More than 30 years ago, Eren and Fatih Ozmen immigrated to the United States from Turkey, barely speaking English and with scant resources, to embark on a new adventure and test the limits of their dreams. As Eren has said, “In everything we have achieved, our motivation was to have an impact. When things got hard, the only thing we had to do was remember the times we came to the U.S. with nothing.” The extent of the Ozmens’ impact has been widely recognized, including by Forbes Magazine which in 2015 ranked Eren among the top 20 most successful self-made women in America. They were honored in 2011 by the Living Legends of Aviation as Aviation Entrepreneur of the Year and inducted as Legends in 2012.
Fatih and Eren Ozmen, the dynamic duo of the aerospace and aviation industries, are partners in marriage as well as in the ownership and executive management of the immensely successful Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). Fatih joined the company as an engineering intern in 1991 and Eren was hired later as a financial consultant. In 1994, while they were employees, the couple acquired the company through a “management buyout” and expanded it exponentially and globally. SNC went on to acquire 19 companies, extending its reach to encompass six business areas in 34 locations including the U.S., England, Germany, and Turkey. The workforce of mostly scientists, engineers, and technical personnel has expanded under the Ozmens’ leadership from a staff of merely 20 to 3,000 employees globally.
In 2008, SNC added MicroSat Systems and SpaceDev Inc., two space companies, to its already broad set of capabilities. Its government customers include the Department of Defense, NASA, the latter for SNC’s ongoing development of a practical, re-deployable space vehicle, called the “Dream Chaser” for missions to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station starting in 2019.