The Faces of PSA – Meet Tom Foster

Tom FosterName: Tom Foster

Title: Ground Instructor

How long have you worked for PSA? I started in July of 2012

How long have you been in the airline industry? My first airline job was as an A&P Mechanic in 1978.

What is your favorite aircraft to fly? I really enjoyed the DC-10, for such a big airplane flew really nice and it was light on the controls. I ferried one from Chicago to Japan it was the longest flight I’ve ever flown at 14 hours and 12 minutes. I used to have a Luscombe years ago. It was fun to fly low and slow.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I teach Basic Indoc, coordinate schedules for the new hire pilots with training events and department speakers while they are in Dayton among other things.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? Probably dealing with scheduling & technical issues during the few days before a new class starts till 3 or 4 days after it starts.

How many roles have you had at PSA? Which is your favorite? I have only had one, teaching Basic Indoc. There have been some special projects during that time and I enjoyed working on the Pilot Reference Manual for the 700/900 as well as a study guide for the new hire pilots.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? That would have to be Ascension Island. It’s just south of the equator in the Atlantic. It’s one of the most interesting places I’ve been.

Where did you grow up? My Dad was a Flight Engineer so we moved fairly often, but mostly lived out in California. I live in Dayton now, after living in the U.K. for a few years.

What are some of your hobbies? I like doing “Do it yourself” projects around the house.

What do you love about working for PSA? I really enjoy working with the new hire pilots that are new to 121 airline operations.

Why would you recommend PSA? There are a lot of great people here and it’s a great place to start a career.

What did you do before coming to PSA? I was a DC-10 Captain for an airline that flew military and civilian passenger charters worldwide.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing the pilots that I met on their first day of Indoc when they return for Captain upgrade.

Did you always want to be involved in aviation? I didn’t decide on a career in aviation until my Dad told me a mechanic was looking for some help fixing up a DC-3 for a new owner. After that, I was hooked.

 

The Faces of PSA – Meet Katie Sahle

Faces of PSA-katie_sahleName: Katie Sahle

Title: Operations Quality Assurance Auditor

How long have you worked for PSA? A total of four years – One year in 2009 as a Charlotte based Flight Attendant; From 2013-Present numerous other positions including crew scheduling, crew pay, and now I’m the Operations Quality Assurance Auditor for the Safety Department.

How long have you been in the airline industry? On and off since I was 19! (I’m 26 now). I’m in it for life.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I am responsible for the quality and implementation of our internal audit evaluation program (IAEP) and the maintenance of our IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certification.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? One of the biggest challenges of my job has been keeping up with all the new and evolving programs here at PSA – but also one of the most exciting aspects as well! When a new operational program is introduced or a process is changed, I ensure the program or process has an audit checklist and follows FAA regulations and safety standards.

You volunteer with many organizations in the Dayton area. Which ones? How long have you been with them? I am currently involved with the American Cancer Society, which I have partnered with on many different occasions through the years for Strides Against Breast Cancer as well as Relay for Life. I dedicate time to Food for Families through the Ronald McDonald House once a month. I also partner with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and have had the same match for around three years.

What drives you to volunteer? What’s the best part? I love the thought that I’m hopefully making a difference, but more importantly, I believe that what you get out of life has a lot to do with what you put in to it. Everyone has the ability to impact the lives of those around us. If we reap what we sow, I hope to cultivate empathy, good will, and understanding in those around me.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? There is an extremely tiny island off the coast of Saint Martin that I once sailed to – Pinel Island. There isn’t much there but beautiful scenery, beaches, and a few little pop-up places to eat along the shore. The whole island of Saint Martin is just stunning, but to relive that day in that place would be paradise.

What are some of your hobbies? I love to cook, read, go for long runs, craft, work on house projects, and play with my dog.

What do you love about working for PSA? My coworkers truly make me look forward to coming into work each day. It’s a great feeling when you’re not only doing a job that you love but are also surrounded by such an excellent support system.

Why would you recommend PSA? It’s the only airline family I’ve ever known, and I sincerely mean family. It’s the place where everyone knows your name. It’s a really special and unique experience when all of the members of upper management really take the time to get to know their employees. You don’t find that in many other companies.

What did you do before coming to PSA? I took a brief hiatus from PSA for a few years between my career as a flight attendant and my return with crew scheduling. During this time, I worked in customer service for Fifth Third Bank and went back to school to pursue my degree in Aviation Management.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: Because I audit the whole operation, I have a basic understanding of what everyone does and the processes associated with each job title. it’s a lot of information and it can be overwhelming!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? My job is basically like putting a big puzzle together every time I go do an audit. There are always ways to improve on the efficiency on how we assemble the pieces together and what items we need to look for on our way to completion. I live for those “AH HAH!” moments when the process can be improved.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I secretly love to go out for karaoke.

The Faces of PSA – Meet Tedd Schaffer

ted schafferName: Tedd Schaffer

Title: Flight Attendant

How long have you worked for PSA? 9 months

Give us a brief overview of what you do: Outstanding customer service! First class customer service is not just a goal, but something I truly feels comes natural to most all who have this calling. Larger than life people skills, helping and assisting passengers who often are under enormous stress is definitely something where my public service background has been helpful.

What do you love about working for PSA? Meeting co-workers and passengers from every conceivable background.

What brought you to PSA? The feeling one gets when nearing the end of a long-time career and still having that, “What will I do when I finally grow up?” feeling. Couple that with always having a love for discovering new and different cultures and places. Along with a true love of working with the public and have always having enjoyed a challenge of expanding my comfort zone, PSA offered a unique opportunity to fulfill that void. Also, CVG (Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport) being a flight attendant base enabling the flexibility to combine the two careers, without the need to commute, made PSA a no brainer for me.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? While working: Greenville, New Orleans and Louisville to name a few.

What are some of your hobbies? Playing in a men’s baseball league, attending minor league baseball in all the quaint small towns PSA travels to.

What do you love about working for PSA? Meeting co-workers and passengers from every conceivable background.

Why would you recommend PSA? Great training and super personal growth opportunities at any age.

What did you do before coming to PSA? I am a 25-year veteran firefighter/paramedic of the Cincinnati Fire Department

What have you learned about the industry in your time with PSA? The biggest thing I believe I have learned since joining PSA would have to most certainly be the “lifestyle” working this industry. Like the fire department, holidays and weekends are just days of the week to this culture.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Of course, meeting new people every day and learning a new industry totally out of my “comfort zone.”

Is your family involved in the industry? My 25-year-old daughter Miranda, a University of Cincinnati graduate, is a newly hired American Airlines’ mainline Flight Attendant scheduled to begin training in Dallas this month. I get personal gratification of having three grown kids all making their own mark in this world. I also have a 29-year-old daughter, Kirsten, who is a graduate of the University of South Carolina working in television news in San Antonio and a 27-year-old son, Spencer, who is a graduate of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and a 1st Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I’m a pretty decent 55-year-old baseball league left-handed pitcher. I play in over 100 games annually. I started playing organized baseball at age 5. Although the core group of players I play with on a regular basis play most of our games in the greater Cincinnati area in 3 different local leagues, we also play tournaments in the fall & winter months in Ft. Myers, FL, West Palm Beach, Phoenix and Las Vegas. We have won numerous championships over the years at different levels of amateur and semi-pro baseball. Probably our most pride was winning the 2003 Roy Hobbs championship held annually in Ft. Myers with over 200 teams competing. As a left-handed pitcher, it was personally gratifying to have pitched my only career no-hitter in the semi-final game that year.

Also, I have lived on the Ohio River aboard a Chris Craft houseboat the past seven years.

The Faces of PSA – Meet Jim Harkema

Faces of PSA JimName: Jim Harkema

Title: Director, Operations Control Center

How long have you been in the airline industry?  I began in the industry in 1983 working on the ramp for Wright Airlines in Cleveland, OH, have worked at Braniff Airlines in Dallas, and will be starting my twenty seventh year at PSA and the USAirways family this coming January.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I’m responsible for the airlines daily operation from the Operations Control Center in Dayton, and the Technical Publications Department.

How many roles have you had at PSA? Which is your favorite? I have been a crew scheduler, dispatcher, the manager of dispatch, and the first Director of Safety for PSA when the FAA created the position in 1996. I don’t have a favorite as I continue to use all of those experiences in my current position.

You are known for putting up a Christmas tree for PSA employees (at whichever building you work in). How long have you done that and how did the tradition start? This year’s tree is the 18th PSA tree in a row that my wife Doreen and I have decorated. The first tree was the way we got to know each other, and even the three years that Doreen and I worked elsewhere within the USAirways and Express family, we still decorated the tree at PSA. We use our own decorations, many of which we make, to create a “decorator type” tree, using coordinating colors as varied as pink and zebra stripe to the retro Pacific Southwest Airlines logos and colors on last year’s tree.

Your wife used to work for PSA. Is this where you met?  Yes, Doreen’s first job in the industry was in the PSA Human Resource Department where, ironically enough, one of her assignments was decorating the Christmas tree.

Tell us something no one knows about you:  I’m married to an on air radio personality for Mix 107.7 in Dayton, and together we played and sang in a band.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled?  Oshkosh, WI for the Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-in.  My father and I restored a 1969 Citabria (single engine tandem seat private aircraft) which we bought as a basket case project. During the project we vowed that we would fly the airplane to Oshkosh and camp out under the wing upon its completion. We accomplished that goal in 2010 and that trip with my Dad remains one of my favorite experiences.

Why would you recommend PSA? I absolutely would recommend PSA to anyone who wants to gain valuable airline experience or build a rewarding career.  PSA offers employees an incomparable opportunity to hone their skills and pursue personal growth, to whatever level in the company they can dream and work to achieve.  Like me you may even find a personal relationship that completes your life!

The Faces of PSA – Meet Kyle Lawrenz

Kyle LawrenzName: Kyle Lawrenz

Title: Maintenance Manager-CVG (Cincinnati/Northern-Kentucky)

How long have you worked for PSA? On Feb 2017, I will celebrate my 10-year anniversary with PSA.

How long have you been in the airline industry? I received my Airframe and Power plant license in 2002. I have been in Aviation going on 15 years.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I oversee the PSA maintenance operation and personnel at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? Starting up the first new maintenance base from scratch has been a challenge, but a very rewarding achievement.

How many roles have you had at PSA? Which is your favorite? I have held 5 positions during my 10 years at PSA (see below). I have enjoyed each and every one of my roles, as I have gained experience and learned a different side of the operation in each position and how it all comes together from a maintenance aspect.

Roles: A&P Technician, Technical Support Specialist, Maintenance Training and Reliability Manager, Reliability and Technical Service Manager, and Maintenance Manager-CVG

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? San Diego

What are some of your hobbies? Wake boarding, water sports, motorcycles, softball and watching my daughters sporting events.

What do you love about working for PSA? Every day brings a new challenge and the people I get to meet/work with.

Why would you recommend PSA? The experiences you can obtain and projects you can get involved in are endless. For motivated individuals that are looking to climb the ladder, this is priceless.

What did you do before coming to PSA? Remote Diagnostic Engineer for GE Engines. In this role, I would troubleshoot engines flying around and look for trends in real time to determine engine health or problems.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: I am learning more about building maintenance and Fire Suppression Systems, then I ever thought I would experience.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? I actually have two answers for this question: 1. Starting a base from scratch and watching it grow to a fully functional maintenance base. 2. Taking a new A&P mechanic out of school and watching him or her turn into an experienced and knowledgeable mechanic.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I taught my English Bulldog how to ride a skateboard.