Press Release

Women in Aerospace Announces Third Annual Aerospace Conference

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2012
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Panelists Look Forward to the Future and “Leading the Way” in Aerospace

Arlington, Va. — Women in Aerospace (WIA), the leading professional group promoting women’s opportunities in aerospace, will hold its annual conference, “Aerospace 2012: Leading the Way,” on Friday, June 1, at the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn. NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will open the conference, which brings together government and industry leaders to analyze key aerospace issues.

The Aerospace 2012: Leading the Way morning sessions are targeted at professional development for women in the aerospace field and those who hire, mentor and promote them. The afternoon focuses on timely issues within the industry.

“We’ve got a great program planned, featuring outstanding leaders from throughout the aerospace industry, and we know it will be a great day for all those who participate,” said Lillian Ryals, chair of WIA’s Board of Directors. “We anticipate this year’s conference will sell out just like the 2011 event.”

One of the two concurrent morning sessions will feature trail-blazing women from the industry who will discuss taking risks in one’s career. Panelists include Susan Saadat, vice president, Americas Thrane & Thrane; Candace Vessella (Ret.), captain, US Naval Reserves and Maureen Wylie, NOAA chief of Resources and Operations Management (CROM). Jean Stafford of Executive Coaching for Women will moderate the session.

In the other concurrent morning session, senior leaders will delve into the sometimes differing success factors depending on whether one’s career is in a government or commercial organization. The women sharing their experiences during this session are Brigadier General Kim Crider, mobilization assistant to the director, Communications and Information, HQ Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base; Giovanna M. Cinelli, partner, Jones Day; Christa Fornarotto, associate administrator for airports, Federal Aviation Administration and Judy Smith, vice president of business development, ITT Exelis. Lillian Ryals, chair of the WIA Board and vice president and deputy general manager of the Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, The MITRE Corporation, will moderate the session.

The conference will feature a lunch with presentation by Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy. For those who cannot stay for the full day, individuals are encouraged to purchase a ticket or table for the lunch and featured presentation.

In the afternoon, all attendees will participate in a session entitled “Who Needs a Runway? Take Off From Where You Are!”, presented by Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African American female combat pilot.

Following the plenary session, attendees will chose one of three afternoon breakout session each focused on different areas of the aerospace industry. One breakout panel will focus on the state of satellite servicing. Experts who will discuss the topic are Dave Barnhart, program manager, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA; Jill McGuire, robotic refueling mission project manager, Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Dr. Robie Samanta Roy, Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate; Richard DalBello, vice president, Intelsat General; and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Craig Weston, president & chief executive officer, U.S. Space, LLC. Carissa Christensen, founder of The Tauri Group, will moderate the session.

A second panel brings together the key NASA leaders who are guiding the future of human space flight to discuss the current state of life and research aboard the International Space Station and how we transport people and cargo to and from the orbiting laboratory. They will also discuss new developments for commercial space transportation and NASA’s plans to go beyond Earth orbit with the Space Launch System. The panel features Mark Geyer, Orion project manager, NASA Johnson Space Center; Philip McAlister, director of commercial space flight, NASA Headquarters; Jody Singer, SLS deputy program manager, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; and Mark Uhran, director, International Space Station Division, Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters. Brendan Curry of the Space Foundation will moderate the panel.

The third panel option will explore how fatigue affects mission success in aviation and space. Experts to discuss the topic are Deborah Bass, Ph.D., Mars Exploration Rover Science Operations system engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Melissa Mallis, Ph.D., chief scientific advisor, Alertness Solutions; Francine James, Ph.D., associate scientist, Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc.; and Michelle Millar, Fatigue Risk Management project coordinator, International Civil Aviation Organization. Leigh White, president of Alertness Solutions, will moderate the panel. The conference is open to all. Members of Women in Aerospace receive a discounted registration rate, and WIA is pleased to offer complimentary registration to members of the federal government and military. The deadline to register is May 25, 2012.

WIA thanks its presenting sponsor ITT Exelis and all of the sponsors for Aerospace 2012: Leading the Way: ATK, BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., The Boeing Company, DFL Space Inc., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Infinite Links, Intelsat General Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences Corporation, PriceWaterhouseCooper, Raytheon, Space Policy Online, Space News, United Launch Alliance and Will Trafton and Associates.

For a detailed agenda and conference registration, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.