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.

Lisa Smith

Title at Volansi: Bend Office Manager and Recruiting Coordinator

Joined the team: 2021

Team member #156

Hometown: Bend, Oregon

Tell us a little bit about your background and the work you did before joining the Volansi team?

I earned my BS in Graphic Design from Portland State University, and worked as an art director for various advertising agencies before starting my own design studio in 2000, where I worked with clients in education, endurance sports and small-batch foods. My most recent gig was art director for UltraRunning magazine.

In your own words, what do you do at Volansi?

I am the office manager for the Bend office, supporting the employees with meeting set up, supplies, snacks and new hire orientations. I also am a recruiting coordinator and facilitate interviews between candidates and hiring managers.

What has been your favorite project so far at Volansi?

I was proud to be a small part of supporting the teams at our recent military demonstrations by coordinating supplies, food and lodging.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love summers in Central Oregon. You can often find me running on the Deschutes River trails, hiking at Smith Rock or kayaking one of the many Cascade lakes. I am also an avid knitter and master-level GIF sender.

Who are your heroes in aviation, drone, or logistics history? Why?

Bessie Coleman! She was the first African-American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot license. She earned her license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale on June 15, 1921, and was the first Black person to earn an international pilot’s license.

Coleman developed an early interest in flying, but African Americans, Native Americans and women had no flight training opportunities in the United States, so she saved and obtained sponsorships to go to France for flight school.

She then became a high-profile pilot in notoriously dangerous air shows in the United States. The fact that she was able to accomplish all that she did during the early twentieth century is so inspiring.

We are in the dawn of unmanned flight and autonomous mobility. What are the applications that excite you most?

I am proud to work for a company that is supporting humanitarian aid and medical supply logistics. I think that’s going to be a game changer in getting aid to those who need it.