Gwen Douthett’s aerial production company offers the first digital advertising board flown by drone.
My name is Gwen Douthett. I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA and now live in Long Beach, CA. I have worked in Corporate America for over 25 years. I am a wife, mother and grandmother and now a full-time business owner. Five years ago, SEVENsCamp began primarily as a music and video production company that evolved into a Drone Advertising and Production business.
Tell us about your organization and your role
About three years ago my husband and business partner, Lynwood Douthett, Sr. Producer suggested we purchase drones to enhance our video productions. He had this love and interest from flying manned aircraft. Before long the drones took over. Every caller wanted to use the drones. When CFR 14, Part 107 came into being it changed things significantly. The challenge then became finding professional licensed pilots.
SEVENsCamp is the name of our company. We offer aerial advertising and productions for companies. We work in real estate, security, music videos and more. We also offer training for those desiring to become licensed Commercial sUAS/Drone Pilots. I am half owner and my husband is 50% owner. We wear several different hats. My title is Acquisitions Officer.
What do you like most about being in the UAV industry?
I enjoy informing students of all ages of the STEAM components of UAV operations. We have taught from age 8 up to those in their 70s the safe and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) way to operate sUAS.
What’s your favorite type of project?
My favorite type of project is flying high with our ADAB (Aerial Digital Advertising Board) system, broadcasting a message and watching the people respond. Everyone is amazed and in awe and that is cool. Meanwhile our client’s message, which is visible from 200 feet day or night is reaching the public. See it in action on our website at www.sevenscamp.com.
Do you have a success story you would like to share?
The premiere part of our success story is our ADAB system, developed by Lynwood Douthett, out of a desire to bring a different and new mode of advertising to clients. After several months we arrived at a working aerial advertising medium which is now patent pending; a benefit of having a husband that is an inventor. Another part of our success is our training program for sUAS/drone pilots.
What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?
The UAV field is new and changing constantly. There are plenty of opportunities for women in this new dynamic. We have noticed an increase of women students in our Commercial Drone Pilot Training courses. I am excited about the potential for women to excel in this industry. The field is wide open in all areas of UAV technology. Again, all of the STEAM components are included in our Commercial Drone Pilot Training course. Our first class had one woman, since then nearly every class has had more women than men. Women recognize the potential in the industry and are grabbing on with both hands.
What’s your favorite drone to fly?
My favorite drone to fly is the Yuneec Q500. I have worked with this for some time and I am very comfortable with it. I know there are newer drones with more bells and whistles, but this is my favorite right now. We use Yuneec drones primarily.
What You’ve Learned:
What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry?
For me the most significant “lightbulb” moments were creating our ADAB system to take mass marketing to new heights. Secondly, recognizing the need to create a training program because there was a huge void in availability of professional licensed sUAS/drone pilots.
What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?
I wish I knew that the F.A.A. was going to create the 14 CFR Part 107 Commercial Certification. I would have worked on getting a head start on training. I also like that it does not take 4, 2, or even one year to train and become a sUAS FAA Certified Pilot.
Is there a tip you learned you would like to share with other women in the industry?
Yes, in sunny weather wear a cap or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes during flight.
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