National Association of Women Business Owners
On Tuesday, I spoke at the National Association of Women Business Owners, Silicon Valley Chapter (NAWBO-SV), first annual awards luncheon in San Jose, California.
There are some recurring themes in this speech and the Future Forum speeches. They are powerful messages and resonate well—particularly with business groups. As I mentioned in my speech to the group, there are many similarities between the pursuit of innovation by these business owners and the way innovation is integral to NASA’s mission.
It was an enthusiastic crowd of highly accomplished women and a few highly accomplished men. They were impressed by the benefits they receive from America’s space program. They also found it surprising that for all the work we do—aeronautics research, earth science, space science, and human space flight—it is on a budget that is less than 6/10ths of 1 percent of the federal budget. I got the impression that they thought NASA generates a good return on investment.
Ms. Cecelia (Ceil) McCloy, President and CEO of Integrated Science Solutions, Inc. (ISSi), received the NAWBO-SV Public Policy Advocate of the Year Award for 2008. In a previous blog, I mentioned that ISSi was named 2007 Small Business Administration Region IX Prime Contractor of the Year. This award honors small businesses that have provided the federal government with outstanding goods and services as prime contractors. ISSi, a certified woman-owned science and engineering firm started in 1999, supports NASA Ames by performing the Environmental Support Services Contract at the Center.
This group is energized, motivated and now engaged with the NASA mission. I look forward to my return to the Silicon Valley the week of May 12 for a Future Forum to continue the dialogue.
Columbus Future Forum
On Thursday, I gave the opening keynote speech at NASA’s second Future Forum in Columbus, Ohio at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI). COSI, led by David Cheseborough, provides an interactive atmosphere for people of all ages to learn about science, industry, and health. This hands-on science center was a great venue for the Future Forum, allowing us to touch on the three themes of innovation, inspiration, and discovery.
Like the first Future Forum in Seattle, the Columbus Future Forum relied heavily on our partners in the local area. The panel sessions included a mix of NASA officials and local leaders from business, academia and education. Our industry and university speakers included Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, former astronaut and now Director, Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy; Dr. Anthony Dennis, President and CEO, BioOhio; Dr. John Stanford, Executive Assistant for Education Policy, State of Ohio; Dr. Kim Kiehl, Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships, COSI; Brig. Gen. David A. Herrelko, USAF (Ret.), University of Dayton; Ms. Dorothy Baunach, President and CEO, NorTech; Dr. Jeffrey A. Schmidt, Senior Manager for Corporate Business Development, Ball Aerospace; and Dr. Gerald T. Noel, Sr., Associate Director, NASA Ohio Space Grant Consortium. I would like to thank these participants. They were enthusiastic and informative, and made the event a great success.
The agenda highlights also included a presentation from astronaut Carl Walz and a taped downlink from ISS Commander Peggy Whitson. Carl is also the Director, Advanced Capabilities Division at NASA Headquarters. He gave a presentation on the Constellation Program. Other NASA participants included Woodrow Whitlow, director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center; Glenn Director of External Relations, John Hairston; and Dr. Geoffrey Landis, also from Glenn. I appreciate the time and effort of our NASA participants in the Future Forum as well as the NASA and partner teams behind the scenes who worked so hard on this event.
The Columbus event included a luncheon keynote address from The Honorable Ted Strickland, Governor of Ohio who touched on the theme of NASA’s relevance to everyday life. Also, on behalf of NASA, I received a Reading of Proclamation by Mr. Mike Mentel, President, Columbus City, honoring NASA’s 50th Anniversary. There was considerable media coverage of the event as well as local interest in NASA’s exhibits. Early in the morning, I did a live shot with the statewide news service Ohio News Network. Carl Walz, David Cheseborough and I held a press meeting in the morning with several local television affiliates. Later in the afternoon, I did an editorial board with the Columbus Dispatch. COSI staff held a number of events for the public and extended their hours to handle the crowds.
To coincide with the Future Forum, NASA, along with its partners, arranged for 1,500 square feet of interactive exhibits on space exploration and science at the museum. For more details, please visit https://www.nasa.gov/50th/future_forums/columbus.html.