Southwest Employee Jessica Eierdam has been in the business of making people smile for years.
“The summer after high school, I was signed to Hollywood Records as a recording artist,” Jessica said. “I have released two albums and spent my early 20s touring the country. That’s where I caught the travel bug!”
Under her maiden name, Jessica Riddle, she released the hit, “Even Angels Fall,” which was featured in the movie “Ten Things I Hate About You.” She even toured as the opening performer for BBMak in 2000.
After her music career, she continued to seek out jobs that let her brighten the days of those around her. She owned a children’s music school, taught gymnastics, worked at a preschool, and waitressed at PF Chang’s. After working for another airline at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Jessica noticed the Fun-LUVing Family operating at nearby gates and couldn’t help but be drawn to SWA. She joined the AUS Team as a Customer Service Agent in August 2011 before transferring to Operations, where she calculates the weight and balance of the aircraft and boards planes, among other tasks.
She fit in instantly with the other SWA Employees and was convinced SWA was the place for her when she discovered what she calls the “infamous Care Bear stare.”
“It was like we would all show up to work and band together to make our Customers’ days better,” she explained. “Not so much with actual rainbows shooting from our bellies, but through our witty banter and problem solving with a smile.”
It’s not just Customers’ days that Jessica brightens—her AUS Family has also been touched by her unwavering positivity and her proactive approach to both Internal and External Customer Service.
“Jessica has ascended to rock star status with her tremendous work ethic and undying positive attitude,” said AUS Customer Service Supervisor Billy Russell. “You cannot speak to her and not leave with a smile.”
At home, Jessica LUVS to write songs and spend time with her three sons: Maverick, Atlas, and her new baby boy, Lincoln. Although she’s certainly busy, she lives every day with a smile on her face and an enthusiasm for even the most unpredictable and chaotic days.
“I have always had a very positive outlook on life in general, but I really think that once you have kids, you have an intense and overwhelming new perspective on life,” Jessica said. “I try to be a light in every person’s day because you really never know when someone needs some unexpected kindness. Every day, without fail, something reminds me how lucky I am to work for this amazing Company.”
Well Jessica, we think we’re pretty lucky too!
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Ramp Agent Bill Todd’s lifelong fascination with aviation began when he was just a child.
“My father was in the Air Force, and I lived on military bases for a large portion of my childhood,” Bill said. “Seeing planes every day and going to base air shows in the summertime really piqued my interest.”
Although other pursuits began to occupy his time as he grew up, Bill was drawn back to his passion for planes years later, as a Business Administration student at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. When faced with a senior strategy project that served as the culmination of his studies, he decided to focus his report on Southwest Airlines.
“During my research, what stood out to me was the profitability of the airline through this recession and past recessions, along with the fuel hedging, fleet commonality, and superb Customer Service that kept Customers coming back for more,” Bill said.
Following graduation, Bill remembered this research, and he began to check out the SWA Career web site until a spot at Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Hartford, Connecticut opened up.
Although it was initially Southwest’s business savvy that stood out to Bill, what surprised him the most during his first days on the job was SWA’s unmatched Culture. At BDL he found “some great characters” that he befriended almost instantly. His SWA Family, he said, is his favorite part of working at BDL. With a Servant’s Heart and an optimistic personality, it’s no wonder his Coworkers took to him so quickly.
“Bill has been a fantastic addition to Team BDL,” said BDL Supervisor Shannon Christie. “Every day he comes in, he brings a positive attitude. When faced with difficult situations and irregular operations, he doesn’t complain but may offer a suggestion to make it run smoother. Bill is always willing to help out where needed.”
While Bill LUVs the occasionally chaotic days on the Ramp and is a hard worker on the job, he enjoys his weekend rest and relaxation.
“I like to do nothing and relax,” he said. “It’s kind of a joke with me and one of my Coworkers. He asks, ‘what are you going to do this weekend?’ and I say, ‘nothing.’”
Bill often spends this downtime by playing a game of pick-up baseball or visiting with his mother and two younger brothers.
With his passion for airplanes, Fun-LUVing Attitude, and unmatched positive SPIRIT, we’re glad to welcome Bill to our SWA Family!
I recently asked Bill a few FUN questions to get to know him better—read on to see his answers!
What do you like most about your position?
As a lifelong aviation fanatic, it’s just great to work around airplanes and get to watch them all day long.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It would be too hard to choose just one place in world. I would like to see multiple cities in Europe, such as London, Rome, Paris, and Edinburgh.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would like to be able to fly because then I could justify wearing a cape.
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