STS Aviation Group’s Quarterly Newsletter (Q2 — 2015)
Many of you are familiar with our company and its services / products, but what you may not know is who we are as people and what makes us tick. This quarter’s newsletter is dedicated to taking you inside the minds of our executive team members and managers with the goal of answering one question… What excites STS employees about coming into work every day? When all things are said and done, you (our loyal readers) will unearth the unfettered passion that continues to fly STS Aviation Group forward. We hope you enjoy the following articles and thank you in advance for taking the time to read them.
Employee Happiness Propels STS Aviation Group into the Future
By P.J. Anson — CEO, STS Aviation Group
I routinely tell my staff, “If you’re not happy and excited to go into work most days, you owe it to yourself to make a change.” I believe this to be true for every level of employee; from those in leadership roles to newly-hired interns.
There is no reason that a person working at the lowest levels of an organization should be more or less happy than those working at the highest. In other words, I don’t feel that one should spend a significant portion of their professional lives in a position that does not make them happy. This is not only something I wholeheartedly believe in, it is something I preach to each and every employee at STS Aviation Group.
The change I referenced in the first paragraph does not mean one must quit their job in an effort to find professional happiness / satisfaction. It is possible, in my opinion, to affect change and find happiness by simply altering the way one approaches their current role. For example, by having open and honest discussions with management, altering daily responsibilities and even moving to a different department, one can change their professional prospective in a positive way.
Time and time again it has been proven that happy employees miss fewer days, work more hours and have higher productivity levels than unhappy employees. Knowing this, there’s no room left for doubt that employee happiness translates directly to the underlining success of a company.
The old guard (and I am on the fringe of that group) believes in the concept of driving employees to work hard and put in long hours knowing that most will oblige because they’re being provided compensation. Members of that guard also feel that employees do not need to be happy inside the workplace; they just need to show up and do their job.
To change that mindset is difficult because it’s an idea rooted in much of the old guard’s upbringing. It is what their parents and grandparents grew up with. It is what they were taught and told to appreciate. It’s also hard to convince the very same group of people that putting a ping-pong table in the break room or providing workplace daycare is going to ultimately make the company more successful. To them, they just don’t see how these things help employee productivity and promote business growth. Are they wrong in thinking this way? The quick answer is no, they are not wrong. They might, however, be a little shortsighted.
There is no doubt that understanding employee behavior is a critical factor to business success. Most of the things that affect employee happiness do not cost companies a dime. According to a recent article in Inc. Magazine, the best way to make employees happy involves ongoing communication aimed at offering an heir of certainty about one’s professional future. If engaged regularly and often on that level, employees will more likely than not be excited about coming into work every day. This is true because they’ve been shown a light at the end of the tunnel. They can appreciate what they’re working toward while having a clear understanding of the path they need to follow in order to get there.
Creating excitement among employees is also free so long as a company’s management team is capable of doing so. How does one create excitement? There isn’t a definitive playbook to work from, but my suggestion is this. Find out what your employees are passionate about and play to those passions. If your team tends to thrive in a competitive atmosphere, give them something to compete for. Alternatively, if you throw an awesome end-of-the-year party, let employees be a part of the organization and planning process. I can go on and on offering endless examples of how to generate excitement inside the workplace, but at the end of the day, it boils down to knowing your staff as people and providing them with avenues that make their jobs both rewarding and worthwhile.
So… managers and business owners take note. We are in the early morning hours of a new age, and if employee happiness is not high on your priority list, you may be overlooking a very important and inexpensive tool designed to build a more successful business.
Thanks for taking the time, and I hope you enjoy the rest of STS Aviation Group’s quarterly newsletter.
Careers Born from Passion Rest at the Heart of STS Aviation Group
By Rachel Hood — Manager, Technical Recruiting, STS Engineering Solutions & Brian Boje — Senior Director of Recruiting, STS AeroStaff Services
Part One — Staffing (Aerospace Engineers)
When STS Aviation Group’s Marketing Director asked me to write a newsletter article around the question, “What excites you about coming into work every day,” I had to do some digging. I was interested in exploring this not only on an introspective level, I also deemed it wise to pose the same question to members of my team and see how they’d respond.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me circle back and start this story again from its true beginning; when I applied for a job with STS more than 11 years ago.
After learning that STS Aviation Group had an opening, I remember faxing my resume (yes, faxing resumes was very normal back then) and getting a phone call shortly thereafter requesting that I come in for a face-to-face interview. At the time, I had never been on an airplane and knew absolutely nothing about the aviation industry. To be honest, I didn’t even know that staffing agencies existed, what per diem meant or anything else about recruitment process outsourcing. Needless to say, I was hired, and the normal period of awkwardness that accompanies the start of every new job quickly vanished on day two when something profoundly important happened. Let me explain…
On my second day working for STS, the other Recruiting Coordinator (that’s the role I was hired for, and there were only two of us back then) I was working with called out sick. This left me on my own answering phone calls and trying to navigate the DOS-based system we used back in the day. I was almost to the point of tears shortly after the morning started, but everyone was so patient and understanding. They offered me advice, guidance and words of encouragement throughout the day and keep reminding me that while I was working alone, I was never really alone in my professional pursuits. It was then I knew that I wasn’t just a part of strange yet lovable team; I was a member of a supportive / nurturing family and would be treated as such throughout my career.
Now as far as recruiting is concerned, you know that you’ve truly made a difference when someone says “thank you” for helping them find gainful employment. As a quick but albeit important sidebar, I recently had one of STS’ Contract Engineers send me thank-you flowers as a sign of gratitude for helping him find work. That one small gesture quickly reminded me of how amazing it is to be able to offer someone a means to provide for themselves and their families.
I’ve worked with this particular contractor for almost five years now, but he’s only been employed by STS sporadically throughout that time. Despite this fact, I always made an effort to stay in touch. After all, it’s a relationship I built from nothing, and I’m proud of that. Why? Because cultivating relationships is what I live for, and I enjoy doing it. Now his gesture of thanks was above and beyond what most recruiters can expect, but it made me feel appreciated, and it also reminded me of why my work at STS Aviation Group matters.
The passion and enthusiasm we collectively possess as a team at STS Aviation Group has no doubt fueled our success. Together, we not only hit all of our staffing goals last year, we greatly exceeded them.
STS’ Engineering Staffing Department is on an upward trend again right now, and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. This fact, above all else, is what makes me happy and excited to come to work every day. I couldn’t ask to be a part of a better organization, and I am grateful to my teammates (no, my family) for all the love and support they’ve shown.
It’s not always common to hear people say that they’re still excited to come to work after 11 years, but I am. I truly enjoy helping aerospace engineering professionals across the country find work because, to me, that’s what this job is all about.
Part Two — Staffing (Touch Labor)
My name is Brian Boje, and I am the Senior Director of Recruiting for STS AeroStaff Services. A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a newsletter article focused on answering the question, “Why are you excited to come to work every day, and how does that excitement translate into success for you and your team?”
For brevity’s sake, I could dive right into my response, but that would be disservice to those of you who don’t know me. So in an effort to avoid isolating my readers, I think it’s best to start with a story; or rather to tell you where my love for aviation spawned from and how that love led me to where I am today.
I became interested in aviation at a young age. I remember having vintage airplane wallpaper covering my bedroom as a kid, and I also remember going to airshows at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona (I grew up in Arizona). Reflecting on this a bit, I guess it would be fair for me to say that I was always fascinated by aircraft.
That love I felt for aviation as a child carried over into high school. In fact, I was a part of a class that combined science and math, and that very same class became the first high school in the country to make a working / functional wind tunnel. As a result of this, I was given the option to take a free flight-training course, and I even got to fly with a Senator (CNN did a thing about it… no big deal).
The passion for aviation that I once felt as a child soon blossomed into full-blown obsession. After high school, I wanted nothing more than to work in the aerospace industry, though at the time, I didn’t know how / when I was going to make that happen.
A few months after graduation, I was offered a job in Marana, Arizona, as an aircraft cleaner. A year or so later, I was promoted to Aircraft Painter. I ended up taking my first contract position with STS in 1992 while working for CTAS in Waco, Texas. I have remained under the company’s employ ever since.
I was hired as a recruiter by STS in 1996 when the company’s home office was still in Nashville, Tennessee. I was promoted to Assistant Manager of Recruiting in 1999, and I am currently the Senior Director of Recruiting for all of STS AeroStaff Services.
Now that you know a little about me and my passion for the aviation industry, let me try and explain why I’m regularly excited to come to work every day. For me, placing qualified Aircraft Maintenance Technicians into rewarding careers all over the country makes the time and effort I expel worthwhile. I love providing good people with a means to be able to provide for themselves, and this stands as a great source of pride for both me and my team.
It’s been said that “If you do what you love for a living, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I love what I do, and trust me, it still feels like work, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t embrace the grind and rise above the challenges that accompany my professional responsibilities.
At the end of the day, it boils down to this. I lead a team of professionals dedicated to helping aircraft maintenance technicians find work, and I can’t imagine doing anything more rewarding with my professional life than that.
Aircraft Engineering Services by STS Enjoy Boundless Growth
Randy Steenholdt — Senior Vice President, STS Engineering Solutions
As the Senior Vice President of Engineering for STS Engineering Solutions (STSES), I am truly excited about the opportunity to build and grow a professional organization in uncharted territory. Whereas my management activities at both Boeing (for 5 ½ years) and Northwest Airlines (for 16 ½ years) were rewarding, there were always limitations due to the fact that I was working for “big business.” At STSES, there are no real boundaries for growth, and this make each day both new and exciting.
For large U.S. companies, the comparison made to implementing change is like turning a ship around in rough seas. At STS Engineering Solutions, we can establish a deviation to our business model in the morning and literally implement that change the same afternoon.
I am an innate a risk-taker, and I regularly challenge the statement “it can’t be done.” At STSES, we pride ourselves on developing business strategies that deviate from textbook / competitor models. Specifically, with regard to the aircraft engineering services we offer, my team of professionals embrace the challenge of developing repairs and / or major aircraft designs that our competition said “couldn’t be done.” It is this mindset, along with our commitment to provide prompt and cost-effective engineering support, which has allowed our company to serve 85% of U.S. regional carrier operators and 70% of legacy operators via liaison engineering support.
The proven ability to establish “Virtual Engineering” offices scattered across the United States, South America, Central America and Europe (in which 24/7 aircraft engineering support is provided) is unlike any other comparable business model out there. The Virtual Engineering services we provide require STSES team members to be highly disciplined and self-motivated, but the work-life balance we’re able to offer, cast alongside the preclusion for daily commutes, is a significant and positive benefit for all of our employees.
Since we encourage STS engineers to be creative, the ability to react quickly is constant. Couple that with the freedom to work remotely, and I consider myself fortunate to lead a group of highly-trained professionals who share a similar business mindset and commitment to customer service.
Exceptional Customer Service & Passionate Team Members Keep STS Component Solutions Flying
By Tom Covella — President, STS Component Solutions
Going to work excited every day is rare for just about everyone, but for those who work in aviation, it tends to be more common. Once aviation gets in your blood (and it seems to happen very easily), you are sucked right into the middle of it all as you find yourself involved with one of the most rewarding and dynamic industries in the world.
I have been in aviation for… quite some time, and I can truly say that there have only been a handful of days during my career when I was not excited about coming into work. I’ve always felt this way, and as I sit here and type this article, I can honestly say that, even after all these years, I am still excited about the work that I do and the industry we are in. Here are some reasons why…
For me, workplace happiness starts with a deep-rooted passion for the aviation industry, but if it was not for the team that I am surrounded by and the customers and business partners that we interface with, I am not sure if I would still hold the same level of passion that I experienced early on in my career.
At STS Component Solutions (STSCS), there is never a dull day. Each and every day there is a certain level of energy that is felt as soon as you walk into our office in Palm City, Florida. This is where it all starts, and I embrace the opportunity to interact with the passionate team(s) we have in place and the customers we support globally.
Every day is a little different from the last, and the STSCS team is constantly facing new challenges in an effort to provide value-driven solutions for our customers. Whether it is a major legacy airline in North America or an MRO in the Asia-Pacific region; there is always an opportunity for STSCS to deliver aircraft solutions better, and more efficiently, than any of our competitors.
“Solutions to Keep You Flying” is not just a tag line for STS Aviation Group, it is a state of mind that we like to instill in all of our employees. The passion our team demonstrates daily is what makes coming into work exciting. The people who make up the collective aerospace workforce are very unique, and those who work at STS are even more so. When you add all of this together, it’s impossible for me to imagine coming into work without an overwhelming feeling of passion and excitement. I am proud of this fact but even prouder still of how hard the STSCS team works in an effort to offer quality customer service and exceptional product support, which is second to none.
Passionate, Knowledgeable Employees Set STS Line Maintenance Apart
By Robby Bush — Vice President / General Manager, STS Line Maintenance
The second quarter of 2015 is in the books, and what an exciting year it has been so far for STS Line Maintenance. Our Miami (MIA) operation is up and running, and we are very close to opening a new line station in beautiful Nassau, Bahamas (more on that in the future). In addition, our special WiFi installation projects continue to grow steadily as the flying public’s demand for in-flight connectivity increases.
As the Vice President / General Manager of the STS Line Maintenance Division, my schedule is crazy, and this is caused by the rapid growth and expansion of our company. Because of this, I often find myself wondering, “with so little time to do anything else, why do I enjoy my job so much?”
There is no short answer to that question, but I will try and explain it as quickly and effectively as I possibly can. I love my job at STS because I’m a different breed of person. Anyone in the business will tell you that working / managing a flight line requires out of the box thinking, an adaptive personality as well as a mindset catered toward strict attention to detail.
If I’m being completely honest, I don’t just love my job because I believe that I was built for it, I love my job because the smell of burning of jet fuel and the sound of aircraft taking off and landing really gets my heart beating (no kidding). I also love knowing that, at any moment, my team and I can get a call about a broken aircraft prior to sending a technician (or team of technicians) out to diagnose and fix the problem. This is a truly invigorating process for me.
I genuinely believe that STS Line Maintenance employs some of the most knowledgeable aircraft maintenance techs in the field, and they’re always ready to respond at all hours of the day. Time and time again, STS answers the call of duty before examining what we could have done to further expedite an aircraft’s return to service. We challenge ourselves regularly by collaborating with one another while forcing each other to look at things with an out-of-the-box approach to our services.
As you can imagine, the line maintenance business is very competitive and fast-paced. You do something different every day, and there is no set schedule for broken aircraft.
I really find the flight line to be both exciting and challenging due to the pressure you’re under and invite you all to think about it this way… Often times, the STS Line Maintenance team is called to an aircraft with over one hundred people on board as they look down the aisle starring at you and saying to themselves, “I sure hope he / she knows how to fix the problem quickly.” It’s a huge responsibility, and our people not only understand this, they tend to thrive and excel under that sort of pressure.
At STS Line Maintenance, we work to improve the skills of our technicians during every call. We require them to learn from each event and get better with time.
To a line technician, it is a self-victory when they beat the machine. Now, one thing’s for sure, the machine is forever evolving, and if we don’t evolve with it and learn the new technologies that are brought before us each and every day, we won’t be effective.
To be the best at what you do is exciting and challenging, and that’s why I come to work every day both excited and pumped to lead our technicians. I want us, as a whole, to fly above the rest, and every call we receive, every problem we fix, brings us one step closer to maintaining that privilege.
Thanks for taking the time, and I’ll see you on the flight line!
In this post, we would like to spotlight one of STS Component Solutions‘ Project Administrators, Fiorella Ormeno, and introduce 13 new corporate employees whom have all been hired in the past few months.
As STS continues to grow, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the aerospace industry with “Solutions to Keep You Flying.”
Fiorella Ormeno — Program Administrator at STS Component Solutions
What does your job entail?
I manage the programs that are awarded to STS Component Solutions. In other words, I make sure all orders, procedures and service issues between our customers, departments, account managers and business partners are properly coordinated and executed.
What do you like best about working for STS?
Not many companies allow employees to grow and move into different positions, but STS Component Solutions provides that opportunity, and I am grateful for that. I also like the group of people I spend my days with. We have excellent working / personal relationships with one another, and it makes the daily grind a little easier when you get to come to work and be surrounded by people you really enjoy.
In your opinion, what’s the best aviation-related movie of all time?
I am sure there are more that I could list, but I’m a big Denzel Washington fan, so I’m going to go with the movie Flight. If you haven’t seen it yet, crawl out from under that rock and check it out. It’s awesome!
What is your most memorable moment as an STS employee?
My most memorable moment working for STS Component Solutions has to be my first day on the job. After opening a new office in Palm City, Florida, every day-one employee came into the building and had no chairs to sit on. As the true team player that I am, I just started putting chairs and tables together so we could all start working on what was really important… providing exceptional service to our growing global network customers.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric was hired a few months back to work as the Business Development Manager at STS Technical Services.
His job calls upon him to identify / secure new customers and grow existing business opportunities by providing unique, value-driven solutions for our clients.
When he is not busy at work, Eric likes to play sports, listen to music and hang out with friends and family.
Asked about what it has been like working for STS, Eric said, “Every day is a challenge, but the internal support I’ve received, and the leadership that guides our team, really allows people to grow and develop their professional careers.”
Anthony is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida. He holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration and is currently working on his MBA with a focus in Management.
At present, Anthony works for STS Component Solutions in inventory sales out of our Palm City location.
When he is not at work busy busting his tail day in and day out, Anthony said, “I like to hang out with friends and family, exercise and spend time with my pit-bull, Cash.
When asked to describe his working experience with STS so far Anthony said, “I really enjoy the people I work with, and I look forward to seeing where this opportunity takes me.”
Dylan was born and raised in Palm Beach County, Florida. He was hired a few months back as one of STS AeroStaff Services newest Recruiting Coordinators and is very excited to be a part of the team.
When Dylan is not at work, he likes to indulge in various forms of expressive art such as photography, videography, painting, writing, etc…
Dylan also plays flag football in two different men’s leagues, including a state travel team. He admittedly keeps a Penny Board in his trunk for mid-day cruises and loves to travel. “Traveling is a huge part of my life. When possible,I like to get out of town as much as I can,” he said.
When asked to describe what it’s like to be a part of the STS family, Dylan offered the following. “Being able to work for a company that is as well respected as STS is truly a blessing. The staff, from the front-line faces all the way up to the executive team, are humble and very family oriented. This makes for a great atmosphere. STS is definitely a company that I see myself staying with for some time, and I hope one day to be able to steadily climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top.”
Nina Lin was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She recently joined the STS family as STS Air-Pro’s newest account manager.
Nina not only loves to work, she also loves to read Japanese mystery novels, bowl, travel and learn new languages.
Nina’s long-time dream is to speak three more languages fluently, and those languages are Cantonese, Spanish and Korean (She speaks four language fluently right now).
At present, Nina is an Account Manager for STS’ hose and engine materials in Asia Pacific. She also supports several accounts throughout the Asiatic region for STSCS’ OEM product lines.
Nina currently has four years of experience working in aviation, particularly supporting sales and marketing in Asia. She also has more than eight years of global sales experience.
When asked what it’s been like working for STS, Nina said, “I really enjoy being here and love the atmosphere. I get to see smiling faces and laughing people each and every day, which make me feel happy and proud to be a part of this team.”
Cesar Garcia is a true Floridian. He was born and raised in Fort Pierce and loves to watch sports and hang out with his wife and two sons.
When asked to describe what it has been like being a part of the STS family, Cesar said, “I love working at STS. All the employees here have been great, and I hope to stay with the company for a very long time.”
Born and Raised in Fort Pierce, Florida, 20-year-old Selina Cendejas enjoys spending time with family, fishing, watching movies and looking up stuff on Pinterest.
Her favorite band of all time is Fall Out Boy (don’t judge), and she actually got engaged the same day she started working at STS AeroStaff Services (whether the two events are related or not, one will never know).
In an effort to gauge Selina’s opinion about working for STS so far, she said, “I am very proud to be here. Everyone has been really nice to me, and we all help each other out.”
Alyson was born in central Iowa but raised in Kansas City. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from a small school in Kansas prior to getting her MBA from an even smaller school.
Alyson loves living in the Midwest and said, “You really get a feel for every climate possible” (most of the time in the same week).
As one of STS AeroStaff Services newest Project Administrators, Alyson is focused on ensuring clients happiness in her region. When asked about what it’s been like to work for STS she said, “I am really enjoying the opportunity that STS has provided me with. I get to meet and interact with so many people with such different backgrounds. I love it! You really get great support from your fellow coworkers,and I can’t ask for much more than that.”
Josh is originally from Lima, Ohio. He is also the newest Direct Hire recruiter we have.
Josh’s job entails finding ideal candidates for all of STS’ direct hire positions, and he accomplishes this by conducting thorough research of a prospective hires’ skills set and experience. Josh also has to have an in-depth knowledge of the positions that he is staffing for in addition to what our customers both need and require.
“This is a completely new atmosphere for me as I have no previous recruiting experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed working here so far, and look forward to growing with the company,” Josh said.
Josh is the proud father of a beautiful 13-year-old daughter and, in his free time, he sings for a rock band. He is also a ring announcer for Championship Wrestling Entertainment, and he volunteers for a non-profit organization known as The Breakthrough Foundation. In addition to all of that, Josh enjoys acting and has been in various stage plays, musicals, a commercial and an even independent film.
Martin, originally from Poland, lived in New Jersey for 20 years and moved to sunny South Florida in 2015.
At present, Martin acts as a Payroll Manager for STS Aviation Group and has more than eight years of prior payroll management experience at major corporations such as ADP as well as Bed Bath & Beyond.
For fun, Martin enjoys various outdoor activities; especially traveling and exploring. He is a graduate of William Paterson University in N.J. where he obtained his B.A. degree in Finance with a strong concentration in Management.
If you have any questions for Martin, feel free to contact him directly at MartinG@stsaviationgroup.com.
Jennie is originally from upstate New York and has been in Florida for 21 years now.
When she is not busy working as the Senior Payroll Administrator for STS AeroStaff Services, Jennie likes to garden, bake and read for fun.
When asked to describe her time with STS so far, Jennie said, “I love my new job. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, and I am very happy to be part of the STS team!”
Peter was hired by STS Technical Services as a Recruiter and has been with the company for about three months.
At present, Peter resides in Milwaukee while the rest of his family (including the family dog) are still up in Madison, Wisconsin.
Before joining STS Technical Services, Peter worked with Manpower as a recruiter. He graduated from the University of Minnesota a couple of years ago with a degree in Film, so feel free to bug him about movies.
While living in the Minneapolis area, Peter also worked for a music venue called The Whole Music Club where he booked bands for a year while attending school. Knowing this, feel free to bug him about music, too!
Anthony is originally from suburban Chicago. He has spent more than 20 years working in both commercial and general aviation; most notably as the Weight & Balance Coordinator for U.S. Airways.
Anthony loves two things in life (outside of his family)… music and aviation. He has played in various local, classic rock cover bands and is married to a gorgeous wife, with whom he has an adorable son that just turned two-years old.
When asked what the past few months at STS have been like, Anthony said, “I am grateful to be a part of the STS team, and I look forward to being presented with opportunities and goals that will further stimulate my passion for aviation and my drive toward excellence.”