Via Satellite Annual Awards

November 8, 2021

Every year Via Satellite, the most trusted news source for the global satellite and space communities, recognizes excellence in the industry with the Satellite Executive of the Year and Satellite Technology of the Year awards.

Since 1988, the Satellite Executive of the Year has been the most prestigious award in the industry. The winners are chosen based on their contributions to the global satellite markets, technologies, business practices, services, innovations, advocacy, or any combination of the aforementioned.

The Satellite Technology of the Year award recognizes a technology breakthrough that has reshaped the way the satellite and connectivity industry works now and for years to come. Technologies are evaluated on their ability to meet significant market demand; create considerable cost-savings or technical efficiencies; make a profit; improve quality of life; disrupt the market; and/or demonstrate a scientific breakthrough.


Past Winners of Satellite Executive of the Year

2023 – Mike Greenley, MDA Space


In August, MDA won a $2 billion contract from Telesat to build its much talked about Lightspeed LEO constellation. A constellation of 198 satellites with the potential for another 100 more, it is the largest order in MDA’s history. It instantly catapulted MDA Space CEO Mike Greenley into the conversation for Satellite Executive of the year. Interview will be released in the May edition of Via Satellite. 




2022 – Melanie Stricklan, Slingshot Aerospace


Melanie Stricklan, CEO of Slingshot Aerospace, is a leading voice on coordination and space traffic management as co-founder and CEO of Slingshot Aerospace, a space situational awareness provider. Stricklan has led the company through a period of rapid expansion since taking on the role of CEO in February 2021. See our interview with Stricklan here.



2021 – Tina Ghataore, Mynaric

Tina Ghataore, Mynaric’s CCO and president of the company’s U.S. division, won the 2021 Satellite Executive of the Year award on the back of Mynaric’s impressive deal flow. Ghataore quickly signed on a host of government and commercial customers during one of the most challenging times for the industry. See Via Satellite‘s conversation with Tina here.



2020 – Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX

Now a two-time winner of Via Satellite’s Executive of the Year award, Shotwell is widely admired in the industry for her dedication and leadership. She first won the award in 2017 for leading SpaceX through industry-changing milestones in rocket reusability. See Via Satellite‘s conversation with Gwynne here.



2019 – Steve Collar, SES

Steve Collar, CEO of SES, was named our Satellite Executive of the Year for 2019. Collar has been integral in the rejuvenation of SES and 2019 was a banner year for the company, included a ground-breaking deal with Microsoft, and much more. Learn more about the 2019 Satellite Executive of the Year winner here.



2018 – Matt Desch, Iridium

Matt Desch was Via Satellite‘s first two-time winner of the Satellite Executive of the Year (SEOTY) Award. The CEO of Iridium has overseen one of the most dramatic re-inventions that a satellite company has ever seen. Read about Desch’s reaction to his second win and his work at Iridium here.



2017 – Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX

Gwynne Shotwell won the 30th Satellite Executive of the Year award. She is one of the most admired and respected executives in our industry, and an inspiration for young women around the world. When it came to selecting our 30th Satellite Executive of the Year, there was really only one choice . Read her conversation with Via Satellite here.



2016 – Stéphane Israël, Arianespace

When Stéphane Israël took over the reins of Arianespace in 2013, it was at a time when the company was facing unprecedented competition in the launch services market. As the winner in 2016, he talks to Via Satellite about a rollercoaster four years, and how the company has managed to maintain such a strong leadership position in this competitive market. Read the conversation here.


2015 – Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat

2014 – Dan Berkenstock, Skybox Imaging

2013 – Eng. Khalid Ahmed Balkheyour, ARABSAT

2012 – Thomas Choi, Asia Broadcast Satellite

2011 – Matt Desch, Iridium

2010 – Petra Mateos-Aparicio, HISPASAT

2009 – Peter Shaper, CapRock Communications

2008 – Pradman Kaul, Hughes Communications, Inc. Hughes Network Systems, LLC

2007 – Kengi Chen, Inmarsat; Kalpack Gude, Intelsat; John Lothian, SES

2006 – C. Patrick DeWitt, Space Systems/Loral

2005 – Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace

2004 – John M. Kealy, iDirect Techologies

2003 – Mark Dankberg, ViaSat, Inc.

2002 – Hugh Panero, XM Satellite Radio

2001 – Romain Bausch, SES GLOBAL

2000 – Giuliano Berretta, EUTELSAT

1999 – John Connelly, GE American Communications, Inc.

1998 – Jean-Claude Husson, Alcatel Space

1997 – Robert Kinzie, Iridium LLC

1996 – Bernard Schwartz, Loral Space and Communications

1995 – Steve Dorfman, Hughes Space and Communications

1994 – Eddy Hartenstein, DIRECTV; Joseph Clayton, Thomson Consumer Electronics; Robert and Stanley Hubbard, USSB

1993 – Charles Bigot, Arianespace

1992 – Irving Goldstein, INTELSAT

1991 – Richard Thomas, COMSAT RSI

1990 – David Thompson, Orbital Sciences Corporation

1989 – Steve Petrucci, Hughes Communications, Inc.

1988 – Rene Anselmo, PanAmSat


Past Winners of Satellite Technology of the Year

2023 – GSOA, ESA, EchoStar, Thales, Inmarsat, Intelsat, and Individual Contributors – 3GPP NTN Standards

The 3GPP NTN Standards enable full interoperability between satellite and terrestrial including mobility procedures across both network components, allowing mass-market smartphones and IoT devices to connect seamlessly with both terrestrial mobile networks and NTN-based satellite networks when out of range of terrestrial connectivity. Interview will be released in the May edition of Via Satellite. 



2022 – Apple – iPhone 14 Emergency Messaging Service via Satellite



With the iPhone 14, Apple brought life-saving emergency text messaging to the world’s most popular handheld device, via satellite. Apple’s SOS service and deal with Globalstar created a huge buzz in the industry, as one of the world’s largest companies is now working with the satellite sector. Read the interview Apple executive Michael Trela here.




2021 – Astroscale – ELSA-d Mission

Astroscale, which won for its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-Demonstration (ELSA-d) mission, is a new generation of space company that is tackling one of the industry’s biggest issues — space debris. Read the latest on the ELSA-d mission, his vision for the company in the 2020s, and what the industry needs to do to ensure space stays a safe environment here.



2020 – Northrop Grumman – Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1)

In the space of 14 months, Northrop Grumman has made in-orbit satellite servicing a commercial reality, and not just an exciting concept of the future. It is a well-deserved winner of our Satellite Technology of the Year award. Read Northrop Gunman’s response to winning the award and what is next for Northrop Grumman as it looks to bring more cutting-edge services to satellites in orbit here.


2019 – ThinKom – Multi-Beam Phased Array Gateway Solution

ThinKom CTO Bill Milroy talked with Via Satellite after the company’s win about the technology, and how the ground segment market is evolving to keep up with increased demands. The company won for its phased array land gateway that it calls an “array of arrays.” Read the conversation and about the technology here.


2018 – Intellian – v240MT Tri-Band Antenna System

At SATELLITE 2019, Via Satellite announced its first winner for the new Satellite Technology of the Year Award, which recognizes superb technology achievements. The first winners of this award were Intellian Technologies, with their  v240MT Tri-Band antenna system, the kind of flexible product/technology that satellite operators/end users crave. Read more about the first winners here.