The Extra Mile - Fall 2019


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

Meridian Celebrates


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.



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


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


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.”


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