Stellar Solutions Founder and CEO Celeste Ford offers students a Countdown on Management

Stellar Solutions Founder and CEO Celeste Ford offers Menlo College students a Countdown on Management

Celeste Ford, Founder and CEO of Stellar Solutions, recently shared her experience with Menlo College Professor Jin Zhang’s management class. Stellar Solutions, founded in 1995, works on defense-related intelligence projects, international tele-communications programs, commercial imagery, and NASA’s planetary and earth science missions.

Based on three companies Ford built, she offered a countdown of ten suggestions for management students.

She explained that going from engineer to entrepreneur, is not rocket science. Her valuable countdown of ten points to help management students includes:

  1. Establish a vision.
  1. Identify your strengths and play to them. As yourself what do you know and who wants it. View yourself as a product. How do you sell yourself? What is your value added?
  1. Identify your customers and their critical needs.
  1. Surround yourself with people who have a passion for what you do. Hire for attitude.
  1. Create a stellar work environment. Provide incentive to your staff and empower them with flex benefits.
  1. Give back to the community. Provide your staff with an opportunity to do that.
  1. Nurture relationships. Do what you say you will do.
  1. Close the deal.
  1. Balance your life with a positive outlook.
  1. Be ready to take risks.

If you heed the advice of these points, you’ll be prepared for a business blast-off!

Ford holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Science from Stanford University, both in Aerospace Engineering. She began her career as a guidance and control engineer for COMSAT (Communications Satellite Corporation) in 1978.

She became a project manager at the Aerospace Corporation, where her work with NASA on the Space Shuttle Program led to recognition as “Woman of the Year” in 1984. Ford then joined Scitor Corporation, where she successfully started and grew a satellite launch business area. In 1995, she founded Stellar Solutions, which she has guided to a position of international prominence.

Ford has served on congressional commissions, as well as on panels focused on entrepreneurship and women in business. She has been recognized with numerous honors, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame, Fortune Small Business Magazine Best Bosses, and Women in Aerospace Leadership Award. She explained that life is “networks and opportunities.”

In addition to Stellar, Ford’s other ventures include:

QuakeFinder, the humanitarian R&D division of Stellar Solutions was founded in 2001. It the world’s leading private earthquake forecasting research organization, dedicated to the discovery of methods for warning communities of imminent destructive earthquakes.

Stellar Solutions Aerospace Limited, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 2004, provides engineering services to overseas markets.

Stellar Solutions Foundation, established in 1998, supports community-based organizations and charities.