“If it wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t have found this career path,” said Piedmont First Officer Drew Park speaking about his mother, Melissa Park, a Piedmont Customer Service Agent in San Luis Obispo, California (SBP). “I give her a lot of credit for inspiring my interest in aviation. Her positive experience working at Piedmont led me to start my aviation career with the same regional carrier.”
When Melissa and her husband moved from Boston to San Luis Obispo, she knew she wanted to join the airline industry. “It’s in my blood,” said Melissa. “I was very familiar with the industry as my father is a retired American Airlines pilot and my brother is currently flying for American.” She joined American Eagle as a part-time Customer Service Agent in August 1992 and left in 2007 to be home with her children. She later returned to the industry in 2012 as a cross-trained Customer Service Agent at SBP with US Airways.
When Drew told his mother he wanted to get his pilot’s license, she was thrilled and encouraged him to go for it. “At that moment, she picked up the phone and started calling local flight schools and found one within the hour,” said Drew. “My mom was my first passenger as a private pilot.”
When Drew was looking for a college to attend, the SBP station manager was a graduate of Jacksonville University and encouraged him to check it out. Drew went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Aviation. While in college, Drew had the opportunity to work as a seasonal cross-trained Piedmont agent in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY) in 2014. “Working for Piedmont at MVY was a great experience,” said Drew. “After working as an agent and knowing how hard my mom works at her job, I have so much respect for the Piedmont Ground Handling teams who work hard to get flights in and out every day. As a pilot, I appreciate that.”
When it was time to apply to an airline, Piedmont was his top choice. “I wanted to work for Piedmont based on my own experience working with ground handling and my mom’s experience with the company,” said Drew. He became a First Officer in February 2019.
Melissa encouraged Drew to work for Piedmont. “It’s a good company to work for and I’m proud that we both work for the same company,” said Melissa. “Drew is very focused and put in a lot of work to achieve his goal. His grandfather is so proud that he is carrying on the family legacy.”
Drew says his mother taught him a lot about integrity and honesty and is one of the hardest working people he knows. “She shows up, works hard, leads by example and shows her children how to get things done. I’m super proud of my mom!”
Thank you, Melissa and Happy Mother’s Day!