While not a question offered from our members for the candidates, this thread will give the candidates a little more space to talk about themselves and their experience. The structured questions in the candidate application did not allow much for imagination and if they so choose, here's the candidates exposed.
Candidates, feel free to add more to your resume than has already met the eye.
Oct 31, 09, 12:03 pm
Being an internet forum it is tough to get to know people except for meeting at a DO or noticing the infamous yellow FT tag on their carryon. :D
I'll describe a little more about me as this will also maybe spur someone who is from the same area, or perhaps share a similar background to send a PM and create a connection.
I'm 35, single, never married, no children. I grew up in Joliet, Il, and my family still lives in the Joliet area. I went to the University of Iowa as an undergrad and played baseball. I always wanted to teach and coach, as my entire family are teachers and my dad was a HS FB coach.
I decided to go into college football coaching right after graduating. I coached at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX for the 1997 season and moved onto UCLA from 1998-2001. I received my M.A. in education from UCLA and decided I wanted to go down to a high school and teach and coach.
In 2001 I went to Elsinore HS in Wildomar, CA and bought a townhouse in Murrieta, CA. I taught special education and coached football and baseball. I remained there until 2008 when I started thinking outside the box and pursued teaching overseas.
In 2008 I was hired as a ESL/special education teacher for Saudi Aramco Schools in Saudi Arabia. I work as a teacher for the oil company Saudi Aramco. I'm enjoying my time here and it affords me the ability to travel, which I discovered really is what I enjoy doing more than anything else. I believe living life is about seeing the world not just reading about it.
I love to golf and we actually have a sand course (no lie) here on the Ras Tanura compound where I live. I take a golf trip every summer with my dad and brother and this coming year we are going to Pebble Beach. ^
I'm a devout catholic and whether or not that appeals to others, it is very important to me and my life. I hope those that know me see me as a christian first and foremost. I believe God has a plan for me and thus far it has involved me spending a heck of a lot of time here on FT.
Oct 31, 09, 2:52 pm
Plenty of folks know me, from this or that DO or meeting on this or that flight or from my nearly 20,000 posts.
I joined Flyertalk in April, 2001. It was this vast expanse. I thought I knew so much about being a road warrior back then, I thought my elite status made me special and I had figured out upgrades more or less. I didn't know anything. And the community was so huge, so vast. I spent hour after hour on the weekend reading current and arhived thread on every topic imaginable. But at the time I didn't venture much past the United and MilesBuzz forums. The palce was too large to digest everything so I took it a couple of bites at a time.
My first Flyertalk gathering came shortly after 9/11. Randy was on his "Come Fly With Me" tour to all the states US Airways flew to at the time, and he stopped off at DCA. I remember somewhat meekly introducing myself at the Legal Seafoods as someone without a lot of posts. I didn't have that much to say yet. I was still just reading and realized that so many people knew so much more than I idd.
But I was hooked, and I kept coming back for more.
In 2002 I started my blog, which at the time and like so many of the early blogs was more political than miles and points focused. [I should say I have something of an interesting job, at the crossroads of academics and poltiics. I've been fortunate to have met 5 Nobel laureates in economics including the most recent one, and also to have fundraised on the signatures of two Majority Leaders of Congress. I am also board chairman of a national non-profit.]
Randy reached out to me to host my blog around the end of 2002, and in early 2003 I applied to become a moderator. I was assigned to MilesBuzz and Delta. I gave up the Delta posting upon being tasked as one of the first two senior moderators. It was also fall 2003, I think, when I was first elected to the TalkBoard.
Along with missydarlin I was a bit of a bomb-thrower on the TalkBoard then, pushing for greater transparency and a whole lot better procedures. We accomplished quite a bit in that regard.
I've served as TalkBoard President for a couple of years now, and I do my best to give back to the community that has given so much to me.
Thanks to Flyertalk I have earned well in excess of 5 or 6 million frequent flyer miles. Not as many as some here, but more than I ever dreamed.
Each year my wife and I take at least one major international first class redemption. We've redeemed for F on QF, TN, NH, TG, OZ, SQ, CX, BA, LH, UA to name a few.
Not to mention the other redemptions here or there, such as business class across the pond on BA and AF.
And all of the mistake fares like AZ YYZ-LCA in business, UA New Zealand business, MX PVR business to name just a few...
And all of the mistake rates like the Hilton Tokyo $3/night, Le Meridien Khao Lak 2-bedroom Presidential Oceanfront Villa (Ugandan Schillings rate)...
Flyertalk is such an integrated part of my life it's really quite difficult to separate out "who I am" from my life here on Flyertalk. I've traveled the world to take my wife to dinner, but also to meet up with other Flyertalk friends.
I'm not the arrogant, naive road warrior that I was before joining Flyertalk that fareful April day in 2001.
I know so much more but also realize how much my fellow Flyertalkers know. So while I try to give of my knowledge I still get more, each and every day. And I look forward to meeting new people, and learning new things from them, and so I'm interested most in ensuring that the community grows in a way that retains its usefulness to experts while remaining welcoming to those who will become experts in the future.
So who am I? From the above y'all know that I'm married.. I'm DCA-based, work in academics and poltics, and love miles and points. Yeah, that pretty much sums me up :)
Oct 31, 09, 5:30 pm
Hmmm, what can I really say? FlyerTalk has changed my life, for one. My addiction started innocently enough, back when I was just interested in aviation. But several years later, Iím flying around 250,000 miles/year, consisting almost exclusively of mileage runs and mileage redemptions. As a college student I donít have any company paying for my tickets, but at the same time Iíve been able to see the world in first and business class for substantially less than I would pay for coach. Iíve been able to visit over 30 countries in the past few years thanks to our hobby, so it has truly been life changing. And the best part is that it keeps getting better. Every year Iím earning substantially more miles than the year before, so FlyerTalk really is a never ending resource.
Even more interesting than the topics on FlyerTalk are the members. Iíve met hundreds (if not thousands) of you between Doís and airport run-ins. Actually, Iím pretty sure I see some of you more often than my roommates. And even if Iíve never met a FlyerTalker before, thereís always a common bond which keeps the conversation going when meeting for the first time.
So yeah, I really am pretty addictedÖ.
Nov 1, 09, 1:31 am
Many years ago I stumbled across an advert for InsideFlyer and purchased a subscription. This is so long ago TWA was flying LGW-BWI-SFO! Slowly as the magazine evolved, Randy launched Flyertalk. I joined but didn't visit very often or post very much then. Slowly I found myself spending more and more time on the board and finding friends and amazing information freely shared. Finally I volunteered when they were looking for Mods.
I am 49 (yes the big 50 next year), live in London and am a CIO for a company based in North London. I used to be an IT Consultant which is where the travelling started. I also serve as a Magistrate in my local court, and will be sitting in Youth Court from 2010, where we deal with youths aged 13-18. At court we sit in benches of three which gives me excellent team working skills!
Whilst I am travelling less than I did once (the 250k miles per annum days are gone), I do travel all over the place to see friends and relatives. Primarily I use United or BA, and of course stay at Hyatts.
I joined the Moderator team on FT when it expanded some years ago and have been to all the Moderators meetings apart from the first one!
I joined TB for a short period in 2009 after berlinflyer had to resign. I'd very much like to be elected in order to obtain my own mandate.
Nov 1, 09, 1:21 am
I cheated on this one by reading the above responses before posting mine, so I guess I deserve to say, "Yeah, what lucky said..." :p
I don't have quite the yearly Butt-In-Seat or mileage balance he does (I'll blame that on the high cost of travel from ANC and difficulty finding fares under 7cpm--a 5cpm fare is an insanely good deal here), and likewise, as a recent college graduate working for a small business, I don't have anybody paying for my travels.
I've always been a bit of an aviation nerd. My dad and grandfather used to take me to airports to watch planes, which I'd do for hours on end. I still do, occasionally. :) While my accumulated travel over my life (300,000 miles, most of which, though, has been in the last 3 years) is less than some people here fly per year, I still get that little-kid thrill whenever I step on a plane, am pushed back by the acceleration during take-off, or watch our position on the in-flight map. I actually switched my degree to aviation technology/professional piloting for a time and began work on a private pilot's license. I ended up pulling out of the program and switching back to my other degree shortly before my checkride due to work commitments, but I'd love to go back and finish.
I've also always had a parallel love of travel. By the time I graduated high school, I had been to 40 countries, and I've added 10 more since then (as well as finally hitting all 50 states).
So finding FlyerTalk, which married the two passions, was like a homecoming.
Actually, what brought me to FlyerTalk was stumbling across one of Seat 2A's fabulous trip reports about traveling from Alaska to Australia on British Airways First Class--the long way--with vivid descriptions of three-course meals, glasses of champagne, seats that stretched into full beds, and access to luxurious lounges. I vowed to someday do the same thing. At the time, 150,000 Alaska Airlines miles seemed like such a stretch--I had about 40,000 banked up from travel through my junior high and high-school years (summer family trips and the like), but it had taken eight years and a couple of credit card bonuses to achieve that many. Looking at another 20+ years to earn enough miles to redeem such an award, I was sure that it'd be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Like most people just getting on board here, I thought I was pretty savvy--I knew to use mileage-earning credit cards, look for good credit card bonuses (this was back in the day when Alaska Airlines' best offer was 5,000 miles for the then-top-of-the-line Visa Platinum), concentrate your flying on one carrier or partners, and things like that. Oh, how little did I know then! Of course, to start off with, I didn't know anything about elite status. I was aware of some titles (like Alaska Airlines MVP and MVP Gold) from seeing them in the program listings, but 20,000 miles in a single year seemed unattainable. After all, I was banking, on average, about 5,000 miles per year. But, I signed up for FlyerTalk anyway, and for the first couple of years, occasionally logged on to read a thread or two or provide assistance in the one area I had some expertise: rental car operations.
It actually wasn't until June 2006 that the magic of FlyerTalk happened for me. I took a summer job in Fairbanks and was driving up the highway. It's a pretty rural drive--not a lot of services--so I stopped in the parking lot of a new Princess lodge and picked up a cellular signal for my then-new EVDO card. I Googled for information about Princess lodges in Alaska, and what do you know--this thread (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska/559223-things-do-princess-lodges-alaska.html#post5911728) on FlyerTalk came up. That was my introduction to the Alaska destination forum. I began following that forum, posting assistance where I could with people asking for help planning their trip to Alaska. Since these people were then coming to Alaska, it was only natural that I should make it a point to meet up with them when they came to visit.
Then, in the spring of 2007, I came across a notification of a dinner do (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/communitybuzz/695848-anyone-up-dinner-monday-jun-4-around-anchorage-ak.html). That first ANC meet-up resulted in a friendship with a FlyerTalker who turned out to live quite literally three blocks from me, and meet-ups and dos galore followed (a good dozen or so in the summer of 2008 and, of course, our very own SEA DOO). That was when I found myself becoming part of the FlyerTalk community, which has quickly become my favorite part of the FlyerTalk experience. I've developed friendships quite literally around the world, and the fact that I'm actually running into these people on a regular basis makes it even more magical.
In the meantime, I've gone from a once-a-year flyer to taking an average of six trips per year and maintaining at least Alaska Airlines MVP status. And that Seat 2A-inspired trip in British Airways First? The remaining 110,000 miles came quickly, and last fall, I spent a month in Southeast Asia and five weeks in Australia (where, fittingly, I had dinner with the guy who instigated the first ANC meet-up I attended!), courtesy of British Airways (ANC-SEA-LAX-LHR-SIN-SYD and back). I owe it all to the tips, tricks, and encouragement from the great, generous people here on FlyerTalk, and I'd love to do whatever I can to give back to the community and help anyone who is interested in travel achieve the wonders that many of us consider to be normal, everyday life. :)
In real life, I'm a recent college graduate with a degree that isn't entirely useless but isn't what I want to pursue for a career (which, actually, I haven't figured out yet). I'm currently a manager at a franchised rental car agency, but now that school's out for good, I'm beginning to look for options that allow for more reasonably-priced travel. Currently, that involves moving out of state, and I've put some feelers out but haven't committed to anything yet. I do find my passion to be in the travel industry, so we'll see what happens. :)
Nov 1, 09, 8:32 am
I discovered Flyer Talk in the spring of 2000. I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I was looking for some advice regarding a travel issue and somehow I wound up here, and never looked back. FT has been an important part of my life and travels since then. I got loads of advice on my family's first trip to England back in 2001, and met my first fellow FT'er on that trip.
My first job requiring frequent travel was from 1983 to 1988 when I was in product planning and marketing for a major camera manufacturer. I remember flying on the 767 when it was still a sensation (think brand new -200's on domestic routes), and regularly flying TWA 1011's and 747's on transcons. Of course in those days I was just happy being on the plane--the thought of being anywhere but coach never occurred to me!
From there, I became national sales manager for a video accessory company (now long gone), and actually made Medallion level on DL in 1990...in those days I think there was only one level of Medallion, and it was 40K actual miles!
From there, I was out of the frequent travel game until 1999, when I landed my current position as a sales manager for a digital imaging company. While my first loyalties were to DL and AA, bad experiences on both sent me into the then welcoming arms of US around the early 2001 time frame. I was a Chairman's Preferred on US from 2001 through 2007--and that's where things got interesting.
I am sure some of you remember August of 2002 very well--when US Airways tried to change Dividend Miles so that only full fare tickets would qualify for elite status mileage. I was fortunate enough to be one of the founding members of a group which became known as the US Cockroaches--which was instrumental in getting US to reverse their planned change within about 10 days.
Getting involved with the Cockroaches steered my course toward advocacy and regular interaction with airline management. As I became more outspoken here and on other boards, I was invited to join the Consumer Advisory Board at US, which afforded me the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with senior management, and the path to advocate further for frequent fliers.
The Cockroaches eventually morphed into the group known as FFOCUS, which grew to over 1000 members around the time of US' meltdown over the reservation migration. We helped hundreds of US elite flyers discover that the grass is truly greener on the other side of the terminal--a process by which I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with fantastic people like Randy, CO Insider, and many other influential people in the travel industry.
Having been co-chair or chairman of the FFOCUS Policy Board since its inception, I have gotten a unique insight in the workings of the airline industry, and am gratified that we have made a small contribution toward positive changes in customer service and getting results for those who have reached out to us. We continue our efforts to this day.
On a more personal note, I live on Long Island with my lovely bride, and we have one daughter who is a sophomore at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. We look forward to seeing many of you on the upcoming Star MegaDO, beginning this Tuesday!!
Nov 1, 09, 9:14 am
As a rule, I usually don't link my message board handle with my secret identity ;-)
However, my blog is the world's only blog that does nothing but review French Onion Soup from around the world, complete with pictures of over 100 different soups I've rated over the past two years. From that site, please click on the link that has my bio on it.
Briefly, I'll be 43 when the voting starts, have been married for over 15 years, with 2 kids (boy:12, girl:8). Our home is in Miami, FL, but currently we spend much time in the Seattle, WA and Palo Alto, CA areas. I grew up in New York City, and have also lived in the NY suburbs of NYC, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I have a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Syracuse University. I have worked at Bell Labs, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and others. I've had 3 start-ups: one failure, one good enough to pay the bills, and one successfully sold during the .COM boom. I'm happy to say that they were in that order! Currently, my company does work on behalf of the US government in the area of regulation in the software industry.
Here are some facts that only FTers would be interested in:
Was an EA Executive Traveler at 17 in 1984. It was very unusual back then.
May have performed the first MR. In 1985 I flew FLL-MIA-FLL-MIA-FLL-MIA to get enough segments to maintain EA ET status. Fare basis was "K", and it was $25 each way.
Also in 1985, I was into the stock market. But in Syracuse, we didn't get Baron's newspaper until Tuesday, while in the NYC area it would come out on Saturdays. On many weekends, I flew PE from SYR-EWR on Saturday night, run out to the newstand (landside), buy Baron's, and get back through security for the turnaround flight back to SYR. The fare was $19 each way.
PE was unique in that you bought your tickets on the plane. Most people made reservations by talking to an agent, but there was a touch-tone based system where you could do it. For this system, your name would not be on the reservation, but you would touch-tone your phone number. When you showed up at the airport, you would only give the phone number, and you would get a sticker with your seat assignment. I took full advantage of the loophole this created, and would make (in advance) reservations for every flight on the busiest travel days (day before Thanksgiving, Dec 24, Jan 2, holiday weekends, etc.). I would show up at the airport, get my sticker, go to the gate, volunteer for DBC, collect my free ticket voucher, and repeat for the whole day. If they didn't need volunteers (rare), I would give my sticker back and leave.
Flew round trip on the Concorde in 1989, JFK-LHR-JFK.
I have been platinum in SPG since it has existed. I lived at the Sheraton LAX for 18 months. (I mean literally)
I've been an IFR pilot since 1986. Perhaps it's out of scope for an FT discussion, but it has some similarities: I once saw two NFL games in one day. Watched the Dolphins at 1pm (to completion), drove to the airport and flew myself to FXE-TPA in time to see the 8pm Tampa Bay kickoff (and just made it!).
I've stayed at many, many different hotels, and I have never found anything unexpected that's of an adult nature in my room, behind the drawers, or in the ceiling panels. Those of you who have been here for a while know the thread to which I'm referring, and I'm starting to think it's a hoax!
I'm happy to answer any more questions on my personal life, either here or in PM!
Nov 1, 09, 10:38 pm
I'm a 29 year-old MBA Candidate from the Thunderbird School of Global Management near Phoenix, Arizona. Before starting the program here I spent six years working with a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm first in Hong Kong, then San Francisco and finally in Shanghai. Before work I graduated from Lawrence University near ATW and grew up in San Francisco. After graduation I want to either work on the business side of a VC-backed startup or as a product manager for a company that uses technology to solve consumer problems.
I'm a third generation frequent flier, and grew up reading my father's subscription to Inside Flyer; Going through Dad's bookshelf a few years ago I found a great book Randy Peterson wrote in the 1980s that was basically a FlyerTalk of its day. I discovered FT while researching a trip to India in 2006 ad it has subsequently become a major part of my life. Lessons learned on FT meant that I flew comfortably up front most of the time when engaged in a PVG-SFO long distance relationship, and I keep on running into more FTers at school. (From my intake of 200 there are at least three people who regularly post here.)
Nov 2, 09, 8:32 am
I'm 31 years old, married, 1 son. My second son is due next month. :)
My experience in the airlines comes from both frequent flying and through work. I'm currently working for one of the largest Air / Ocean Cargo Forwarding companies in Asia.
Current Airline and Hotel status:
Delta Airlines Platinum Medallion for 5 years.
Priority Club Platinum for 2 years.
Nov 2, 09, 8:58 am
I am a global wanderer.
One of the most difficult questions that I am asked is "where are you from?".
I was born in India during the late 1970s to parents who worked for airlines. I spent my childhood following my dad on postings in the UK and Australia. I was educated in India, the USA and Canada.
I always wanted to found and run an airline. Some years ago, I got the rare opportunity to be part of the team to set up the new national airline of a country in West Africa. I packed up my bags and moved here in 2004. For better or worse, I have been here ever since. Prior to that, I worked as a consultant to airlines and aviation businesses worldwide. I was involved with a handful of high profile projects, notably the TWA bankruptcy in 2001.
Working for a small airline, I wear multiple hats that keep me very busy but also allow me to keep up to date with industry developments. I am the Manager in charge of "Day Of Operations" delivery, meaning that the buck stops with me when it comes to ensuring that all the resources required for each and every flight operation are in place at the right time. I am the designated airline representative to IATA on Interline and Industry issues, Scheduling and Licensing. I also chair our internal committee on Inflight Product Development and have served on the Executive Committee of the local Board of Airline Representatives. I have also served at various times as Acting Station Manager during the setup of our operations in London and Johannesburg, and have also served as a project team member for the launch of our operations to Dusseldorf. If we have a special project to implement, I am usually the person assigned to run it. I'm not sure if this is due to my exceptional ability and superb work ethic, or due to my boyish good looks and charm.
I speak and understand smatterings of many languages, but do not claim to have mastered any. I have an apartment in West Africa, an Indian passport, a British mobile number, a Canadian drivers license and a US credit card. Home is anywhere that I don't earn miles/points to spend the night.
I took on the task of compiling my lifetime of travel earlier this year and have determined that I have flown 2,239,603 miles over the last 30 years. I have flown on at least 75 different carriers, visited 50+ countries on all continents except South America and Antartica and generally lived a very full life for someone my age. I've experienced emergency landings, engine fires, deaths in flight, physical altercations and the comic sight of a barefoot man in a Santa Claus outfit chasing a baggage cart across the taxiways at London Gatwick. Never had a birth on a flight yet though.
I have been top tier elite with every major airline alliance at some point or the other. There have also been years that I have flown 400k+ miles but never made elite status with anyone. I stay primarily at Hiltons because they have our crew accomodation contract and we have a great corporate rate. Hilton treats me very well. I suspect this might be due to my boyish good looks and charm rather than the value of our corporate account.
My favourite place in the world is 35000 feet in the air where I can look down upon the balls of cotton wool clouds and thank my lucky stars for the opportunities I have had to live this dream. My least favourite place in the world is a cross between Luanda, Angola and the old Detroit airport.
I am an only child and when I was younger I sometimes believed that aircraft were my siblings. Most people think I am strange because of this. In my sane moments, I often agree with them. I once stood by the fence at Boeing Field at 2am just to watch the baby planes sleeping. They are so peaceful when they sleep. I maintain a Facebook page for my favourite aircraft (a Boeing 757 named Romeo Zulu). He is in a relationship with another Boeing 757 at present, but its complicated.
I'm balding. This is a matter of some concern and I believe it is indicative of a looming mid life crisis. Thankfully my largest bald patch is at the back of my head so I do not see this in the mirror every morning. It would detract from my boyish good looks and charm. If I had to see it, I fear I would cry.
I'm a libertarian at heart and firmly believe that laissez faire is the best attitude to adopt towards life in general. The world has enough regulations without cluttering it with any more unneccessary ones. I bring that attitude to the table in my election platform as well. Good governance lies in setting up and maintaining an enabling environment for people to thrive, not in micromanaging and overregulating your constituency.
I think tomato is the root of all evil in this world.
I am probably considered persona non grata by the Government of Barbados. It's a long story.
I have large feet. I also have large hands. I would say more but this is a family website.
I once killed a man in a fight but it was deemed as self defense.
I am a friend to all who treat me fairly and who can keep an open mind about the world at large. I am the worst enemy of anyone who crosses someone I care about.
Did I mention boyish good looks and charm yet? :)
Nov 2, 09, 9:34 am
I like to cuddle and I like long walks on the beach.
Oh wait. I'm already married, so no need for that talk. I do not have kids, by choice. I like kids, but I cannot commit the time necessary to properly raising them. It was a hard decision, but I think the right one.
Don't want to get into specifics, but the Reader's Digest version of me is that I have worked in media in one facet or another for the past 25 years. I still do that, and that's the basis of my travels. Have been a UA 1K for nine of out the past 10 years.
Have also worked for three professional sports teams, one college and one minor league hockey organization (not the Toronto Maple Leafs) in their respective operations departments.
Travel has been in my blood, as my father, mother and uncle have all worked in the travel sector (my father still does). It's funny, when my dad and I chat, it's not so much about the cities I go to, but rather the operations of the carrier and which kind of aircraft I flew on.
Ran across FlyerTalk in a Google search when I was pondering jumping ship from UA Mileage Plus (I ended up staying). FlyerTalk taught me how to look at frequent flier programs and gave me better insight to what to look for in programs.
If you want to know more about me, feel free to PM me.
Nov 3, 09, 8:38 am
Hello All - I have been on the road for the past 15 years and am finally starting to slow it down now. I have a small boutique consulting firm and have been delivering services to clients across the globe and have really enjoyed my travels on the road. My wife loves to travel so it seems that I am but merely a visitor in her home at times. I have found FT to be a wealth of knowledge and really appreciate and respect the value it has contributed to my life on the road and I want to pay it back. I have been working with Google for a number of years now and have served them in an Advisory capacity and would like to take this experience and translate it into something positive for FT. I am simple and enjoy many things and feel that it is time to start working at giving it back to the community that has helped me on numerous occasions.
Nov 3, 09, 10:30 am
Well here is my chance to put a little more about me. First of all I want to thank Randy for giving us this place to tell more about ourselves. I am writing this from the EWR RCC as I wait for the MEGA DO folks to arrive from ORD.
I guess I probably should start with the basics. I am an attorney for a large software company located in the greater Seattle area. I really enjoy working for them and it has been a complete change from my previous experiences. Prior to that I worked for a small firm in MSP and then moved to a BigLaw firm in Dallas and Minneapolis. I focus my legal practice on Intellectual Property (Patents primarily). I find it fascinating each and every day to see the cutting edge of technology and to see these ideas grow.
Before heading to law I worked as an engineer in the DC area and also overseas in the Middle East where I focused on a number of transportation issues. My engineering background is in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (basically if it goes in, on or below the water, I could work on it). Great experience that really got me hooked on travelling (more than I had been before).
On the personal front, I am married with no kids, but have a dog. All of us love traveling and the dog just took her first flight on Sunday. Of course she flew first class (thanks to her grandpa), though she did wonder where her meal was.
Now on to the hobbies and interests, why do I feel like I am filling out a personals ad? Besides traveling and collecting miles, I love to ski and golf. When we arenít traveling far and away we like to spend the summer weekends out on our boat. I bought the boat when I was stressed out with my job in Dallas and needed a break. Coincidentally that was roughly the same time that I quit visiting flyertalk as much as I did previously. (well that and corporate IT had it on the blocked list). Lately I have started getting into running and just ran my first 5K a few weeks ago. (I hope this isnít a sign of a midlife crisis brewing)
I have made many friends on Flyertalk and look forward to making many more. This is a place where i can come and be myself
So that is a little bit more about me. If you want to know more, feel free to ask.
Nov 3, 09, 4:17 pm
(Stream of consciousness starts......now.)
I'm 40, F-O-R-T-Y, the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order when written out. I was born between the moonwalk and the Mets winning their first World Series. I was born in a small town in NE Pennsylvania and never even got on a plane until I was 22 years old (I flew MDT-ORD to bowl in a tournament).
I never traveled as a child. My parents were blue collar factory workers who got the same 2 weeks off every year and vacation would be visiting an aunt or staying home and swimming in the 3 foot pool in the back yard. My first time out of the state of Pennsylvania was a trip to New York City to see a Broadway show when I was in HS -- even though the city was only 90 minutes by car, I only saw it twice before graduating from high school.
During HS and college, I managed McDonald's restaurants for a few franchisees in Pennsylvania. It was only 15 years later that I realized that this experience rivaled management training you'd get from "real" companies and I'll always, to some extent, have ketchup in my blood and would seriously consider (nobody ever believes this) the right return to that environment (ownership if I ever have enough money or a regional supervisor type position with a franchisee or with a corporation).
I have an undergraduate and graduate degree in mathematics and an MBA from a school many in OMNI would laugh at (it's a Wisconsin state school not in Madison), but I'm doing OK. I've worked for 5 companies since walking away from grad school 13 years ago, the latest for the last six years as a principal consultant for a small British software concern. That gig has taken me to England fairly often, to Australia and New Zealand, and all around the United States and Canada.
My travel these days is 100% on Northwest (I guess I should get used to saying DL now) and I stay 100% of the time (except when I'm in SW England) at SPG properties. I've been to 47 of the 50 states (Oklahoma, Idaho, and Alaska) and to 11 countries, the most recent a trip to Cancun this past spring for a nice vacation.
My favorite moments in life usually involve my daughter, travel, or officiating amateur sports. Sometimes I travel with my daughter or travel to officiate, but I've never quite figured out how to officiate my daughter....
The officiating: I am a baseball umpire (HS and small college), a basketball referee (HS and Juco), and a football referee (a HS crew chief). I've umpired baseball in Belgium and in the Netherlands and go back every July to work an international tournament with some very dear friends. I've officiated games in at least 10 states and have called balls and strikes for future major league pitchers and have been on the same court with future NBA and WNBA stars. A recent HS football star on my Friday night field should be tearing up the NFL in the next year or two.
A travel-related quest I completed in 2008 was going to every one of the current Major League Baseball parks (Tampa Bay and Florida were the last on my list). I kept this feat current this year by going to see the Yankees and Mets in their new homes. Next year, I'll see the Twins in theirs.
My daughter is 4 and she is the most important person in my life along with my wife, whom I'm madly in love with after 13 years of marriage. I am OK with being separated from them when I travel, but they're always in my heart and even at a young age, I think my daughter knows that. My travel has decreased for work the past year and it's given me more time at home with my family and I'm (more than) OK with that.
I hold a number of professional certifications in my field and I'm not going to bore you with those. My job keeps me busy, but I don't live to work -- I work to enjoy my life away from work.
I know that running for TalkBoard is always a long shot (especially for someone who only posts in a few forums) and I don't expect to win, however, I do have a great number of ideas and energy to provide should I manage to obtain enough votes to be seated.
Anyone wants to chat or has questions, PM me. I'm around, probably traveling somewhere. Hell, I'm writing this from an airport hotel (PHX).
Nov 7, 09, 11:46 am
Hmmm, a difficult one as it has always been my policy not to divulge too much identifying info about myself on the internet, especially as I have had one or two bad experiences in the past. At least thre of the people posting above know me and what I do and at least one has met me in person. I am originally from the US, but have been on the road for most of the past 22 years. I am married and have two children. I have averaged 118 flights a year every year for the last seventeen years, and over that time have averaged about 300k miles per year. I maintain top status in four carriers at any one time and have done this for many years, it gives me a unique persepective built up over time as to what the plusses and minuses of each airline and their alliances mean in the real world. I live in Turkey, my office is in London, and my work regularly takes me throughout Europe, and generally to Asia about once every six weeks as well as to the US about once a month (not to mention the occasional jaunts to South America and S. Africa).
Nov 7, 09, 12:57 pm
Finally a question I don't have to think about.
My name is Charles and I go by that. I was born in New York City and grew up in Rye, New York. I always tell people my enjoyment of travel stems from when I was a child and my Mother would pester my Father to spend time with me. He would drive me to nearby Westchester County Airport (HPN) and sit me on the hood of his car (a 1984 Volvo DL :D) and talk to me about the airplanes. He wanted me to go to the Air Force Academy and then become a comercial airline pilot, but sadly as anyone has met me can attest to, I wear glasses.
In 2002 I began what I call the frequent flyer era. I'm not really sure what sparked it but I became very interested in anything that involved mileage earning. I also got very interested in contests and promotions or anything where you got a little extra for free. I think it's part of my competetative streak. Any time you earn, you win a victory. In August 2002 I had to go to Washington and I actually chose USAirways over Delta because USAirways was offering an obscene number of bonus miles for flying them. Thus began my brand of insanity.
In 2003 I set a Flyertalk record by becoming the youngest solo international mileage runner when I flew LGA-DCA-DFW-STL-LGW-RDU-LGA at barely 17. That was what I wanted for Christmas that year. Also in 2003 I moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University. I became the first person in my dorm to wallpaper my closet door with boarding pass stubs. This trend continued in my first apartment until it became apparent that 600+ boarding passes were too much for one wall...they're in binders now.
I graduated in 2006 with a degree in US History and English Literature and wandered aimlessly for a couple of years unsure of what to do with my life. Being away from ridigity of schooling scared me and it wasn't until 2008 that I got a job I was proud of. For the last eighteen months I've been in a Management Training program with CED (Consolidated Electrical Distributors). I'm currently an Inside Salesman and Quotes Supervisor of one of the Phoenix CEDs. There I set a record by being the only person in the 98 person training department to:
- Request specific flights for work travel due to mileage opportunities
- Take a VDB
- Convince an agent to take them off a nonstop and onto a connection for extra miles (twice).
So that's me. I've also been to 27 Major League Baseball parks, slept at an airport after a VDB, had a jacket thrown at me in First Class by a NW flight attendent and won a poker tournament with a 3/5 offsuit.