Women & Whisky: An Exclusive Tasting with MileagePlus - United Hub

Women & Whisky: An exclusive tasting with MileagePlus

By The Hub team

On March 26, a select group of female United MileagePlus® program members and our corporate travelers used their miles to attend a MileagePlus Exclusives whisky tasting event in Chicago. This event offered customers a chance to learn more about whisky, specifically, The Last Drop Distillers (TLD), network with like-minded women and break the stereotype that whisky is a "boys club" spirit.

The night began with a cocktail hour where customers enjoyed a specially crafted Old Fashioned cocktail using TLD's not-for-sale 18 year old Blended Scotch Whisky. Rebecca Jago, Managing Director of The Last Drop, led the tasting with three of their exquisite reserves. As Rebecca guided the women through the flavors they were experiencing, she stood next to a "perfect-pour" decanter, Phoebe, "Our wonderful pouring decanter was originally developed for our 10th anniversary in 2018. She [Penelope] got her name when we joked that my mother had not poured my father a glass of whisky in 66 years of marriage, so we had to invent a machine to do it for him," shares Rebecca. "The latest, refined version is smaller, and therefore named after my daughter, Phoebe." The tasting weaved through stories of her childhood growing up with the inventor of Bailey's Irish Cream as a father, her travels searching for the perfect batch of Scotch, and the history behind each of TLD current releases that customers got to taste.

Rebecca paired each release with a canapé to complement the whiskies' complex notes, "These aren't spirits you drink every day. But you should certain drink them with pleasure and enthusiasm – cheers!" The first whisky, a 1971 Blended Scotch Whisky has spent over 45 years maturing in different woods and was paired with a Hamachi crudo, plum, umeboshi and scallion skewer to bring out the notes of stone fruits from the sherry and toasty vanilla notes from the time spent in bourbon barrels. Customers were fortunate enough to taste a very old single malt from the renowned Glenrothes distillery, a TLD Glenrothes 1968 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a tribute to a perfect marriage of spirit and wood, matured for nearly half a century. Customers ended the tasting with a TLD Tawny Port from 1870.

United Vice President of Community Affairs, Sharon Grant, closed the event by commenting on the easiness of the night's conversation, noting how welcoming of an environment Rebecca created through her presentation of the whiskies. "I'll leave you with this," Sharon said, "As they say, a fine whisky, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation." The group applauded, exchanged business cards and said their goodbyes—it was clear that everyone left the experience reenergized to head into the next day with the support of 30 new women.

MileagePlus Exclusives

A different way to use your miles

United MileagePlus program offers many other ways for members to use their miles that go beyond air awards. One of these options is through MileagePlus Exclusives where members can access VIP experiences across travel, food and wine, arts and entertainment and sports, including access to Uniquely United opportunities such as experiencing our flight simulators, touring airport maintenance bases and being part of historic inaugural flights.

For more MileagePlus Exclusives experiences visit here.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

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