For Yvonne Addison of StandardAero, career advancement and community service have always been on an equal playing field. A mechanical engineer by profession and a community leader by way of her passions, Addison is making national impact in her field and continues to locally impact the San Antonio community with her volunteer efforts. Through strategic ideation as the Sales and Operations Planning Site Lead at StandardAero, she has led to the addition of millions of dollars of new engine production lines and hundreds of new jobs in her company. Committed to bettering the San Antonio community, she is stepping into the role of President of the Junior League of San Antonio, and manages The Young San Antonian, an online resource for Young Professionals to stay connected to the community that she founded in 2014. Addison shares on the defining moments that shaped her career path, the impact she is making throughout San Antonio and her fascination with Marie Curie.
On her career journey:
I started out with my sights set on being a Residential Architect. When I was looking at college programs, an Engineering Department Chair highlighted that I could start out taking the same computer-aided design courses that architect students would be taking as I considered a potential career in Engineering. After a few semesters of design courses, I had the skill-set to work at an architecture firm assisting with drafting tasks. I didn’t like the work. I realized I sitting in front of a computer for 9+ hours a day just wasn’t for me. That experience solidified my path to becoming a Mechanical Engineer.
In 2010 I joined StandardAero, which is the world’s largest MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) for military and commercial aircraft engines. At StandardAero, I was pleasantly surprised with the opportunities to grow my career in different directions. I quickly expanded into Project Management and Continuous Improvement projects. One particular project helped steer my career on to a very different path. It started when I was asked to walk both our new CEO and Sector President through a project we had just completed. Less than a month later I was on a plane to D.C. to facilitate our sector’s strategic growth workshops. We were throwing ideas up on the walls and envisioning opportunities to pursue. Fast forward two and a half years and many of those ideas are coming to fruition at our site here in San Antonio. We are already in the process of adding millions of dollars in new engine production lines and hundreds of jobs. Every day I arrive at our facility, I’m in awe of how we’ve turned our strategy into reality and it is humbling to have played a small part in bringing growth to our site and city.
On what defines her work at StandardAero and beyond:
Trying something new doesn’t come naturally to me but I’ve learned to embrace the opportunity to take on new ventures. In 2014, I was spending a lot of time exploring ways to be more involved both professionally and civically as a young professional. I found it to be a challenge to discover what events and activities were happening around the city that were specific to the young professionals community. I thought that if I was looking for this information, perhaps there were others who might find it helpful to see a list of events aggregated in a single site. This idea let me to create the Young San Antonian, a free online resource of organizations, events and articles for the young professional community.
Most recently, I’m leading the implementation of sales & operations planning methodologies at our StandardAero site. While this formal concept of balancing demand with supply is not new, applying it at our site puts us at the forefront in utilizing this concept within our industry.
On community impact and giving back:
One of my biggest passions is giving back to our communities through the Junior League of San Antonio, alongside some of the most amazing women in our city. I joined the Junior League nine years ago in hopes of finding a place where I could grow as a leader, help improve our communities and build friendships with like-minded women. I never imagined that one day I would be stepping into the President role of such an amazing organization that has served San Antonio for 95 years.
On her personal female hero:
Growing up, we went to the library on a weekly basis. One particular day I happened to be flipping through a science book and came across a brief explanation about a discovery by a scientist named Marie Curie. I was fascinated by her story and quickly found myself reading all I could about her life, and her discoveries earned her two Nobel prizes. She grew up in a time when women were not admitted to universities, yet through her personal champions and family, she was encouraged to break down barriers and pursue her life’s passions. Her story is also a testament to how important and impactful our families can be in helping us reach our greatest potential. Her family helped to raise a world-changing scientist, and she went on to raise her own family with these values. As a result, her two daughters also became world-renowned scientists and Nobel prize-winners.
This profile was (Em)Powered by StandardAero.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.
Photography by Ross Benton of Benton Studios.