Stu Shea Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 GEOGala
An inspiring night of celebration and commemoration brings the GEOINT community together again.
On December 3, 2021, the GEOINT community turned out for this year’s GEOGala, held at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA, to celebrate the 2021 USGIF Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Stu Shea. As this was the first GEOGala in over two years, it was clear from attendees’ smiles and laughter that the community was thrilled to reunite and to make new connections in an evening dedicated to celebrating not only Stu Shea, but the community at large.
After kicking off the evening’s program with welcome remarks, USGIF CEO Ronda Schrenk recognized USGIF Lifetime Members, event sponsors, and prior Lifetime Achievement Award winners. She then honored the legacies of Arthur C. Lundahl and Thomas C. Finnie, for whom USGIF’s highest honor is named, with a video tribute.
“This award recognizes Stu’s singular contribution and undying commitment to the geospatial intelligence community,” said USGIF Board Chair Robert Cardillo. “Since the start of his career as a software engineer designing computer mapping capabilities in 1982 until today, Stu has been an exemplary leader in our community, advancing the GEOINT tradecraft, and accelerating innovative new capabilities and approaches. Put simply, he is not only a founder of USGIF—he’s also the model of the Foundation’s mission.”
“I am deeply honored to be recognized as this year’s Lundahl-Finnie recipient,” said Stu Shea, President and CEO of Peraton, during his acceptance speech. “Thank you for the shared recognition for the things I have done with others, but more importantly, thank you all for the work you do each day in protecting our way of life.”
Featuring a new format with award programming and more networking opportunities, this year’s GEOGala also demonstrated the community’s generosity—recognizing $40,000 in corporate donations to the 2022 USGIF Scholarship Campaign made prior to the event, and then adding to that total more than $18,000 in attendee donations over the course of the evening.
Jackie Guz, Ph.D., recipient of the 2019 Stu Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship, took the stage to share her GEOINT journey and encourage community support of the USGIF scholarship fund.
“I’m excited to be introduced for the first time in my career as Doctor Jackie Guz,” she said as the room erupted into applause. “This was made possible in no small part from the support I received from the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s Stu Shea Endowed Scholarship…These funds are necessary to remove the barriers for students to join, stay, and thrive as members of the GEOINT community.”