Denise Nicholson recognized Top 50 COO's

By Leiah Kim, Staff Writer

Women We Admire has recognized Denise Nicholson, Ph.D., as one of the Top 50 Women Chief Operating Officers for 2024. Nicholson was recently named COO of Accelint, which now wholly owns SoarTech as a subsidiary.

Nicholson is currently Soar Technology’s (SoarTech) chief operating officer, where she has executed her role as an executive leader for nearly five years. With 30 years of industry experience, Nicholson will also provide her technical expertise and business acumen as the new COO of Accelint.

“It’s truly humbling to be among this distinguished group of accomplished leaders,” Nicholson said. “I’m grateful for the support of my team and mentors who have helped me along the way and accept this recognition on their behalf.”

Women We Admire is a membership organization comprised of distinguished female executives and leaders in the U.S. and Canada. The organization publishes news featuring women leaders in business, entertainment, sports, motherhood, medicine, law, and many other fields. Members can learn from senior executives, network with mentors, and platform message to collectively inspire others’ journeys in achieving their full potential.

After receiving her bachelor’s in electrical computer engineering from Clarkson University, Nicholson complemented her education with a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in optical sciences from the University of Arizona. She later developed her executive skills as a graduate of the Naval Air Systems Command’s Senior Executive Management Development Program.

Nicholson gained experience at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Rome Photonics Lab before excelling as deputy director of science & technology at NAVAIR Training Systems Division. She later founded the Applied Cognition and Training in Immersive Virtual Environments Laboratory at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training, where she held joint appointments in the Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program, Industrial Engineering and Management Department, and the College of Optics and Photonics. When Nicholson transitioned to industry, she was the founding general manager of DSCI – MESH Solutions, LLC.

As SoarTech COO, Nicholson has fostered an innovative work environment and inspired her team of scientists and engineers in successful project execution, which prompted Women We Admire to recognize her as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Orlando earlier this year.

“Nicholson’s multi-faceted background and strategic prowess position her as a key player in shaping the future of [artificial intelligence] technology for the military’s toughest challenges,” according to the Women We Admire website. “Her unwavering commitment to excellence and ability to lead mission-critical initiatives set her apart as a dynamic leader in the field, making her a driving force behind SoarTech’s success.”

Her leadership will continue to motivate industry success as the COO of Accelint, which recently acquired five industry leaders: SoarTech, Systems Innovation Engineering, Forward Slope, Highbury Defense Group and Hypergiant.

“I’m honored to begin my next chapter in Accelint senior leadership,” Nicholson said. “Accelint leverages the strongest attributes of each industry leader toward accelerating intelligence around the world, and I look forward to contributing to the success of this innovative collaboration.”

This reorganization will facilitate each company’s expertise, innovation and resources to accelerate global intelligence through AI solutions. Nicholson’s experience and oversight will further Accelint’s efforts to innovate and inspire collaboration.

Accelint is a unified organization powered by: Forward Slope, Highbury Defense Group, Hypergiant, SoarTech, and Systems Innovation Engineering. Fueled by the collaboration of five industry-leading companies and backed by over 20 years of experience, Accelint provides comprehensive AI-forward solutions designed to deliver the situational awareness, agility, and resilience necessary to maintain a decisive edge in increasingly complex environments. For more information on Accelint, please visit or contact

At SoarTech, we recognize that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an essential force-multiplier for humans. Since our founding in 1998, our core mission has been to solve the most sophisticated problems faced by the military by supporting our warfighters with advanced AI solutions. Our technologies are developed to learn and adapt to new data and situations effectively and efficiently. We emphasize the development of AI solutions that can offer explanations, an essential ingredient for ensuring users trust in AI. We combine leading experts in research and engineering to develop unique, impactful solutions that save time, money, and lives. For more information about our AI solutions, visit or

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