I try to give back when I can, whether it’s through a soup kitchen or a $1.00 donation, and one organization I have always admired is Locks of Love.  So, when I had heard about our LIFT program organizing a Locks of Love day I was eager to participate for this great cause.  At first I was nervous to cut off ten inches of hair, but then I thought that ten inches of hair isn’t so much if you have it to give.  First off, hair grows back. Second, what I can give will greatly benefit a child suffering from hair loss by helping to restore a sense of self confidence.

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Packing my roll-a-board bag is artfully challenging. The bag itself is a bit smaller than average, so once I pack a pair of shoes in addition to those on my feet, space is at a premium. I call her Baby Blue (that’s opposed to “Big Red,” the name of my huge backpack I got when I was 17 and heading to Europe for the first time) because, well, she’s small, she’s blue and she goes everywhere with me.

Whether I’m heading home to see my parents, or making an overnight stop at one of Atlantic Southeast’s field locations to visit with a team, Baby Blue makes the trip … but usually by a fraction of time.

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Before the days of liquid carry on bans by the Transportation Security Administration, my mom would load up her oversized green vinyl vanity bag with all the shampoo, lotion, sunscreen and toothpaste our family could possibly need for summer vacation. The process generally started at the local discount store, buying each item based on what offered the most bang for the buck (think shampoo with the “25 percent more free!” sticker). Once the family bag was stocked, which generally didn’t happen until the morning of the flight after we had finished using our 64 ounce bottle of conditioner, it weighed as much as a toddler and could provision an entire army platoon.

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In 2008 Atlantic Southeast launched our Lasting Impressions For Tomorrow (LIFT) employee volunteer program. I’m part of the employee-based board that helps guide how LIFT gives back to our communities. Although we’ve partnered with various non-profit entities throughout our history, it wasn’t until LIFT that Atlantic Southeast had an organized program through which employees could give back, through volunteerism, to the communities where we work.

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Gone are the days that air travel is gushed over as glamorous. I know that. But just because it’s not viewed through rose-colored glasses doesn’t mean that flying has to land at the other end of the experience spectrum.

I know that no matter what part of the company I work in, I’m part of something bigger than what I do as an individual; all Atlantic Southeast people play a critical role in connecting you to the people and places that matter most in your life. And we’re not only empowered to make a difference in the customer experience at our point of contact, but we have a strong customer commitment strategy that helps guide our operational decisions when things don’t quite go as planned.

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