Meet the team behind Volansi’s flying robots. Each week we share stories from the team at Volansi highlighting their journey to joining the team, how they help keep our drones taking off, and some quirky fun along the way.
Title at Volansi: Director of Government Flight Programs
Joined the team: 2021
Hometown: Salisbury, Maryland
Tell us a little bit about your background and the work you did before joining the Volansi team?
I have had the pleasure of serving in the UAS community for the last 22 years. From my time on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, to times serving the men and women in uniform as a contractor around the globe. I have filled roles from maintenance to program manager and everything in between. It has given me the opportunity to truly grow up in the UAS community and now share my knowledge with the next generation of UAS professionals. From an educational standpoint, the years of constant deployment made me put that on the back burner and I am now finishing my Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Arizona, with a major in Law and minor in Psychology.
In your own words, what do you do at Volansi?
As the Director of Government Flight Programs, my job is a catch–all, in many ways, to ensure that we have the right people with the right equipment in the right place to get the job done for our government customers. I have a lot of great support around me, and it makes my job that much easier. The amazing thing about where we are now is one day, I could be turning a wrench on a platform in the field and the next day leading a high-profile demo for the government. We are definitely a process in motion, and it has been nothing short of awesome!
What has been your favorite project so far at Volansi?
I really enjoyed our Key West demo for the Navy and Coast Guard. There were a ton of moving parts, people and processes to make the demo happen and it went amazing. The team did an outstanding job making the flights possible and I had a blast working in the background getting the logistical side of it done and meeting with the customer.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
We enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, “glamping” in our camper van and being beach bums. I am also a huge sports fan and enjoy attending live sporting events as much as possible. GO BUCKEYES!!!
Who are your heroes in aviation, drone, or logistics history? Why?
As a recruit in boot camp, a lot of knowledge was drilled into our heads every day, including who the “Father of Marine Corps Aviation” was, LtCol Alfred A. Cunningham. I did not think about this much until fate sent me down the aviation path with my Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), which were UAV Operator, UAV External Pilot and Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor. As I look back on my career, I realize that if LtCol Cunningham hadn’t taken that assignment on May 22, 1912, Marine Corps aviation may have been completely different, and my career may have taken another path entirely.
We are in the dawn of unmanned flight and autonomous mobility. What are the applications that excite you most?
I have seen UAS operations go from being ostracized by those that did not understand its capabilities to a key component for success in many applications. In many ways, the UAS community has grown leaps and bounds in less than 20 years. I am very excited for the next step of logistics and resupply for both the military and commercial applications and how we can help to make that happen.