication Capacity. In this position since 2009, VanderMeulen is engaged in ViaSat’s efforts serving government and commercial markets with broadband, fixed and mobile Satellite Communication Services, Satcom Ground Segment solutions, and Satcom Customer Premise Equipment solutions.
Bringing both engineering and business expertise during his more than 30 years in the Satellite Communications industry, Mr. VanderMeulen has held senior general manager and program manager positions at ViaSat, The Boeing Company, and Rockwell Collins. Before formation of Government Systems Division, VanderMeulen was Vice President General Manager Government Satcom. He was responsible for all ViaSat’s government Satcom programs.
He joined ViaSat in 2001. Previously, he served as Director, Business Development for Boeing’s Space and Communication Group new ventures. Mr. VanderMeulen began his business career with Rockwell Collins as a design engineer and eventually as a business leader responsible for design completion and transitioned to production of multiple Satcom Systems including Milstar, SMART-T, SCAMP, and others.
Ric was born in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the University of Virginia and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.
Mike Collett, Founder and Managing Partner
Mike Collett is Founder and Managing Partner of Promus Ventures in Chicago. Mike previously was Founder and Managing Partner of Masters Capital Nanotechnology Fund and also on the Technology Equity team with Masters Capital, a hedge fund. Mike was Vice President at Merrill Lynch in the M&A Group as well as an Associate in M&A Division with Duff & Phelps. Mike has invested in over 60 software/hardware startups, and is currently on the board of Spire, Layer, Kurbo Health, Gauss Surgical, Dispatch, Enview, FirstLine, and Daylight Solutions. Mike received his BS in Math and BA in English from Vanderbilt University and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Mike and his wife Paige have four children and live in Chicago.
David A. Anhalt, Vice President and General Manager
David Anhalt, joined Iridium in 2013 as Vice President and General Manager of Iridium PRIMESM, a hosted payload accommodation service that will utilize the Iridium inter-satellite communication network, ground infrastructure, and flexible spacecraft bus design. He spearheads business development for Iridium PRIME, focusing on customer acquisition and technology partnerships.
Prior to joining commercial industry, Mr. Anhalt served in the Air Force for 28 years and graduated from its Test Pilot School. He has played key roles in a broad array of USAF research and development, test operations and program management responsibilities in both the air and space sectors.
Mr. Anhalt earned a BSEE degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds an MSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University and is an Associate Fellow in the American Institution of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Dr. Joe Thurgood, Vice President Corporate Development and Marketing
As vice president of corporate development and marketing for Hera Systems, Dr. Joe Thurgood is responsible for guiding business development and marketing strategies in preparation for the launch of the company’s first micro-satellites in late 2016.
Hera Systems is a satellite-based information and analytics company that plans to collects images of the Earth every day, enabling commercial and government organizations to monitor change and make smart operational decisions in near-real time. Hera Systems’ 1HOPSat (1st-generation High Optical Performance Satellite) constellation will enable customers to acquire imagery and video, as a foundation for intelligent analytics and derived information services. Through 1HOPSat’s low-cost, high-performance design, Hera Systems intends to set a new standard for quality and value in earth observation and analytics.
In his position at Hera Systems, Joe brings over two decades of experience in the field of high-resolution commercial satellite imaging and its application in government and the private sector, with additional expertise in geographic information systems, geospatial imaging and supporting operations. Throughout his career Joe has balanced his focus on both commercial and operational aspects of geospatial technologies, building experience with such companies as Leica (Hexagon), Vexcel Imaging (Microsoft) and at HJW Geospatial as President and CEO.
Joe served as vice president of marketing for DigitalGlobe, where he managed marketing communications and public relations, and directed programs for all channel and vertical marketing. At Space Imaging, the world’s first commercial high-resolution satellite imagery provider, Joe was responsible for product marketing and international market rollout programs.
Joe holds a BSc in topographic science from the University of Glasgow, and a Masters and PhDin remote sensing and image processing from Purdue University.
Dr. Frank Gallagher, Chief, System Architecture and Requirements Division
Dr. Frank Gallagher is the Chief of the System Architecture and Requirements Division of the Office of System Architecture and Advanced Planning (OSAAP) at NOAA/NESDIS. OSAAP is working on developing a set of alternative satellite architectures that will meet NOAA’s environmental intelligence requirements in the 2030 epoch. OSAAP is expected to further define and refine candidate architectures after the completion of the current study.
Frank received his B.S. in Meteorology and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, his M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Maryland, and his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.