Meridian is pleased to announce that Patti Ann Sullivan has been named Vice President of Aircraft Management. In her new position, Ms. Sullivan will oversee the sales of aircraft management services and will be responsible for driving the growth of the aircraft management business. Ms. Sullivan has extensive business aviation experience, specializing in aircraft banking, finance and sales. She will be based at the company’s headquarters at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, NJ.
“I am delighted
to welcome Patti to the Meridian team,” says Emil Iannone, Meridian’s Chief
Operating Officer. “Her background and experience in multiple disciplines
within the industry will be a definite asset as we continue to grow our
aircraft management business and, more importantly, strengthen our client
responsibilities include developing and visiting prospective new clients,
negotiating aircraft management agreements, coordinating with other Meridian
departments to ensure a smooth transition from the sales process to in-service
operation and managing regional sales executives. In addition, she will focus
on the needs of existing customers, offering counsel on the optimum operational
and financial strategies to maximize the value and efficiency of their aircraft
ownership. Ms. Sullivan will also be an active presence in the industry, representing
the company at various events and association meetings.
“I am delighted
to join such a well-respected organization as Meridian,” says Sullivan.
“Meridian is a leader in the business aviation industry and is well-known for
its outstanding customer satisfaction and commitment to excellence. I look
forward to contributing to the continued growth of our aircraft management
joining Meridian, Ms. Sullivan was Executive Vice President of Elevate Jet, an
aircraft management and charter company in Bedford, MA. She also worked for
Executive Jet Management (EJM), serving as an East Coast Vice President of
Aircraft Management and Owner Services, successfully increasing the company’s
market share in the region. Prior to EJM, Ms. Sullivan held several positions of
increasing responsibility in the aviation finance sector with a variety of leading
institutions, including Key Bank and Textron Financial. She also has extensive
experience providing strategic, operational and financial advisory services to aircraft
management, charter and executive aviation enterprises.
Ms. Sullivan holds
a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a minor in Finance from
Boston University. She has earned Dale Carnegie Certificates in Sales,
Presentation and Leadership Effectiveness. She is a past Board Member
of NAFA, MBAA and NARA (associate) and is a member of
NBAA, HAI, NATA and IAWA.
With every holiday season comes the Center for Hope and Safety’s Annual Gift Drive. This year marked the 26th anniversary since the inception of this important event. Meridian, along with other Teterboro Airport-based tenants, gathered together to donate new toys, games, clothes, shoes, gift cards, and other gifts for those in need.
On Friday, December 13, Meridian drove a van filled with boxes containing a variety of donated gifts over to the AvPorts Administrative Building. The Center for Hope and Safety was very appreciative of the airport’s combined effort and commitment to the community. Meridian employees generously donated toys, food items, kitchen appliances, electronics, and apparel.
The Center for Hope and Safety’s mission is to assist women and children who are victims of domestic violence, including emotional, economic, sexual and physical abuse. The agency provides emergency and transitional housing, emotional support, and a diversified continuum of services focused on safety, empowerment, and self-sufficiency. Through community partnerships, the Center for Hope and Safety raises awareness, provides services, and educates community members about domestic violence.
Meridian is proud to participate in such an impactful campaign that delivers holiday cheer to local families. Together, we can all make a difference by continuing the tradition of helping these families by providing them with much-needed donations for a warm and loving holiday. Remember, the greatest gift of all is giving!
Meridian conducted its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive in support of Eva’s Village, an organization dedicated to helping feed the hungry, by donating non-perishable food items brought in by employees.
This year, we filled over 20 bags with mac & cheese, soups, gravies, stuffing, and an assortment of other goods for the non-profit organization!
Eva’s Village opened its doors in Paterson New Jersey in 1982. They offer hot meals for up to 400 homeless and working poor per day, 365 days a year. Aside from these lunches, they serve breakfast and dinner to those staying in their outpatient recovery and sheltering programs. Their kitchen can produce up to 1,200 hot meals per day with over 438,000 hot meals served every year.
Aside from their kitchen and shelter, Eva’s Kitchen also runs an outpatient treatment program for those who are suffering from addiction, as well as job placement services. It’s an all-encompassing center to help people find their way back to a normal life.
Although the food drive has ended, you can still help Eva’s Village. If you would like to learn how, please visit their website at www.evasvillage.org.
Over the month of October, we donated $1,770.00 of our lunch money to the Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch campaign, sponsored by Table to Table. Meridian has been a perennial contributor to the community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food and delivers it to organizations serving the hungry in Northern New Jersey. The campaign, which was started 20 years ago, has delivered over 122 million meals!
During the Bag a Lunch campaign, we ask Meridian employees to donate what they would normally spend on lunch for a day. Donating to the campaign is voluntary and the donation amounts are of each individual’s choosing. After the donations are tallied at the end of the program, the company matches everyone’s contribution, effectively doubling the donation.
Last year’s campaign raised $1,614.00 through Meridian employee donations and the matching contribution from the company. That amount was enough to feed over 15,000 families.
Kelly Manzo, HR Coordinator, is again the Meridian Team Captain, responsible for promoting the program at the company and coordinating with her counterparts at Table to Table. Ms. Manzo says, “The Bag a Lunch program is a great way for employees to help others in our local communities who are less fortunate. By donating what we would normally spend on lunch, each person’s individual contribution will double with the gift matching program, and ultimately have a much greater impact on those who need it most.” To help raise awareness of the campaign, brown lunch bags are placed in several locations throughout the FBO, including the Break Room, Line Service, Jet Center, and Charter areas.
Every day, Table to Table picks up fresh, wholesome food that otherwise would have been discarded, and delivers it safely to non-profit organizations such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters and centers, programs for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and programs that assist the working poor that serve meals to the hungry in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex counties.
With five refrigerated vehicles and dedicated drivers, Table to Table picks up food from a wide range of food establishments each day. This food is delivered on the day it is donated, avoiding the need for warehouse facilities and keeping Table To Table’s costs limited to the operation of the vehicles.
In 2018 alone, Table To Table was able to redistribute enough food to provide 18 million meals to hungry families in Northern New Jersey.
Meridian Hayward hosted the local Civil Air Patrol (CAP) East Bay Cadet Squadron 18’s Pilot Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 2. The event was a mixture of pilot appreciation, ground and safety training for cadets, and educational classes along with food and fun. The event had around 60 attendees
The California Civil Air Patrol serves as an auxiliary of the US Air Force. They normally conduct search and rescue, humanitarian, and counter-drug missions, and are also credited with sinking two enemy submarines during World War II.
The CAP also hosts a cadet program that provides the opportunity to participate in special activities or even solo fly an airplane for the first time. The training that the cadets receive is so comprehensive, that any cadet that reaches officer status could join the US Air Force two ranks higher than a normal recruit!
Nearly 25,000 industry leaders and professionals from across all 50 U.S. states and 89 countries gathered in Las Vegas for the most inspiring, interactive and innovative convention NBAA has ever hosted. About 100 business aircraft were on display inside the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearby Henderson Executive Airport, where the event took place October 22-24. On the show floor, nearly 1,000 exhibitors, including more than 100 first-time exhibitors, featured incredible displays of their latest offerings, along with an inaugural New Product Showcase.
Meridian had a strong presence as an exhibitor at the event, commonly known as the 2019 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). The company sent 12 associates to represent its many private aviation services at its 400 sq. ft. booth, including charter sales, flight operations, aircraft management, marketing, and FBO customer service from both Teterboro and Hayward locations. Three key themes prevailed at this year’s convention: innovation, sustainability, and outreach to the next generation.
Innovation in Focus
This year’s NBAA-BACE put new modes of transport, such as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, front and center. Full-scale prototypes and concepts for the vehicles were thronged by attendees in the all-new UAS/UAM Innovation Display Area.
On the keynote stage, Bolen presented NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award to record-breaking pilot, military veteran and business leader Ross Perot, Jr., who is partnering with Uber on UAM infrastructure. Head of Uber Elevate, Eric Allison, shared the latest steps toward realizing that vision, and tech entrepreneur Sky Dayton, an investor in electric aircraft startup Joby Aviation, predicted UAM could become a reality in just a few years.
A brand-new composite-bodied aerobatic aircraft, the GameBird GB1, was brought to the stage by Steuart Walton, Game Composites founder and chairman. The stage also featured the iconic jet-propelled wing that “Jetman” Yves Rossy uses to fly like bird, with Rossy sharing the story of how his team developed this experimental technology.
On the show floor, an inaugural New Product Showcase introduced 11 new, distinctive products from a host of innovative companies. Inside the convention center and at Henderson Executive Airport, nearly 100 of the latest business aircraft were on display.
Also at the airport, Gulfstream unveiled its new G700, Bombardier
displayed its Learjet 75 Liberty mockup for the first time and Textron
Aviation’s newly certified Citation Longitude was on hand. Pilatus
introduced the NGX, and other aircraft, including Tecnam’s P2012
Traveller, made their first appearances at NBAA-BACE.
Sustainability a Priority
Sustainability in business aviation was a dominant theme throughout the show, with around two dozen aircraft fueling enroute with SAF, a non-fossil power source that can reduce aviation’s carbon lifecycle emissions by up to 80 percent. Local civic and business leaders issued a proclamation recognizing the business aviation community’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, with an estimated 150,000 gallons of SAF pumped into aircraft at Henderson Executive Airport.
To further sustainability, NBAA joined with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and other industry stakeholders to announce a new Business Aviation Global Sustainability Summit in Washington, DC, in March 2020. A panel of industry leaders, in an “I Want My SAF” forum, offered perspectives about increasing SAF availability and usage before a standing-room only audience.
Outreach to the Next-Generation Workforce
Throughout the show, trailblazing aviators were honored, and shared their work to attract the next generation of visionaries to join the business aviation workforce.
Barrington Irving, who in 2007 became the youngest pilot to fly solo
around the world, received NBAA’s 2019 American Spirit Award for his
work to engage young people in the pursuit of science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM) education, and careers in aviation.
Also on the keynote stage, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt, America’s first female fighter pilot, shared her work promoting diversity in aviation, along with retired Air Force general and former NBAA Board Chair Lloyd “Fig” Newton.
On the show’s final day, Careers in Business Aviation Day hosted hundreds of students who attended NBAA-BACE for free, where they heard from FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and Jim Payne, chief pilot on The Perlan Project, who has flown a pressurized glider as high as 76,000 feet, toward a goal of reaching the edge of space.
NBAA also unveiled its 2019 class of Business Aviation Top 40 Under 40 young professionals (YoPros), who are already reshaping the industry.
“This week proved that in business aviation, we want the future, and we want it now,” Bolen said. “That future was on proud display in Las Vegas, with a show that fired the imagination, and inspired us to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible – and that’s what defines aviation.”
Please join us next year, October 6-8, 2020, when NBAA-BACE heads to Orlando, FL. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
On Monday, September 23, Meridian sent a foursome to play in the 35th Annual Teterboro Airport Community Benefit Fund Scholarship Golf Classic, held at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe, NJ.
The proceeds from the event go to the Teterboro Airport Community Benefit Fund, which contributes to several scholarships in aviation. Overall, the event generates about $12,000 a year for local high school graduates.
Meridian continued its support this year by sponsoring the 4th hole on the Banks course. The historic Banks Course was designed by Charles H. Banks, one of America’s celebrated “Golden Age” architects.
While our team didn’t take a place on the podium this year, we had a great time playing and participating in the festivities. Meridian is proud to show our continued support of the event and of our Teterboro community.
Meridian is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its jet charter business. General Aviation Flying Service, as the charter company was originally known, was formed in 1983. In September 1989, it added its first jet, a Citation SII, to its fleet of piston aircraft. In 1986, General Aviation Flying Service became Million Air Charter Teterboro when its FBO joined the aviation franchise. In 2004, the company evolved into Meridian Air Charter, as it is known today.
entered the jet age in 1989 when the owner of one of the piston aircraft we
managed acquired a jet,” said Ken Forester, Meridian’s CEO. “From there we
continued to grow and add additional aircraft, as well as open our FAA-approved
In 1997, the company began operating a Gulfstream II, marking its entry into the large-cabin charter business. Today, Meridian Air Charter has a diverse fleet of aircraft, ranging from ultra-long-range to midsize and light jets. “We’ve seen a lot of growth over the last 30 years, both with our charter division and with the rest of the company,” added Forester. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to serving our customers for many years to come.”
currently manages a wide range of aircraft types that are available for private
charter. Our extensive fleet includes the Global 5000, Gulfstream G550, Falcon
7X, Gulfstream GIV-SP, Falcon 900EX EASy, Challenger 650, Challenger 605,
Challenger 604, Falcon 2000EX EASy, Gulfstream G200, and Hawker 900XP. In
addition, other aircraft types are available through Meridian’s extensive
network of qualified operators.
On August 19, Meridian celebrated Victor Seda’s 20-year anniversary with the company. Victor joined Meridian as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) in 1999. In 2008, he was promoted to Customer Service Manager and now supervises a staff of 22 colleagues.
Over the years, Victor has received numerous accolades for his outstanding customer service. He has consistently been ranked in the top of this category by Professional Pilot (ProPilot) Magazine in its annual PRASE Survey. Joining him in this honor is our own Betsy Wines. Together, both of them have been named among the top five CSRs in the country by ProPilot for the last 12 years!
Victor came to Meridian from the restaurant industry. He says he loves aviation and really loves working at Meridian. “Working here is awesome,’ he says. “Everyone is like family and I look forward to coming to work every day.”
Victor says he really enjoys the interaction he has with people in his job. It can be very busy at times, and he says that’s what he really enjoys. “I like being at the front desk and dealing with our customers. There’s always something different going on and I am certainly never bored!”
Meridian is incredibly proud of Victor, and all our dedicated Customer Service staff. We’re so glad for your long tenure here and all of the years you have represented Meridian.
Over the summer, Meridian had four summer interns working in various departments throughout the company. What began as an informal opportunity in 1984 for some of our employees’ children to gain some work experience during the summer, has continued to be a popular program with many of our interns returning year after year. Some have even gone on to work full-time for Meridian. For example, Dennis O’Connell, Meridian Air Charter’s President, was Meridian’s first summer intern, working for line service. He recently celebrated 30 years with Meridian.
This year, the interns worked in the Charter, Human Resources, and Customer Service departments and performed their jobs admirably while learning vital skills in Microsoft Excel, customer relations, and business aviation in general. Aside from gaining valuable office experience, the interns learned about the interviewing and hiring process, as well as what to look for in companies and positions when they begin their job search.
This year, we’ve also expanded the program to our Hayward FBO. Samantha Martinez, who rotated between ramp and customer service roles, is Hayward’s first-ever intern!
Samantha learned important customer-relations skills and had the opportunity to get hands-on experience working on the ramp. By the end of her internship, she was given a unique opportunity into learning what makes an FBO run, and the skills to help it run smoothly.
All-in-all, this year’s summer internship program was a tremendous success! We’d like to thank our interns for their hard work, and a job well done!