The Coalition for Space Exploration Dec. 5 announced veteran aerospace communicators George Torres of ATK and Mary Engola of Ball Aerospace will lead the coalition in 2013.
Torres will serve as the new chair and Engola will continue her role as the deputy chair. Each will serve a one-year term, effective January through December 2013.
Torres works as the vice president of communications for ATK’s Aerospace Group. He has broad experience in communications across the aerospace industry, and previously led communications organizations at Rockwell International, Boeing, Hughes Space and Communications Company, and The Aerospace Corporation. A published author, Torres has written two books on the space program and was the recipient of the Journalism Award of Excellence from the Aviation/Space Writers Association for these efforts.
Lon Rains, chair for 2012, congratulated Torres on his appointment and praised the continued success of the coalition.
“The space industry has seen a lot of change in the past year and I’m proud that the coalition has been there to help keep space as an important issue for our country,” Rains said. “I’m confident that with George and Mary leading the charge this momentum will continue to build next year.”
Torres has been an active member of the coalition throughout its eight year duration and led membership efforts for the latter part of 2012.
“These are dynamic times for the space industry, and much progress has been made,” Torres said. “Yet, economic uncertainties pose a serious threat to our growing momentum and I look forward to working with Mary to lead the coalition as we continue to advance the dialogue surrounding the importance of space exploration to our country.”
Engola, coalition 2013 deputy chair, has been an active member since the coalition’s inception in 2004. She served as the coalition’s 2012 deputy chair and as chair in 2008. She is currently the manager of customer and industry relations at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
“I am honored to continue serving as a member of the coalition’s leadership team,” Engola said. “I hope my experience helps to bridge our past success with the future as we do what we can to ensure space exploration remains a national imperative.”
Through effective outreach, the coalition fosters a national conversation about space exploration among the leadership of member organizations, with other space-related organizations, NASA, legislators and the general public.
The Coalition for Space Exploration for Space Exploration is a group of space industry businesses and organizations collaborating to ensure that the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology. By reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the nation’s leaders, the coalition intends to build lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration.