Satnews Daily
September 28th, 2016

Future Leaders & Mentor Of The Year Named By SSPI

The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) will present their
2016 Promise Awards to:

  • Dr. Jennifer Dawson of Space Systems Loral (SSL)
  • Pascale Dumit of SES
  • Erin Feller of Boeing Network & Space Systems


The Promise Awards honor three satellite executives age 35 and under for outstanding achievement in the early stages of their career. The three recipients will be honored on November 9th in New York City at SSPI’s 11th Annual Future Leaders Dinner. On that night, SSPI will also honor its 2016 Mentor of the Year, David Myers of DataPath, for the encouragement, support, and inspiration he has provided to young professionals throughout his career.

We received a large number of nominations from the US and Europe this year,” said SSPI executive director Robert Bell, “and the choice was particularly difficult.  The three winners represent the most outstanding of an extraordinary group. whom we will be honoring through the rest of the year and into 2017.  And there’s something just as extraordinary about them in this male-dominated industry: on average, three-quarters of winners over the past four years have been women, compared with only one-quarter in the prior four years.”

The 2016 Future Leaders Dinner ( takes place at The Penn Club in Manhattan on Wednesday, November 9th, on the first night of the 2016 NAB New York Show. The proceeds of the dinner go to fund SSPI’s educational, professional development and industry growth initiatives.

During the 2016 NAB New York Show, the three Promise Award winners will participate in the November 10 keynote panel, “Pathways to the Future - A Dialogue Between Today's Industry Leaders and the Promise of the Future,” featuring Mark Spiwak, the President of Boeing Satellite Systems International. The panel will be presented at 11:30 a.m.

The SSPI 2016 Promise Award Winners:

Dr. Jennifer Dawson
Director, Marketing & Sales, Space Systems Loral (SSL)

Dr. Jennifer Dawson of
Space Systems Loral (SSL).

Before joining the company, Jennifer was a researcher at Stanford University, where she developed a cryogenic test facility, conducted experiments on a superconducting position sensor, defined requirements, and fabricated and tested customized electrical connectors. While at Stanford, Jennifer received a NASA Group Achievement Award in 2005 for her work on the Gravity Probe B relativity gyroscope experiment developed by NASA and the university. After finishing her PhD, she went on to teach for two years at York College in Pennsylvania.

Jennifer joined SSL in 2010 as a Senior Spacecraft Systems Engineer. In that position, she performed critical analysis of satellite design and led teams in design, test, and anomaly resolution. In particular, she led the mechanical design and environmental accommodation team for a NASA-hosted payload. In 2012, Jennifer became the Chair of SSL’s Shock Committee. The Committee defines company-wide shock qualification requirements and oversees design and test for shock caused by the extreme environment that a satellite has to withstand at launch. As Chair, she redefined the company’s qualification requirements, simplifying them and eliminating over-specification.

Jennifer became Product Assurance Program Manager in 2015 and was one of the youngest employees at SSL to ever take on this position. In this role, she led the mission assurance team for one of SSL’s satellites to ensure spacecraft quality and reliability.  She oversaw all analysis, design, integration, and testing, and helped the customer directly with their own oversight. In September 2016 Jennifer assumed her current role as Director of Marketing and Sales, where she channels her technical and customer-focused experience into helping satellite operators develop systems that strengthen their businesses.

Her experience as a teacher and researcher has helped Jennifer drive SSL to establish new technical standards and to educate her colleagues in putting these new practices into place. She is known for looking beyond established practices for solutions to problems and is always offering fresh approaches and ideas when confronted with a challenge. According to Senior Vice President of Program Management David Bernstein, Jennifer is “dedicated to doing things the right way” and “explains things very well and is always open to teaching what she knows.” She excels at managing and training others both inside and outside the company and is currently mentoring students through both Bucknell University and Stanford University.

Pascale Dumit
Manager, Spectrum Management and Development, Americas, SES

Pascale Dumit of SES.

Pascale began her career in the satellite industry in 2005 at Hughes, where she designed and commissioned broadband satellite networks in Africa and the Americas. Pascale went on to work as a consultant at ITT Exelis (now the Harris Corporation) where she supported NASA as well as the Department of Defense on a broad range of international spectrum management issues and contributed to the overall development and implementation of strategy in national and international spectrum regulatory environments.

As a Manager of Spectrum Management and Development at SES, Pascale manages spectrum matters both at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and is responsible for the development and protection of spectrum assets for select SES projects over the Americas. She is currently leading all domestic and international spectrum-related activities, including coordination and licensing for SES-15, a new high throughput satellite to be launched in 2017 and expected to serve SES’s leading aeronautical customers and other traffic intensive data applications such as government, VSAT networks and maritime.

Throughout her career, Pascale has demonstrated a natural leadership as well as an inherent ability to bring together various parties and drive collaboration among them to achieve successful results. According to Kimberly Baum, Vice President of Spectrum Management and Development for the Americas and Pascale’s manager, she regularly has “government representatives request that Pascale attend their meetings; they know she is the most reliable, effective advocate they could have to achieve the US’s objectives at any given meeting.”

In a particularly exemplary display of coordination and leadership, Pascale was instrumental in coordinating efforts among the satellite industry representatives at the international meetings leading up to the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) and led major advocacy efforts that resulted in the protection of existing spectrum for SES’s customers and regulatory certainty for the industry.

In addition to her many achievements at SES, Pascale is an active member of her community. For the last 10+ years, she has consistently dedicated herself to helping other engineers succeed. Pascale was recently recognized by her alma mater, The George Washington University, for her service to the university community and received the university’s 2016 Alumni Outstanding Service Award. She served as Chair of the Engineering Alumni Association (GW EAA) from 2013 to 2015, and held several other positions within the GW EAA in previous years. Pascale remains involved in the GW EAA to this day.

Erin Feller
Advanced Government Space Systems Project Manager, Boeing Network & Space Systems

Erin Feller of
Boeing Network & Space Systems.

During her time at Boeing, Erin has led space and ground architecture studies aimed at revolutionizing the future of the industry. She has consistently demonstrated her strong communication and leadership skills both within the company and with government customers. According to her direct manager, Matt Richards, Erin “is regularly sought after within the Boeing satellite business as one of the top proposal leads” and he has been “approached by Boeing executives across government and commercial satellite systems organizations requesting Ms. Feller by name to support their highest priority new business campaigns.”

Early in her career at Boeing, Erin was instrumental in establishing the Concurrent Integrated Engineering Laboratory (CIEL), used for rapid satellite design development at the Boeing Satellite Design Center. Using the experience and insight she gained from working on the CIEL, she went on to perform many design-to-cost exercises for the development of commercial-like concepts for military satellite communications spacecraft. Erin has led several critical programs at Boeing, recently including one of the company’s largest business orders for 2016. Erin is also spearheading an effort to develop new commercial-like offerings for international partners on military satellite communications (MILSATCOM). As part of this effort, she led the team in developing three different technical spacecraft offerings as well as business strategy.

In addition to her technical, leadership, project management, and business skills, Erin brings energy, creativity, and focus to the greater satellite enterprise, and she is known for inspiring the same in others who work with her. She has consistently developed innovative teams as a leader at Boeing, teams that her customers acknowledge as focused and efficient. Erin has been selected for Boeing’s Emerging Leader Development Program and hopes to take on more leadership roles and responsibility in the future.

Beyond her many achievements, Erin has consistently worked to help other engineering students beginning during her days as one of them. While working on her Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Nebraska, she spent two years as a resident assistant and leading recruiting and social activities in the engineering department as an Engineering Ambassador. While at Boeing, Erin has dedicated much of her personal time to helping newly hired Boeing engineers. She is a founding member of “Boeing Spacecraft and Flight Systems Engineering Early Career Think Tank” as well as part of the original team that developed and implemented a campus-wide new hire and early career summer training program.

The SSPI 2016 Mentor of the Year

David Myers
President & CEO, DataPath

David Myers, the President and CEO of DataPath.

As President & CEO of DataPath, David Myers is leading a renewed privately-owned company that emerged after a spin-out from publically traded Rockwell Collins.  Over the past two-plus years, the revitalized DataPath has developed an array of new offerings including satellite antenna systems, remote management software, connectivity services, and cyber security solutions.  These investments are fueling an overall strategy to provide end-to-end communications solutions for the aerospace, broadcast, defense, and infrastructure markets.  To date, the reinvestment in DataPath has resulted in over $400M in new contract awards.

Prior to joining DataPath, David held a number of senior level positions across the satellite industry, developing brands, launching new products and entering new markets.  David spent several years at Harris CapRock (formerly CapRock Communications), as Vice President of Marketing & Product Management, President of Government Solutions, and ultimately Chief Commercial Officer.  One of his proudest accomplishments was the development of “CommandAccess®,” the industry’s first military-grade satellite subscription service.

David also previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for ITC Global, where he expanded the company’s market presence from a relative unknown to among the top three brands in the oil & gas and mining markets.  David first entered the satellite industry at Spacenet, where he worked his way up from business development and product management roles to eventually serve as the company’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Development.

In addition to product and market innovation, David believes the core foundation for any successful company is a highly collaborative culture.  The key is encouraging initiative and creativity from every employee, regardless of title or tenure.  To foster this culture, David regularly walks the factory floor and holds skip level lunch meetings, so he can hear first-hand what “real people” think about their jobs and how the company is doing.  These live interactions often result in a new idea for a product or process.  David’s favorite approach is to empower the person who championed the idea to build a task force and “make it happen.”

In a manager’s meeting shortly after taking over as CEO David remarked, “Rapidly growing organizations must be dynamic. You don’t necessarily need to have all the right players in all the right positions, right away.   Making a team successful is about recruiting great all-around athletes and then helping them find something to own, where they can apply their talents and passion to drive the company’s performance.”

When notified about his selection for the SSPI Mentor of the Year award, David said, “I consider myself a life-long student of the industry and fortunate to have worked with and learned from some amazing people.  I am a true believer in the SSPI mission to encourage new talent to build impactful careers in the exciting and dynamic industry that is satellite communications.”