Sonia is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in systems engineering, quality systems, business development, and program management. She has co-founded several companies and held executive management and senior technical positions. Sonia is a well-known expert in the SBIR/STTR program and consulting services and has helped start-ups and small businesses raise tens of millions of dollars in federal funding. Sonia's experience includes hundreds of proposal preparations and submissions, with a focus on commercialization strategies making her a leading consultant in the SBIR/STTR program.
Sonia's expertise in the field has led to her being Nationally recognized as a subject matter expert in commercialization and SBIR/STTR programs by federal agencies, and she frequently participates in peer review panels. She also serves as an innovation ecosystem service provider for the SBA. Sonia has a B.S and M.S in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Her experience with the Navy's SBIR/STTR Transition (STP) program has been extensive, and she has successfully guided over 50 companies through the commercialization process. She has also assisted the Navy and in-state organizations in executing in-person and virtual events.
Sonia's contributions as a mentor, coach, and technical support have been invaluable to the startups in the AOI Team. Many Arizona Optics startups have secured Phase I and Phase II SBIR/STTR awards from notable organizations such as NOAA, USDA, DOE, NASA, DHA, Air Force, and NSF.