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SSPI-WISE Welcomes 6 New and 13 Returning Officers in 2022

(August 3, 2022 – New York City) – SSPI-WISE (SSPI Women in Space Engagement) is pleased to announce the results of its election, which took place over the final week of June.

The membership of SSPI-WISE has appointed the following six new women to officer positions:

  • Sílvia Borges, Program Manager, SpaceBridge Inc.
    SSPI-WISE Mentoring Working Group Co-Chair
  • Andrea Maleter, retired, Space Business Booster
    SSPI-WISE Mentoring Working Group Co-Chair
  • Melissa Orlick, Sales & Business Development Manager, Intellian Technologies
    SSPI-WISE Sustainment & Infrastructure Working Group Co-Chair
  • Toni Lee Rudnicki, Founder, TLR Consulting LLC
    SSPI-WISE Networking Working Group Co-Chair
  • Saharnaz Safari, COO and Founder, SpaceRyde
    SSPI-WISE Networking Working Group Co-Chair
  • Manal Tadros, Boeing Satellite Systems Insurance Office Manager, The Boeing Company
    SSPI-WISE Networking Working Group Co-Chair
  • Elisabeth Tweedie, Owner, Definitive Direction
    SSPI-WISE Social Media Working Group Co-Chair

Continuing to serve as SSPI-WISE officers for a second year are:

  • Debra Facktor, Head of U.S. Space Systems, AIRBUS U.S. Space and Defense, Inc.
    SSPI-WISE Chair
  • Jomya Lei, Satellite Designer, ViaSat
    SSPI-WISE Vice-Chair
  • Alix (Hornig) Wright, Senior Vice President, Marketing Communications, Speedcast
    SSPI-WISE Secretary
  • Negar Feher, Vice President of Business Development, MOMENTUS Space
    SSPI-WISE Elevating Women Working Group Co-Chair
  • Kaitlyn O’Hara, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Echostar
    SSPI-WISE Elevating Women Working Group Co-Chair
  • Susan Saadat, Senior Vice President, Americas, EtL Systems
    SSPI-WISE Elevating Women Working Group Co-Chair
  • Wendy (Lewis) Newman, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, SpaceLink
    SSPI-WISE Mentoring Working Group Co-Chair
  • Kerstin Roost, Global Account Director, ST Engineering iDirect
    SSPI-WISE Networking Working Group Chair Emeritus
  • Vinitha Lalvani, Marketing Coordinator, AvL Technologies
    SSPI-WISE Social Media Working Group Co-Chair
  • Rosario Toxqui, Director Marketing, Comtech Satellite Network Technologies Corp.
    SSPI-WISE Social Media Working Group Co-Chair
  • Justyna Kosianka, Senior Scientist/Analytics Team Manager, Ursa Space Systems
    SSPI-WISE STEM Outreach Working Group Co-Chair
  • Natalia Larrea Brito, Principal Advisor, Euroconsult
    SSPI-WISE STEM Outreach Working Group Co-Chair
  • Audrey Puderbaugh, Principal Engineer, Space and Ground Systems, Iridium
    SSPI-WISE STEM Outreach Working Group Co-Chair
  • Jennifer Hoil, Director of Product Marketing, ST Engineering iDirect
    SSPI-WISE Sustainment & Infrastructure Working Group Co-Chair

SSPI-WISE was founded in December 2020, with the goal of engaging women in the space and satellite industry on topics ranging from STEM outreach and mentoring to networking and elevating women.  In this new election cycle, SSPI-WISE created an additional working group of “Sustainability and Infrastructure” and the role of “Chair Emeritus” to ensure that each working group retains institutional memory while cultivating new leaders.

“Last year we set a goal of building sustainability into the dynamic grassroots energy that launched SSPI-WISE,” said Debra Facktor, returning SSPI-WISE Chair and Head of U.S. Space Systems at AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. “I look forward to collaborating with the incredible SSPI-WISE leadership team to build on our efforts and create a connected community of women across our space and satellite industry.”

SSPI-WISE membership is open to women who are SSPI members, and has a mailing list option for those who identify as allies of women. Members may serve on working groups including working groups that focus on STEM Outreach, Elevating Women and Social Media. SSPI-WISE holds networking events at various conferences, and bi-monthly meetings that are open to men and women, with informative guest speakers.

About SSPI
Founded in 1983, Space & Satellite Professionals International (www.sspi.org) is on a mission to make the space and satellite industry one of the world’s best at attracting and engaging the talent that powers innovation. The space and satellite business has never seen a time of greater experimentation and disruption than we see today. Investment is the fuel for transformation, but people are the engine. SSPI helps the industry attract, develop and retain the talented people it needs to keep the engine turning. People who connect through high-profile events and gain recognition from prestigious awards. People who rely on SSPI for a broader understanding of the industry as much as for individual networking and career mentoring. From young people seeking a career path to industry veterans with wisdom to share, SSPI connects them all.

Talent, investment and opportunity flow to industries that make a difference. SSPI is the only organization that also promotes the enormous value of space and satellite through dramatic stories of our technologies and companies making a better world. Those stories overturn misconceptions about the industry that hold it back. They inspire our people and attract new ones to the industry. They help justify investment and give new customers a reason to care about our services and products. Through the stories we tell and the people we serve, SSPI inspires the growth of the $1 trillion space economy of the future.


For More Information
Victoria Krisman
Communications Manager
Space & Satellite Professionals International
vkrisman@sspi.org