The following is a guest post by talented Part 107 Pilot and author, Kara Murphy.
4th Annual Women in Drones Luncheon Recognizes 10 Women to Watch
InterDrone Expo, in partnership with Women And Drones plus Sundance Media Group, hosted the 4th annual Women in Drones Luncheon on Thursday, September 6th at the Rio. Over 200 conference attendees packed the room as Sharon Rossmark and Wendy Erickson emceed an awards ceremony that recognized 10 women making an impact in the drone industry.
288 women from 7 countries were nominated as Women to Watch. The judging panel included Chris Korody (USA) of DroneBusiness.center, Helena Samsioe (Sweden) of GLOBHE, Jennifer Pidgen (USA) of Sundance Media Group, Susan Talbot (Ireland) of Skytango, Wendy Erikson (USA) of Women And Drones, and Taylor Mitcham (USA) of SkyNinja.
Despite the overwhelming turnout, statistics still remain grim when it comes to representation. An estimated 5% of the 100,000+ remote pilot certificates issued are held by women. In Australia, it’s closer to 1% according to honoree Fiona Lake.
“We need to have a seat at the table,” lamented Rossmark. This becomes a possibility when women not only support other women but also work with supportive men in the industry. On a panel that took place after awards were handed out, Skywards Alyce Bofferding stressed the importance of working with men who give you autonomy.
For women looking to take their drone business to the next level, SheMicroadventures along with Women and Drones plus Alimonisphere are hosting two events in San Diego and Chicago these next few months. The more role models we create for girls to look up to, the better.
The women named to the 2018 list:
Gemma Alcock – Search and Rescue (U.K.)
As the founder of SkyBound Rescuer, Alcock is helping shape the future of UAS use in emergency response. Her company is involved in drone research, consulting and training with the goal of introducing this new high-tech tool to those in the business of saving lives.
Sonal Baid – Product Development (U.S.A.)
Baid leads product management and strategic operations for software platform Kittyhawk. Her focus on safety, compliance and maintenance along with a compelling vision for how UAV operations need to be managed at scale, makes her a trailblazer in the drone industry.
Jessica Chosid – Infrastructure (U.S.A)
Advancing urban infrastructure with UAS and robotic technology is Chosid’s driving force. She is founder and CEO of Reign Maker, a drone data and information firm that supports the engineering, telecom and utility sector. Chosid’s company is the first to collect structural data via UAS on a bridge in New York City.
Jackie Dujmovic – Conservation (Australia)
This founder and CEO of Hover UAV is an innovator in the field of drone-based shark surveillance, as well as integral part of the Australian government’s shark management research program. Dujmovic’s design for a shark alarm as well as cutting edge drone imagery make her a champion of UAS use in conservation.
Marjorie Ferrone – Entertainment & Education (U.S.A.)
Ferrone is Co-Founder and COO of Drone Parks Worldwide, a planned indoor facility where a newcomer to the drone hobby can enjoy supervised flight after walking in the door. By eliminating cost and equipment barriers with the benefit of safe and legal surroundings, Ferrone’s vision will bring drone education and entertainment to the masses.
Heather Hasper – Aviation Planning (U.S.A.)
With a PhD and decades as an Airport Operations and Planning manager, Hasper is working to incorporate drones into complex U.S. airspace. Her efforts include development of a 3D mapping application that will demonstrate where UAS operations are taking place, a big step in the direction toward safe and secure skies for the future.
Fiona Lake – Agricultural Photography (Australia)
A seasoned photographer, Lake discovered drones an ideal way to view the massive cattle ranches of Australia. Her images were recently featured in the Whispering Grass exhibit at the Australian embassy in Washington D.C. Lake also established the Rural Drone Academy where she shares her UAS expertise with other farmers.
Dale McErlean – Airspace Integration (South Africa)
McErlean is a manned aircraft pilot, dedicated to helping the South African Aviation Authority integrate unmanned aircraft systems. She is leading efforts to define standard procedure for drone operation in controlled airspace, beyond visual line of sight and night operations, contributing to the advancement of the drone industry in South Africa.
Gail Orenstein – Journalism (U.K.)
During her 25-year photojournalism career Orenstein has been reporting stories from places such as Iraq, Bangladesh and Nepal, often at great risk. Adding UAS to her skillset has taken storytelling to a new level, literally, as her drone images provide the world with a new perspective on human suffering.
Brook Tapsall – Safety Technology (Estonia & Australia)
Tapsall‘s experience in the spatial science industry was the impetus behind DroneALERT. DroneALERT is her rapid drone reporting application that can be completed using a mobile device. Law enforcement can then use the photos, videos and geo-locations to track down unsafe UAS activity.
About Women And Drones
WomenandDrones.com is the largest online platform for women in the UAS industry. The organization, founded by Sharon Rossmark, enables women to connect, collaborate and form global business relationships to grow their network. The organization also offers STEM books and programs to encourage children, especially girls, to develop an interest in STEM. Visit www.womenanddrones.com and follow @WomenandDrones on Twitter.
About Sundance Media Group
Sundance Media Group (SMG) serves as a consultant within the UAS industry, providing training and speaking engagements on a variety of UAS topics, including: commercial, construction, and infrastructural UAS applications, public safety UAS implementation, night UAS flight, UAS cinematography, and UAS risk assessment. SMG is known for its best-practices training techniques focusing on practical applied skills for commercial drone/UAS use. Visit http://www.sundancemediagroup.com and follow @SundanceMedia on Twitter.
GLOBHE is a global drone service company using drones to create a better future. Through the use of drones and artificial intelligence, GLOBHE is creating the next generation of smart maps as well as disrupting last mile cargo delivery. Visit www.globhe.com and follow @globhedrones on Twitter.
Delair is a leading provider of drone-based solutions, enabling enterprises to monitor and digitize their physical assets from the air and turn the collected data into valuable business insights. Visit http://www.delair.aero/ and follow on Twitter @DelairTech.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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