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Sep 26, 2016 | News

Attendance Triples at Second Annual Women in Drones Luncheon Held at InterDrone

Panel of women powerhouses in the commercial drone industry address an audience

of more than 180

BZ Media LLC announced today the success of its second annual Women in Drones Luncheon, a special networking event at InterDrone? The International Drone Conference & Exposition held on September 8 at The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. Gretchen West, a senior advisor in the Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group at Hogan Lovells, led the event, which brought together more than 180 leading women in the commercial drone industry to share stories about persevering, mentoring and supporting other women in the UAV market. The event also welcomed three times more attendees than its inaugural year in 2015.

West was joined by a stellar panel lineup, which included Natalie Cheung, UAV Product Manager in the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel Corporation; Karen DiMeo, UAS R&D Technical Lead at the FAA; Sally French, journalist at the Wall Street Journal, and blogger at; Jennifer Richter, a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld; and Sharon Rossmark, Chief Operating Officer at AeroVista Innovations.

Jennifer Richter noted, “The quality of programming at the InterDrone event, both last year and this year, was exceptional. It has become one of the premier drone events in the U.S. What distinguishes this event even further is its commitment to highlight the accomplishments of women in the drone industry, encouraging more participation by women, and creating an event, the Women in Drones Luncheon, where a group of dynamic women came together to share their ideas and experiences and encourage each other on.”

“The second annual Women in Drones luncheon at InterDrone was a tremendous success with the number of women participating tripling since last year. Most impressively, when the audience was asked how many had started up a drone business in the past year, more than two-thirds of the audience raised their hands,” Gretchen West said, adding, “The passion, professionalism and commitment of these women about drones is contagious, but so is their motivation to focus on mentorship, STEM and fostering a community for networking. I”M thrilled to be a part of this community, helping lead some of its growth and development, and I look forward to an even larger event next year.”

Sharon Rossmark also added: “The Women in Drones Luncheon panel brought together an assembly of diverse industry thought leaders to share their trailblazing journey and address audience questions. The level of commitment to collaboration and encouragement to support one another was amazing! As a first-time InterDrone panelist, I appreciate the opportunity to have met so many women who have a passion for what we can accomplish and I look forward to seeing the growth in women attendees at InterDrone 2017.”

The main idea of the event is to foster an atmosphere of networking and offer an open forum for sharing experiences across all industries within the commercial drone market.

“Having participated in the last year’s Women in Drones Luncheon, I’m amazed to see how far not just the industry has grown in 12 months, but how many incredible women are taking leadership roles within the drone industry. The room was packed this year with executives, photographers, engineers and policymakers. I’m thankful that InterDrone has created this network of women who can support each other either in business or as mentors and friends,” French said.

Natalie Cheung, UAV Product Manager in the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel Corporation, said, “InterDrone brought together drone industry leaders as well as start-ups that showcased the breadth of innovation and opportunities in the ecosystem. I was thrilled to see and meet such amazing women at the Women in Drones Luncheon who are an important pillar to the growth of this industry.”

In addition to the luncheon, InterDrone hosted over 3,500 attendees from 54 countries. The event featured 155 exhibitors in a 56% larger exhibit hall, more than 120 sessions and a Grand Opening Keynote from Michael Huerta, Administrator of the FAA.

InterDrone 2017 will be held at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from September 6-8, 2017.


BZ Media LLC is a 17 year-old high-tech media company producing industry-leading technical conferences and expositions and SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry.


Media Contact:

Katie Flash

Director of Conference Programs

BZ Media

631-421-4158 x128