Chicago, IL – September 30, 2020  –  Women and Drones is proud to once again recognize women who represent the business leaders, innovators, mentors and visionaries making an impact on the global drone economy. These extraordinary female honorees are helping shape the UAS future while inspiring others in the ultimate challenge of bringing the industry closer to gender parity. Women and Drones first launched the WTW Award initiative four years ago. The 2020 nomination process resulted in nominations from eleven countries. Honorees were once again chosen by a distinguished panel of judges from across the industry. Women and Drones would like to congratulate the following recipients of the 2020 Women To Watch in UAS Global Awards in the following categories:

Entrepreneurship – Raquel Molina of Brazil

A pioneer in the Brazilian drone market, Raquel Molina is founder and CEO of Futuriste Tecnologia Drones which has grown into one of the largest drone training companies in Brazil. Raquel became her country’s first female drone instructor and was the first woman ranked in the TOP 3 Professional Awards in the Drone Market by Droneshow Latin America. She created the “Drone Without Barriers” program, which provides free training for physically disabled people to operate drones and also finds time to serve as a volunteer mentor in several projects to support female entrepreneurship.

Leadership – Denise Soesilo of Switzerland

Denise Soesilo is Co-Founder of Outsight International and has been at the forefront of the implementation of UAS for development and humanitarian aid. She is involved in cargo drone operations in Africa, coordinating between regulators, UTM providers and nine drone companies to enable their flying operations. It is the first time such a large variety of drones have flown BVLOS cargo missions from the same operating base. Denise Soesilo continues to be a lead facilitator between industry, donors and regulators for the progression of UAV technology with emphasis on the responsible implementation of robotics and drones.

Education – Kaye North of Australia

Kaye North devotes her time to inspiring students and fellow teachers by engaging them with drones.  She regularly shares with schools the value of drones within curriculum and provides professional development to the teachers who are able to make it happen in the classroom.  Whether she is directing science students to design and code drones capable of delivering survival packages during disasters or creating opportunities for high school girls to develop drone pilot license programs for local primary students, Kaye North is a true champion of drone education.

Public Safety/Service – Susan Minne’ of the U.S.A.

Susan Minne’ serves as a volunteer and lead pilot for the Cedar Park, Texas office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. She responds to calls for sUAS assistance from police and fire units as well as assists in the administration of the citywide Public Safety sUAS training program. She has been instrumental in developing training and quick drills to help teach important skills to other public safety pilots. Susan also serves the Public Safety Unmanned Response Team and took a lead role in helping consolidate training materials from all over Texas and develop them into a single, comprehensive program.

 About Women And Drones

Women And Drones is the leading membership organization dedicated to driving excellence in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry by advocating for female participation in this dynamic segment of the global economy.  We partner with companies committed to an inclusive culture where women can thrive. We also provide Drone Flight Services including aerial imagery and drone product beta testing. Our female-focused educational programs range from kindergarten to career in efforts to balance the gender equation in the industry now, as well as for the future of flight.

Wendy Erikson