Founder of 27-year aerospace engineering services company honored for a life’s work of mentoring, hiring, and funding women leaders
Palo Alto, CA – Celeste Ford, Board Chair of Stellar Solutions, Inc. and General Partner at Stellar Ventures, was bestowed the AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award at the 9th Annual AWESOME Symposium gathering last month in Chicago, IL.
The ALL Award recognizes women leaders who have achieved professional excellence and success, have addressed challenges impacting opportunities for women in the supply chain field, and have advanced to the highest levels of leadership and roles with broadest impact.
“Celeste Ford is an extraordinary role model who began her aerospace engineering career as the only woman in a room, grew a renowned global company, expanded opportunities for women there and throughout her industry, and now is at the forefront of space venture investing,” said Ann Drake, Chair and Founder of AWESOME.
AWESOME is the preeminent women’s leadership group for the supply chain industry, with more than 1,500 women in diverse senior supply chain leadership roles making up the organization. The Symposium is AWESOME’s signature annual event, and this year’s theme was “The New Possible: Igniting Powerful Progress.”
As Founder of Stellar Solutions, the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award-winning aerospace engineering services company, Ford pioneered a new business model that ensured its talented engineers were working in their “dream jobs.” This created a team of experts who forge high-impact solutions to customers’ critical needs across defense and intelligence, commercial, civil and international realms.
From the company’s inception in 1995, Ford served as CEO until 2018 when she became Board Chair. She launched Stellar Ventures in 2022 which is distinguished as a woman-led firm investing in the next generation of space technology companies.
Ford has cultivated opportunities for entrepreneurial growth and innovation for women outside Stellar Solutions as well. She has served as a mentor and speaker at her alma maters the University of Notre Dame and Stanford University.
Ford’s numerous honors include Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Baldrige Foundation and the National Association of Women Business Owners, Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame, Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernest & Young, and Small Business Executive of the Year from National Defense Industry Association. Under her leadership, Stellar Solutions has been named a Fortune Magazine Great Place to Work® since 2014.
Ford is a member of numerous public, private and nonprofit Boards, including the Board of Trustees at the University of Notre Dame and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow.
AWESOME was founded in 2013 by Ann Drake, former CEO of DSC Logistics. After nine years, AWESOME remains the preeminent women’s leadership group for the supply chain industry, with more than 1,500 women in diverse senior supply chain leadership roles making up the organization. The Symposium is AWESOME’s signature annual event, and this year’s theme was “The New Possible: Igniting Powerful Progress.” The AWESOME Symposium is an integral part of the organization’s mission to advance and transform the future of supply chain leadership by bringing together senior women leaders for connecting, learning, collaboration, recognition, and inspiration. In addition to their annual Symposium, AWESOME curates a series of virtual events each month, maintains the AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholarship Program, and, since 2016, has partnered with Gartner on annual research studying the progress of women in supply chain.
About Stellar Solutions, Inc.: Stellar Solutions is a global aerospace and systems engineering services provider to commercial, defense, intelligence, civil and international sectors. Stellar Solutions provides rapid-response capabilities related to global surveillance and cyber-security, space exploration, risk management, and technology optimization. These solutions to clients’ critical needs involve satellites in space, sensors on Earth, and intricate technology connections across multiple frontiers. With physical operations in California, Colorado, the greater Washington DC area, London and France, as well as employees throughout the U.S. and the globe, Stellar Solutions has become a recognized leader in delivering end-to-end critical expertise and problem-solving skills to dozens of significant programs. Stellar Solutions Foundation supports employees’ community engagement. QuakeFinder, Stellar Solutions’ humanitarian R&D division, pursues earthquake prediction models. www.stellarsolutions.com