Behind the Wings: Community activism through service and art
Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) ramp agent Maurice “Moe” Minnifield has served the citizens of the United States in the Marine Corps, Pennsylvania State Police and continues to serve those in his local community and beyond. In addition to traveling with coworkers to participate in Do Crew volunteer events he also shares his artistic side by creating art for non-profit organizations in his community.
“I love helping others because it’s the right thing to do,” shares Moe. Always looking to lend a helping hand, Moe uses his company travel benefits to travel for Do Crew volunteer events. Moe and ABE coworker Rob Tyler have flown to Austin, Texas to participate in a playground build and also traveled to Philadelphia to pack care packages for homeless veterans and veterans in need. “If there is a Do Crew event happening and I’m available, I try to volunteer my time,” shares Moe.
Originally from West Philadelphia, the son of an artist, Moe has always been passionate about creating art. After high school, he attended the Philadelphia College of Art but decided to continue art as a hobby, not as a career. A friend encouraged Moe to join the United States Marine Corps with him and after some thought, he agreed. He completed boot camp and served in Millington, Tennessee and later Yuma, Arizona where he worked in aviation ordnance supply. After serving his four-year commitment, Moe wanted to re-enlist however the Gulf War was starting and there wasn’t an available job for him in his field at the time. Moe returned to Philadelphia when his same friend with whom he served in the Marines encouraged Moe to join him once again in applying with the Pennsylvania State Police. Moe applied and was hired as a State Trooper in 1994. He was first assigned to the barrack in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, right across the street from ABE.
Moe recalls one incident in 1996 where he is particularly proud. “There was a state of emergency issued due to a big snowstorm which means no one could be on the roads,” he remembers. “The military was assisting essential personnel navigate the roads in huge trucks to help those who called 911 for help. Dispatch had received a call of a woman in labor who couldn’t leave her house.” Moe joined the military personnel in a big truck while the vehicle cleared the way to her house for the ambulance that followed. Moe escorted the mother to the hospital where she safely delivered her baby. For his service during the incident, he received a commendation certificate from the State Police commander.
After retirement, Moe returned to creating art. At first, he created a few commissioned sheet metal pieces for friends, but he wanted to learn more. A stained-glass window in his home needed replacing and not knowing how to replace, Moe took a stained-glass class. He completed the window replacement and began creating stained glass pieces for others. He created a mother and baby giraffe stained glass piece that he donated to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Moe says one his biggest accomplishments was being chosen from hundreds of applicants to create an art piece for the City of Allentown as part of their 2020 Art of Encouragement Program. His piece was displayed for one year in the window of a local children’s academy.
Rob Tyler, a friend that Moe had known while working in the State Police was now working as a ramp agent at ABE. Rob encouraged Moe to check out the part-time ramp agent opening at ABE for the travel benefits. Moe enjoyed traveling and says Rob really sold him on the travel benefit, so he decided to pursue it. He interviewed and joined Piedmont as a ramp agent in November 2020. “I enjoy working with my coworkers because not only are they nice, but they are also hard workers,” said Moe. “Everyone knows what needs to be done to get the job done safely and we make it happen.” Moe and his family take advantage of the travel benefit at every opportunity.
Moe also volunteers with the Derrick B. Hart, Jr. Autism Center, an organization run by a long-time friend where he helps with their fundraising event set-up, break down and on occasion, calls bingo. Moe also created an art piece depicting puzzle pieces and a ribbon that he donated to the autism center.
Interested in working for an airline with top notch team members who live out our mission and vision every day? Click here to view our current openings.
Behind the Wings is a Piedmont feature that highlights the accomplishments of the aviation professionals who make us Piedmont Proud inside and outside the airport. In honor of Black History Month, Piedmont is proud to recognize our team members and their contributions to the success of the airline and making a difference in their communities.