The Extra Mile - Fall 2019

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The latest edition of Meridian's newsletter - The Extra Mile, Fall 2019.

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Dear Customers, Meridian Family, and Friends,

fall/winter 2019

i n this iss u e

>>> Letter from

the CEO 1

>>> Poised for

Growth 1

>>> Meridian

Events 3

>>> Meridian

Reflections 6

>>> Meridian

Celebrates 8

>>> Plane Folk 10

>>> Meridian

Milestones 10

>>> Mile Markers 12

We are pleased to bring you another edition of The Extra Mile. Our Meridian Family is made

up of people who love aviation and support one another. We love what we do and our

customers feel our care and commitment.

We’re especially proud of our Meridian Hayward FBO. After three years of hard work,

we have filled our hangar with tenant aircraft, one of which is the newest addition to our managed

fleet, a Gulfstream GV. We’re committed to the Hayward community and appreciate their support and

recognition. Carlos Rodriquez, our General Manager at HWD, was recognized as a Hayward Hero

along with other “Heroes who go above and beyond for the students of Hayward”. Congratulations

to the entire California team and thanks to the Teterboro team for their encouragement and

support.

We are excited to be at the cutting edge of the new eVTOL and Urban Air Mobility

technology. Voom, which began in Brazil, established its first US operation with Meridian Hayward.

The company is owned by Airbus and is at the forefront of plans to revolutionize

transportation in crowded urban areas.

I hope that you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, and thank you for your

friendship and support.

Poised for Growth

Teterboro Update

The main terminal at Teterboro is undergoing

a planned refurbishment this fall. The work

includes renovations to the first floor interior and

a reorganization of some of the office space on

the other floors to make room for our continued

growth.

Hayward Update

Out at Hayward, there has been growth as well.

“We have a pretty full hangar,” said Carlos Rodriguez,

Hayward’s General Manager. “In addition to our

new managed GV aircraft, we also recently added

three additional tenant aircraft: a Gulfstream

G550, a Cessna CJ1, and a Phenom 300.” There

are now 14 hangared tenants at HWD.

There is also a lot of activity on our

ramp. The ride-sharing helicopter company, Voom,

has made HWD its headquarters. The online app,

continued on page 2


A

Hayward Update continued from page 1

operating much like Uber and Lyft, provides service

around the greater San Francisco Bay area.

Designed to transport people more efficiently and

alleviate some of the area’s traffic congestion,

the service provides flights between five regional

airports: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Palo Alto,

and Hayward.

In addition to Voom, Meridian is now hosting

another five helicopters, some of which are part of

the Specialized Helicopters fleet and are used for

flight training.

The local East Bay Cadet Squadron of the

Civil Air Patrol continues to use Meridian for its

training flights and recently, the Air National Guard’s

129th Rescue Wing landed their C-130 on our ramp to

conduct a time-sensitive mission. “And of course, we

have our usual on-going flight activity, with aircraft

landing here and passengers traveling to and from

Northern California,” adds Carlos. “So, I’m happy to

say that we’ve had a busy summer and fall.”

In addition, Hayward continues to host

meetings and other events for local organizations

and businesses that require the large and wellappointed

space that Meridian offers. In June, we

hosted the Young Marines as part of the Young

Eagles program. We also continue to host the

monthly meetings of the Hayward Chapter (Chapter

29) of the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA).

Managed Aircraft Update

Meridian has added several aircraft to its certificate

this year. According to Mike Moore, Vice President

of Aviation Sales, this has been one of the busiest

years in recent memory for the Aircraft Management

team. Most recently, a Gulfstream GV was

added to Meridian’s managed fleet. The well-appointed

aircraft is based in Hayward and will be available

for charter. The large cabin GV has a range of 6,500

nautical miles and is outfitted with state-of-the-art

connectivity features and offers all the modern

amenities that passengers expect to find when

choosing a charter aircraft.

A Gulfstream G300 also joined Meridian’s

managed fleet. The large cabin aircraft is based in

Teterboro.

“This has been a really good year for us.

We’ve added several managed aircraft to our certifi-

B

C

D

A. The Meridian Hayward hangar is filled with a variety of business aircraft.

B. Voom, an on-demand helicopter charter and taxi service that operates in the Bay Area,

Sao Paulo and Mexico City, began its operations from our Hayward FBO.

C. The Golden Gate Young Marines pose in front of a Bell 206L-3 Long Ranger, courtesy of

Specialized Helicopters.

D. Meridian welcomes a Gulfstream GV to its managed fleet. The aircraft will be based at

Meridian Hayward and available for charter.

cate that are available to our charter customers,” continued Moore. “We’ve

also had an increase in the number of aircraft owners interested in Meridian

managing their aircraft operation. I’m very pleased with the growth we are

seeing.”

2


Meridian Events

A. The Meridian team at EBACE2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (l to r):

Kirk Stephen, MaKayla Gorski, Bob Platten, Mike Moore, Jamie Labocki,

and Chris Battaglia.

B. A Legacy 500 by Embraer is open to visitors at the static display

at the White Plains Regional Forum, held June 6, 2019.

C. In addition to business jets, there was also a vivid display of

propeller aircraft, including this Aviat Husky A-1C-180.

D. Gulfstream showcases its many aircraft models on the ramp at HPN

during the Forum.

2) Of the 58 aircraft on display, 23 arrived

powered by Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel

(SAJF), as part of the inaugural EBACE SAJF

“fly-in”. This was a milestone in demonstrating

the industry’s support for development and

adoption of the fuel. The fly-in followed on the

heels of an industry “Fueling the Future”

demonstration day, held May 18 at London

TAG Farnborough Airport.

3) The static display was also a location for

other “firsts” among aircraft manufacturers.

Bombardier’s Global 7500 made its post-certification

debut at EBACE and Embraer displayed

the new Praetor 600 aircraft for the first time

since being certified in Europe, the U.S., and

Brazil.

A

continued on page 4

Trade Shows

Meridian participated in a variety of industry events over the last

several months. In May, Meridian exhibited at this year’s highly

successful European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition

(EBACE2019) in Geneva, Switzerland. The company sent six associates

representing Sales, Operations, and Marketing to the event, which was

held May 21-23 at Geneva Airport and Palexpo Conference Center. The

team took full advantage of the event by meeting with customers and

prospects, reconnecting with industry colleagues and friends, and

identifying new opportunities.

The excitement and enthusiasm surrounding this year’s

show has been palpable throughout the week,” said European Business

Aviation Association (EBAA) Secretary General Athar Husain Khan.

“EBACE2019 was characterized by new products, new business models,

new investment opportunities, and a new generation of aviation professionals

determined to make their mark.”

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and

CEO Ed Bolen echoed the same sentiment. “Business aviation continues

changing right before our eyes, and here at EBACE we have seen and

touched the industry’s future,” he stated. “We’re finishing EBACE

inspired by a vision of sustainable flight, urban air mobility, and other

game-changing innovations.”

The convention itself spanned three halls and hosted 400+

exhibitors from over 80 countries. Students from the local area were

able to attend free of charge. A special “One Young World” summit was

available to young professionals and students to help with entry into

the industry and to garner more interest in business aviation

in general.

This year’s show highlighted the innovation and investment

driving the future of business aviation and included many “firsts” that

are highlighted below:

B

C

1) The first-ever EBACE Innovation Pavilion showcased three

different Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft

and concepts. Next to this display, the Innovation Zone hosted

a panel presentation on eVTOL and the urban air mobility

revolution.

D

3


A

Meridian Events continued from page 3

4) The show floor spanned three halls at Palexpo, featuring

over 400 exhibitors, including 10 new to EBACE, which were

prominently located in the show’s New Exhibitor Pavilion.

The packed halls were continuously filled with attendees

representing more than 80 countries.

5) The EBACE Opening Keynote Session featured Volocopter

CEO Florian Reuter, who described his company’s eVTOL air

taxi as “the perfect complement and addition to business

aviation,” as well as UK Member of Parliament Grant Shapps,

who called business aviation “essential” and predicted of

EBACE, “We will be here in another decade’s time with this

exhibition bigger and more important than ever.”

6) EBACE2019 featured a number of new, well-attended

Innovation Zone sessions, including an interactive “Shark

Tank”-style presentation of future leaders’ proposals

for encouraging corporate, social, and environmental

responsibility.

7) The show’s Careers in Business Aviation Day, now in its

fourth year, drew strong attendance by students from area

schools. EBACE also provided an opportunity for EBAA to

announce the opening of nominations for the second

delegation of students sponsored by the association to

participate in the One Young World summit, an initiative

that is part of EBAA’s Expanding Horizons campaign.

B

A. Meridian is ready to welcome visitors to its exhibit at the White Plains

Regional Forum held at Westchester County Airport (HPN).

B. Betsy Wines (center), VP of Customer Service & HR, proudly displays

the Pilots’ Choice Award, flanked by Ken and Susan Forester, owners

of Meridian.

It seems more apparent than ever that business

aviation is making leaps and bounds to ensure that we are

as prepared for the future as possible. NBAA’s Ed Bolen

said, “EBACE2019 provided a clear look at the future of

business aviation, making the show more important than

ever. We’re eager to come together next year and see the

next stage in all these advancements.”

Meridian will be at EBACE2020, which will be

held May 26-28, 2020, in Geneva. We hope to see you

there!

On June 6, Meridian sent a team of 15 representatives

to the NBAA White Plains Regional Forum at

Westchester County Airport (HPN). The event hosted a

record-breaking 3,200 attendees, making this the mostattended

regional forum ever in any location.

“With a sold-out indoor exhibit hall of nearly 200

exhibitors and close to 40 aircraft on static display, the

White Plains NBAA Forum was a great value to our members,”

said Dina Green, NBAA Vice President of Events.

“Business aviation professionals come to the forums to

meet with customers face-to-face, network, gain valuable

knowledge, and see multiple aircraft models in one venue.

The White Plains Forum provided all of that and much

more.”

NBAA CEO and President Ed Bolen opened

the event by stressing the importance of airports in our

infrastructure.

D

C

C. The Meridian golf team at the FlightSafety

golf outing. (l to r): Nehemias Camacho, Bob

Platten, Francisco Cabrera, and Matt Barclay.

D. Camacho attempting to sink a putt at the

Meridian sponsor hole.

4


E. The Meridian foursome at the Teterboro Airport golf classic poses

at our sponsored hole. (l to r): Nehemias Camacho, Freddy Dressel, Chris

Battaglia, and Kirk Stephen.

E

“Airports are fundamental to the success of business aviation.

We have an infrastructure of airports that opens up the world to us -

it’s very powerful,” he said. “All of this is possible because of a broader

infrastructure that includes airplanes, it includes airports, it includes

FBOs, it includes our ability to access airspace and these airports themselves.

It includes a lot of dedicated people who are flying as pilots,

but also those who are maintaining the airplane, building the airplane,

insuring the airplane, financing the airplane.”

The event featured many programs for students and recent

graduates, highlighting the defining aspects of a career in business

aviation.

Meridian had a great showing at this year’s event, having the

opportunity for face-to-face business paired with the event’s recordbreaking

attendance. Kirk Stephen, Director of Marketing, said, “White

Plains is always a great show for us. With its proximity to New York City,

we have the unique opportunity to meet with many of our customers,

vendors, and friends at a local venue.”

The evening before the Forum, Meridian and Fontainebleau

Aviation co-hosted a trip for over 50 of our industry colleagues to

Yankee Stadium to attend a Major League Soccer match between the

New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and FC Cincinnati. New York won

the game handily 5-2. The evening’s weather was perfect and a great

time was had by all!

White Plains was the last regional forum of 2019. Meridian

looks forward to the 2020 NBAA forums!

As this issue of The Extra Mile is being distributed, Meridian is

participating in the last big aviation event of the year, NBAA’s Annual

Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE). Meridian has a full

team of associates, representing all areas of the company on hand at

the event held in Las Vegas, October 22-24. If you are in attendance,

please stop by our booth, #C9830. We look forward to seeing you!

Golf Outings

Meridian also participated in several industry golf outings this summer

and fall.

Meridian was, once again, a proud sponsor of FlightSafety’s

22nd Annual Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament, held on Monday,

June 24, 2019. The company sent a team of people to meet and greet

golfers at the sponsored hole, as well as a foursome to play in the tournament.

Meridian sponsored the “Closest to the Pin” contest hole on

the Meadows course which was hosted by two representatives of the

company, Francisco Cabrera from Owner Services and Matthew Barclay

from Marketing.

Francisco and Matthew welcomed golfers throughout the day,

offering them water bottles, power bars, sunscreen, and Meridian golf

balls. The Meridian foursome included Bob Platten, Nehemias Camacho,

and our guest, Herb Knight. The fourth golfer, Chris Battaglia, was

recruited to play on another team at the last minute. This

year, Meridian took first place, scoring a 60 in the scramble

format. The Meridian team finished 4 strokes better

than last year.

Overall, this year’s tournament had 154 golfers

and over 220 total attendees. In addition to a fun day

on the links, there was also a charitable component to

the event. FlightSafety raised over $1,000 for Corporate

Angel Network (CAN). CAN is the only charitable organization

in the United States whose sole mission is to help

cancer patients access the best possible care for their

specific type of cancer by arranging free travel to treatment

centers across the country using empty seats on

corporate jets.

The annual FlightSafety Golf Tournament is a

fun way for us to thank our valued customers each year

by providing a relaxing day on the golf course followed

by a dinner with awards and prizes,” said Michele Posey,

FlightSafety Director of Sales and event organizer. “We

also want to thank our sponsors, like Meridian, for their

generosity and support. Now that the 2019 tournament

is behind us, we’re already planning for next year.”

In September, Meridian participated in two other

industry golf events. On September 18, Meridian Jet

Center was proud to be a sponsor of the 31st Annual Ed

Furst, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing, which was

held at the beautiful Crystal Springs Golf Club in

Hamburg, NJ.

The golf outing traditionally follows the first

Teterboro PAMA meeting of the season, which was held

the previous evening at the Holiday Inn in Hasbrouck

Heights, NJ. Meridian has been an event sponsor from the

very beginning, over 30 years, and Meridian Jet Center

Vice President John Langschultz has been on the golf

committee the entire time. The PAMA golf outing was

renamed after Ed Furst, Sr. passed away suddenly in 2001.

Today, his son, Ed Furst, Jr. organizes the event each year.

Meridian finished the month participating in the

35th Annual Teterboro Airport Community Benefit Fund

Scholarship Golf Classic, held at the Forsgate Country

Club in Monroe, NJ, on September 23. Meridian sent a

foursome to play and sponsored a hole.

The proceeds from the event go to the Teterboro

Airport Community Benefit Fund, which contributes to

several scholarships in aviation. Overall, the event generates

about $12,000 a year for local high school graduates.

Meridian continued its support this year by

sponsoring the 4th hole on the Banks course. The historic

Banks Course was designed by Charles H. Banks, one of

America’s celebrated “Golden Age” architects.

While our team didn’t take a place on the podium

this year, we had a great time playing and participating in

the festivities. Meridian is proud to show our continued

support of the event and of our Teterboro community.

It’s been another busy year for the Meridian team!

5


M E R I D I A N R


E F L E C T I O N S


Meridian Celebrates

Promotions/Awards/Achievements

A. Over 700 people were in attendance at the 10th Annual Hayward Hero Dinner, held in

Meridian Hayward’s 30,000 sq. ft. hangar.

B. Carlos Rodriguez, General Manager of Meridian Hayward, is honored to receive the

‘Hero Award’ from the Hayward Education Foundation.

C. Meridian’s CEO, Ken Forester, and several members of the Line Service team display

a colorful cake that was served at the Annual Teterboro Employee Barbecue.

A

8

Hayward Hero Dinner

On Thursday, May 9, Meridian proudly hosted the

10th Annual Hayward Hero Dinner, organized

by the Hayward Hero Foundation. The mission of

this organization is to support student leadership

and advancement programs within the Hayward

educational community, and to honor and celebrate

the everyday heroes who go above and beyond for

the betterment of the school and the students in

Hayward. ​

In 2008, the HEROES campaign was

launched by the Hayward Education Foundation

to acknowledge those who believe that Hayward

students deserve the best education possible. The

Hayward Education Foundation is an accredited

non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to

helping all Hayward students succeed by providing

teachers with the resources necessary to support

educational activities and experiences in ways that

existing funding cannot.

Every year, the organization asks each

school in the Hayward community to choose

a “Hero.” A Hero is someone who exemplifies

kindness, integrity, selflessness and continually

goes above and beyond their usual duties, for the

betterment of the school and the students. From

a volunteer, teacher, office worker, parent, coach, resource

officer to a custodian: a Hero is anyone who

the school community feels should be recognized

for their commitment, selflessness, and significant

contributions to the greater good of the students

and education.

The Hero Dinner was the idea of community

member and philanthropist, George Pacheco,

who gathered support to honor Hayward’s Heroes

during the Hayward Education Foundation’s annual

fundraiser. Unfortunately, most of the Heroes

could not afford to attend the Gala, so in 2009, Mr.

Pacheco generously offered to take the Heroes to

lunch at Numinali’s, a neighborhood favorite located

in a beautifully restored Victorian home.

Since then, the Hero Dinner has taken on

a life of its own and has grown exponentially. Each

year more people attend the dinner to celebrate

and support their school’s Hero. In 2018, heroes

from 41 school sites were honored in the Hayward community and 700

people attended. Due to the growth, the Hayward Education Foundation felt

that they could no longer host the dinner. In early 2019, the Hayward Hero

Foundation was formed to continue the tradition of honoring our everyday

Heroes.

In order to accommodate the large number of attendees, the dinner

was moved to the modern 30,000 sq. ft. Meridian hangar at Hayward

Executive Airport. The donation of the space was greatly appreciated by

the Hayward Education Association because it allowed the ticket prices to

remain low so more people could attend. It should come as no surprise that

Meridian Hayward General Manager, Carlos Rodriguez, was counted among

those awarded. Throughout his time as General Manager, Carlos has continuously

supported the local Hayward community by hosting events and lending

a hand.

Carlos was

thrilled to be a recipient

of this award, saying,

“It’s important to be

an active part of our

community and to help

out whenever we can. I

feel that everyone at

Meridian has earned

this honor because our

entire Hayward team

was involved. I am

truly humbled to have

received this esteemed

B

award, and I gladly accept it on behalf of all our employees here.”

The ceremony was a great success with over 700 attendees.

We hope to have the opportunity to host it again next year!

Annual Teterboro Employee Barbecue

On Friday, July 12, Meridian hosted a cookout in appreciation of the hard

work and dedication of all employees. The barbecue was held in three shifts

so that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the food and festivities. The

annual barbecue featured all the traditional fare: burgers, hot dogs, veggie

burgers as well as potato salad, chips, and other side dishes. Meridian CEO

Ken Forester was present for every shift so he could personally thank everyone

for their hard work. We even had two large cakes so that each shift had

the chance to enjoy a slice.

With almost 200 attendees, the day was a tremendous success. “It’s

a great opportunity for everyone to take some time to relax and enjoy time

with their coworkers,” said Steve Chandoha, President of Meridian Teterboro.

“This event gets better every year, and we look forward to hosting it again

next year.”

C


D

Summer Intern Program

Over the summer, Meridian had four summer interns working in various

departments throughout the company. What began as an informal

opportunity in 1984 for some of our employees’ children to gain

some work experience during the summer, has become a very popular

program with many of our interns returning year after year. Some

have even gone on to work full-time for Meridian. For example, Dennis

O’Connell, Meridian Air Charter’s President, was Meridian’s first summer

intern, working for line service. He recently celebrated 30 years with

Meridian.

This year, the interns worked in the Charter, Human Resources

and Customer Service departments. They all performed their jobs admirably

while learning vital skills in Microsoft Excel, customer relations,

and business aviation in general. Aside from gaining valuable office

experience, the interns learned about the interviewing and hiring process,

as well as what to look for in companies and positions when they

begin their job search.

This year, the program was expanded to include our Hayward

FBO. Samantha Martinez, who rotated between ramp and customer

service roles, was Hayward’s first-ever intern! Samantha learned important

customer-relations skills and had the opportunity to get hands-on

experience working on the ramp. By the end of her internship, she had

had the unique opportunity of learning what makes an FBO run, as well

the skills to help it run smoothly.

Overall, this year’s summer internship program was a tremendous

success! We’d like to thank our interns for their hard work, and a

job well done!

E

D. Meridian Teterboro had three summer interns in the program this

year. (l to r): Maggie O’Connell, Steven Iannone, and Julia Moore.

E. Samantha Martinez was Meridian Hayward’s first summer intern.

F. Victor Seda, accompanied by numerous Meridian colleagues,

celebrates his 20-year anniversary at the company.

G. Lou Ramm is presented the Charles Taylor Award by Robert

Thorson of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

ProPilot for the last 12 years!

Victor came to Meridian from the restaurant

industry. He says he loves aviation and really loves working

at Meridian. “Working here is awesome,” he says.

“Everyone is like family and I look forward to coming to

work every day.”

Victor says he really likes the interaction he

has with people in his job. It can be very busy at times,

and that’s what he really enjoys. “I like being at the front

desk and engaging with our customers. There’s always

something different going on and I am certainly never

bored!”

Meridian is incredibly proud of Victor and all

our dedicated Customer Service staff. We’re so glad

for your long tenure here and all of the years you have

represented Meridian.

Congratulations Victor!

F

Victor Seda Celebrates 20 years

On August 19, Meridian celebrated Victor Seda’s 20-year anniversary

with the company. Victor joined Meridian as a Customer Service Representative

(CSR) in 1999. In 2008, he was promoted to Customer Service

Manager and now supervises a staff of 22 colleagues.

Over the years, Victor has received numerous accolades for his

outstanding customer service. He has consistently been ranked in the

top of this category by Professional Pilot (ProPilot) in its annual PRASE

Survey. Joining him in this honor is our own Betsy Wines. Together, both

of them have been named among the top five CSRs in the country by

G

Lou Ramm Honored as “Master Mechanic”

Lou Ramm, Meridian Air Charter’s Director of Quality

Assurance, was awarded the prestigious Charles Taylor

Award in a formal presentation on September 25 at

Meridian’s headquarters in Teterboro, NJ. Robert

continued on page 11

9


PLANE FOLK

Estrella Montero

Client Relations

Manager

Estrella Montero joined Meridian in 2006 and has

been our Client Relations Manager for the past

two years. She works closely with the owners of

Meridian’s managed aircraft and also with other

Meridian team members. She is the liaison between

the aircraft owners and Meridian, and is committed

to making sure everything runs smoothly for our

owners and that they are satisfied with the service

they receive. “I like to make our owners happy,” says Estrella. “And when our

owners are happy, the Meridian team is happy.”

Estrella always wanted to work in aviation. She developed her love

for the industry when she was growing up in Panama. Her father was an

airline ticket agent and one of the perks of his job was the opportunity for his

family to travel, and Estrella enjoyed flying to various destinations.

“I really love aviation,” she says. “I love everything about it: the

airplanes, the travel, the excitement, and especially the people.” She had

thought about being a flight attendant, but ultimately decided to pursue

other aviation career options. She enrolled in Vaughn College of Aeronautics

in Flushing, Queens, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Airport

Management. She joined Meridian soon after graduation and has served in a

variety of different roles.

Estrella has filled many positions with Meridian, starting in Customer

Service, moving to Purchasing, Charter Operations, and finally to Client

Relations. Her responsibilities include being available to owners 24/7 and

communicating with them to make sure their needs are met. And if they are

planning a trip, she will coordinate with them directly to make sure all the

details are covered.

“I really enjoy my job,” Estrella says. “It’s challenging and every day

is different. I love working with the individual owners and making sure they

are satisfied. I also like the fact that I get to work closely with other members

of the team, such as Dennis O’Connell and Mike Moore. We are all committed

to providing the best possible service to our customers.”

Estrella said she can’t imagine herself being in any other profession

besides aviation. She’s also committed to her role at Meridian. “I do everything

I can to make sure everyone is satisfied. My goal is to always exceed

expectations, and that’s really what it’s all about.”

25 Years

Newcomers

Ramon Silva

Promotions & New Assignments

Meridian

Milestones

Ofelia Baetiong

15 Years

Victor Rodriguez

Daisy Rios

Chuck Rosky

Brian Mulder

Michael Godleski

James Bautista

David Huelbig

Eddy Garcia

Dawid Gutowski

Chuck Rosky

Mike Kotosky

Marcos Pena

Promoted to Aircraft Technician

2nd Shift Lead

Promoted to Inspector

Promoted to Lead Detailer

John Gomez

Rabin Solaiman

Eric McDonald

Anthony Lanzone

Stefan Williamson

Kelvis Vasquez

Jordan Heath

Bob Lenox

5 Years

Shane Kumar

Patrick Argenzia Jr.

Anne Stern

Kenya Buggs

Matt Stern

Robert Bober

Scott Jordan

Daisy Cuzco

Angelo Gilces

Brandon Marmolejos

Karl Granchalak

Stephen Sferruzza

Jeremy Ojerholm

Samantha Martinez

10


Meridian Celebrates continued from page 9

Thorson, FAA Safety Team Program Manager,

presented Lou with the award while members of the

Quality Assurance, Charter, and Maintenance teams

were on hand along with Executive Management

and Lou’s wife, JoAnne, to celebrate this amazing

accomplishment.

“I am very honored to receive this award,”

Ramm said during the presentation. “It is very rewarding

to be acknowledged for your career and

the work you have done.

The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award

is named in honor of Mr. Charles Taylor, the first

aviation mechanic in powered flight. Mr. Taylor

served as the Wright Brothers’ mechanic and is

credited with designing and building the engine for

their first successful aircraft. The award recognizes

the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics.

In order to be eligible, the recipient must hold a U.S.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or Federal Aviation

Administration (FAA) mechanic or repairman certificate,

and have 50 or more years of civil and military

maintenance experience.

Lou received his Aircraft and Powerplant

(A&P) license in 1969. He then served in Army

Aviation as a Crew Chief / DS Maintenance Platoon

Supervisor. His experience has included both fixed

and rotary wing aircraft in general aviation, both

corporate and charter. He also holds an FAA Inspection

Authorization. He joined Meridian full-time in

1997, after working the previous four years with

Ken Forester, Sr. providing contract maintenance

services.

“We are very proud of Lou,” said Ken

Forester, Meridian CEO. “Lou has been a real asset

to Meridian and he is deserving of this award. It’s

great to see Lou honored for his years of service

to both us and the aviation industry.”

Lou is just the latest Meridian recipient of

the Charles Taylor Award. Other recipients include

Ken Forester, Sr., Vincent Mendola, and John

Bahrenburg. We’re proud to have another member

of the Meridian family receive such a high honor.

A

Meridian Marks 30 Years of Jet Charter

Meridian was proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its jet charter business

this fall. General Aviation Flying Service, as the charter company was

originally known, was formed in 1983. In 1986, General Aviation Flying Service

became Million Air Charter Teterboro when its FBO joined the aviation

franchise. In September 1989, it added its first jet, a Citation SII, to its fleet of

piston aircraft. In 2004, the company evolved into Meridian Air Charter, as

it is known today.

“We officially entered the jet age in 1989 when the owner of one of

the piston aircraft we managed acquired a jet,” said Ken Forester, Meridian’s

CEO. “From there we continued to grow and add additional aircraft, as well

as open our FAA-approved repair station.”

In 1997, the company began operating a Gulfstream II, marking its

entry into the large cabin charter business. Today, Meridian Air Charter has

a diverse fleet of aircraft, ranging from ultra long range to midsize and light

jets. “We’ve seen a lot of growth over the last 30 years, both with our charter

division and with the rest of the company,” added Forester. “I’m proud of

what we have accomplished and look forward to serving our customers for

many years to come.”

Congratulations Lou!

A. The Meridian Air Charter flight operations team poses with the

original air carrier certificate to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

B. The Teterboro FBO team proudly began wearing pink on

October 1 to support Breast Cancer Awareness month.

B

Mile Markers continued from page 12

attractions in the country. It offers an abundance of

birdlife and hot springs.

And of course, there is the Aurora Borealis,

also called the Northern Lights. This spectacular

show can frequently be seen in Akureyri and the

surrounding area from September through April on

clear nights. The Northern Lights exist in the outermost

layer of the atmosphere and occur high above

the surface of the earth where the atmosphere has

become extremely thin. They are created by electrically charged particles

that make the thin air shine, not unlike a fluorescent light. The Northern

Lights can be visible for a long period of time (30 minutes up to a few hours)

and sometimes for only a couple of minutes.

There is no shortage of things to do or see in Akureyri and the surrounding

area. There are several nearby ski resorts, which are very popular

with Icelanders during the winter months. In the warmer months, there are a

number of golf resorts that also feature other outdoor activities. Akureyri

is definitely worth a visit!

11


485 Industrial Avenue

Teterboro, New Jersey 07608

mile markers: Akureyri, Iceland

Recently, one of our managed aircraft made a trip to Akureyri,

Iceland. Akureyri, known as “The Capital of the North,” lies just

62 miles away from the Arctic Circle in North Iceland. It is the country’s

second largest city, after Reykjavík. “City” may be somewhat of

a misnomer, as the population numbers only about 20,000, closer

to that of a town elsewhere in the world. It grew in size thanks to its

naturally ice-free harbor and favorable conditions for agriculture,

including its relatively mild climate.

Akureyri is renowned for the beauty of both the town itself

and its natural surroundings. There are a number of interesting

galleries and cultural and historical museums in the town, some of

which offer a deep insight into the culture of Iceland.

A definite must see is the Botanical Garden, which contains

almost every plant that grows in Iceland. The garden opened in 1912

thanks to the Park Society, a committee that was established by

the women of Akureyri, as a means of beautifying their young city.

Today, there are approximately 430 native Icelandic plant species

in the garden as well as over 7,000 examples of non-native species

that have managed to grow there. Depending on when you visit,

there’s also a good chance that you’ll catch one of the town’s many

concerts, festivals, or exhibitions.

The Northern Lights of Akureyri.

The town is also the gateway to the spectacular beauty of the

North, including lake regions, waterfalls, and volcanic areas.

The Lake Mývatn region is one of the most amazing natural

continued on page 11

Meridian Teterboro

Teterboro Airport (TEB)

485 Industrial Avenue

Teterboro, NJ 07608

FBO / Customer Service

Phone 201.288.5040

Email teb@meridian.aero

Meridian Air Charter

Phone 201.288.5459 / 800.882.2333

Email charter@meridian.aero

Meridian Jet Center

Phone 201.288.3880

Email jetmaintenance@meridian.aero

Meridian Hayward

Hayward Executive Airport (HWD)

1 Tuskegee Drive

Hayward, CA 94545

FBO / Customer Service

Phone 510.674.2500

Email hwd@meridian.aero

www.meridian.aero

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