Commercial Drone Alliance Announces Leadership for Its Board of Directors

X, Formerly Known as Google[X] Joins Board; New Officers Push for Expanded Drone Operations

Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, September 2016 – The Commercial Drone Alliance, an independent 501c6 non-profit led by key figures of the commercial drone industry, today announced its members have elected the Alliance’s first Officers of the Board.

Michael Latiner, chief strategy officer at Uplift Data Partners was elected Chairman. Brandon Torres Declet, chief executive officer at Measure, is now President of the Alliance’s Board. Craig Marcinkowski, director of Strategy and Business Development at Gryphon Sensors, will serve as the Alliance’s Secretary and Treasurer.

The officers will formally serve as the executive committee, leading the rest of the Board, including X (formerly Google[X]), DataWing and CybAero. Together, they will guide the general membership to advance the Commercial Drone Alliance’s mission to open the skies and industry to commercial drone operations.

The Commercial Drone Alliance was formed in May 2016 to support enterprise end-users adopting drone technology and to enable commercial market growth. The group focuses on a mix of public and policymaker education; connecting policymakers and innovators to accelerate the realization of drone benefits to industry; and promoting best practices for drone operations that ensure the privacy, security and safety of the public.

The Board members’ agenda includes some of the most pressing issues still standing in the way of expanded commercial drone integration into the National Airspace, including:

  • Educating end-users and end-user associations about the benefits of drones

  • Working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to accelerate approvals of safe Part 107-restricted operations such as those beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), with multiple drones operated by one pilot, at night and over people

  • Drafting and sharing best practices for operators and operations

  • Deploying drones for catastrophe response as a critical and necessary drone application

“Uplift Data Partners is excited to be a part of the Commercial Drone Alliance and to take a proactive role in leading the effort,” said Michael Latiner, chief strategy officer, Uplift Data Partners. “We have created a robust agenda to enhance commercial drone operations and we look forward to working with the end-user community on these important initiatives.”

“Commercial end-users have been broadly underrepresented in the conversation about integrating drones into the national airspace,” said Brandon Torres Declet, chief executive officer at Measure. “As a leading service provider working directly with this audience, we’re excited to be part of the leadership and drive efforts to create value for the customers of our industry.”

“We are honored to have such leaders advancing the mission of the Alliance,” said Gretchen West, co-executive director for the Commercial Drone Alliance. “Working with the rest of the membership, our industry leaders will enable the Alliance to deliver true value to the commercial drone end user community.”

“It’s gratifying to see so many of the industry’s leaders want to play such an active role in overcoming challenges to the industry,” said Lisa Ellman, co-executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance. “This is a pivotal time for the commercial drone space. The talent that’s assembled under the Commercial Drone Alliance banner will ensure we can get the word out about the benefits of this technology to industry, and to the public.”   

The Commercial Drone Alliance is co-led by industry veterans, Gretchen West and Lisa Ellman, both of Hogan Lovells LLP, a global law firm. Both Gretchen and Lisa are also co-founders of the Women of Commercial Drones organization, a nationwide effort to encourage women to become involved in this market and to mentor women to become leaders in technology.

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