24-Jun-2016 Source: HAI
Wanda Lee Rogers, former chairman of HAI’s Board of Directors and the longtime president and CEO of Rogers Helicopters, in Clovis, California, passed away last month at the age of 83.
Rogers, who died May 26, founded the company with her husband Harry in 1962 with a Hiller 12E and a Hiller 12A, “minimal capital and a banker who believed we could be successful,” she told ROTOR magazine in 2002.
Rogers Helicopters is still owned by the Rogers family and is now one of the largest helicopter operators in California, working in utility, powerline construction, external load operations, fire fighting, government assistance, oil production and exploration, logging, air medical services, and filming. Its fleet of 31 rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft includes four Eurocopter AS350 B2 Astar, two Eurocopter AS355 F1 TwinStar, seven Bell 206B3 JetRanger, three Bell 206L3 LongRanger, seven Bell 212, three MD 500, and two MD 530 helicopters.
In addition to serving as chairman of the board, Rogers’s HAI activities included service on the Government Contracting Committee and as vice president and treasurer of the board. She was recognized as an honorary Whirly-Girl and served as president of the Commercial Helicopters Operators Council. She was also a member of the board of Kaman Helicopters and the Radcliff College-Amelia Earhart Committee.
She was also a founding member of the Foundation for Clovis Schools and served on the San Joaquin College of law Board of Directors.
“It was my distinct honor and privilege to have served with Wanda on the HAI Board,”HAI President and CEO Matthew S. Zuccaro said. “She was a true pioneer within the helicopter industry and also a positive influence as well. She will be missed by us all,” he added.
Rogers was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2014, and son Rory. She is survived by son Robin and two grandsons, Robby and Randy.