Latinas in Aviation
Soaring to Great Heights
By Christine Bolaños
When people think about the aviation industry, they tend to visualize flight attendants
and aircraft pilots. But the industry is more diverse and dynamic than it appears.
It depends on innovative, intelligent, and diverse minds to ensure safe and efficient
business operations that continue to grow and evolve along with technology. It takes numerous
teams to ensure airlines and airports can bring forth their best versions and at the helm are
leaders in a variety of departments. Among these leaders are four Latinas who have brought
positive change and innovation to the industry. Jackie Rios at American Airlines, Oriana
Branon (Camacho) at Alaska Airlines, Linda Valdez Thompson at Dallas Fort Worth
International Airport and Vania Montero Wit at United Airlines have set the stage for the next
generation of Latina leaders in aviation.
Oriana Branon (Camacho)
Director of Community and Public
Alaska Airlines, Bay Area
Oriana Branon is passionate about building things from scratch and
making the most of her skills and talent for the betterment of society. That is
why making a career pivot from B2B technology into the aviation industry was
one of her best decisions.
As Director of Community and Public Relations for Alaska Airlines in the
Bay Area, she leads the company’s strategy in giving back to the region and
works closely with 70 local nonprofits that fit into the priority areas of youth and
education, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability. Alaska Airlines provided
more than $1 million in charitable resources in the past year alone.
She also drives the company’s communications planning and execution
with the goal of increasing and deepening Alaska Airline’s positive brand
recognition and preference as the airline of choice in the Bay Area.
“It’s working to ensure there are open pathways for underrepresented
communities, both in education and career opportunities,” Branon says. “On top
of that, environmental sustainability is a key focal point for the company. We
want to make sure the communities we operate in continue to thrive.”
Since joining the company about 18 months ago, media coverage of the
company has increased more than 300 percent. She is part of a three-person
team that has a startup mindset.
“We’re building from the ground up to ensure that the Bay Area knows
who we are. We’re traditionally very well known in the Pacific Northwest, but the
Bay Area is a new region to us as we grow our presence,” Branon shares.
Oriana Branon (Camacho), Director of Community and Public
Relations, Alaska Airlines, Bay Area.
26 www. lat inastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol . 25, No. 3, 2019