Celebrating 50 Years of Service to Guam - United Hub

Celebrating 50 years of service to Guam

We recently held an event and celebrations in Guam to celebrate 50 years of service

By Pete Rapalus, May 23, 2018

If you want to explore the rich history of our operations in Micronesia, you don't need to visit a museum. All you need to do is drop by the airport or book a flight out of Guam International Airport and you're likely to run into at least a few of our employees who have been there almost since the beginning and are still adding to the operation's legacy every day.

Guam employees at the 50th celebration.

In Guam, we have more than 850 employees, and nearly half already have a quarter-century or more of service to our airline. Seventeen of them have 40 or more years. On the other islands in the region, out of a total of 166 employees, 14 have 25 or more years of service, and 58 have 10 years or more.

"We each have 29 years now, but sometimes we feel like the new kids on the block," laughed Lead Customer Service Representative Drin Nestor as she offered customers special 50th anniversary treats at the United Club, alongside Customer Service Representative Esther Kikku. "For me, it's been 29 fabulous years."

Lead Line Technician Justin Rdiall was just 24 when he got his technician's license and joined what was then Air Micronesia, which at the time had but one jet aircraft, a Boeing 727. "It's amazing to me how much has changed," Justin said. "Now, at age 71, I'm proud to say that I've spent more than half of my life at this airline. I'm so appreciative to United and to all of my fellow employees I've worked with over the years."

Celebrating 50 years of service to Guam at the International Airport

Justin was one of the Guam-based employees with at least 45 years of service who were honored May 16 with a crystal trophy and a seat of honor at a luncheon hosted by EVP and Chief Operations Officer Greg Hart. Greg is also an alumnus of the Micronesia operation, having started his career at Guam Airport in the late 1990s.

The following day, May 17, Greg hosted a town hall meeting for Guam-based employees, and at one point asked everyone with at least 10 years of service to raise their hands – nearly the entire audience did so. Greg told them what he also said many times to employees while walking through the airport, offices, cargo facility, hangar and warehouse the previous day:

"The airline we are today could not exist if it weren't for the contributions you all made," Greg noted. Also, while discussing the core4 principle of caring, he told them that, "You know all about delivering great customer service. You know that just taking a second to smile makes all the difference in the world to our customers. Those little things make a huge difference."

In addition to the lunch and crystal trophies, our eight honorees also received the same gifts that leaders handed out to every employee -- a commemorative gift bag including a sun visor, lapel pin and key chain. Throughout the operation during the week, a festive atmosphere prevailed, and on May 18 a large group of employees spent two hours in the afternoon rush hour alongside the main airport access road to thank their local customers with waves, banners and flags. The celebrations wrapped up on Guam with a big beach picnic for employees and their families.

Guam employees along the main airport entrance waving at local customers.

To reach our Micronesia employees beyond Guam, Regional Airport Operations Director Art Day thanked them all in a message:

"Each of you should be very proud of our history and the contributions we have made to the local communities we service throughout the region," he told them. "It's hard to imagine what Micronesia would be like today without the service we as a company and each of you individually have provided for the last 50 years."

To recognize their contributions in person, we are taking the 50th anniversary celebration on tour later this summer, with employee events on KSA (Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia); KWA (Kwajalein, Marshall Islands); MAJ (Majuro, Marshall Islands); PNI (Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia); ROR (Palau, Republic of Palau); TKK (Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia); and YAP (Yap, Federated States of Micronesia).

Hafa adai and here's to another 50 years!

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