Women to Watch in UAS 5 Year Anniversary Program

Launched! The 2021 Women to Watch in UAS Global Awards 5th Year Anniversary Program is Here

Five years together supporting & inspiring women to break boundaries and thrive.

By Guest Contributor: Dawn M.K. Zoldi*

The WTW program elevates the entire UAS/UAM/AAM industry by recognizing those who are making a positive difference in it. The nomination portal is open now and nominations are free! The nomination window remains open from March 8th (International Womens Day) until May 14th. Award nomination categories, their descriptors and information about our generous program sponsors follow: 

The Sabrewing Aircraft Leadership Award recognizes an individual woman who demonstrates an exceptional ability to motivate people or groups to achieve a common goal, including but not limited to: education, policy, research & development, innovation, business and humanitarian efforts. Sabrewing Aircraft Company is a manufacturer of unmanned heavy-lift commercial cargo air vehicles headquartered in Camarillo, California, USA. Sabrewing’s technologies and products will help grow our customers’ businesses, change the way the world ships air-cargo, and transform military logistics doctrine. Sabrewing creates innovative technologies at its Dragonworks Lab in Silicon Valley to develop a new era of advanced unmanned cargo aircraft. “Sabrewing is committed to a diverse workforce, providing opportunities to all qualified engineers, technicians, staff, and executives regardless of ethnicity or gender preference. We’re proud and honored to sponsor the WTW Global Leadership Award to pay it forward and lift up a woman who is inspiring to us and others in this industry.” – Ed De Reyes, CEO Sabrewing

The Iris Automation Entrepreneurship Award recognizes an individual woman innovator who has significantly impacted the UAS industry and possesses outstanding business acumen and innovative practices that led to the success of her company, projects or the efforts of others. Iris Automation is an artificial intelligence and safety avionics company creating products to safely enable commercial drone operations without human intervention. “‘Trailblazing Spiritis one of our company values, and we seek to foster it both in our employees as well as in the community of entrepreneurs building the future of aviation, and so we are honored to present this award to recognize an outstanding woman who has helped move our industry forward.” – Jon Damush, CEO of Iris Automation

The Skydio Public Safety/Service Award recognizes an individual woman who serves the public in any capacity and epitomizes community involvement or betterment service-oriented activities indicating commitment and sacrifice, including but not limited to: humanitarian efforts (drones for good), public policy, military/federal/law enforcement or public safety efforts, etc. Skydio was founded on the belief that drones will have a massive positive impact on the world, and that autonomy – the ability of the drone to perform complex tasks on its own – is the key to realizing that impact. By serving first responders, our products and technology allow them to stay focused on their mission, instead of worrying about how to operate the drone. That is why we are incredibly excited and proud to sponsor the Skydio Public Safety/Service Award. We look forward to hearing about the amazing women eligible for this recognition and their stories of service.” – Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio.

The Unmanned Safety Institute Education Award recognizes an individual woman teacher or instructor who actively engages students with drones, shares the value of drones within curriculum and develops drone programs opportunities and programs and provides professional development to others as an ambassador for drone and STEM education. The Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) prides itself on leading the UAS industry in the development of a properly educated, trained and proficient workforce.  In order to satisfy the human asset requirements of the growing UAS industry, it will inherently require the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion which is at the core of Women and Drones mission.  USI agrees that the UAS industry presents an incredible opportunity for women to thrive and build exciting and rewarding careers with no limits on their successes and achievements.  We believe that this outcome starts in school and with an instructor or teacher who inspires future industry leaders through their knowledge, passion and genuine desire to see their students succeed, even beyond their own expectations.  The opportunity to be the Naming Sponsor of the 2021 Women To Watch award for Education is 100% aligned with USIs business philosophy and we could not be more proud to sponsor this award and see the many incredible candidates who will be nominated for this achievement.” – Josh Olds, President, Unmanned Safety Institute

The Volatus Aerospace Innovation Team Award recognizes a team, group, company, agency or organization in the drone ecosystem that actively encourages and inspires women to disrupt and innovate within the UAS industry. Volatus Aerospace is Canadas largest, technology-enabled unmanned aerial solution provider. Steeped in aviation experience, Volatus is dedicated to commercializing the full potential of unmanned technologies throughout the Americas and around the world. We whole-heartedly see the need to foster innovation wherever we can and we are looking for diverse partners in industry and academia around the globe to work in joint ventures and strategic alliances to bring the best of innovation and service offerings to our clients. The Innovation Team Award epitomizes who we are and what we are all about. We are proud to sponsor it.” – Glen Lynch, CEO Volatus Aerospace

The FoxFury Team Spotlight Award recognizes a global co-ed team, group, company, agency or organization in the drone ecosystem whose overall work contributes to the positive public perception of drones (“drones for good”) while fostering a culture of female empowerment and inclusiveness where women are engaged in key roles on the team and/or in leadership positions FoxFury Lighting Solutions develops innovative drone technologies that contribute to the continued advancement of public safety objectives. We pride ourselves in supporting and fostering a positive culture that celebrates our employees’ entrepreneurial spirit. We are honored to present the FoxFury Team Spotlight Award to an outstanding company that passionately pursues drone innovation while recognizing the uniqueness of each employee’s ongoing contribution.”  – Maria Cugini, Vice President, FoxFury Lighting Solutions

Once all nominations are in, an illustrious panel of international judges will make their selections using transparent criteria. Award recipients will be announced live and globally at the InterDrone 21 conference in Dallas, Texas during a plenary session and also honored at the annual Women to Watch in Global UAS Luncheon.

Thanks to these amazing sponsors and other kind donors, this year we will be providing these amazing women and teams with a micro-grant for the first time. In addition to our amazing award namesake sponsors – Sabrewing, Iris, Skydio, USI, Volatus and FoxFury – several other companies have donated to the Women to Watch Global Fund at the Gold level including: Blackswift Technologies (Jack Elston CEO), Transcend Air (Peter Schmidt, COO) and Drone Industry Systems (Mike DiCosola CEO).

Add your own name or your companys name to this impressive list of generous donors by contributing to the Women to Watch Global Fund to sustain and maintain this life-changing recognition program!

*Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, United States Air Force Retired) is the project lead for the 5th anniversary Women To Watch (WTW) in UAS Global Awards 2021 initiative. She is a licensed attorney with 28 combined years of service to the U.S. Air Force (25 active duty and 3 as a civil servant) and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of P3 Tech Consulting, connecting people who have a passion for advanced tech platforms with the plans, programs, policies and information they need to succeed. To learn more about Dawn and visit her P3 Tech Consulting website or join her Patreon community.



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