Never let someone tell you something is not possible
Lucimar Reis was 16 years old and in the next room over when she overheard her parents discussing her future. Her mom voiced concerns to her dad that she would not have as many or the same opportunities that her two brothers would because she was a girl, but her dad immediately rejected at that notion.
"She's mentally strong, works hard and has a good personality," her dad responded. "She's going to be very successful one day."
From that moment on, Reis has believed that she could accomplish anything she sets her mind to. And, well, she's accomplished quite a bit.
Reis is currently United's Director of Sales for Brazil. She joined the company in 1998 and has been the country sales director for Brazil since 2015.
"She is a bold and daring leader," said Jacqueline Conrado, a Brazilian marketing manager for United. "She's found ways to get teams to work better together, which has led to great achievements for the company."
A seasoned airline veteran, Reis was the first woman to become a Sales Executive at Brazilian airline Varig and also spent time at TAM Airlines before joining United.
Throughout her career, she's been in a predominately-male industry. Thanks to the confidence instilled by her father, she's never let that deter her.
"What's important is that I've never lost my female identity," Reis said. "Just because I may be in an industry dominated by men doesn't mean I have to appear strong and not sensitive. I keep my female perspective. There is a lot of value to add to a situation by having a diverse mix of people, and that's one thing I love about United – there are people from all walks of life throughout the company."
Reis never had the chance to let her dad know the profound impact he'd had on her. A few months after that life-changing, fly-on-the-wall moment, Reis's father suddenly passed away. But through his words from that day, she continues to carry on his memory, by sharing them with younger females at various events and conferences.
"Never let someone tell you something is not possible," Reis offers as advice to women. "You can have success in your career while maintaining both a good family balance and your feminism. You can be you. Being a woman is not a disadvantage at all."
If you can't get to Mars, what's the next best thing? Apparently Iceland. A team of renowned explorers and researchers recently journeyed to Iceland to test a Mars analog suit in a Martian-like environment.
The United sponsored expedition, led by The Explorers Club — an internationally recognized organization that promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space — and in partnership with Iceland Space Agency, involved the team venturing inside the Grímsvötn volcano and across the Vatnajökull ice cap. The group traveled to the remote location and lived for six days in the Grímsvötn Mountain Huts and endured harsh weather conditions and unstable terrain.
Helga Kristin Torfadöttir, Geologist and glacier guide, using the LiDAR system to map the ground and test the suit's capabilities on the glacier.
The objective of the mission was to explore the potential of concept operations at the Grímsvötn location while testing the suit in an arctic environment similar to what would be found on the surface of Mars. "This mission was an important test of the design of the MS1 suit, but it was also incredibly helpful to understand the how to conduct these sorts of studies in Iceland," said Michael Lye, MS1 designer and NASA consultant and RISD professor. "No matter how thoroughly something is tested in a controlled environment like a lab, studying it in a setting that accurately represents the environment where it will be used is absolutely essential to fully understand the design."
The suit was designed and constructed by faculty and students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with input and guidance from members of the HI-SEAS IV crew and NASA's Johnson Space Center Space Suit Engineering team. At 50-60 lbs, the suit is similar to what a planetary exploration suit would weigh in Martian gravity. The suit was originally designed to be used in the warm climate of Hawaii, however the martian climate is much closer to what would be found on top of the glaciers in Iceland. The data collected will inform the future of habitat and spacesuit design that can be used to train astronauts on Earth.
Today, we remember the colleagues, customers and every single victim of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
I know each of us in the United family marks this difficult moment in our own way. Still, we all share a common commitment to honor how our brothers and sisters left us and also celebrate what they gave to us during their lives. We remember their professionalism and heroism. We cherish their camaraderie and friendship. We carry with us the examples they set forth, especially in the heroism and bravery displayed by so many on that terrible day. Above all, we understand a simple truth: While thousands of our fellow human beings lost their lives in New York City, Arlington and Shanksville, the attacks of September 11th were aimed at all people of peace and good will, everywhere. They were attacks on the values that make life worth living, as well as the shared purpose that make us proud of what we do as members of the United family: connecting people and uniting the world.
We may live in times scarred by discord and disagreement, and we know there are those around the world who seek to divide us against one another. But, on this day – above all – we come together, as one. We affirm our core belief that far, far more unites us as citizens and fellow human beings than can ever divide us.
Let us embody that belief as we go about serving our customers and one another – on this day and every day – as we continue to help building a world that's more united. Let that be our memorial to the sisters and brothers we lost, eighteen Septembers ago.