Cynthia R. Cauthern is the owner and CEO of Transcendence UAS, a firm providing exceptional talent to the Airship and UAS industries.


Tell us about yourself and your background.

I thrive in environments that are competitive, ever-changing and, those which allow me to use consultative skills to help people realize their vision and which, build deep long lasting relationships.  I guess that is why I am drawn to software companies developing innovative solutions with applications in machine language, Geo-Spatial, mobile technology, cloud computing, imaging and data management.  I have held senior sales leadership roles, project management and have led professional services teams for start-up, national and multinational companies.

I am a proud graduate of the Pennsylvania State University having earned my B.S. degree (yes, I bleed navy blue and white), the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, where I earned a M.S. degree (ok, sometimes I also bleed red and white) and, ULC where I earned a Ph.D.  I am an avid sports fan, a fitness enthusiast, and international indoor-rowing competitor.  I currently serve on the boards of the Urban League of Greater Madison and the WI HIMSS chapter.   

Tell us about your organization and your role there.

Transcendence Unmanned Aerial Solutions (Transcendence UAS) is a proactive contract staffing, technical recruiting and executive search firm providing mid-level IT professionals and senior level business executives to organizations developing commercial applications for the Airship (blimps, zeppelins and unpowered aerostats) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones or flying robots) markets.

Unlike other IT staffing firms, Transcendence UAS’ sole focus it the UAV/UAS industry. The question is can recruiters from general staffing firms differentiate between a high-performance machine to machine learning coder from a not-so-high performance coder? The answer, per industry experts, is no! Generalist recruiters simply match resume keywords to a vague or ill-defined job description. HR mangers, with 30+ openings going simultaneously encounter the same challenges.  The results of this inefficiency and, lack of industry knowledge, leads to technical and hiring management taking on the time-consuming task of screening misfits and unqualified candidates, while time sensitive projects and revenues potentially stall.  Since our sole focus is the Airship and UAS market, we focus on a deep expertise and industry knowledge; develop relationships with industry leaders and deepen the well of contacts to match candidates with hiring managers.

I am the founder and CEO of Transcendence UAS.  I spend my days and nights talking to hiring managers about their requirements, goals, vision, culture and obstacles toward reaching their objectives.  I also talk directly with candidates about their talent, expertise, career vision and cultural environments in which they thrive.  My goal and passion is matching candidates with organizations that match their career objectives and corporate cultural style; fostering success for the hiring organization and the candidate. Our value proposition is recruiting and providing candidates with the following three unique attributes:

  • Technical Expertise
  • Business Acumen and,
  • Corporate Cultural Matching (through a proprietary process)

As the CEO of an early-stage company I wear many hats, including marketing, administration and recruiting.

What was your motivation to start Transcendence UAS?

As an entrepreneur, I am always seeking opportunities to build a business in an emerging market; where I can leverage and grow my skills, as well as, be of services to my stakeholders and constituents.

After researching several industries, I decided to pursue the UAV/UAS industry, specially the commercial UAV/UAS sector. The services segment of the UAS industry is growing and information technology professionals will be in high demand for companies developing the following commercial UAV applications.

My specific reasons for starting Transcendence UAS is to grow and mange a servant company.  Transcendence UAS not only partners with its clients and candidates to meet their business and career objectives; but to also be of community service by providing resources and funding to participate in their volunteer, charitable, and philanthropic endeavors.

Industry Experience:

What do you like most about being in the UAV industry?   

Everyone I have meet has been so willing to share advice and to assist with making contacts.  In my business, networking is everything, and the women and men I have contacted were eager to help me learn, share advice and have been supportive of my aspirations.

I love industries that are constantly changing. It means you must be constantly abreast of current trends and understand the trends and its applications to be of service to your customers.

Do you have a success story you would like to share?

My fledgling, start-up company gains traction every day.  Each day, I learn of a new application to the commercial drone industry, facilitate connections, and make new business contacts.

What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?   

We have an unparalleled opportunity to make significant technological, leadership and visionary contributions to the industry. The industry is new and ever changing; which means women can take command and have equal footing with our male counterparts.

What You’ve Learned:

What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry? 

We all encountered roadblocks and obstacles.  I realized by keeping my goals front and center, being clear about my intent and to keep moving forward; I can find creative and collaborative ways around the roadblocks.

What advice can you share with aspiring female entrepreneurs?

The fantastic actress, Ruth Gordon, said “you can do anything if you don’t get the facts”.  My advice is to have a plan, but beware of being stymied by thinking you must have all the answers before you start (analysis paralysis).  Start moving toward your goal, take baby steps, but get moving and surround yourself with people who will challenge, support and guide you.  I once read, “you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”.  Get rid of people who are negative and mean (or as they say, haters are going to hate), and surround yourself with people who are positive and are as driven as you are.

You will need a lot of patience and perseverance simply because your thoughts and actions are going to be faster than your team, vendors and customers. Whatever your timeline is, multiple it by 4; take a deep a breath, relax and enjoy this magnificent ride.


What’s the best way for W&D readers to connect with you? 

Cynthia R. Cauthern, Ph.D.
Mobile: 608-220-2937

The Final Word:

Is there anything else you would like to share with the Women and Drones Community?

It is not often one has the chance to be an active participant in a burgeoning technology. We have the opportunity to shape the industry and command leadership positions.  Grab the reins and Carpe diem!

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