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Avatar Technologies Appoints New CEO

Avatar Technologies appoints Kajal Pancholi, PE as the CEO & President to lead the company’s strategic growth and business development initiatives. As a licensed engineer with over 15 years of business development, government contracting and aerospace industry experience, Kajal brings a wealth of leadership and commercial know-how. She will be responsible for organizational leadership, strategy, growth and general management.

Kajal comes to Avatar with over 15 years of business development and government contracting experience. Most recently, she worked as the Director of Business Development & Marketing for Millennium Engineering and Integration Company where she managed over $1 billion pipeline, oversaw quality management systems as a Certified ISO 9001 and AS9100 Lead Auditor, managed several successful $50M+ proposals, and won engineering program manager award from the Missile Defense Agency. She is a licensed professional engineer from the state of Maryland; she earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland.

GSDO Steady at the Helm Award

Congratulations to our KLXS Program Manager Jim Gray! He has been awarded the GSDO Steady at the Helm peer award. Jim won this award for his ability to perform well under pressure and keep the team focused in a crisis. We appreciate Jim for his great leadership, diplomacy and respect for the team, and we are so happy he has been recognized for these great qualities.

Seaport-e Prime Contract Award


Avatar Technologies, Inc. was awarded a Navy Seaport-e ID/IQ small business prime contract on July 12, 2012! We are now eligible to compete for Task Orders in three geographic regions, which include Zones 2, 4 and 6.

Click here to view our contract announcement.

Business Recognition Award

For the past year, Avatar has partnered with Brevard Workforce to hire and train workers displaced by the retirement of the  Shuttle program.  As a result of this partnership, we have hired four outstanding employees to support our ongoing work at KSC on the KLXS contract.

This month, Brevard Workforce  awarded us the Business Recognition Award for our recruitment, training and retention of displaced workers. We are extremely happy with the results of this great partnership, and grateful for this meaningful award. Avatar looks forward to continuing our dynamic partnership with Brevard Workforce in the future!

From left to right:
Tandy Baerst  (Brevard Workforce Business Liason), James Gray (Avatar’s Program Manager), and Barbara Linton (Avatar’s President/CEO)

Peer Award – Nick Kindred

Congratulations Avatar employee Nick Kindred for receiving a KLXS peer award this month!

Nick received this award for his outstanding leadership on the Orion Spacecraft Team. His efforts were instrumental in supporting the customer on the Pad Contingency De-servicing study. He was very proactive in learning the Orion CM and SM propellant systems, meeting and coordinating with the KSC and Orion Program propellant systems engineers, and responding to actions and questions in a timely manner. He also developed contingency scenarios and mitigation activities in case of an Orion leak at the pad and ensured that appropriate access and capabilities were identified to support Orion processing. This was a result of his can-do attitude and dedication to the mission.

Peer Award – Amy Squires

Congratulations Avatar employee Amy Squires for receiving a KLXS peer award this month!

Amy received this award for her outstanding support and leadership on the Integrated Functional Analysis Task Team (IFATT). Her support was instrumental in facilitating and managing the GSDO efforts to critical Program-to-Program functions and products. Her efforts to ensure accurate and coordinated Integrated Mission and Functional Analysis products was exemplary and critical to the needs of both GSDO program and overall Tri-Program efforts in meeting major milestones. Her willingness to take on challenging tasks within compressed timeframes is consistent with her strong work ethic. These successes were a direct result of Amy’s can-do attitude and dedication to the LX mission.

Welcome back, Lauren!

This summer we are happy to welcome back one of our interns from 2011, Lauren Woodbridge! She did such a wonderful job for us last summer, and we are thrilled to have her back for another year. She will be providing Configuration Management support for the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) program.



SAIC Appreciation Award

Congratulations to David Connolly! He has received a Kennedy LX Support (KLXS) Certificate of Appreciation from SAIC for his support in the difficult Communications Project Manager position. When the Communication Element Integration Team Project Manager retired, Dave stepped in and temporarily took over all of his duties until a replacement PM was available. He was fairly new to the organization at the time, and in addition, many new programmatic activities had just begun. It was a very demanding position, and Dave approached his duties in a conscientious and meticulous way.

Thank you for representing Avatar in such a positive way, Dave! We are proud of your accomplishments in this challenging role.

Paper by James Gray Selected for 63rd International Aeronautical Congress

The IAF International Programme Committee recently selected an abstract submitted by  Avatar’s KLXS contract Program Director, James Gray, for presentation at the 63rd International Aeronautical Congress to be held in Naples, Italy in October, 2012.   The paper, entitled “Kennedy Space Center:  Creating a Spaceport Reality from the Dreams of Many”, is scheduled to be presented at the Space Transportation Solutions and Innovations Symposium.  Congratulations, James!