Jan. 31, 2017
Continuing education doesn’t just benefit business aviation professionals looking to take the next step in their careers. Companies also gain value from employees’ commitment to self-development, as they bring fresh perspectives and enhanced industry knowledge into the workplace.
For Mike Horan, the first business aviation flight attendant to earn Certified Aviation Manager certification, his accomplishment was made possible through the supportive work team at his company, Altria Client Services LLC, which he said, “Places value on people trying to reach the peak of their professionalism.
“The biggest motivator for me was that it’s in our culture here,” he added. “Altria values things like this, and they really encourage continuing education, professional certifications and involvement in the industry.”
Horan, who just completed his second year with Altria, had been considering professional development opportunities for several years. With professional stability and sufficient time to commit to the studying process, the timing finally seemed conducive to success – and so did the full support from his team.
“Mike came to me and said, ‘I’d like to put this as one of my goals for the year, am I eligible to do this?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely – if you want to do it, we’ll support you,” said Dodie Thomas, Altria’s supervisor of aviation cabin safety and services. Altria Client Services is home to three CAMs.
The Altria team was true to its word, assisting Horan by paying for the application, exam fee and resource materials, and keeping him off the flying schedule the day before the exam to ensure he performed at his best. When he passed the exam in September, it was a personal victory, as well as one for the flight department, which gained new skills and experience.
“The responsibilities within a flight department are growing, from being just a flight operation to more of a business within a business,” said Jeff Sands, CAM, director of aviation and travel support services at Altria. “Having people with a broader training and developmental background helps provide us with the bench strength we need to meet all those challenges going forward.”
Just as Altria sees resources poured into professional development as a way to build a more efficient, well-rounded flight department, Horan looks at his CAM certification as an investment in himself. “It’s an acknowledgment that I personally have the commitment to the industry and what I do,” he said.
Back in action at Altria, Horan looks forward to a bright future in the industry. In a gesture reflecting the camaraderie and support his team showed him, he took one of the company’s empty cubicles and set up his notes and study materials – paving the way for the next employee who wants to follow in his footsteps.
In addition to Horan, the following people recently passed the CAM exam.
- Cliff Anderson
- Brent J. Barmore
- James Lee Bradshaw
- Charles K Hager
- Joseph C Jovanovich
- Kevin O’Leary, PhD
- Bradley P. Lindow
- Daniel K. Lund
- Greg Mills
- Christopher M. Miracle
- Craig A. Smart
- Laura E. Smythe
- Jack Stockmann
- Brian A. Williamson
- Thomas James Wachowski
Learn more about NBAA’s CAM program.