NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aviation Week Network, serving the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries, announced today the 18 finalists for the 2021 Program Excellence Awards, representing every sector of the aerospace and defense industry.

“We had 35 nominees qualify for evaluation this year,” said Joe Anselmo, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director, Aviation Week Network. “Each represents the best of the industry in terms of meeting the needs of customers, creating value, and dealing with complex technological, organizational and geopolitical challenges. We look forward to announcing the winners at our annual Program Excellence Banquet on October 20.”

Aviation Week Network’s Program Excellence Awards were created in 2004 at the behest of the aerospace and defense industry. While honoring exceptional leadership, the awards were established to identify lessons learned and best practices that would be shared across the industry. A team of evaluators – this year numbering close to 200 – score each nominee’s submission packet, providing an opportunity for professional development among the evaluators. To date, more than 400 programs have been evaluated and their information made available to the industry at large.

“It’s one of those rare moments when companies that fiercely compete against one another come together to share their common challenges, identify processes that respond to those challenges and then share what they have learned with all,” said Carole Rickard Hedden, Executive Editor for Program Excellence.

Finalists for 2021 include:

Prime System Design & Development:

Boeing Defense, Space & Security

MQ-25A Engineering & Manufacturing Development

David Bujold

Sr. Director/Program Manager

Collins Aerospace

Mounted Assured Positioning, Navigation and

Timing System Generation II (MAPS GEN II)

Paul Haag

Manager, Value Stream Management

Lockheed Martin

Command and Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC)

Mark Johnson

Program Director

Prime Production:

Collins Aerospace

E-2D Weapon Systems Trainer

David Nistler

Sr. Manager, Value Stream Management

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated

U.S. Air Force MQ-9A Production

Claudia Mowery

Vice President, USAF Programs

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control

PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE)

Kurtis Jetsel

Director, Program Management, PAC-3 Production

Raytheon Technologies

SPY-6 Family of Radars

Mike Mills

Sr. Director, SPY-6 Programs

U.S. Air Force


Col. James Lotspeich

OpsC2 Product Line Chief for Kessel Run

Prime Sustainment:

Boeing Defense Space & Security

International Space Station

John Mulholland

Vice President and Program Manager

Lockheed Martin

GPS Control Segment Sustainment (GCS)

Jeffrey A. Kostelecky

Program Manager

Northrop Grumman


Henry Cyr

Director, Manned C2-ISR Integrated Product Team

U.S. Navy

F/A-18 E/F Readiness

Naval Sustainment System

RADM Shane G. Gahagan

Program Executive

Officer, Tactical Aircraft Programs

Special Projects:

Honeywell Aerospace

Ultraviolet Light Treatment System

Bob Lenz

Sr. Director, Offering Management

Lockheed Martin


Sandra Freund

Mission Operations Program Manager

Raytheon Missiles & Defense

Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA: Flight Test

Aegis Weapon System-44 (FTM-44)

Roy Donelson

Executive Director, Strategic Missile Defense

Supplier System Design & Development:

Astronautics Corporation of America

wirelessAirborne Communication System (wACS)

Josh Berrian

Sr. Program and Product Strategy Manager

L3Harris Technologies

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

Optical Telescope Assembly

Dave Smith

Program Manager

Supplier Production:

Qioptiq Ltd.

Joint Strike Fighter Relay Optical Assembly Ramp Up

Lance Nicholls

Continuous Program Lead

The Program Excellence Awards banquet is being held in conjunction with the Aviation Week Network DefenseChain Conference, Oct. 19-20, also to be held at The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner. For more information go to

The Aviation Week Network Program Excellence Awards are sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software. Evaluation team members are The Boeing Co., Collins Aerospace, Defense Acquisition University, Elbit Systems of America, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, L3Harris Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Moog Space & Defense, Northrop Grumman, Parsons Corp. and Raytheon Technologies.


Aviation Week Network is the largest multimedia information and services provider for the global aviation, aerospace, and defense industries, serving 1.7 million professionals around the world. Industry professionals rely on Aviation Week Network to help them understand the market, make decisions, predict trends, and connect with people and business opportunities. Customers include the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, airlines, airports, business aviation operators, militaries, governments, and other organizations that serve this worldwide marketplace. Aviation Week Network’s portfolio delivers award-winning journalism, data, intelligence and analytical resources, world-class tradeshows and conferences, and results-driven marketing services and advertising.

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