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.

Maryland Robotics Day

Avatar recently participated in Maryland Robotics Day, hosted by the University of Maryland. The event, geared toward industry and government guests, is designed to acquaint potential partners with the University of Maryland’s many robotics research projects, faculty, students and facilities. It was a great learning experience for everyone in attendance, and some exciting connections were made. We had the opportunity to tour many of the robotics labs, view some live robotics demonstrations, and chat with many graduate students and professors about their exciting research developments.

For more information about Maryland Robotics Day, please visit their website.


A demonstration of a robotic arm in the Space Systems Lab


The aerial vehicle demonstration


Dawn Sewalt (left) and Megan Mudge (center) with University of Maryland  aerospace engineering graduate student Justin Brannan in front of the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility


Keep checking back with Avatar’s blog for an exciting announcement
related to our participation in Maryland Robotics Day!

Recent Employee Awards

Avatar is proud to announce that several of our outstanding employees have recently received awards for their exemplary performance under the KLXS contract. Please see below for a brief description of their achievements!


Nick Kindred (KLXS Certificate of Recognition)

In appreciation of his outstanding leadership and support to the Spacecraft Offline Processing Element EOM. Functioning as the Element Operations Manager Deputy, Nick prepared the team for the Preliminary Design Review, leading or overseeing such products as GOPDb Drops 5 and 6; 3-point estimates; resource loading; contingency planning; requirements development; detailed validations and objectives; and stakeholder expectations development. As the Deputy, he led the weekly Spacecraft Offline Processing Element Operations working group and drove many actions to closure with sound technical insights that required constant team coordination. Nick’s efforts stand as an example of excellent quality products and services and are a direct result of his can-do attitude and dedication to the program goals and objectives.


Fred Simmler (KLXS Certificate of Recognition)

In appreciation of Fred’s outstanding leadership in the emulator/simulator team developing Tri-Program Bi-Lateral Exchange Agreements. The analysis and guidance he has provided is recognized as critical to supporting GSDO verification planning and execution. Additionally, he has enhanced technical integration efforts through effective cross functional team collaboration while providing solution based recommendations after identifying non-compliances to the C3R technical baseline and gaps in C3R requirements. Fred’s achievements are a direct result of his exceptional ability to offer and implement effective solutions and indicative of his dedication to the GSDO mission.


Wayne Obenour (Space Flight Awareness Award)

For outstanding leadership and technical excellence in integrating Space Launch System (SLS) Launch Vehicle requirements, design and operations planning with the launch complex ground systems in support the Agency’s Exploration Program.

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.

We’ve Moved!

Avatar corporate headquarters has moved its offices from Florida to Maryland! We now have a beautiful waterfront office on the National Harbor, right across the river from Alexandria, VA.

New corporate address:

137 National Plaza
Suite 300, Room #343
National Harbor, MD 20745

National Harbor

Maryland Corporate Office

Click here to see more photos of our new office space!

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.