Many of these early experiments were later converted to permanent programs by the nonprofit organizations involved. Subsequent to her work with PSSC, Hollis became Manager of International Business Development for Space Systems Loral, where she provided global liaison with important contacts around the world. A founding member of SSPI, Hollis served as President for three years and as Chairman for two. A notable achievement under her leadership was founding SSPI's annual Gala and Hall of Fame in October 1987. Hollis personally raised nearly $100,000 for the milestone event from leading companies in the industry. SSPI inaugurated its industry Hall of Fame at the 1987 30th Anniversary of Satellites in Space, followed by its first formal dinner dance that evolved into today's preeminent annual Gala. Owing to her vision, determination, hard work and charm, Hollis made a significant and lasting impression on SSPI and the important role it continues to play in the industry. She was inducted into the SSPI Hall of Fame for her service in promoting public use of satellites for health and education, her leadership in enabling the ACTS experimental Ka-band satellite and her contributions to SSPI as its President and Founder of the annual Gala and Hall of Fame programs.
1) How did you get started in the satellite business?
…Joined PSSC in San Diego in 1977. I had been employed by Sea World of San Diego, so I went from the deep blue sea to the wild blue yonder.
2) How have you been involved in changes brought about in or by this business (innovations, technologies, services)?
This is covered in the bio, I think. Most everything I did while with PSSC was innovative&hellp;we taught large public entities to use satellites for medical, educational, and government use. We offered seminars and classes in how to use satellites for communication&hellp;we segued from ATS-6 to the CTS satellite which required smaller, less powerful earth stations and allowed for new applications&hellp;the really fun thing though was helping to found SSPI&hellp;and particularly organizing, fundraising for, and presenting the first half-dozen SSPI Galas. The first was a three-day seminar which ended in a black-tie dinner dance and awards ceremony, the forerunner of today's Galas. It was a lot of work, and non-stop fun to do it with a great bunch of people, mostly women, who stepped forward and worked hard to make things happen.
3) What do you think was the greatest event/situation/opportunity you experienced?
Most memorable event has to be the first SSPI Gala, with Arthur C. Clarke participating by satellite, the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi the leadoff speaker, and heads of the satellite industry companies and government agencies all participating in this new event.
4) What was the greatest obstacle?
In the beginning (the late '70s and early '80s) it took extra work to be taken seriously as a woman executive. That changed by the late '80s as more women became engineers, executives, and participants in this industry.
5) What do you see happening in the next five years in this industry?
To see into the future, I would contact my friends Dr. Joseph Pelton and Peter Marshall, who write books on this subject.
6) What advice do you have for women interested in entering the industry?
Study and work hard. Understand the underlying technology as well as the uses and applications of satellites. Be kind. Help others. Keep learning, because what you know today isn't what you'll need to know next year.
Women in Space
Audrey Allison, Dir., Frequency Management Services, Boeing Shared Services Group
Anita Antenucci, Managing Dir. Houlihan Lokey's Aerospace-Defense-Government
Dr. Wanda M. Austin Pres. & CEO, The Aerospace Corporation
Julie Bannerman, Gen.Counsel, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Sharri Berg, Senior V.P., News Operations, Fox News
Leslie Blaker, DataPath, Inc.
Yvonne Brill, Consultant, Satellite Tech. & Space Propulsion Systems
Michelle Bryan, Senior V.P., Human Resources, Intelsat
Dr. Angie Bukley, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering
Catherine Chang, General Counsel & Asst. Company Secretary, AsiaSat
Sabrina Cubbon, Gen. Manager, Marketing, AsiaSat
Yvette Dominguez, Manager, Payload Design Engineering Section, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Chris Ehrenbard, Dir., Broadcast Distribution, CBS
Mary Ann Elliot, Chairman of the Board, Arrowhead Global Solutions, Inc.
Celeste Ford, Founder & CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.
Mary Frost, former CEO, GlobeCast America
Eilene Galloway, NASA Pioneer
Carmen González-Sanfeliu, V.P., Latin America & Caribbean, Intelsat
Dawn Harms, V.P., Marketing & Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Ellen Hoff, Pres., W.L. Pritchard & Co., L.C.
Polly Rash Hollis, Satellite Industry Professional
Britt Horncastle, Satellite Consultant
Susan Irwin, Pres., Irwin Communications, Inc.
Barbara Jaffe, Senior V.P., Advanced Technology and Operations, HBO
Christine King, Deputy V.P., Technical Services & Engineering, Lockheed Martin
Betsy Kulick, Newsletter Editor & Corporate Secretary, Mobile Satellite Users Association
Penelope Longbottom, Founder & Pres., Longbottom Communications
Joanne Maguire, Exec. V.P., Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
Andrea Maléter, Technical Dir., Futron Corporation
Joan T. Mancuso, Founder & Executive, Broadband International LLC
Dolores Martos, V.P., Sales for Latin America & Caribbean, SES Americom - SES New Skies
Brig. Gen. Susan K. Mashiko, Vice Commander, Space & Missile Systems Center, L.A. Air Force Base
Eileen McGowan, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Intelsat
Olwen Morgan, Development Engineer
Bridget Neville, V.P. & Gen. Manager, Satellite Engineering & Operations, Sirius XM Radio
Christine Paape, V.P., Space Explorers, Inc.
Rhonda Parson, Manager, Occasional-Use Sales & Traffic Division, EchoStar Satellite Services
Maj. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Deputy Dir., National Reconnaissance Office
Jane Petro, Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director
Dr. Nongluck Phinainitisart, D.Eng., Pres., Thaicom PLC
Mary Quagliotti, Retired Major General, Army
Radhika Ramachandran, Ph.D., Counsellor (SPACE) & Technical Liaison Officer
Veena Rawat, Pres., Communications Research Centre, Canada
Joslyn Read, V.P., Regulatory Affairs, SES Americom - SES New Skies
Walda Roseman, Founder & CEO, CompassRose International, Inc.
Farah Suhanah Ahmad Sarji, General Counsel, MEASAT
Jacqueline Schenkel, Founder, Schenkel & Associates, LLC
Kay Sears, Pres., Intelsat General
Gwynne Shotwell, Pres., SpaceX
Marcia Smith, Pres., Space Technology Policy Group, LLC
Pascale Sourisse, Gen. Manager, Land & Joint Systems Division, Thales
Andy Steinem, CEO, Dahl-Morrow International
Nicole P. Stott, Astronaut, NASA
Bambi Taskarelli, Voice/Data Engineer, NBCU
Leslie Taylor, Strategic Planning Division Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Synette Tom, Marketing Dir., Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Marjorie Rhodes Townsend, Satellite Communications Consultant
Diane Tryneski, Senior V.P., Broadcast & Studio Operations, HBO
Diane VanBeber, V.P., Investor Relations, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Intelsat
Barbara Warren, Systems Analyst, International Telecommunication Union
Zhang Yan, Gen. Manager, CITICSat and Chief Rep., Asiasat