Way Cargo… in Chicago
In his 1914 poem titled Chicago, Carl Sandburg wrote:
“Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of
Player with Railroads
and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shouders.”
Undoubtedly, were the poem written
today, the frequent mentions of cargo would refer back to the world’s
airlines rather than railroads.
Wendy Henry, manager on duty, Cargo
Operation – Chicago O’Hare (ORD) notes that she “works
with a lot of intriguing shipments—monkeys, race cars, machinery,
and dangerous goods, to name a few.
“Yet when a fluffy bundle of
puppies comes through, time seems to stand still,”Wendy says.
“The puppies bring a smile to
everyone’s face, from cargo all the way to the fleet service
clerks loading them on the flight.
“Everyone here ensures that every
puppy that passes through our vibrant busy station gets the royal
treatment,” she assures.
Wendy has spent five years on station
in her current role, this out of what she calls an amazing 29 years.
She started her career as an American Eagle agent.
Wendy has moved easily and upward through
several other departments throughout the company. Wendy oversees the
cargo and mail operations at ORD, meaning she is responsible for about
326 daily flights that carry cargo and PPS.
She insists: “Once you work for
an airline, I don’t believe that you could work a normal 9-to-5
“You never know what type of
day you may have or what products may be coming through the door,
but that is what makes it exciting.
“The cargo business is also like
“It’s about more than just
the employees that you work with in your city, but all cities.
“Everyone is there to help one
another out to ensure we get the customer’s product to where
it needs to be on time.”
ORD has a freezer,
cooler, and dedicated ExpediteTC space (temperature-controlled for
pharmaceuticals). Wendy’s priorities in 2017 are to make sure
that the state-of-the-art TC cooler has plenty of opportunities to
do what it does best, and be the number one cargo carrier at ORD.
At home, Wendy enjoys spending time
with her family and two dogs, along with bowling, biking, hiking,
or just being outdoors.
Dream Your Seein’
Say hello to Lorena Sandoval, managing director, Cargo Sales –
Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Raised in Quito, Ecuador, Lorena Sandoval
probably never imagined that one day she would be responsible for
transporting billions of soybean seeds between Argentina and the U.S.,
but she admits she likes to keep things interesting.
It turns out Lorena
began in cargo at Miami International (MIA) earlier this year, “moving
on up” after a stellar 26 years on the passenger side with American
Lorena was a reservation ticket agent,
sales manager and country director in Panama, and regional sales manager
for Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela.
With that healthy CV, she decided that
there were new worlds to conquer.
At First Flight
“I was granted
an appointment to visit the cargo facility in Miami. I was interested
in air cargo, but wondered what working in the division included.
“After an hour there, I fell
in love with the business.
“Now, every day, I see how we
can use our cargo services and expertise to help expand global trading
The Miami gateway is origination or
transit or destination for a varied mix of cargo traffic.
“Here you will find a top export
hub for high tech commodities including computers, telecommunication
equipment, and machinery.
“Miami also is a giant fresh
cut flowers supplier to the rest of the world; they arrive daily into
the U.S. from Columbia and Ecuador.
“Additionally, MIA is a major
“Our Miami station features up
to 25 pharma dock doors for both acceptance and pick up,” Lorena
Today this vibrant lady carries major
responsibility for sales in Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
As 2017 rolls along,
Lorena sees AA Cargo business continuing its upward growth in pharma
“Our effort is to stay close
to our customers while emphasizing the brilliance of American Airlines
“It’s all about partnership
and putting the customer first in every area of our operation.”
Art of Lorena
Even though her job
requires extensive traveling, Lorena still enjoys sharing her love
of the airline experience with her family.
Time off can often mean a visit to
some faraway place yet to be discovered.
She is also passionate about collecting
art and antiques and finds time to immerse herself in local cultures.
“I like to keep things fresh
and interesting,” Lorena Sandoval smiles.
Linda Dreffein answered
a blind ad in a newspaper after she graduated from college and today
she is AA Cargo managing director, Cargo Sales – eastern division
USA. She is happy she answered that blind ad.
“I’m not sure where the
time went, but I will celebrate my 30th anniversary with American
later this year, and I’m still as excited about my career today
as I was when I was just starting out,” Linda says. Based in
Chicago, her responsibilities for the eastern division include a broad
territory that covers cargo shipments for the Northeast, Midwest,
southeastern U.S., and Canada.
The challenging and constantly changing
shipment types include pharmaceuticals, diagnostic agents, medical
equipment, machine parts, computer hardware, printed matter, ecommerce,
photographic equipment, and more.
Strong Market Continues In
Linda sees a strong
market for cargo throughout the rest of 2017, backed by customer comments
In addition to building customer relationships
and selling services, her goal is to support her team’s daily
Linda provides the tools and training
that give her team the opportunity to make decisions that benefit
customers and keep American Airlines Cargo competitive.
She brings a long history of perspective
to her team:
“Working in the air cargo industry,
I’ve come to see that this business is so much more than moving
cargo from one point to another.
“Everything from the products
we move to the safety and security regulations enacted to improve
the transportation process has become more complex.
“Most days, though, shipments
move as planned.
“Our customers, the handling
agents and truckers, along with the airline, handle everything smoothly.
“The general public isn’t
aware of the people dedicated to this effort.
“Logistics and transportation
are an integral part of our world economy.”
In The Swim
Away from air cargo
for some moments, Linda likes to swim and read.
This fine lady says that she and her
husband are “working through the process of learning to be ‘empty
Another aspect of discovery in a life
well lived, we suspect.
Vision of Cargo, La Carga, La Cargaison Kago
The message is never
lost in translation because Junie Paul, AA Cargo’s general manager,
Cargo Operations – Philadelphia (PHL) is passionate about the
cargo business and fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Creole.
Junie grew up the youngest of six children in Haiti. Her parents,
both having chosen a career in education as school principals, raised
young Junie with a worldview of integrity in life that shapes who
she is and continues to lead her on a successful career path.
Anyone who has met Junie knows that
she’s a people person.
Her ability with language and passion
for helping others adds up to an unbeatable skill set that delivers
the right logistics for shipping pharmaceuticals, perishables, and
regular freight at about 245 cargo shipments a day as traffic continues
to increase in Philadelphia (PHL).
Makes Junie Run?
Junie has been on
the scene in PHL for about three years.
She enjoys the challenge of “constantly
working to make American the preferred choice for cargo shipments.”
“At PHL, I divide my time between
two facilities—one for regular freight and one dedicated to
“Believe me, we take nothing
for granted as AA Cargo makes every effort to maintain a seamless
experience for our customers,” she said.
Junie began in cargo
as a customer service manager at JFK after a 29-year career in the
airline industry that started in passenger services at American Airlines.
Prior to PHL, she worked out of San
Francisco (SFO), Yakuiba, Boliva (BYC), and Miami (MIA) in roles such
as agent, director for flight service, flight service manager, Cargo
CSM, security environmental officer, and manager on duty.
Act In Any Language
“Cargo is an
integral part of the world chain,” Junie says.
“We are all connected and share
the benefits, since it allows commerce, medicine, and all other type
of goods and services to be available to all.”
Junie sees her 2017
priorities as customer service and safety/security as a consistent,
After work, Junie loves to spend time
with her family and travel the world, including an annual family vacation
to Turks and Caicos.
She counts Dubai as “the most
interesting and beautiful place she has ever visited.
Stay tuned for part two of the Women at American Airlines Cargo.