How did you start out?

I was born and raised in a small town in Ohio called Defiance. After high school, I studied engineering at Ohio State University and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Boeing was actively recruiting engineers on campus, and after an orientation presentation from the company, I was sold on an exciting career in aviation. Boeing has given me the opportunity to work in many different roles.

Boeing’s been your only employer?

Most of my career has been in customer service, which I have found to be the most rewarding. Early in my career, I worked in design, stress analysis and manufacturing. As a service engineer, I supported the structures organisation in landing gear, nacelles and wing and provided on-site engineering support to the aircraft on ground (AOG) recovery team on several repairs in Spain, Canada, Chile and China.

In 1998, I joined the field service organisation and have had short- and long-term assignments in Brazil, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Texas, Panama and Chile. I have also had the opportunity to visit airline customers in Columbia, Costa Rica, Honduras, San Salvador, Mexico, Argentina and Peru. Having a strong technical background and second language skills really improved my ability to provide good customer service; the ability to understand cultural differences and adapt to the different cultures is definitely needed in a customer-facing position like field service.

What are your current duties?

To ensure that my team provides superior support to our valued customers. We currently have five permanent members on our team. We provide first base training for new field representatives and host many Boeing visitors throughout the year. My responsibilities are to manage and mentor my team, deliver on customer expectations, build and maintain key customer relationships, and provide 24/7 technical support – including AOG, line and ramp, engineering, maintenance control, flight operations, material management, fleet management and special projects.

I lead the 787 entry into service (EIS) team, which requires close coordination between Boeing and our customers as they prepare for the introduction of the 787 to their fleet. We provided enhanced support in the implementation of new technology into the airlines’ infrastructure. I felt honoured to be a part of the 787 EIS programme – it was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my aviation career – definitely a highlight.

What is your geographic range?

The Boeing field service office in Santiago, Chile, currently supports customers in Chile and Peru. When I was a field service representative in Panama, I supported all of Central America and travelled to Costa Rica, Honduras and San Salvador as part of my support network.

What's the most difficult part of your job?

The most difficult part of the job is ensuring that I have met all of our customers’ expectations. It is not enough to simply provide an answer. It is only by anticipating their needs, based on relationships and a true understanding of their operations, that we can develop the appropriate insight to truly provide great customer support.

Another aspect of the job is maintaining a sense of urgency when providing customer support. There have been many times when our team receives an urgent request late in the day or in the middle of the night and it is our job to provide an expedited response that will meet their urgent needs anytime, day or night.

What do you enjoy about it?

I enjoy the opportunity to work with a customer that has a business culture that is different from what some might be accustomed to in the USA. I believe that the key to successful customer service is the building of relationships and trust.

Source: Flight International