Customer Service Supervisor, Providence, Rhode Island
Teresa Poulin doesn’t believe in using the snooze button. At 2:30 in the morning, when even the earliest of early birds are still asleep, she’s waking up and preparing for her day.
As a Customer Service Supervisor, one of Teresa’s goals is to do all she can to help the first Southwest Airlines flights of the day depart as scheduled. Getting the day off to a good start means Customers on later flights have a greater chance of being on time as well.
An Employee for 15 years, Teresa thrives on finding solutions for Customers and Employees alike, especially amid the hustle and bustle of the morning. During challenging situations such as inclement weather, she is either behind the scenes finding alternate routes for Customers or in the thick of the action beside the Customer Service Agents she serves.
When not helping Customers, Teresa aims to set up her Agents for success, working to ensure they have all they need to do their best. It’s a Team environment, and flexibility is the name of the game. “I love that we have the ability to make decisions,” she says.
When she’s not at work, Teresa often travels with her three daughters—ages 12, 6, and 5—to sunny destinations such as Orlando, Tampa, and San Diego. “We can jump on a plane that has a few seats available and fly across the country,” she says. “Our flight benefits are definitely one of the great things about working at Southwest.”
She’s thankful she doesn’t have to travel far to spend time with her family, many of whom live in the Providence area. “At this time of year,” she says, “we take time to celebrate and remember the importance of our family and friends.”
Teresa, you’re worth celebrating every day, and we’re thankful for you!
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When we heard that FORTUNE was looking for an Employee to feature in their article "Heroes of the FORTUNE 500 list," we knew we’d have plenty of great choices. The person had to be someone who had performed extraordinary acts of bravery, charity, ingenuity, or selflessness—transforming their communities (and often the lives of total strangers) in the process.
It wasn’t long before several Leaders—and the reporter covering the story—knew that former CSA and brand new Flight Attendant Dianne Keeney was a great choice to represent Southwest. As a member of the Operational Communication Team that focuses on Cabin Services, I was excited to contact Dianne to find out if she’d be interested.
In her naturally friendly and engaging way, Dianne shared her story with me. Back in February of 2012, Dianne was on a flight when she crossed paths with the parents of a PHX Flight Attendant named Jainey. Before long, Dianne learned that Jainey was in need of a kidney transplant. It turns out that the same rare disease that had damaged Jainey’s kidney had also affected members of Dianne’s own family. Dianne knew that this meeting was meant to be. If she and Jainey turned out to be a match, she knew she would donate a kidney to her.
Indeed, they were a match. Their surgeries were performed later in 2012, and they’re both doing well. Just last week—on the same day that the FORTUNE reporter interviewed Dianne—Jainey attended Dianne’s Inflight graduation, Class 284, and pinned on Dianne’s wings.
They started out as strangers. But one kidney—and two big hearts—made them forever family. To read more of Dianne’s heroics and the rest of the FORTUNE 500 heroes, visit Fortune.com/500
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