Celebrating Swoop Aero’s Madi
Today we celebrate the work of Madison Jeffery, the Malawi-based Flight Operations Manager at drone logistics company Swoop Aero who recently received Women and Drones’ 2021 Women to Watch (WTW) UAS Global Awards.
Jeffery was a recipient of the Skydio Public Safety/Service Award.
According to Women and Drones, the WTW program elevates the entire UAS/UAM/AAM industry by recognising women making a positive difference in it. This year’s honourees were selected from nominations representing eight countries, gathered between March 8th (International Women’s Day), at the program’s official launch, and May 14th.
Madi is one of a number of women honoured for their outstanding contribution to the drone industry in 2021, which saw them chart new waters as entrepreneurs, innovators and mentors worthy of recognition.
Madi landed at Swoop Aero in 2020 after garnering extensive experience in the drone industry, including supporting large brands with marketing footage and working with Google’s drone project, Wing, in Finland and Queensland.
Now, all that vast experience and expertise is being put to good humanitarian use at Swoop Aero’s network expansion throughout Malawi, where Madi has to use it for onboarding new staff, engaging stakeholders and opening of over 200 sites all over the country.
“This role allows for me to see a real difference throughout the communities that we fly to everyday,” Madi says of her job. “Seeing local health workers and community members come to trust and believe in the drone and the service that we provide is humbling, and a credit to both teams in Australia and Malawi.”
Madi also has work space at the home base in Queensland, Australia, from where she can provide remote support for her company’s operational teams abroad, help with the planning of new operations, and assist the Australian based teams with research and development.
She even assists with manufacturing where necessary.
Outside of Australia, Madi assists with the hiring, training and initial management of local teams; developing capacity and confidence within the teams, so they can lead and manage projects without constant hand-holding and micro management from home base.
Actually, that is why she is in Malawi right now.
“Every day presents challenges that we are able to work through with the great team we have here at Swoop Aero,” she says. “Seeing the growth of our local Malawi team over the past eighteen months has been inspiring, especially knowing the significant difference we are making.”
Women and drones also gave other individual awards in various categories, including the following:
Iris Automation Entrepreneurship Award – Bronwyn Morgan, Xeo Air. Bronwyn Morgan is a Part 107 certified pilot, FAA Safety Representative and FAA Drone Pro, and is the Founder of Xeo Air, an AI based drones on demand, data analytics and autonomy platform for mission management that connects clients in telecom, catastrophic response, oil and gas, energy, construction, civil infrastructure.
Sabrewing Aircraft Leadership Award – Karen DiMeo, AERODiMEO LLC. As CEO, Karen DiMeo advises her clients on issues related to unmanned and advanced emerging technologies in the commercial aerospace ecosystem. Karen has 30 years of experience in the aviation industry from both government and industry leadership positions.
Unmanned Safety Institute Education Award – April Lanotte, STEM lead for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. In her current position with NASA, April Lanotte works on making aerospace science more accessible to all teachers and students and works with engineers and subject matter experts on ways to add more STEM opportunities into their missions.
There were awards for outstanding teamwork too, which went to the following recipients:
Volatus Aerospace Innovation Team Award – Toni Drummond, CEO of Global Aerial Management. Global Aerial Management Group, which operates a multitude of turboprop and jet aircraft, is 100% Women owned and operated. The UAS vertical is expanding and specializes in drone sanitizing, disinfecting of both indoor and outdoor arenas, stadiums, schools and other large spaces.
FoxFury Team Spotlight Award – Pharns Genece, CEO of USOG. Unmanned Systems Operations Goup (USOG) is a leading-edge provider of medical logistics solutions utilizing UAS. The diverse and inclusive team of employees is led by Genece, who has 18 years of experience as a highly trained flight nurse with US Air Force Medevac.
Women and Drones Diversity Exemplar Award – Michael Healander, CEO Airspace Link, Inc. Airspace Link, Inc. builds the digital infrastructure required to support drone use of all types, ensuring they are safe, legal and fully benefitting the community. 60% of the company’s leadership team is female.
Thanks to the program’s sponsors and other donors, this year’s winners walked away with a $500.00 micro-grant for the first time.