Employee Spotlight: Yukhee Lee, APAC Business Development Manager, Space Services
What’s your role?
I manage business development in Asia-Pacific for Spire Space Services. I work with potential customers to see if Spire can support their mission by offering the expertise of Spire Space Services’ proven orbital platform, global ground station network, and end-to-end manufacturing facilities so that customers can efficiently deploy and scale their own satellite constellation. One thing I love about my role is closing a deal. It is thrilling to know that not only does my work support Spire’s growth, but I’m also able to help our customer’s ideas and dreams reach orbit.
Describe your journey to Spire.
If I could go back in time, I would tell my 15 years old self that nothing is impossible. During my school years, I read Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. I distinctly remember his famous quote, “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” Ever since that moment, I began dreaming that I would work for NASA and one day support space missions to further humankind for the greater good of all. Unfortunately this dream faded fast as I realized I wasn’t good at mathematics and science (at the time, I thought space-related jobs only required those skills).
Tapping into my other skills and strengths, I was still able to build my career in the aerospace and defense industry in Singapore and South Korea. I used to work at AAR Corp., a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) company distributing spare parts for military aircraft to air forces in the APAC region. I also worked at GE Aviation Korea to manage a major contract for the Korean Air Force’s F15 operation. I was also a sales representative in South Korea for Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Harris and Collins.
Fast forward to now, I am truly grateful and feel humbled to be able to work in the space and defense industry and contribute to the ‘greater good’ by helping organizations leverage Spire’s satellite data and space services.
What Spire value do you relate to the most?
Collaborative. Not a single deal can be closed by yourself. While proper communication with a potential customer is important to show the value of our products and services, the communication and collaboration within our team is crucial to make sure we understand the customer and their needs. As a sales person, I have immense gratitude to all of our engineers who are fulfilling our commitment and sales engineers who willingly become a bridge to fill in the gaps between the sales and engineering teams. I believe the actual sale truly ‘starts’ from the moment you sign the contract, and I am grateful that all of my colleagues at Spire work as one team to ensure the quality of our service to build trust with our customers.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I enjoy hosting and entertaining friends at my home. My husband and I have been living in Singapore for three years. With the travel restrictions over the past two years, we have enjoyed inviting our friends to our home for dinner and drinks to make our time in Singapore more enjoyable. My husband and I are a good team – while he is preparing the food, I enjoy decorating the table for the evening. If we can spend a night with our dear friends over good food and wine, I think my efforts during the week are being rewarded – except when all the dishes pile up the next morning!
The global nature of Spire requires flexibility and time management. How do you navigate working with colleagues around the globe?
On top of becoming a power user of Google Calendar, I also enjoy using a weekly scheduler to stay organized and track my progress with each sales deal, which prevents me from losing focus and wasting time on administrative work. Because of the global nature of my work, I’ve had to learn how to manage working with people in different time zones. While this requires some late evening calls, I always try to balance it out by spending quality time with my family.