Victoria McCartney organizes and hosts sUAS racing events while also providing drone education for adults and children
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am currently the Director of Professional Services for an IT security software company located in Eden Prairie, MN and manage a team of Project Managers, Implementation Engineers and Programmers. I have over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry to include extensive experience in implementing ERP, CRM, PSA, Document Management and RPA software. I have leadership experience in Sales, Professional Services and Customer Success. I excel at business process improvement, change management and software and services revenue growth.
I am originally from Canton, OH and moved to Edina, MN for a promotion in 2010. I graduated from Kent State University in 1997. I am a Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) and a Six Sigma Black Belt Professional. I received my Remote Unmanned Aircraft Pilot License (Part 107) in December of 2017.
How did you get started in the drone industry?
My husband and I started Guerrilla Entertainment, LLC. dba Midwest Drone Racing® in 2015. We began with organizing sUAS racing events for hobbyists which grew into hosting racing events throughout the Midwest. We also provide sUAS youth and adult education programs and commercial work.
Tell us about your organization and your role there.
I am co-owner of Guerrilla Entertainment, LLC. dba Midwest Drone Racing®. We host indoor and outdoor sUAS racing events with all types of drones (quad, fixed wing, multi-copter, etc.). We also provide regular youth education programs that support all aspects of STEAM initiatives in multiple area middle schools. We are expanding our education program to adults to teach them the difference in regulations from hobbyists to commercial use. We provide advice to those looking to obtain their FAA remote pilot certificate (Part 107).
We have volunteered for the past 3 consecutive years at the Science Museum of Minnesota and Education Day at the Minneapolis Maker’s Faire to help bring this industry to light.
We’ve worked with several local cities and rotary clubs to help them understand the progression of the sUAS industry.
We have also worked with our local VA Rehabilitation and Recreation wing to aide veterans to use drones which has helped them in their recoveries.
We’ve held several community outreach races where 100% of the proceeds went to that selected charity.
We both participated in the search and rescue efforts during the TX flooding that occurred after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
What do you like most about being in the UAV industry?
The use of new and innovative technology and being on the cusp of every aspect of it.
What’s your favorite type of project and why?
One that supports STEAM initiatives. It is very rewarding to influence young adults to validate that they can get their pilot’s license at the age of 16 and start their own business or inspire them toward other career goals using this technology from the skills that they learn in our education program.
Do you have a success story you would like to share?
Our search and rescue effort after hurricane Harvey in TX was by far the most rewarding. To be able to locate people that were stranded, help bring them to safety, and reunite them with their loved ones was incredibly emotional.
What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?
The sUAS industry provides avenues for women to increase their presence toward all aspects of businesses and even become a trail blazer.
What’s your current favorite drone to fly?
Just one? I have many favorites! Mavic Air for commercial use – Nice and compact and portable with great camera resolution
Blade Inductrix FPV for hobby use and to teach with – Nano in size, self leveling, duct fan motors, great for beginners and to introduce others to the sport/industry
Propel Star Wars Speeder Bike Drone and 3D printed TIE Fighter – For fun of course!
What You’ve Learned:
What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry?
The sUAS industry is still in it’s infancy with an opportunity for so many more great things to come from the use of this technology.
What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?
Finding an insurance agent that already had a drone liability policy defined would have saved us time vs. working with an agent to build a policy.
Is there a tip you learned you would like to share with other women in the industry?
Find a good resource or group to acquire hands-on training.
What’s the best way for W&D readers to connect with you?
Victoria McCartney, Guerrilla Entertainment, LLC dba Midwest Drone Racing®
Facebook : Midwest Drone Racing®/Flight Club
Vimeo: Midwest Drone Racing®
The Final Word:
Is there anything else you would like to share with the Women and Drones Community?
You be you and fly on!