Get to Know NSTXL: featuring Space Enterprise Consortium Deputy Director Natalya Turner
Meet Natalya Turner, our SpEC Deputy Director, and November Employee Spotlight. Natalya has been integral to the continued growth and success of the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC). Natalya also makes time to travel and run a small home-based jewelry business. Anyone on our team could tell you how indispensable Natalya is, but read on to find out yourself.
Tell us more about your background and what led you to NSTXL.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I’m a United States Air Force Veteran with over 20 years of combined experience as an active-duty service member and Department of Defense (DoD) Contractor. I have a Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) from the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Business, with a concentration in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Phoenix.
My career began as a DoD contractor on the Los Angeles AFB, Space Systems Command (SSC) for 13 years in various roles in support of Space and Acquisitions. I served as an integral technical resource, researching, identifying, and understanding DoD capability gaps and needs. I ensured alignment of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)’s Space technologies and their development into real-world military and commercial applications. Additionally, I assisted SBIR companies with developing technology transition strategies and commercialization planning.
About Your Role.
I’m now the Deputy Director for the SpEC Other Transaction Agreement (OTA). I work closely with the SpEC Director, our government customers and collaborate with NSTXL staff to ensure the overall growth and success of the SpEC OTA. I help to oversee the launch of new prototype acquisition efforts, manage ongoing projects, and serve as an internal and external liaison for program stakeholders. These stakeholders range from government clients to industry, consortium members, academia, and entities within the innovation community.
NSTXL interested me because I could use my experience to make an impact within the industry by working with SpEC.
I also love working with small businesses/nontraditionals and want to see them succeed in this industry. NSTXL provides a platform to leverage current technology/capabilities while giving them the opportunity to propose unique solutions. These solutions could change the game for new and previously identified challenges by SSC and help inform thinking on the future Space architecture.
What is your favorite part about working at NSTXL?
My favorite part about working at NSTXL is my colleagues. We have an amazing group of talented people here that are motivated and take pride in the work they are doing to support the warfighter. I love the collaboration that happens within all the different groups. We all must work together to ensure the success of our OTAs.
What is the most exciting project or success you have seen in your role?
We recently hosted the Annual SpEC General Members Meeting (GMM) here in Los Angeles. I was excited to see almost 300 in-person SpEC members attend the conference. We hosted a B2B networking event at the conference and I had an opportunity to watch SpEC members (traditional and nontraditional companies) network with each other, share their technology capabilities, and discuss how they could contribute on potential future teaming opportunities.
Our B2B networking events foster effective conversations that lead to innovative solutions to deliver more successful prototypes. That’s success to me.
What is something you wish more people knew in the industry?
Teaming/Collaboration is important. The collaboration between both traditional and nontraditional businesses allows for a well-rounded approach to solving a problem. The unfortunate problem we see is that there isn’t enough time to build a trusted relationship that allows traditional companies to call upon unknown nontraditionals for a solution and vice versa.
At NSTXL, we break down the barriers between the traditional and nontraditional through our variety of teaming events. These events allow members to showcase capabilities specific to Government-identified, forward-looking technical focus areas. Each event gives participants a chance to present and connect with potential teammates to build capability and technology-driven partnerships. These have proven to help build the foundational trust and network needed to succeed when submitting proposals for prototype solicitations later on.
Why are you passionate about your work at NSTXL?
I love to help people. I have a passion to see nontraditionals succeed in this industry.
NSTXL and the SpEC OTA provides that value proposition to encourage collaboration between the nontraditionals and government regardless of their experience working with the DoD. NSTXL provides our members with tools to get their foot in the door and to succeed.
It’s important to me that our members know where they fit into the big picture of things and that their work matters.