People: Eren Ozmen earns James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award

Eren Ozmen

Eren Ozmen Courtesy Photo

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) recently awarded its highest honor, the James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award, to Eren Ozmen, chairwoman, president and owner of Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corporation.

The James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award is named in honor of James Forrestal, the last cabinet-level Secretary of the Navy and our nation’s first Secretary of Defense, according to a Nov. 16 press release. It recognizes Forrestal for his leadership and advocacy for a robust and responsive defense industrial base during the early years of post-World War II demobilization.

“Through the Forrestal Award, NDIA celebrated Ozmen for her life-long record of business accomplishments, broad understanding of the vital role the industrial base plays in ensuring the nation’s security and keen political instincts,” according to the release.

“I am honored to receive the coveted James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award,” Ozmen said in a statement. “It is a true privilege to serve our nation and protect lives through technology that SNC builds.”

Eren and her husband, Fatih Ozmen, acquired SNC in 1994 when the company had just 20 employees and grew it into an award-winning, multi-billion dollar global leader in aerospace and national security.

Under her leadership, Ozmen has steered SNC to expand in new and promising directions, including 20 strategic acquisitions, creating thousands of jobs in the process, in addition to the launch earlier this year of 
Sierra Space, a commercial space company and subsidiary to SNC.

“Eren Ozmen’s leadership and drive as a visionary in aerospace and defense is a prime example of what is possible with a strong commitment and belief in the mission,” Michael Bayer, NDIA’s vice chairman of the board, said in a statement. “Her leadership exemplifies the essence of NDIA’s Forrestal Award.”

Also this year, Ozmen was included in Forbes’ inaugural “50 Over 50” list honoring women who have made an extraordinary impact alongside iconic female leaders including Vice President Kamala Harris, Madeleine Albright, Arianna Huffington and Cathie Wood.


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