Jolyon D. Thurgood, Ph.D.

Vice President, Corporate Development and Marketing

As vice president of corporate development and marketing for Hera Systems, Joe is responsible for business development and marketing strategies in preparation for the launch of Hera Systems’ satellite constellation in 2016.

With a lifelong passion for mapping and geospatial technologies, Joe brings to Hera Systems more than two decades of direct experience working in the field of high-resolution commercial satellite imaging. He has a strong technical foundation in imaging research and software development, with a career that has largely focused on the commercial and operational aspects of the business. Working with clients and partners to apply emerging technologies to their work, Joe has significant experience in mapping operations and workflows, business development, strategic planning, marketing and sales. His professional milieus span the range of startup to established private technology companies, and include corporate, project and team management.

Prior to joining Hera Systems, Joe was principal at gisIMAGE, which provided professional services in support of market research and analysis, business plan development, technology assessment, production workflow improvement and strategic business planning to mapping organizations, the investment community and satellite imaging startups. Before that, Joe served as president and chief executive officer of HJW Geospatial, a 60-year-old photogrammetric mapping company. In that role, Joe was successful in increasing revenues by 90 percent, expanding the company’s geographic reach across North America, and introducing Microsoft UltraCam aerial imaging operations and supplying imagery content in support of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth / Bing Maps. Joe was also director of photogrammetry products for Vexcel Imaging (now Microsoft).

From 1995 to 2003, Joe served in executive and management roles for both DigitalGlobe and Space Imaging. As vice president of marketing at DigitalGlobe, Joe led the worldwide marketing strategy for QuickBird imagery products, coordinated multi-tiered commercial sales strategies and developed strategic industry relationships. His work there contributed to revenue growth from $10 million in 2001 to $100 million in 2003. At Space Imaging when the company launched the world’s first high-resolution commercial imaging satellite, Joe was director of international marketing and business development for five years. He defined the company’s marketing strategies by promoting early product acceptance and boosted revenue growth from regional international markets; developed and launched the Space Imaging Global Network as a worldwide clearinghouse for imagery; and defined and managed regional marketing and sales programs in Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as North America.

Joe also served as marketing director for the SYSTEM 9 GIS product (now Pitney Bowes SpatialWare Enterprise), and was a product developer at Wild Heerbrugg (now Leica GeoSystems / Hexagon), where he developed photogrammetric software for engineering applications.

He is currently a member of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and is an ASPRS-certified photogrammetrist, geographic information systems/land information systems mapping scientist and remote sensing scientist. Joe was formerly active in the CEO Alliance of Northern California and the Management Association of Private Photogrammetric Surveyors.

Joe earned a Ph.D. in photogrammetry and digital image processing and a Master of Science in photogrammetry and remote sensing, and a Bachelor of Science in topographic science (with honors). He was born and raised in Scotland, and currently resides in San Francisco, California.

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