In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re proud to highlight Flight Attendant, Debbi Miller and Captain Ky Miller: a mother and son duo who fly for GoJet together. Read more to find out how this mom impacted her son’s career, and why they both choose GoJet.
After flying together nearly eight times, both Debbi and Ky agree that while it’s uncommon to see a mother and son working the same flight, they thoroughly enjoy it.
“Ky and I have always had a wonderful relationship! When working together our relationship is that of a colleague, but I’m so very proud of him and that’s when it’s evident that I’m his mom,” Debbi said.
Before finding her passion as a flight attendant, Debbi held positions working as a picture framing worker and a substitute teacher. It was in 2005 when Debbi discovered the newly launched GoJet Airlines and decided to apply for a flight attendant position.
“I didn’t know much about GoJet,” Debbi said. “I saw that they were hiring and wanted to follow my passions and find job security. Mainlines weren’t hiring as much after 9/11, so I wanted to work within a regional airline.”
Now, Debbi has just celebrated her 12-year anniversary, and credits GoJet’s company culture as one of the reasons why she’s maintained her longevity.
“GoJet has a friendly and inviting atmosphere. That’s one of the things that I really like about the company; as it grew over a period of time, it remained a small, warm and welcoming place to work,” Debbi said.
Debbi’s son Ky began taking flight lessons in high school, which solidified his desire to pursue aviation. Seeing his mother’s longevity with GoJet inspired him to work for the same airline.
“Watching my mom work as a flight attendant with GoJet for more than 12 years, launched my curiosity and interest in flying,” Ky said. I started to investigate everything from crew bases to policies and decided that GoJet was where I wanted to be.”
Ky has worked for GoJet for three years and he currently serves as a Captain. Debbi is very proud of her son’s career choice and feels good to know that she was able to positively impact and guide him.
“The thing I most enjoy about being a mother, is seeing my kids succeed and accomplish their goals,” Debbi said. “I think that parenting is one of those things that fuels our children’s drive and desire for success.”
Ky and Debbi don’t get to see each other much during the holiday because of their equally busy schedules. However, Ky recalls his favorite gifts he likes to give his mom on Mother’s Day.
“My mom really enjoys Bath and Body Works gifts! Spa and massage gift cards never fail to make her smile either.” Ky said.
Happy Mother’s Day to all GoJet moms! For more information about GoJet Flight Attendant and Pilot careers, visit https://bit.ly/2FqBphJ.
GoJet Flight Attendant, Jeannie Andersen, was visiting her daughter’s school when she learned that the bone marrow she’d decided to donate was indeed going to save a young girls life.
After flying mainline and doing charter flights for several years, Jeannie was able to connect with many families from the Make-A-Wish Foundation where she served children who were terminally ill inflight. While engaging with each family, Jeannie was made aware of the dire need for bone marrow donors with varying blood types.
“Many of us come home to healthy children each day, but at work, I would see these beautiful children with Sickle Cell, Leukemia, and other diseases. Some children were waiting for bone marrow donors and I decided that I had to do more!” Jeannie said.
Jeannie contacted Laurie’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago and went to be tested to determine if she could become a bone marrow donor.
“My doctor was a little bit concerned because I’m small in stature, but I knew that this was something bigger than myself, and something that I needed to do,” Jeannie said.
One month later Jeannie learned that she was a match and started the procedure for a five-year-old little girl named Madeline. While the testing was a simple swab of the cheek, the marrow extraction process was a bit more complicated. Jeannie went through a great deal of recovery, but kept her spirits high and her focus on the young girl in need.
“Madeline was in a very critical stage, so it was this or nothing else because all of her options had been exhausted,” Jeannie said. “After the procedure, I really never knew how it had gone for her—I just prayed and hoped. But after several weeks, my caseworker called and said that the little girl was doing very well and the mother had requested to meet me!”
Jeannie scheduled a time to meet with Madeline’s family at the hospital. When Jeannie walked into the room she was speechless! Madeline’s mother shared that Madeline had drawn a picture of a woman who looked just like Jeannie with red hair and had named it her big star. Each night the family would wish on a star for Madeline to become well.
“It was such a huge opportunity to meet Madeline, and that day was so emotional for me,” Jeannie said.“Her mother asked me how she could thank me for saving her daughter’s life. I said that I only did what I would hope someone else would do if this was my child. I also replied that I wanted Madeline to enjoy every sunset, embrace life and to have fantastic adventures. That, in itself, would be thanks enough.”
Madeline’s health continues to improve, and she is now in full remission. She went on to Kindergarten and also plays softball. Madeline’s mother decided to purchase a star in honor of Jeannie’s contribution and presented Jeannie with a plaque sharing the location and name of the star in the sky.
“I like to think of all of us making wishes and giving back with nothing expected in return,” Jeannie said.
Detroit-based Flight Attendant Haley Sellers has been fascinated with aviation since she was a child. “My first flight was a trip to Disney World with my family when I was seven years old,” she recalls. “The flight attendant was so nice. She gave me a pair of wings and took me to meet the Captain. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to work in the air.”
After graduating from high school, Haley studied to become a pilot, and then changed her focus to Aviation Management. However, it wasn’t long before she decided that she had to get back in the air. As a GoJet Flight Attendant, she’s found a career that indulges her passion for aviation, while providing the perfect outlet for her infectious personality. “I’m a chatterbox,” she laughs. “I love meeting and talking to all different kinds of people, and immersing myself in other cultures.
When Haley’s not flying, she can be found volunteering at the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she takes part in the Rosie the Riveter tribute program. This one-of-a-kind program honors the millions of women who contributed to the WWII war effort by working in factories and shipyards, producing munitions and other war supplies. These women, who took over manufacturing jobs from men who had been called to war, were called “Rosie the Riveters.”
Program volunteers dress as the now iconic Rosie the Riveter image and educate visitors about women’s contributions to WWII, including their work at the Willow Run Bombing plant, where Rosie the Riveters built B-24 bombers. Recently, volunteer Rosies were also part of a large-scale campaign to save the Willow Run Bombing Plant from demolition. The campaign was successful, and the plant will soon be the new home of the Yankee Air Museum.
Haley has been involved in the Rosie the Riveter program since 2014. “It piqued my interest because it was a culmination of several things that I’ve always been passionate about, first and foremost being aviation,” she remarked. “I’ve also done ROTC my whole life, and I worked on cars with my dad growing up.”
Haley describes the shoot as both an exciting and eye-opening experience. “It turns out,” she recalls, “that the production company in charge of the shoot also works on Game of Thrones. They used real dirt and effects when they shot us pulling planes at different times throughout the day.”
Best of all, original Rosies came to the shoot to meet the tribute Rosies who are educating others about their legacy generations later.
“Come on down!” Those iconic words instantly bring to mind the wildly popular TV game show “The Price is Right” and the ecstatic reactions from contestants chosen from the audience to compete. The show, which has been on television since the 1950s, features contestants competing to win cash and prizes by guessing the prices of different products. GoJet flight attendant Betty Griggs is lifelong fan of The Price is Right, and had an unforgettable experience when she attended a taping of the show with her family this spring.
When Betty’s cousin offered to request free tickets to a taping of The Price Is Right, Betty was immediately on board – after all, she could easily travel to California using her employee travel benefits. She just had one condition – her mom had to come, too.
“My mother is 92 years old, and isn’t able to travel as much as she used to,” she explained. “But she’s been such a big Price Is Right fan for so long that I knew she would want to make the trip.”
When the trio arrived at the studio, Betty remembered a conversation she had with another flight attendant about the show. “This flight attendant had been on The Price Is Right, and mentioned that the producer interviews each attendee as they walk in, observing their personality, demeanor, and how they interact with others,” she recalled. This is where Betty’s instinctual people skills from being a flight attendant gave her a natural advantage. Out of over 200 attendees, Betty was one of the first selected to “come on down”!
A correct bid on a foosball table gave Betty the chance play the game “Flip-Flop” on stage with host Drew Carey.
“I had to match up prices to products,” Betty remarked, “and went with my gut after being unable to determine what the audience was trying to tell me. This was the right move, because the prices matched up, and I won the game!”
Betty then advanced to the Showcase Showdown, where she got the chance to spin the big wheel. Although she didn’t move on to the final Showcase, Betty walked away with a 3-D television and a set of living room furniture, in addition to the foosball table. While she kept TV and the furniture for herself, Betty gave the foosball table to her son, Barry. “When I told him that it was his, he said that he had a space already picked out for it,” Betty laughs.
When the episode aired in early June, Betty held a themed watch party, where she held games and gave away prizes to her guests, just like The Price is Right. “None of them had seen the episode yet, so from all of their reactions I re-lived the excitement of being there,” she said.
Betty says that while being a contestant and a winner was a thrill, the best part of the trip was experiencing The Price Is Right with her mother.
“I knew it meant a lot to her, and we will always remember it.”
Wondering what there is to do in your new crew base? We’ve got you covered. From ski slopes in Colorado, to nature trails in Raleigh, our crew base cities offer something for everyone. Here’s a sampling of some of the top things to do in each of our domiciles.
St. Louis, Missouri
A sports town to its core, St. Louis is home to both professional baseball (the St. Louis Cardinals) and hockey (the St. Louis Blues). Catch a game at Busch Stadium, or get a bird’s eye view of the action on the field from 360, the rooftop bar and restaurant atop the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark. While in St. Louis, a trip to the top of the iconic Gateway Arch is a must, as is a visit to Forest Park, named by Travel + Leisure as “one of America’s coolest city parks and one of the world’s most beautiful city parks.”
Not far from St. Louis is another Midwestern gem, Chicago, Illinois. A sports hub, Chicago is home to two Major League Baseball teams, including the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, as well as to NHL, NFL, and NBA franchises.
With over 600 public parks, including local favorites Millennium Park and Grant Park, Chicago boasts plenty of avenues for outdoor recreation and entertainment. If you visit Grant Park between early May and mid-October, be sure to check out the water show at Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world. Evening shows are accompanied by a light and music display.
During your time in Detroit, be sure to pay homage to the Motor City’s stunning achievements in the automotive industry. After you visit the birthplace of the Model T at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, watch the manufacturing process of a Ford F-150 truck from the elevated walkway overlooking the Dearborn Truck Plant’s final assembly line.
Just as deeply rooted in Detroit’s history is music. Launched in 1959, the Detroit-based Motown record label represented some of the most famous acts in music, including Marvin Gaye, Chubby Checker and Stevie Wonder. Visit the Motown Museum, and stand in Studio A, where legends including the Supremes and the Temptations recorded some of their best-known hits. Spend some time exploring the District Detroit, 50 blocks of restaurants, bars and event destinations. While you’re in the District, take in a show at one of Detroit’s many theatre venues, including the stunning Fox Theatre, as well as its smaller next door neighbor, City Theatre.
Raleigh offers endless opportunities for lovers of the great outdoors. The area is home to two state parks, including the Falls Lake State Recreation Area and William B. Umstead State Park, and both are both are prime locations for swimming, boating, fishing and hiking. The Neuse River Trail caters to cyclists and hikers, and is the longest greenway trail in North Carolina. Take in the view from its two suspension bridges, and keep an eye out for beavers, cranes, and Great Blue Herons.
Museum buffs, be sure to visit the North Carolina Museum of History. The Wright Brothers’ first flight took place in 1903 in nearby Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and the museum is home to a full-scale replica of the Wright Flyer. The museum is also home to a cannon and other artifacts recovered from a shipwrecked pirate vessel, as well as to “The Story of North Carolina,” a permanent exhibit that traces 14,000 years of North Carolina history. Young and old alike will also love the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Museum of Art, and Marbles Kids Museum.
Raleigh was named one of the top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” by Southern Living magazine, and the local restaurant scene lives up to the hype. With over 1,200 local restaurants, and options ranging from sushi to Middle Eastern, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Be sure to try Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue (made with vinegar, salt, and red and black pepper) at one of the city’s many barbeque joints, and check out the diverse flavors of Historic City Market, an eclectic area of restaurants, bars, galleries and boutiques.
Regardless of where you’re based, you’re certain to have a great time exploring your new domicile. Each city is home to unique events and places, just waiting to be discovered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Employee Appreciation Week is one of our favorite weeks of the year! This week-long event, packed with food, games, and prizes, is our way of saying thank you to our employees for all of their hard work This year’s festivities wrapped up last Friday, and everyone is still talking about all of the fun they had.
One of the best things about Employee Appreciation Week is the food! In Chicago, Base Manager Tracy Ryan kept the crew room stocked with candy and other goodies throughout the week. Her queso dip with chips and salsa was a huge hit! Tracy also delivered Subway sandwiches planeside to crews with fast turns.
The Raleigh-Durham base had a similar agenda, offering a smorgasbord of treats each day. All kinds of candy bars were available on Monday, while Tuesday featured “grab and go” breakfasts for the crew members. Throughout the week, crews also feasted on nachos, cupcakes and pizza.
At the St. Louis base, Base Manager Nikki Lutz worked hard keeping the crews fed all week, and even held a barbecue right on the ramp!
In addition to the food and festivities, each crew base gave away a FitBit!
Flight Attendant Alyce Atkinson won the FitBit given away at our ORD crew base.
At the St. Louis headquarters on Tuesday, corporate leaders threw a “come as you are” breakfast (which was pajamas for many) for all employees, complete with a caricature booth and balloon artist. The leadership team manned griddles and hotplates, and served up an impressive spread that included sausage, eggs, pancakes, and even a smoothie bar. And of course, President Rick Leach and GoJet COO Terry Basham held their annual competition to see whose pancakes were the most popular (we ran out of both, so we’re called it a tie!).
Other events throughout the week included the very popular “Take Your Dog To Work Day,” a gourmet cupcake truck, and a friendly game of Family Feud that pitted GoJet employees against employees of our sister carrier, Trans States Airlines.
One of the biggest events of the week was the annual washers tournament. This year was the tournament’s biggest year yet, with 35 teams participating. Our Maintenance department has established a washers dynasty over the years, and many teams from other departments were eager to de-throne them. However, Maintenance remained dominant again this year, and we again had a Maintenance vs. Maintenance championship game!
Maintenance remained dominant later in the week, winning the annual tug-of-war showdown between the Maintenance hangar and corporate office employees.
On Friday, employees enjoyed a barbecue,
a mini-classic car show,
and an afternoon of “knockerball.”
One thing’s for certain – we’re already looking forward to next year!