This year's International Women's Day was all about embracing equity. Equity you say? What is equity, anyway? At this year's HAI Heli-Expo, Airbus Helicopters brought together voices from across the industry to discuss what equity really means and why it is important to aviation as a whole.

Meet the panelists

Ana Espinoza

Ana is Chief of Staff of the Airbus Helicopters North America region. She assumed the role in October 2021.

In this position, Ana is responsible for various elements of business activities in support of the Head of North America Region and President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. She reports to and works directly with the President and his direct reports to identify and meet a broad array of business needs, strategy alignment and requirements for the successful management of the business functions and region programs.

Ana’s experience within Airbus spans more than three years, where she began as PMO lead in finance, program management and general management principal for Airbus America’s CFO in the U.S. 

Prior to joining Airbus, Ana worked with the Federal Government, and various government entities for 11 years, such as the U.S Air Guard, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dept. of Justice (DoJ) and White House Liaison Office (WHLo) as dedicated Program Manager and Government Lead in Community and Federal Initiatives.

She graduated from Mary Baldwin College, in Staunton, Virginia, where she successfully accepted the Virginia’s Women’s Institute for Leadership Certificate and assumed the Color Guard Commander role for the Virginia Military Institute. She earned a master’s degree from Georgetown University, MPS, in Project Management. She continues to serve as Board Member of the Georgetown University Alumni Club, DFW Chapter.

In her spare time Ana volunteers as an Immigrant Child Advocate for the Young Center non-profit organization, which advocates and represents unaccompanied refugee minors in the U.S. Immigration court system. She also runs a monthly Women’s Club to support and empower women thru adversity, and challenging times in one’s journey.

Ana Espinoza

Veronika Kaminska

Veronika is a Product Owner at Airbus Americas Customer Services, where she has been working for a year.

She also is a private helicopter pilot. Prior to joining Airbus, Veronika worked in similar roles in the investment banking industry, but the passion for aviation led her to switch the domain and pursue a career in aerospace.

Originally from Ukraine, Veronika has had exposure to general aviation communities and flight training in Ukraine, Poland and the U.S.

She is a graduate of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

Veronika Kaminska

Dr. Stephanie Queen

Dr. Queen is the Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President for Clinical Services at Air Methods Corporation.

She joined Air Methods in July 2020 and is an experienced nurse executive with 25 years of healthcare experience.  Dr. Queen received her Doctorate from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Grand Valley State University.

As a leader with experience in achieving outstanding outcomes, she has demonstrated success in quality and patient safety, fiscal responsibility, strategic planning, high-performing teams, lean methodology and regulatory compliance.

Prior to joining Air Methods, Dr. Queen was the Director of Critical Care at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, overseeing functions that included the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, the Congenital Heart Center and the Burn Intensive Care Unit.

Stephanie Queen

Mathilde Royer-Germain

Mathilde was appointed Head of Strategy & Sustainability as of January 1st, 2023 and is a member of the Airbus Helicopters Executive Committee.

She started her career with the former Airbus Group in 1992, with 10 years at Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace in Germany, followed by four years within the Defence division, where she held positions in International Business Development, Marketing and Key Account Management.

She joined Airbus Helicopters in 2006, first leading the Strategic Analysis department, before taking over the position of Corporate Secretary.

In 2012, Mathilde returned to operational responsibilities by heading the Light Helicopters Program before joining Airbus Defence & Space in 2017 to lead the Earth Observation Navigation and Science business.

She was nominated Airbus Helicopters Digital Transformation Officer & Head of Company Transformation, and a member of the Executive Committee, in September 2019.

She has been a member of the Airbus Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board since 2019.

Mathilde graduated with a joint degree from a French and a German business school. She is married, with two children.

Mathilde Royer-Germain

LT. Ryan Vandehei

LT. Vandehei graduated with honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2013, receiving a BS in Government. Since graduating flight school in 2015, he has flown the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at Sector Humboldt Bay California, as well as at the Aviation Training Center Mobile Alabama, and Air Station Houston Texas.

His notable aviation accomplishments have included over 15 lives saved or assisted, critical disaster response in the operational command center for Hurricane Dorian, as well as serving as an instructor at the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School in Astoria Oregon – which is the only high-risk aviation training school for the Coast Guard. He has been an instructor pilot and flight examiner for the past four years.

LT. Vandehei has been a Victim Advocate, LDAC (Leadership Diversity Advisory Council) chair, Ground Safety Officer, Facilities Engineer, Supply Officer, Fleet Standardization team member, and the team lead for the Coast Guard’s Rotary Wing Search and Rescue Tactics Trainings and Procedures manual. He also is the creator and producer of the Coast Guard’s aviation podcast entitled “Flight Suit Friday.” The podcast has over 50,000 downloads with episodes centered on renowned search & rescue cases, CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management), methods of instruction, and safety.

Ryan Vandehei
Airbus Helicopters/Dianne Bond