Girls to Watch in UAS 2021 introduced

Women and Drones celebrated its 5th Anniversary Women To Watch (WTW) at the 2021 UAS Global Awards CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The drone industry, like aerospace in general, has fewer women. Women and Drones created the Women to Watch award 5 years ago to recognize and empower these women and to make other women aware of the opportunities and developments in the industry.

“The WTW program highlights the entire UAS/UAM/AAM industry by recognizing those who are making a difference within it,” the Women and Drones press release said.

Since its inception, the awards have grown. The drone industry has stepped up to support the program, with big names sponsoring awards and, for the first time, a $500 monetary micro-grant for each honoree. Additionally, the awards now honor those teams that work to incorporate diversity and inclusivity into their missions.

Sharon Rossmark, founder of Women and Drones, creator of the awards and tireless advocate for diversity in the drone industry, tells DRONELIFE:

“It’s been an amazing journey through the first five years of celebrating women in the UAS industry. It’s a prime example of letting your passion guide your purpose.”

“A big thank you to CES, our sponsors, NASA and the FAA for their partnership and incredible support. Thanks also to our international jury, who had the difficult role of sifting through the submissions. And finally, thank you to the phenomenal women and companies that participated in the 2021 Global Search. Going forward, we will continue to raise the profile of women in the industry and partner with companies that are committed to an inclusive culture where women can thrive.”

Women at UAS: 2021

(The following is from a press release from Women and Drones.)

  • Bronwyn Morgan, Xeo Air – Recipient of Iris Automation Entrepreneur Award – Bronwyn Morgan is a Part 107 Certified Pilot, FAA Safety Representative and FAA Drone Pro and Founder of Xeo Air, an AI-based drone-on-demand, data analytics and autonomy mission management platform serving customers in the telecommunications, Civil protection, oil and gas, energy, construction, civil infrastructure.
  • Madison Jeffery, Swoop Aero – Recipient of the Skydio Public Safety/Service Award – Madison Jeffery of Australia is based in South Malawi where she runs Swoop Aero’s flagship medical drone logistics network, connecting over 1.5 million people with vital medical supplies.
  • Karen DiMeo, AERODiMEO LLC – Recipient of saber plane leadership award – As CEO, Karen DiMeo advises clients on issues related to unmanned and advanced new technologies in the commercial aerospace ecosystem. Karen has over 30 years of aviation industry experience in senior positions in both government and industry.
  • April Lanotte, Director of STEM, NASA Directorate for Aeronautical Research Missions – Recipient of the Institute for Unmanned Security education award – In her current position at NASA, April Lanotte works to make aerospace science more accessible to all educators and students, and works with engineers and subject matter experts on ways to include more STEM opportunities in their missions.

The initiative also honored outstanding teams:

  • Toni Drummond, CEO of Global Aerial Management Group – Recipient of the Aerospace Flights Innovation Team Award – The Global Aerial Management Group, which operates a variety of turboprop and jet aircraft, is 100% owned and led by women. The UAS vertical is expanding, specializing in drone disinfection, disinfection of indoor and outdoor arenas, stadiums, schools and other large spaces.
  • Pharns Genece, CEO of USOG – Recipient of the FoxFury Team Spotlight Award – Unmanned Systems Operations Group (USOG) is a leading provider of medical logistics solutions using UAS. The diverse and inclusive staff team is led by Geence, who has 18 years of experience as a highly qualified flight nurse with the US Air Force Medevac.
  • Michael Healander, CEO of Airspace Link, Inc. Recipient of the Diversity Exemplary Award “Women and Drones” – Airspace Link, Inc. is building the digital infrastructure needed to support the deployment of drones of all types, ensuring they are safe, legal and benefiting the community to the fullest. 60% of the company’s leadership team is female.

“Each year, CES brings together technology leaders and promising entrepreneurs to share ideas, launch products and forge relationships – all paving the way for our future,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, CTA. “We are excited to host the Women to Watch Awards at CES 2022, recognizing the trailblazers, innovators, mentors and business leaders who are making significant contributions to the industry.”

Read more about Women and Drones and the Women to Watch Awards.

Miriam McNabb is Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and is a fascinated observer of the burgeoning drone industry and drone regulatory environment. Miriam has authored over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry email Miriam.

Twitter: @spaldingbarker

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