After starting her own IT consulting firm in the 1990s, Shelli Ryan was looking for an affordable way to meet with clients in Silicon Valley and still get back home in time to have dinner with her husband and Kitty, their cat. Almost 20 years later, Shelli still views Southwest Airlines as a partner and claims that the airline helped build her business, Ad Hoc Communication Resources.
Flying with Southwest just makes sense for Shelli. When she’s juggling a schedule that changes constantly, the no-change-fees policy and flexible flight schedule “make it easy.” Besides that, the People make the real difference. As a Southwest Customer, Shelli knows that she’s not just a number and that the plane she’s flying on isn’t just a machine. “Southwest is not afraid to engage with the Customers and make us feel at home,” she says. “You don’t see that kind of hospitality and warmth in an industry that can be a bit transactional. It isn’t a transaction. It’s an experience.”
Shelli and Southwest have something in common: Heart. She’s not only the CEO of Ad Hoc but also chairs the boards of two nonprofits, Dress for Success and The Stride Center. Both of these organizations help equip and prepare low-income individuals to succeed in the workforce, either by giving them confidence in their appearance or through IT training.
Being a strong, successful career woman, Shelli loves that Southwest empowers and promotes women all throughout the Company, setting an example for the U.S. workforce and airline industry. Her favorite type of 737 jet is one with a female in the cockpit. Shelli sets a great example for young women to reach for their dreams, and we’re happy to have helped her along the way.