Meridian Hayward became one step closer to reality last week when the first class of recruits arrived in Teterboro for an extensive two weeks of Customer Service and Line Service training. This is our first class of Line Service and Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) to join our West Coast operation, and they will be the ones to set the standard for future employees. Our Line Service employees began their first day of training on August 15 at Hayward Executive Airport in Hayward, CA. Afterwards, they met with the CSRs and the team was sent to Meridian’s facility in Teterboro last weekend to begin their first day on Monday, August 22. The starting class for Meridian Hayward will consist of 4 CSRs, 7 Ramp Agents, 1 Customer Service Supervisor and 1 Operations Manager for a total of 13 employees. During new hire orientation, we received great feedback from everyone, as they were excited to be with us and motivated to work together as a team. Their collective focus will be to help make Meridian Hayward #1.
Marcia Maki, Customer Service Supervisor, and Carlos ‘Tiny’ Rodriguez, Operations Manager, are leading the training for the new hires. They have both recently moved into their respective positions to lead the Hayward teams. Marcia joined us from Castle & Cooke in California, and Carlos relocated from Meridian Teterboro to join the team in Hayward. Last week, we had a total of 9 new hires in Teterboro for training – 2 Customer Service Representatives (CSR) and 7 Ramp Agents. Two more CSRs will be coming to Teterboro for training in September.
Ramp agents have started their on the job training (OJT) as part of the training curriculum. They have been learning our equipment and procedures by shadowing employees. CSRs have also started on-the-job training by working the front desk and learning how to handle inbound phone calls, which can get very hectic at times. Each new recruit is learning the ‘Meridian Way’ and absorbing the company culture, so when our customers visit our Hayward location, they can expect to receive the same high level of service that they get in Teterboro. The first round of training in Teterboro will last from August 21 until September 2. The group will then return to Hayward during the week of Labor Day, where they will be practicing what they had learned on the newly-paved Hayward ramp before returning to Teterboro for one last round of training.
The new Ramp Agents are Robert Lopez, William Devine, Bryan Kwee, Eduardo “Eddie” Picazo, Lennard “Cheetah” Davis, Leonardo “Leo” Mendoza and Joshua Moon. The new Customer Service Representatives include Bridgette Hendricks and Fotoon Giananni. Two more new CSRs, Christopher “Chris” Jones and Janet “Jenny” Deitschman, will arrive in Teterboro for their respective training on September 6, and the Ramp Agents will return on September 12 for their second round of training.
The background story of each new hire is as diverse as the group itself. Six of the seven Ramp Agents have never been to New York City before this trip. One of the recruits had just experienced his first flight (ever). We have a professional boxer in the group (1-0 record), a Tuskegee Airmen descendant, a costume designer, a bike builder, and several volunteers who support their communities by working in soup kitchens or rebuilding houses. The list goes on and on!
Marcia Maki, Customer Service Supervisor, is looking ahead, “The training in Teterboro will be a great learning experience for our Hayward team as they prepare for Day One. There’s no better place to cut your teeth than at the busiest General Aviation airport in the country, and probably the world. We are working hard to make sure that each one of our new hires feels comfortable in their respective roles before we open our doors. So far, things are going well and our trainees seem to be really enjoying the experience. We are very happy to have such an enthusiastic and talented group!”
Carlos Rodriguez, Operations Manager, had this to say, “I’m excited that we were able to find such a talented and diverse group of individuals who are so motivated and enthusiastic about joining our company and learning the Meridian culture. From our Customer Service Reps to the Ramp Agents, this class of recruits will be the foundation for which we build on, and I believe they will proudly carry the Meridian reputation to Hayward and the West Coast.”
Meridian Hayward is expected to open at the end of September, 2016.