In the early 1980s, Eren Ozmen came to the US from Turkey to pursue higher education. In 1985, she earned an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno and in 1988, she joined SNC.
Eren Ozmen and her husband Fatih Ozmen acquired Sierra Nevada Corporation in 1994. Since then, SNC has acquired 19 companies in 34 locations in 19 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey, and has grown to include a workforce of over 3,000 personnel.
Eren Ozmen is the woman behind the American-made Dream Chaser, a more versatile version of earlier space shuttles. SNC is working with NASA to use the Dream Chaser to resupply the International Space Station and with the United Nations to launch a space mission in 2021 to give developing countries the opportunity to conduct experiments in space. Dubbed by NASA as the next generation in reusable space vehicles, Dream Chaser is setting the spaceplane stage with a focus to fly and travel frequently, land on (most) runways, and operate economically.
Eren Ozmen has prioritized maintaining a healthy work-life balance by promoting family-friendly policies within the corporate culture. In 1991 she established an on-site daycare for employees.
In 2017, Eren and Fatih Ozmen launched Ozmen Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital fund headquartered in Reno. The $5 million fund aims to invest in young and dynamic local startups and cultivate the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Because of her relentless focus on innovation, SNC was featured in the cover story of the May 2017 edition of Popular Science “The Future of Space Travel.”
In 2014, Eren and Fatih Ozmen donated $5 million to the University of Nevada, Reno to create a permanent center for entrepreneurship at the university’s college of business. The Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship supports and enhances the university’s entrepreneurial programs in order to stimulate the creation of new business ventures.
In May 2016, the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship launched a Women's Initiative aimed at connecting innovative female entrepreneurs with leaders and established professionals and business owners in the community. It also highlights female business achievements in and around the community.
In late 2016, in honor of Fatih’s 35th anniversary, SNC announced an investment of $1.5 million in a planned aerospace gallery at Wings Over the Rockies’ expansion site at Centennial Airport. The new Exploration of Flight center will feature a new wing to be called the Ozmen Black Sky Space Gallery and aims to develop future aviators and aerospace professionals through growing educational outreach initiatives and a future aerospace charter school. Actor/pilot Harrison Ford made the surprise announcement to more than 1,000 SNC employees and guests at SNC’s year-end event in Denver.
“I have great humility and gratitude for the opportunities America has afforded me and my family,” Ozmen said in an interview with Share America, adding that she wants to “help other young people realize their potential.”
Personal“Meet the woman behind this spaceship” — ShareAmerica.gov (Aug 2017)
• “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” — Forbes (May 2017) Aviation Entrepreneurs of the Year
Living Legends of Aviation
Carnegie Corporation of New York, "Great Immigrants, Great Americans" (2017)
Most Influential Turkish-American Woman, No. 2 TurkOfAmerica
Top 10 Most Influential Turkish Americans, TurkOfAmerica
Women Role Model of the Year
Honorary doctorate, University of Nevada, Reno (2016)
CompanyWorld’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Space, Fast Company Magazine
America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Inc. Magazine
Tier 1 Superior Supplier for U.S. Air Force
Fastest Growing Women-Owned Company in North America
Top Woman-Owned U.S. Government Contractor
Aerospace Company of the Year
Distinguished Business of the Year
Best Places to Work: Reno-Tahoe, Denver, Florida