Newtec is hugely proud of the news that our CEO, Thomas Van den Driessche has been appointed President of the Board of Trustees of Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI).
Founded in 1983, with Arthur C. Clarke, pioneer of modern satellite communications as its Honorary Chairman, SSPI was created to provide a professional network for the nascent satellite industry. It offered a way in which to connect satellite professionals and enable them to stay ahead of what would become a rapidly growing industry.
Fast forward almost thirty years, and SSPI now boasts over 3,000 members in over 40 nations. Today, SSPI works to ‘promote space and satellite as invisible but indispensable infrastructure of the modern world and to make the industry one of the world’s best at attracting and nurturing the talent that powers innovation’. The organization promotes talent and the nurture of that talent through mentorship programs. It also constantly pushes the boundaries in a world where multiple technologies are constantly innovating. In addition, SSPI’s Better Satellite World campaign illustrates the ways in which satellite makes a difference to our everyday lives, improving socio-economic prospects and empowering individuals and enabling us to better look after our planet.
Thomas Van den Driessche has been active in the broadcast and satellite markets for the past 18 years. He has spent 11 of those with Newtec, where he started as Director of Sales and Business Development. In 2017, he was made CEO. He holds a Master’s degree in electronics and marketing from the University of Ghent and is the recipient of multiple awards in the broadcast and AV market from NAB, Infocomm and Vanguard. Mr. Van den Driessche will work closely with Board Chairman David Myers, President of the Communications Sector for Peraton, to continue the growth of SSPI’s membership beyond traditional GEO communications into LEO, MEO, earth observation, optical communications and into a new era of the space economy, with a more global footprint. Other current board members represent Blue Origin, Boeing, CBS, Ericsson, Eutelsat, Globalstar, Hughes Network Systems, Kymeta, OneWeb, Planet, SES, SpaceX, Speedcast, SSL, the Spaceconnection, Viacom and Viasat.
“SSPI represents the business of space; the commercial space industry that, every day, takes bold risks in launching capital-intensive missions to create a big return,” said Van den Driessche. “Not because it is easy to do, but because it is hard and disruptive. The ambitious visions of SSPI’s member companies are creating a new future for humanity. Planetwide wireless solutions that connect every single inch of our world. Mapping and understanding all of earth’s surface and atmosphere, to make humanity’s footprint on earth as efficient as it can be. Building the commercial space economy that will ultimately employ a million people in space. Every day, they are making a better world from outside the atmosphere.”
Thomas Van den Driessche, CEO of Newtec