Newfound Passion: GoJet’s ORD Base Manager Traded Computer Programming and Chemistry for Aviation

 

 

traceryann
Tracey enjoys some sun while vacationing using her company travel benefits.

After several successful years as a computer programmer and a chemist, Tracey Ryan decided to stay at home with her children. Shortly thereafter, she felt a career change was imminent. Always having loved aviation, our now Chicago (ORD) Base Manager decided to explore a new career path and follow in her grandfathers’ footsteps. Read our Q&A to find out how Tracey switched careers, and now works within the field that she loves.

Q: Tracey, what led you to become a GoJet Base Manager?

A: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and another degree in Computer Programming. After having careers as a chemist and a computer programmer, I took on several part-time jobs to stay at home with my two children. My friend told me about GoJet’s flight attendant openings, and it really sparked my interest because I love to travel and to work with people. We were both fortunate to have been hired as GoJet flight attendants and went into training together.

I was always fascinated with the aviation world because both of my grandfathers were pilots. One of my grandfathers was a Captain in World War II and my other grandfather was a private pilot who flew a small airplane for recreation.

I loved being a flight attendant and was fortunate enough to take a handful of pilot lessons. I have realized that you can definitely find your passion in your 40’s and become infatuated with aviation. Hence, when the ORD Base Manager position became available, I was more than thrilled. It’s a true blessing to work in a profession and in a position that you love. I am very grateful.

Q:What are your responsibilities?

A: I provide innovative solutions and guidance for both pilot and company issues and regulations. I also help with maintaining aircraft manuals, pilot currency and FAA compliance for our United Express fleet.

Q: How would you describe the day in your life?

A: My days are never the same, that’s for sure! The day can be filled with taking calls, attending meetings, and assisting with the ORD parking badge process. My day can also consist of meeting our aircraft, updating manuals and completing other tasks that are needed.

Q: What do you enjoy about Chicago?

A: As the 3rd busiest airport in North America by boarding passengers, Chicago O’Hare brings something new and interesting each day, which I thoroughly enjoy. The city of Chicago also has an unbelievable skyline and never-ending activities for all personalities and interests. I have lived in the suburbs my entire life but love the fact that we have such an extraordinary city available to us at any time.

Q: What do you most enjoy about working at GoJet?

A: I have a wonderful working relationship with my colleagues and office partners. We worked together to lead our team towards the #1 spot in Quick Turn Delays in ORD for the last six out of seven months. Additionally, all the Base Managers support one another, in efforts to help with GoJet’s continued success. I’m proud to be a part of the GoJet family.

GoJet Crew Scheduler is Making a Name for Himself in the Music Industry

Dylan Smith
GoJet Crew Scheduler Dylan Smith

Everyone dreams of making it in show business.  But GoJet Crew Scheduler Dylan Smith is well on his way to doing just that.

A musician since the age of 8, Dylan started out playing drums, and later learned to play bass and keyboards.  Like young many musicians, he dreamed of playing in a rock band.  “I guess that’s every musician’s dream at some point,” he admits, “but I did play in a progressive rock band for a time, so I can say that I achieved that goal!”

Dylan eventually left the band when be became bored with writing short, individual songs.  “I wanted to write these long, narrative story arcs through music, but it just didn’t work for my band at the time,” he recalls.  This desire to tell longer stories through music eventually led Dylan to begin composing film scores, where he could write music to enhance the narrative taking place on the screen.

Dylan’s ultimate career goal is to compose music for television and film full-time.  Recently, Dylan collaborated with Los Angeles-based writer and director Braden Barton on his film Unconditional.  Barton recruited Dylan, as well as Dylan’s friend and fellow composer Alex Whalen, to help complete the film score for a film he was working on, a drama called Unconditional.  “We were asked to write thematic material and apply it to an orchestral ensemble,” Dylan explained.  “Our contributions were added to the original compositions, and we were all very happy with the resulting score.”  Preliminary screenings of Unconditional have generated positive feedback, and the film has received favorable reviews in the Los Angeles press.

Dylan is currently working on other film projects, while also composing music for Telepictures Productions, a television subsidiary of Warner Bros.  So far, Telepictures Productions has featured Dylan’s work during episodes of Crime Watch and Teen Titans Go!.  Dylan is currently exploring the possibility of working on an upcoming Scooby Doo project.

Crew Scheduler’s Photography Catches the Attention of National Geographic

Nick Huber NatGeo
“Pray for the Bees” was taken by GoJet’s own Nicholas Huber, and was featured on National Geographic’s website.

When he’s not on the job, GoJet Crew Scheduler Nicholas Huber is perfecting his photography skills.  “I picked it up as a hobby about a year and a half ago,” he explains. “I’m saving money to upgrade my equipment, but I got a digital camera and a couple of lenses to start with.”  Although he’s a relative newbie to the photography world, Nick’s work has already made waves among fellow enthusiasts, and has even been shared on National Geographic’s website.

So far on his photography journey, Nick has most enjoyed capturing nature photos, and it was a nature shot of a friend’s beehive that caught the attention of National Geographic. After showing the image to friends and receiving positive feedback, he decided to submit it to National Geographic’s YourShot program, which gives amateur and professional photographers alike the opportunity to share their photographs with National Geographic editors.  The best images are chosen to appear on National Geographic’s website and in National Geographic magazine.  To Nick’s astonishment, his photo was selected as one of National Geographic’s “Daily Dozen,” a daily showcase of the editors’ 12 favorite YourShot submissions.

“When they reached out to me and told me that my photo was selected, I was pretty amazed,” Nick recalled.  “It was the first time I’d ever submitted any of my work into a contest of any kind!”

Regarding Nick’s photo, National Geographic editor Matt Williams commented,

“Such an interesting frame, and I love the idea of you photographing this scene from the back. A great and creative idea when it comes to photographing a beekeeper and a bee hive. The light is excellent and I love how it reflects off of the beekeeper headgear and the honeycombs.”

In the future, Nick plans to put his employee travel benefits to good use so that he can photograph more unique and interesting places.  “I’m planning backpacking trips with friends to help familiarize me with more nature shots,” he remarked, “and I really want to photograph up and down the Washington and Oregon coastlines.”

Our Favorite Blog Posts of 2016 Revisited

With the year winding down, we thought that it would be the perfect time to put together a compilation of some of our favorite blog posts of 2016.  Here’s a sample of what our employees have been up to this year.

Piano Playing Pilot Delights Passengers at Chicago O’Hare

Captain Billy Hock isn’t just a talented pilot.  He’s also a musician and songwriter who spends layovers at O’hare playing the piano for passengers.

CA Billy Hock
GoJet Captain Billy Hock, meeting a fan after playing the piano at Chicago O’Hare

Pilot Recruiter James Douvier Explains What it Takes to Be a GoJet Pilot

In one of our most viewed posts of the year, pilot recruiter Captain James Douvier explains that there’s more to being a GoJet pilot than just being a great aviator.  James is looking for pilots who are going to come to GoJet and make a difference.

james-douvier
Pilot Recruiter Captain James Douvier

Maintenance Control: The Unseen Face of Tech Ops

The majority of our passengers have most likely never heard the term “Maintenance Control.”  However, the safety and timeliness of our flights depends on this important group of GoJet employees.  This department is critical to keeping our airplanes safe, our flights on schedule, and our passengers happy.

img_0125
Maintenance Controller Steven Perez

Summer Interns Contribute to the Operation in Big Ways

During the summer of 2016, three talented young interns contributed to the operation in big ways.  Aviation students Morgan Hunlen, Jade Lubinski, and Alex Dupre all took full advantage of the opportunity to move their studies beyond the classroom, and had an abundance of new knowledge when they returned to school in the fall.

Summer Interns
Our summer interns getting a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the control tower at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

GoJet Flight Attendant Wins First Runner Up in the Miss North Carolina Pageant

Our employees do some truly astounding things in their free time.  Take GoJet flight attendant Juanette Roache – when she’s not providing stellar customer service at 37,000 feet, she regularly volunteers at her local soup kitchen and homeless shelter, as well as mentors children through the Boys and Girls Club.  Her community service led to an opportunity this spring to compete in the 20160 Mrs. North Carolina pageant, where she was named the first runner up and received the People’s Choice Award.

Juannette Roache 5
GoJet Flight Attendant Juannette Roache

We have no doubt that our employees will continue to impress us next year.  We can’t wait to see what 2017 brings.  Happy New Year!

GoJet SOC Collects Toys to Benefit Toys for Tots

When employees in our SOC wanted to give back to the community this holiday season, they turned to a very worthy organization – Toys For Tots.  Toys for Tots is a charity run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that collects new, unwrapped toys, and distributes them to children who may not have anything to open on Christmas.

dsc_0014

The toy drive was organized by Crew Scheduling Manager Stephani Mayhall, who was looking for something the SOC could do as a group to benefit those who are less fortunate.  “It’s important to remember, especially during this time of year, that there are people who aren’t as well off as we are,” she said.  “We’re employed, but those who aren’t may need help, and we wanted to get involved.”

Crew Scheduling Department Coordinator Heather Brown has been volunteering with Toys for Tots for years, and suggested to Stephani that the SOC hold a toy drive benefiting the organization. “I’ve been involved with Toys For Tots events since I was in high school,” Heather explains. “When I was in junior ROTC, I helped collect money so that we could buy toys to donate. I’ve also helped Toys For Tots wrap presents that have been donated.”

dsc_0053
Stephani Mayhall (left) and Heather Brown (right), with representatives from the Marine Corps Reserve

It’s often hard for SOC employees to take part in fundraising activities at GoJet headquarters, because those activities usually occur during daytime business hours from 9-5.  The SOC is a 24 hour operation, and many employees work nights.  Stephani and Heather wanted to make it very easy for everyone to participate, so they set up a large collection box in the SOC, where gifts could be dropped off at any time.

In addition to appreciating how convenient it was to participate, employees were also very enthusiastic about helping out a charity affiliated with the Marine Corps.  “People here really appreciate our military,” Heather explained.  “Many of our employees are are former military, so this really resonated with them.  “People really got into it,” Stephani added, “and we plan to bring this back again next year!”

The toy drive was a big success, bringing in nearly 70 toys for Toys for Tots.  Stephani and Heather are already planning on doing it again next year!

Christmas is just five days away, but the Marine Corps Reserve is still collecting toy donations.  Click here to learn more.

The GoJet SOC Enjoys a Good Meal for a Good Cause

For many, the Thanksgiving holiday was a long weekend, filled with family, food, football and shopping.  However, many GoJet employees, including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and those in Systems Operations Control (SOC), sacrificed Thanksgiving with their families to make sure that our passengers arrived at their holiday destinations safely.

Our SOC employees celebrated Thanksgiving in the office, with an incredible spread from Mimi’s Cafe.  The feast offered something for all appetites, including a wide variety of vegan offerings.

soc-thanksgiving_1

But the restaurant’s delicious and extensive menu was just part of the reason why the SOC chose Mimi’s to cater their holiday dinner. Mimi’s relationship with the Children’s Hunger Fund was what sealed the deal.  “We found out that for every order placed, Mimi’s would donate a meal to the Children’s Hunger Fund,” explained Heather Brown, who coordinated the meal.  “Our order resulted in the donation of 16 meals to children in need.”

The SOC is keeping that same spirit of giving rolling into December, with a toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots.

 

Making Every Flight Count

When it comes to performance, every flight matters.  Earlier this year, our code share partner Delta Air Lines challenged us to “Make Every Flight Count” and make 2016 our best performance year yet.  It’s a challenge that we took very seriously and were all too happy to accept.

With “Making Every Flight Count” as our mantra, we increased our focus across all performance categories, while paying special attention to some key areas, including on-time departures, inflight service and communication from the flight deck.

All that hard work is delivering results – today Delta Air Lines leadership was on-site at corporate headquarters to congratulate our employees on our recent performance numbers!  Throughout the day, Delta and GoJet leadership visited the maintenance hangar, chatted with crews in recurrent classes, and dropped by every GoJet department to express their appreciation for everything this team has accomplished this year.