When Dispatch Supervisor Kayla Morrison accepted a position with Piedmont, she asked her father, Systems Analyst Randy Morrison to move with her from Lynchburg, Virginia to Salisbury, Maryland for a fresh start. In her new position as a dispatcher, Kayla knew she would be required to work various shifts with odd hours and with two young children, finding childcare would be difficult. Without hesitation, her father, saw this move as a great opportunity to be able to spend more time with his daughter and grandchildren.
After staying home to raise her son for three years, Kayla was ready to reenter the workforce. She was interested in becoming an air traffic controller and learned that the Federal Aviation Administration was seeking candidates with progressive work experience. After researching the best career path to meet this requirement, she learned that aircraft dispatching was a great way to gain the experience she needed. After completing training at Sonoran Wings Aviation in Tucson, Arizona, she immediately began looking for a dispatcher position and joined Piedmont in April 2015.
Similar to other operational team members, dispatchers are required to work shifts that coordinate with Piedmont’s flight schedule. As a newly single mother with two children, Kayla reflects that it was important to have her dad around to assist with her children while she worked. “Dad picking up and moving in with us meant a lot,” said Kayla. “It was a difficult time and I appreciated having the comfort of a parent there.”
After some time of adjusting to life in Salisbury, Randy began looking for a job in his familiar profession of Information Technology. With 25 years of experience in computer programming, a Master’s degree in Computer Science, he wanted to ease back into his old career. Unfortunately, most IT jobs are day jobs and he knew that wouldn’t work with Kayla’s work schedule. Knowing that another department at Piedmont was hiring, Kayla was excited to tell him about a potential job opportunity in Crew Scheduling. Looking back at how much Kayla enjoyed working in aviation and how he enjoyed the travel benefits, he decided to go for it and joined the Piedmont team eight months after Kayla in December 2015.
Crew Schedulers, like dispatchers, also work shifts based on the operational flight schedule, which worked out great for the dad and daughter duo as they intentionally worked opposite shifts to ensure there was always someone watching the children.
“Dad refers to himself as the ‘grandpa-nanny’,” she says with a chuckle. She notes that Randy is very involved with his grandkids and they love having him around. With both of them working in the same industry, Kayla likes being able to talk about work at home with someone who understands the day to day.
After working in Crew Scheduling, Randy moved into a role of Flight Operations Analyst and now currently works as Systems Analyst within the IT department. Randy shares that he did not have any prior aviation experience before joining Piedmont and that working in Crew Scheduling helped him learn the industry. In his current role, he supports the software suite that the Operations Control Center (OCC) uses and looks back on how his career at Piedmont has come full circle.
“I never personally knew either of my grandfathers and I wanted to make sure my grandchildren knew theirs,” said Randy. He adds the extra time with Kayla is a great bonus too. “I’m so proud of how she has progressed in her career.”
While she is no longer pursuing a career as an air traffic controller, her path led her to a career she loves and a department she doesn’t want to leave. “I love dispatching and have definitely found my home,” said Kayla. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my Dad’s love and support. It means everything to me.”
On this Father’s Day, we want to wish Randy and the rest of the amazing fathers who work for Piedmont a Happy Father’s Day and to say thank you for all you do for Piedmont.
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