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Daniel Lopez, Crew Manager
24Country Locations
1,000People Served

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Person A, CEO Persons Inc

The Aloha spirit is strong at OGG, Maui

During the course of my life, there have been a handful of events and opportunities that have unexpectedly become profound teachable moments. One such time was my visit to the US Aviation team at OGG in Maui, Hawaii.

How many times have I boarded a plane, squeezed my luggage into the overhead lockers, and settled into my seats, without a second thought about the team of dedicated workers who prepped that very same plane just minutes prior to boarding? These are the workers who cleaned every seat, ensured that every seat belt was in working order, wiped every tray table, arranged all the front-pocket items, and cleaned and sanitized the bathrooms from the previous flight. For me, the answer was many.

My team and I visited the US Aviation outfit at the OGG airport in Maui for the purpose of telling the stories of these tireless workers and shedding light on what happens behind the scenes at an airport. Prior to our arrival, I had no idea just how impactful these stories would be.

As soon as we landed in beautiful, sunny Maui and breathed in the salty, warm air, we could feel that it was a special place. We were greeted by Corey Brown, the Station Manager for US Aviation, and Tyrone Duncan, a Cabin Cleaner. Tyrone had recently just completed his 1,000th mission emptying the aircraft lavs, and we were there to tell his story and meet his family. His openness and outgoing personality made our job easy. We followed him to the ramp and watched him as he completed his work. Emptying waste is no glamorous job, but he laughed and joked with his colleague, Lilly. Their spiritual, positive attitude helps them start every day fresh, free of yesterday and ready to do what is needed for their team.

After each mission, the teams go back to the hanger to wait for the next plane to arrive. This is repeated 10-15 times a day, sometimes more, every single day. From what I saw, it is all done with efficiency, dedication, smiles, laughter and a Shaka, the traditional Hawaii wave. They have an incredible work ethic, are thankful to have a job, and will do their best to get their tasks done on time so that passengers can board and the plane take off without any delays. As we watched the hub of constant activity – the carts and machines coming and going, bags being loaded, food being delivered, maintenance crews moving from plane to plane, flights being refueled, and cleaners attacking their jobs – we were amazed to see each worker moving with positivity and focus.

A team that works this closely together must have a great manager, and the secret, magic sauce at US Aviation comes in the form of the fabulous Corey Brown. I find it hard to put into words how incredible this man is. As soon as a plane lands, Corey coordinates the whole ramp and cabin workforce, which is no small feat. It is a logistical dance that he maneuvers with gentle efficiency and commanding presence. His phone never stops beeping and ringing with texts and messages with various issues, delays, someone calling in sick, or a truck stalling. The list never ends.

“If you give respect, you get it.”

Even during our interview, he put out several fires, but would hang up the phone and laugh, which immediately dispelled any potential stress in the room. Corey’s laugh is the most contagious I have ever heard, and it made us all laugh until we had tears in our eyes. This man is a true gem of a person and his team clearly knows it and appreciates it. They all want to work hard to make him proud and to earn his trust and praise. When asked how he commands respect from the people who work for him, his response was, “If you give respect, you get it.” To Corey, It is as simple as that.

After his shift, we met up with Corey to get to know him more on a personal level. He took us to his local hangout where we ate delicious food, told stories, and laughed some more. I looked around and saw that everyone was smiling and everyone was welcoming us as though we were guests in their homes. It is clear that this is the Maui Way, and this Aloha Spirit is something that makes them all very proud. Whether at work or at home, they work as a team, and the positive Aloha Spirit guides their every move. Corey ended our evening by comparing people to the ocean: “We are all like the ocean, just coming and going, flowing and working all together.” Lessons for us all. In a time of general uncertainty and negatively in the world, this whole visit proved to be a huge breath of warm, fresh air.

“We are all like the ocean, just coming and going, flowing and working all together.”

I cannot wait to see what our incredibly talented videographer, Henry Dombey, and photographer, Paul Kirchner, put together. They not only captured the true essence of these amazing people, but woke up at 5AM every morning to photograph the sunrise, and rushed back in the evening to catch the sun setting over that same beautiful ocean.

To the whole team at US Aviation: Thank you so much for taking the time in your immensely busy and stressful schedules to show us around and teach us about all the things you do every single day to ensure that any given plane takes off on time. To Tyrone Duncan and Corey Brown: Thank you for being so gracious and accommodating in allowing us to tell and share your stories. To me, you are the definition of Heroes. To Henry and Paul: Thank you for your ability to tell a story in such a natural, fluid, and meaningful way. To Hannah, aka ‘Hashtag Hannah’: Thank you for your support and never-ending positive attitude. And finally to our CEO, Doug: Thank you for trusting us with this important Springshot Mission. I feel truly lucky to have experienced the Aloha Spirit in person and I intend to keep it alive! Mahalo, Josephine.

When Cultures Align: Springshot voted top travel platform by Jetblue employees

At Springshot, we are thrilled to partner with organizations who view their people as their most important asset. To those who have had the pleasure of flying on one their jets, it’s no secret that JetBlue is built on this very premise. Each day, this airline delivers the best possible customer experience by placing its crew members front and center and acknowledging the amazing service they offer their guests. As a testament to this, JetBlue crew members recently gathered at a lunch and learn hosted by JetBlue ventures to hear presentations about up-and- coming technology for the travel workforce. Employees could then choose their favorite platform, and Springshot was voted the winner.

To help keep JetBlue at the forefront of aviation excellence, the airline recently established JetBlue Ventures, an investment fund located in the heart of Silicon Valley. JetBlue Ventures seeks to partner with, invest in, and accelerate the growth of the best emerging travel technology companies. Their team is searching for innovative solutions and, so far, has been approached by over 400 companies. Of the 400, four were invited by JetBlue Ventures to present at JetBlue’s New York headquarters, one of which was Springshot.

Over 300 people expressed interest in attending the lunch and learn and, on the day of the presentations, more than 150 JetBlue employees jammed into a room designed for 100. Each company was given ten minutes to present and answer questions. JetBlue employees were curious, engaged, and excited about each company throughout the entire event. At the end, when employees voted for the platform they liked best, Springshot was named the winner. True to our vision, our presentation focused on cultivating productivity by empowering and celebrating the people on the front-line who strive to make JetBlue an amazing airline each and every day. Based on the audience participation, it was clear that JetBlue has built an authentic, employee-first culture, and that its values are culturally-aligned with ours. The combination of engaged employees and the creation of JetBlue Ventures is a testament to how hard JetBlue has worked to ensure that it continues to grow its cultural vision.

At Springshot, we are incredibly humbled that our message resonated with an organization of this magnitude. We look forward to continuing our partnership with such an incredible team.

Mission: Validated! Springshot voted Plug & Play’s best travel & hospitality innovation platform

At Springshot, we’ve always had a vision of combining the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley with the mission of focusing on what matters most: people. It’s been our primary goal to build a workforce optimization platform that genuinely engages and validates those performing some of the most arduous and backbreaking service jobs.

Over the last five years, we’ve been incredibly humbled by the thousands of travel and hospitality employees who have used Springshot to feel both seen and heard. We’re proud to share that Springshot has now been recognized by technology innovators, venture capitalists, and travel industry peers as the best company of the Plug and Play “Travel and Hospitality” accelerator program.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Plug and Play is a vertical-focused startup accelerator and coworking space founded by tech entrepreneur, Saeed Amidi, who has invested in companies like PayPal, Dropbox and Lending Tree. Since 2006, it has created opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs by giving them access to mentorship, networking and funding. After identifying the technology gap in the travel and hospitality industry, Plug and Play crafted a three-month program that was designed to mentor and accelerate the best up-and- coming technology and entrepreneurs in the space. It was immediately clear that they had struck a chord when over 800 companies applied to participate.

Plug and Play was then charged with narrowing the pool of applicants down to 40. Those 40 companies, including Springshot, presented to the Plug and Play team, with 20 being selected for the program. During the three-month period, the Springshot Team met with numerous airlines, travel companies, and investors, in an effort to gain further insight into the technology needs of the industry as well as exposure for its platform. The program culminated with an Expo, where each company had the opportunity to pitch their brand in front of airlines, venture capitalists, hotel brands, and online travel sites. After the presentations, attendees voted on their company of choice. Springshot was voted the winner.

Being recognized with such a high honor is both humbling and validating. Why? Because our presentation focused on people, and that message resonated most. The Springshot vision has always been about delivering technology that allows companies to invest in employees first. When a company puts employees first, it creates an engaged and more productive workforce that delivers a winning customer experience. We’re proud to demonstrate each day that workforce technology doesn’t have to be “big brother,” and when you connect, empower, and reward front-line employees, everyone wins.