Celebrating National Volunteer Month: Giving back to aviation and beyond
For over 40 years, DCA Duty Manager Mitchell Segermeister has been actively serving as a volunteer in the communities of Miami, Florida and Washington, D.C. “It feels good to do good,” says Mitchell proudly. “Volunteering puts you in a good spirit where you’re in a good environment with good people.” He has volunteered numerous hours, both personally and with his work teams, to assist a variety of organizations.
Mitchell has been a lifelong volunteer in the Miami and Washington, D.C. neighborhoods where he has lived and worked. While working in Miami, he and his wife would fly to Washington, D.C. for day trips to visit museums a few times a year. In 2012, he decided to become a volunteer at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. In his tenth year as a volunteer, Mitchell serves at the welcome desk where he meets museum visitors from around the world. “I love volunteering there,” says Mitchell. “I’m able to give back to my rewarding career and be part of a museum experience where others can learn about aviation,” says Mitchell.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the largest and third strongest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in the United States, struck and affected most of Louisiana’s coast. Mitchell joined 40 other American Airlines employees for a week rebuilding homes in affected areas. He also lays wreaths annually with his college alumni association members at Arlington National Cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America, a mission that remembers and honors the servicemen and women and their sacrifice for our country. In addition, he volunteers with the National Park Service at the White House Christmas Tree Lighting and much more. Tish, his wife of 40 years, is with him at many of these events, and he believes volunteering together is a vital aspect of their marriage.
Through his love for aviation and travel privileges, Mitchell was able to travel the country to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of others. He started his career in May 1980 with Eastern Airlines and joined American Airlines several years later as a ramp agent. He was later promoted to a Customer Service Manager and nearly two decades later he transferred to Reagan National Airport (DCA), where he received a Real American Hero award for performing CPR on a ramp agent who had fallen ill. After 30-years of perfect attendance with American, Mitchell retired from American and joined Piedmont Airlines shortly thereafter after a meaningful conversation about the impact he could make with one of American’s wholly-owned carriers.
“I wanted to work for Piedmont because the position as a duty manager allows me the opportunity to mentor younger employees and to be part of the new terminal experience,” shares Mitchell. “In my 40 plus years of working in the airline industry, I have witnessed what works and what doesn’t and it’s great to be able to continue to learn and make a difference. I feel that not everyone has to join the military or be a first responder to serve our country. Anyone can serve by volunteering to help those around them. I encourage Piedmont team members to find something interesting to them and learn how they can give back to others. No turn will go unnoticed. Even if you help just one individual, you can make a difference.”
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In honor of National Volunteer Month, Piedmont is proud to recognize our team member volunteers and their contributions to the airline’s success and making a difference in their communities.