The first time I met Colleen was at our Maintenance hangar somewhere around late October or early November of 2003. She and Herb had come to our facility to accept a gift on behalf of the Mechanics. I had seen her many times before since I joined Southwest Airlines in 1997, but this was the first time I was in hugging distance.
I was in awe of being in the presence of two living legends, but as they both do so well, they make you feel very comfortable around them. After the presentation, the cameras came out, and Herb was instantly swarmed for photos, and Colleen was visiting with Coworkers and answering their questions, while at the same time keeping Herb "in line." It was at this time that I approached her and asked if I could have my picture taken with her. She said, ”excuse me”… as my heart stopped for a second or two. I asked again, and she smiled and said, "I’m sorry I didn’t hear you. I’m so use to people wanting their picture taken with Herb only.” Since then, I have had my picture taken with Colleen a few more times, and as a Corporate Culture Committee Member, I have had the opportunity to hear Colleen speak on many different subjects. The advice and recommendations she gives to the group have helped me at work as well as in my personal life.
I was honored to be featured with Colleen on southwest.com’s "Share the Spirit" page spotlighting Employee involvement in worthy organizations, and that is the proudest moment for me so far at Southwest Airlines.
Colleen I want to say thank you for your motherly leadership during your time as President of Southwest Airlines. You will be missed.