Like Father Like Children
For the Ralston family, Father’s Day at Piedmont is more than a day to celebrate dads, it’s a family affair.
SBY Maintenance controller Raymond Ralston began working for Piedmont in Norfolk as a line mechanic 30 years ago. Both of his children, Brittnay and Justin, work for Piedmont - Brittnay as a records clerk and Justin as a Piedmont Ground Handling agent.
They have been in the Piedmont family since they were kids. Brittnay took her first flight at only two weeks old. The Ralstons took plenty of trips to the west coast and to visit their grandparents in Arkansas while they were kids.
Piedmont was more of a family for Raymond. One year during a hurricane in Norfolk, the Ralstons didn’t have electricity and Justin needed to take his breathing treatment. Raymond said the hospitals made you check in to use their electricity, so he had to think of an alternative. He put young Justin in the truck and drove to the airport where they had generators.
“I asked if I could use the electricity to give him his treatment and they said sure, no problem. Even back then, we were a tight knit family,” Raymond said.
When the Norfolk maintenance base closed, Raymond knew he wanted to stay with Piedmont because of the benefits. Once a Salisbury position opened up, he took it without a second thought. (Piedmont has six Maintenance locations on the East Coast – Philadelphia, Charlotte, Richmond, Roanoke, Harrisburg and Salisbury.)
Brittnay started working for Piedmont on the ramp in 2015, but moved to Records, where we keep track of aircraft and maintenance records.
Justin joined the Piedmont team last June after seeing his sister on the ramp. He also watched his father progress within the company over time and saw the potential for himself.
“I’ve seen him shift positions over time and it’s inspired me. I think that’s really cool and shows good quality in a company,” Justin said. “I enjoy the people I’m working with. That makes it so you want to come to work.”
Justin’s plan is to continue on the ramp, build seniority, go to Airframe and Powerplant school and eventually transition to maintenance.
From father to children, they all help the operation flow from three different perspectives.
“I take care of loading the passengers, my dad makes sure the planes fly and Brittnay keeps the records of the planes,” Justin said.