I got the aviation bug at the age of 12 years when my uncle, a retired WWII naval instructor, took me up in his open cockpit PT-17 Stearman. My first aerial perspective came over Houston with a mixture of barrel rolls, lazy 8’s and hammer heads. That was it. I knew aviation would become an important part of my life. It took several years before I tackled my pilot’s license, instrument rating and initial commercial training. Over the years, I’ve logged time in several aircraft including a Bellanca SuperViking tail dragger, Mooney Bravo, Beechcraft, Quickie II, Grumman trainer, Piper Seneca, Cessna 150,172 and 182 RG.

As with many civilian pilots, building tac time doesn’t come cheap. Most have successful careers that paid for their flying time. I was no different. For me, it was a 20-year career of building businesses. I became obsessed with developing marketing strategies to build brand awareness and drive revenue. Over the years, this passion led to the founding of an interactive marketing/advertising agency, several technology startups focusing on content development, digital publishing, ecommerce and elearning technologies, and working C-level positions at companies engaged in e-signature and electronic health records technology.

Today, my two passions have finally merged. Drone technology has made capturing aerial imagery so much more affordable and practical than ever before. When you consider the imagery, perspective and situational awareness you can capture with a drone, the traditional and social media branding opportunities are almost limitless. And, the best part for me….I get to pilot yet another type of aircraft and share the wonder of an aerial perspective with a much larger audience.

Deborah A. Kaufman

Drone Pilot/Marketing Strategist, Embella, Inc.

I grew up at the end of a runway in Western Massachusetts and always had  a love of aviation and flying. When I was 17, I enlisted in the Air Force and was initially a Security Police K-9 specialist. But, the call of aviation was too strong, and I cross-trained into air traffic control. For the next 16 years, I worked in every kind of facility you can think of – Ground Controlled Approach, Radar Approach Control, and finally the Control Tower. That led me to becoming the CEO of an air traffic control simulation company, which soon became the biggest and best in the world. I’ve also had experience at the airport operations level.

On top of all of that, I’ve been a lifetime photographer and filmmaker. It started at airshows, where I carried a browny camera with me to take pictures of aircraft. Then, when I went into the Air Force, I had the luxury of a fully equipped photography lab at the base hobby shop. From there, I opened a studio called Double Exposures, where I did portraits and weddings. Of course, photojournalism came along as well, and I did that for many years – winning AP and other national and international awards.

When I arrived in Upstate New York, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the Adirondacks and Mohawk Valley Region. The cameras had found new material and I began shooting in earnest.

Now I get to combine everything I’ve experienced and wanted to do into one thing. And, taking my camera’s into the air? Well….let’s just say that I think it’s magical what you can do from an aerial perspective.

David E. Warner

Photographer/Cinematographer, Embella, Inc.

Embella was initially formed to develop marketing and educational applications using Web technologies. Over the years, the founding team has developed commercially viable e-learning applications, learning management systems, an emergency response management and tracking platform, and numerous interactive simulations for health care, aviation, and the telecom industries. The company has been in the forefront of digital publishing content and in particular – media rich books, newspapers and magazines on tablets and smart phones.

Embella’s History:

• 1990s: Founders were the first to use distributed server architecture to deliver high-end simulations with embedded voice recognition and response technology for the air traffic control and aviation industry.  These simulators were deployed in over 150 locations around the world.

• 1996: Worked on strategies to help organizations advance marketing and educational programs using Web-based technologies. One of the first interactive advertising agencies in Texas.

• 1998: One of the first companies to create a Web platform for e-learning.

• 1999-2006: Designed and delivered hundreds of online courses, product tutorials, interactive Web sites and simulations to tens of thousands of users each year in environments where audit trails and measurable results are paramount to the success of the organization’s mission.

• 2004-2008: Leveraged background in commercializing products and services to develop art-related marketing strategies and have consulted with some of the following groups on those strategies: Earthman Arts Center Galveston, Art in the Park Galveston, Historic Downtown Partnership Galveston, Texas Seaport Museum Galveston, Bremond House Gallery, Elgin, Treenware Folk Art Studio & Gallery Elgin, City of Elgin, Hillcountry Art Center Georgetown, and WVAL-Wimberley Arts League.

• 2009-2011: Continued to work with Salado Texas on their Chocolate & Arts and Heritage Day Festivals. Worked with Dolgeville NY on their Violet Festival website, have created live Podcast shows for different businesses, and have worked with other businesses on video promotional pieces and commercials. Positioned eCareSoft for their entry into the US healthcare market.

• 2011-2016: Worked with Authors to publish their content into electronic form via eBooks, eLearning and digital publishing platforms and with the newspaper industry to get their content onto IOS and Android devices via apps development.

• 2011-present: Developed a consolidated arts and cultural events calendar covering 14 county region of upstate New York, enabling the area to build a brand as an arts and cultural destination. For more information visit the Art in the Adirondacks initiative.

• 2016-present: Leveraging the company’s strong foundation in traditional content development, Embella began exploring how newer technologies could advance a client’s brand into markets seeking fresh perspectives and more engaging content. The addition of aerial (drone), full emersion 360 degree photography, time lapse and motion time lapse extends the company’s broad array of services and unique history in aviation, technology and marketing industries to provide a more richly crafted branding message for both business and community clients.

We would welcome an opportunity to talk with you about your project. For more information, contact Deborah A. Kaufman at 315-429-3416 or via email: deborah[at]embella[dot]com.

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