[SatNews] The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) will present its 2014 Promise Awards to Adriel Carreno of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems, Paloma Field of GCI Communications and Erin Weber of Hogan Lovells.
The Promise Awards honor three satellite executives age 35 and under for outstanding achievement in the early stages of their career. In the same ceremony, SSPI will honor its 2014 Mentor of the Year, Dr. David Whalen of the Space Studies Department at the University of North Dakota, for his devotion to nurturing the careers of young professionals.
“The Future Leaders Dinner is much more than an award program or social event,” said SSPI executive director Robert Bell. “It is a key part of SSPI’s mission: to focus attention on attracting and retaining the next generation. Our industry can win the global competition for markets only by winning the global competition for talent.”
The 2014 Promise and Mentor Awards will be presented at the ninth annual Future Leaders Dinner (http://www.satfuture.com) at The Penn Club in Manhattan on Tuesday, November 11, on the evening before the opening of the SATCON and Content & Communications World (CCW) events. The proceeds of the dinner go to fund SSPI’s educational, professional development and industry growth initiatives. During SATCON, the three Promise Award winners will join top executives of the satellite industry for a keynote panel that will explore the most profound trends shaping technology, markets and business models in coming decades.
The SSPI 2014 Promise Award Winners are...
Adriel Carreno, Boeing Space and International Systems
Adriel is the Missions & Programs Business Development Lead for Civil Programs at Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. In this role, Adriel works with Boeing’s customers and across numerous Boeing business and product groups to develop innovative, resilient, and affordable mission solutions and architectures. His work on the integration of cost and mass-saving technologies into Boeing’s satellite product line has resulted in millions of dollars of savings for the company and its customers. He also manages the vital USAF SMC Hosted Payload Solutions (HOPS) contract for hosting of government payloads on commercial spacecraft.
Paloma Field, GCI Communications Corp
Paloma Field joined GCI Communications Corp of Alaska in 2012, fresh out of school with a BS in electrical and computer systems engineering. Not long after her hiring, she was assigned to take end-to-end responsibility for construction of a standalone VSAT site at a remote mining operation. The project faced strict construction deadlines and the massive obstacles of remoteness, Alaska’s severe weather and limited visibility to the geostationary satellite arc. Paloma was responsible for licensing and regulatory approvals, IP routing and packet network design, link budget analysis and equipment selection and implementation. The project would have been a challenging one for a senior engineer, but she delivered it on time and on budget for a very happy customer. By 2014, she was the primary engineer on a complex and geographically diverse VSAT network that covers the entire State of Alaska and regions of the Gulf of Mexico – while returning to school to earn a Master of Science in Project Management.
Erin Weber, Hogan Lovells
In 2014, Erin Weber brought her talents and experience to Hogan Lovells, where she advises clients on procurements and contract management for satellites, launch vehicles and ground segment. Much of that experience came from work as a senior attorney and contracts manager with International Launch Services. In that role, she helped the Mexican Government navigate through the US$1.5 billion procurement and deployment of MEXSAT, a three-satellite system designed to support both national security and local communications bridging the digital divide. She served as lead negotiator and contract manager for Mexico, and her work covered satellite procurement, launch vehicles, insurance placement and procurement and implantation of the ground network. At Hogan Lovells, she continues to advise the Mexican government on the continuing issues of this vital program.
The 2014 Mentor of the Year
Dr. David Whalen, Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota
As a young boy living in Puerto Rico Dr. Whalen was strongly influenced by the film Forbidden Planet. He thought if he worked hard at school and became proficient at math, that one day he could serve as “astrogator” on a starship. He joined the Navy in 1966 because he felt that flying planes was the next best thing to flying starships.
After service as a Naval Flight Officer, David became an astronomer at the US Naval Observatory, then served as supervisor for celestial mechanics for Western Union’s satellite division, engineering specialist for RCA/GE Space, principal engineer for Ford Aerospace, vice president of engineering for AsiaSat, and a director of Lockheed Martin and Artel. Throughout his successful career in industry, David devoted himself to nurturing the careers of younger employees. He took interest in people far below his "pay grade" and has, from this, built an extensive legacy of those whose careers and personal lives he has touched. In any place where people working on space-related projects gather, it is not unusual to see individuals coming up to David to thank him for his contribution to their career.
In 2007, David decided to make mentorship his full-time job. He joined the University of North Dakota's Space Studies Department as Associate Professor and Chair. While at UND, Whalen has mentored and taught countless students, and is known as the faculty member who will go the extra mile to help the next generation. Despite being one of the elder statesmen of the Space Studies Department, he is the one who students are most likely to find in his office late into the night or on weekends. Even while putting in long hours to bring his book to completion (and begin work on his next), he never turns students away and will spend hours on end to help them sort out their career aspirations, academic concerns and even personal problems.
SSPI promotes the growth of the satellite industry by educating current and potential end-users and the general public about the indispensable contributions of satellites to business, government and human welfare, and by connecting satellite professionals worldwide through education, knowledge-sharing and fostering professional relationships. In carrying out this mission, SSPI provides an on-ramp for students looking to start careers in the satellite business, educates today’s and tomorrow’s customers on the enormous and unique value of satellite technology, and promotes excellence and innovation among satellite professionals and the companies they work for, ensuring that our industry stays strong.
The SSPI infosite may be accessed at http://www.sspi.org/