Home >> News: October 14th, 2013 >> Story
Satnews Daily
October 14th, 2013

SSPI Names Names...Meet The Future Leaders Now + A Mentor (Event)

[SatNews] “For the first time, all three winners of our 2013 Promise Awards are women...”

The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) today announced the 2013 Promise and Mentor Award winners. The Awards will be presented at the eighth annual Future Leaders Dinner at The Penn Club in Manhattan on Tuesday, November 12, 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.

“For the first time, all three winners of our 2013 Promise Awards are women,” said executive director Robert Bell. “That’s a remarkable milestone in this traditionally male-dominated industry – one that our Mentor of the Year has done his share to help bring about – and is a sign of the expanding career opportunities being created by innovation in manufacturing, launch and services.”  

  The Promise Awards

SSPI’s Promise Awards honor executives ages 35 and under for outstanding achievement in the early stages of their careers, and recognize their potential to play a leadership role in the industry. During SATCON, the three Promise Award winners will join CEOs of the satellite industry for a keynote panel that will explore the most profound trends shaping technology, markets and business models in coming decades and ask what a drastically different industry might look like.

  The 2013 winners are:

Sunali Chokshi, Section Supervisor, Space Systems/Loral

Sunali Chokshi, Section Supervisor, Space Systems/Loral
Helping a leading satellite manufacturer do more for its customers. During her seven years at Space Systems/Loral, Sunali has been on the fast track: working in a series of positions of increasing responsibility as a Test Engineer, a Project Responsible Engineer, a Unit Manager and is now a Section Manager. Her most recent achievement was leading an initiative to increase the test capacity of the SSL Nearfield Range (NFR).

Her project team identified areas of improvement, secured funding, and worked through suppliers, facilities maintenance, and other organizations within SS/L to complete these improvements. The outcome of the project improved both test capacity and measurement quality, permanently expanding SS/L’s production capacity at a time when manufacturers are being challenged to reduce the cost and time required to design and build a satellite.


Emma Hinds, Technology Analyst, The Tauri Group

Emma Hinds, Technology Analyst, The Tauri Group
Improving the U.S. Government’s understanding of a complex business. Emma is a serious space and satellite policy maven, with stints at the Space Policy Institute, Office of Management & Budget, NASA and Booz Allen Hamilton already behind her.

At The Tauri Group, she supports the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, and the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) as well as other clients.  She has provided research, strategic planning, technology roadmaps and recommendations shaping US government technology policies, regulations and investments.  In 2013, she was the research lead for SIA’s State of the Satellite Industry report, a project she helped her company win from a competitor, and helped SIA validate 16 years of data to produce and lead briefings for a report widely referenced by business and government leaders.  


Sarah Warren Rose, Lead Engineer, Mechtronics/Guidance Navigation, and Control, Interorbital Systems

Sarah Warren Rose, Lead Engineer, Mechtronics/Guidance Navigation, and Control, Interorbital Systems
Delivering leading-edge innovation in access to orbit A mechanical engineer by training, Sarah is a relentless innovator in both the physical and digital worlds, who holds numerous patents in the field of Rotary Engine development. Her work for InterOrbital Systems – a company founded in 1996 to create a unique modular orbital launch system – has focused on IT and robots. She has developed a new generation of “genetically evolving algorithms” to provide guidance and control for InterOrbital’s new sounding rockets and orbital launch system, which are undergoing flight testing on a custom quad-copter that she built from scratch.  She is also a well-regarded academic researcher who teaches course at UCLA in mechanical engineering and robotics.  

2013 Mentor of the Year

Clayton Mowry, President, Arianespace, Inc

Clayton Mowry, President, Arianespace, Inc
Making mentorship a priority in successful leadership. In a career bridging government, the nonprofit sector and the launch business, Clay Mowry has developed a reputation as a trusted and capable leader as well as an approachable and supportive mentor for the next generation.  

In previous positions and his current one as President of Arianespace, Inc., Clay has made it a personal priority to hire and mentor interns from a wide variety of backgrounds. His participation in their careers has not ended with their internships, and many executives working today in the industry cite his personal attention, advice and willingness to make introductions as contributors to their own success.

Clay also goes out of his way to mentor young professionals in the industry who have no affiliation with Arianespace through one-on-one informal mentorship and through active participation and leadership in such organizations as SSPI, SIA, the Space Generation Advisory Council, the Washington Space Business Roundtable and the Future Space Leaders Foundation, which he founded. In balancing career success with a commitment to nurture new talent, Clay has set an example for the entire industry to follow.  

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.