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SSPI Announces 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

Thursday, February 17, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Orly Konig-Lopez
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 Masanori Akiyama, Robert Bednarek, Giuliano Berretta, Ellen Hoff, Ed Horowitz, Jean-Yves LeGall, and Dean Olmstead to be Inducted into SSPI’s Hall of Fame

12th Induction to Hall of Fame will Take Place on March 15 Prior to SSPI’s Annual Gala

New York, NY – [February 17, 2011] – The Society of Satellite Professionals International announced the seven inductees for the 2011 Hall of Fame, to be honored on March 15 during the Stellar Reception prior to SSPI’s annual Gala.  They will join more than 40 Hall of Fame members including Dr. Arthur C. Clarke, Dr. Harold Rosen, Olof Lundberg, Eddy Hartenstein, Frederic d'Allest, Sidney Topol, Takayushi Yoshida, Mary Ann Elliott, Mary Frost, Peter Jackson, and Robert Berry. 

The Hall of Fame was introduced in 1987 to recognize the valuable contributions of the visionaries and pioneers who have made possible the age of satellite communications — individuals who have devoted their careers to the advancement of technology and to helping build the political and commercial foundations of the industry.

The 2011 Hall of Fame Honorees
Masanori Akiyama, President and CEO of Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation, has been instrumental in the satellite business in Japan since its inception and helped sell the first commercial satellite ever launched for Japan, JCSAT-1, in 1989.  Today, he leads the largest satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region — and the fifth largest fixed satellite services (FSS) provider in the world — a company he created by engineering the combination of the two largest satellite operators and one of the larger DTH services in Asia.

Robert Bednarek, President and CEO of SES WORLDSKIES, has been an industry innovator and leader for over 30 years.  As the engineering and technology leader for PanAmSat, he was instrumental in the success of the world’s first competitive international satellite operator before its acquisition by Intelsat.  Under his management, SES WORLDSKIES has grown to a fleet of 28 satellites with 99% of the world's population living within its footprint.  He has a proven track record of success in pioneering innovative satellite design criteria, successfully executing business growth, and achieving strong return on investment and customer satisfaction.  His leadership is recognized not only for his management and technology strengths, but also for the dignity and respect with which he treats his clients, peers, colleagues, and co-workers.  Mr. Bednarek is currently a member of SSPI’s Board of Directors.

Giuliano Berretta, Chairman of the Board of Eutelsat Communications, joined the organization in September 1990 as its first Commercial Director.  Appointed Director General in 1998, he lead its reorganization as a private company and its initial public offering, producing a publicly-held company with a market capitalization of 6bn euros.  Under his leadership, Eutelsat created the HOTBIRD neighborhood, and became a major provider of video services that broadcasts more than 3,700 TV channels.  These developments, and geographic expansion into Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America, have produced an unbroken record of growth and profitability. 

Ellen Hoff, President of W.L. Prichard & Co., has made an indelible mark on the satellite industry over the last 40 years.  In work with Comsat and Intelsat, she convinced the leadership of the companies to introduce digital services in 1983 to provide a competitive response to the newly emerging fiber transmission industry.  She later lead the charge to convince US carriers and Intelsat that reducing antenna size would enhance the competitive position of the satellite sector, starting a trend that has led to today’s 1-9 meter professional antennas and even smaller consumer DTH antennas.  In 1999, she succeeded Hall of Fame member Wilbur L. Pritchard as president of W.L. Pritchard & Co., the consulting company he founded after serving as the first Director of Comsat Labs.  She has served as a Board member, President and Chairman of SSPI and is a long-standing member of SSPI’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter. 

Edward Horowitz, former CEO of SES AMERICOM, joined the satellite industry when he became one of the first 30 employees of a small cable company named Home Box Office.  He played a major role in the network's growth from the launch of satellite-delivered programming to cable systems in 1975 to a subscriber base of 22 million when he left in 1989.  His leadership capabilities led him out of the satellite industry to a role introducing ATM and e-services at Citibank, and then back in, to lead AMERICOM following its acquisition by SES.  Under his leadership, the company introduced the IP-PRIME IPTV service, a new government services unit, and a spectrum outsourcing business.  Since leaving SES, he has continued to innovate as co-founder of U.S. Space, which offers commercial, privately-financed military satellite communications to the U.S. Government, and which recently announced a joint venture with ATK to create ViviSat, provider of life extension services for on-orbit satellites. 

Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianespace, started his satellite career nearly 30 years ago as a researcher for a French star-mapping mission. Since then, he presided over the creation of one commercial launch services company, Starsem, and the resurrection of another, Arianespace.  A French-Russian joint venture, Starsem introduced the Soyuz launch system to markets outside Russia.  As its chief executive, Mr. Le Gall oversaw the launch of 24 first-generation Globalstar mobile satellites and 14 replacement or second-generation satellites.  He was appointed to manage Arianespace when early launch failures of the new Ariane 5 vehicle threatened the company’s future.  He lead the management team that returned Ariane 5 to flight and has completed 40 launches over eight years.  He also streamlined Arianespace's industrial supply chain and upgraded the Ariane 5’s lift capability from 8.7 to 9.4 metric tons of performance.  A signature achievement was the establishment, through covenants with the Russian and French governments, of the Western Hemisphere's first launch facility for the Soyuz rocket in French Guiana. 
   
Dean Olmstead.  Dean Olmstead’s career spanned government and industry, international and domestic assignments, leadership and Board positions with the most storied names in the business.  At the US State Department, he helped craft the policies that led to international competition in satellites.  At NASA, he led development of the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite, which pioneered technologies including Ka-band, that are being introduced to this day.  As a top business executive, he was responsible for SES investments in Asiasat and AMERICOM, for leadership of Echostar, and for the sale of Arrowhead Global to CapRock Communications.  He is the recipient of a rare posthumous induction into the Hall of Fame in recognition of a career that, though cut short by illness, had a transformative impact on the industry. 

Ceremony at Gala 2011
The Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place during the Stellar Reception, an invitation-only gathering of sponsors and their guests before the Gala dinner on March 15 at the Grand Hyatt, Washington DC.  During the reception, SSPI will also honor Marine General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the Stellar Award for Service to Government, as well as the seven Hall of Fame honorees. To request an invitation, contact Tamara Bond, Membership Director, SSPI at +1 212-809-5199 ext 103 or by email at tbond@sspi.org.

Hall of Fame members are selected by a committee of industry leaders, chaired by Richard Wolf, Senior Vice President, Telecommunications & Network Origination Services for ABC Television, and past Chairman of SSPI.         

About SSPI
The Society of Satellite Professionals International (www.sspi.org) is a nonprofit member-benefit society that serves satellite professionals throughout their working lives.  With chapters in the Americas, Europe and Asia, SSPI works to attract new talent to the industry, helps satellite professionals advance in their careers, works to increase the professional standing of members and honors extraordinary achievement by satellite professionals and the companies they work for.

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