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Meet Payton Barnwell, Business Development Manager

Payton Barnwell

This week Payton joins us as Business Development Manager where she will leverage her industry knowledge to develop relationships with SkyFi partners and customers. Payton comes to us with experience in various segments of the aerospace industry including time at Florida Polytechnic, NASA, Virgin Galactic, and the Brooke Owens Fellowship.

The SkyFi Team was first introduced to Payton through her interest in Earth Observation applications (see: rocket launch photography from space) that was evident through comments on our social media channels. She was regularly sharing space industry resources with our team and amplifying our posts. After connecting with Payton directly, we knew we needed to find a place for her at our company. It’s also safe to say, she’s the closest thing we have to a rocket scientist! 

Why SkyFi?

When I set out to work in the space industry back in college, I never had a specific vehicle, mission, or company in mind. I just wanted to be part of making space accessible to people that were left out of the fun - we can’t all be astronauts… yet. 

As soon as I came across SkyFi, I knew that this was the perfect place to continue on with my goal of making sure everyone knew that space technology could be, and was, a part of their everyday life. From conducting soil analysis of a farm to photographing your outdoor wedding from space, everybody can utilize space to benefit their lives on Earth with the help of SkyFi.

Image: Atlanta, Georgia via NASA Satellite, Landsat 8
Image: Atlanta, Georgia via NASA Satellite, Landsat 8

What's the most exciting thing about SkyFi?

To me, the most exciting part of SkyFi is that we will make satellites fun for everyone. Most aerospace industry professionals could give an impromptu Ted Talk on the reasons why satellites are interesting, or an engineer may talk your head off about Hohmann transfers, but people outside of those groups probably aren’t discussing satellites with their friends after work. With SkyFi, your favorite influencer may be tasking a satellite from a fancy coastal resort town or the local fire department down the street could be on the app. It really is for everyone.

What is your role at SkyFi?

As Business Development Manager, it is my responsibility to find the best possible industry partners to ensure that SkyFi users can always count on us for a top-tier experience. I get to use my engineering and hardware background to communicate and empathize with space companies, and tell anyone who will listen all about the wonders of space technology. It's a win-win! In this role, I also get to stay up to date on the latest and greatest in GIS + EO platforms. If you or your company belongs to either of those communities, let’s connect on here!

What drives you?

Having the opportunity to take initiative for the greater good is an amazing motivator. I enjoy finding opportunities to improve a situation for others through engineering and the space industry, and I’m excited to do that alongside the team here at SkyFi. In the past, I accomplished this by helping to improve astronaut nutrition aboard the ISS and analyzing space flight test data. Now, everything we do can be used to improve the human experience on our home planet. I'm a HUGE fan of engineering psychology and SkyFi is the perfect way to show everyone how important it is to think about people when designing and building new technology. 

What's your favorite satellite image?

How can I choose just one?! If I have to, I’d pick one of my new home. Atlanta has a little bit of everything - it’s just missing a beach! It is also home to the 2021 World Series champions and my favorite airline. Bonus points for it being just a short flight away from watching rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center.