The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlantic Southeast Airlines is buying Houston-based ExpressJet Holdings in a deal that could bring more jobs to ASA’s Atlanta headquarters…

Me (top row, third from left) with a few coworkers who contributed to the backpack drive.

As a kid, back-to-school season was always an exciting time. Although it signaled the end of summer freedom, it also meant reuniting with friends, getting a few new outfits and stocking up on school supplies. As the daughter of a teacher, I also got to help my mom decorate her classroom for the year. Now I’m an adult and summer vacation is just a distant memory, but that hasn’t stopped me from helping to make back-to-school season an exciting time for other kids.

For the past two years, Atlantic Southeast’s LIFT program has participated in a backpack drive for underprivileged school children coordinated by Atlanta-area charity For the Kid in All of Us. We are just one of a handful of Metro Atlanta companies that encourages employees to contribute fully-stocked backpacks to the cause. The drive typically lasts a few weeks and leads up to a community event held at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.

The backpack drive was a pretty independent effort during our first year participating, with employees contributing their own fully-stocked backpacks. However, this year, a group of us decided to make it easier for more employees to get involved by pooling our resources. One of us would buy the paper and pens for a bag, another person would buy the notebooks and so on. We also took cash donations and bought supplies for our coworkers who couldn’t make it to the store. The result was a collective team effort that included donations from at least 75 people in our work area.

In total, Atlantic Southeast employees donated more than 70 fully-stocked backpacks to the drive, which is 20 more than we donated last year! We also landed in the No. 5 spot among Atlanta-area companies that held backpack drives….not bad considering we were up against some very large companies in the race!

LIFT Pancake Breakfast

I joined Atlantic Southeast’s LIFT (Lasting Impressions For Tomorrow) Board this year as Event Coordinator. The experience on the board is rewarding because of the true volunteer spirit that exists at Atlantic Southeast and that is shared among the board members. Last week, we were presented with the awesome opportunity to host a pancake breakfast to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge at Emory University in Decatur, Ga. The lodge is residential facility for cancer patients and their families to stay when being treated in city other than their home town.

Our pancake breakfast was held last week at our Atlanta hangar and general offices, as well as at our Atlanta airport crew lounge. Our day started at 5 a.m. when many of our aircraft, crews and mechanics were starting their day. I’m not sure if it was hunger, the smell of blueberry pancakes, or just the genuine desire to give, but there were steady lines of team members eager to hop on our flapjacks! Of course, we offered something for everyone: blueberry (for those like me with a sweet tooth), and for the heath conscious, whole wheat pancakes. Not to be outdone by our local fast-food competitors, we even provided toppings like strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate chips!

I was impressed by our team members’ generous giving spirit as we asked for a minimum donation of $1; however, many people gave more. The funds raised will go a long way to help LIFT as we put our culinary skills to use again for a dinner event for the Hope Lodge. It truly feels good to flip for LIFT and for others!

Me (fourth from the left) with my fellow Inflight recruiters at our Atlanta hangar.

Do you dream of being a flight attendant? Well, now is your opportunity!

Atlantic Southeast is now hiring flight attendants for our Atlanta and Washington-Dulles crew bases.

Candidates should be excellent at multitasking, have outstanding people skills and be experts at working through all types of situations. Of course, you should also have a keen eye for safety!

If you think you have what it takes to join our team, go to the Careers section of our website and look for the Apply Online link. If selected for an interview, you will be invited to an open house where you’ll have a chance to get to know us, and we’ll have an opportunity to get to know you!

I’ve been a flight attendant at Atlantic Southeast for nearly nine years, and it is a great way to see new places, travel on your time off and meet new people. And not only do I love my job here, I love the company I work for!

Me (second from the left) with my fellow flight attendant trainees.

Back in 2009, as the nation’s economy struggled through a recession, Atlantic Southeast faced the difficult decision to furlough pilots as the demand for air travel fell. I was one of those pilots, and it wasn’t easy to leave the family I’d grown to love at Atlantic Southeast. During the furlough, I found myself working as a customer service performance leader at Chicago’s Midway airport. Although I greatly appreciated my role there and my coworkers, I really wanted to be back with Atlantic Southeast, and it just so happened that they were hiring flight attendants. I sent in my application and was welcomed into the Inflight Services group as a flight attendant trainee while on furlough as a pilot!

Just as we were finishing up emergency drills and preparing to make our first flights as trainees, I received word that the furloughed pilots were being called back to work. I was excited, but very grateful for all of the new and exciting experiences that the Inflight team had given me to make me a better pilot. When my flight attendant trainers and fellow trainees found out that I had been recalled, I was greeted by everyone with open arms and excitement for our expansion as a company and for me being able to continue pursuing my dream to fly!

After flight attendant graduation, I’ll have the wonderful opportunity to fly as a flight attendant and gain skills that will help me better understand our operation until my pilot training class begins. Experiences like this one make me proud to be a part of a company with such a very close sense of unity that provides a unique opportunity to help their fellow teammates not just grow in their workgroup, but throughout the company!

I passed my final exam last week and then headed off to Washington-Dulles Airport for my first flight as a certified flight attendant! I am very excited for my first trips as flight attendant, and now have a much more comprehensive view of my job as a pilot than ever before.

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