Captain Jim Campbell is the chief pilot of ExpressJet’s second-largest crew base in Houston, Texas.


When I was in the second grade, my first book report I ever did was on the Time-Life book series edition on Aerospace and Aviation. Clearly, I was interested in flying and books, so I took those interests with me to the U.S. Naval Academy where I was an English major.

After graduation, I went to Navy flight school. I spent ten years as a Navy pilot, flying and teaching. I mainly flew reconnaissance missions in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Seas. I spent a lot of time over Bosnia and could probably bore you to tears talking about the Balkan region and the geopolitical repercussions of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

It was occasionally exciting: one time we saw some of our footage of an airstrike show up on CNN a few days later, and another time I got to fly a Navy brain surgeon into Skopje, Macedonia to operate on the president of the country, who had just been car bombed. True story.

After leaving the Navy, I got hired by Continental Express, which later became ExpressJet. I flew the ATR and the ERJ, held positions as first officer, captain, line check airman and now I’m the Chief Pilot in Houston, which is one of the best jobs I have ever had. I can honestly say that some days in the Houston domicile are every bit as exciting as flying Navy recon missions. Come visit us and see for yourself.

Captain Jim Campbell

Montoyas

Shreveport-based Quality Control inspector Gil Montoya and his wife Hope have moved around a lot. They’ve lived in big cities and small, but one thing is constant: there are always people in need, and there’s always a way to help.

“In aviation you move around. I’ve been to different places with ExpressJet all over the country. When we moved to Shreveport, my wife and I noticed there was a lot of homelessness here as there aren’t a lot of well-paying opportunities,” said Gil. “We felt like we needed to do something to give back to the community.”

The husband and wife team started small. They made a couple hundred sandwiches each weekend and handed them out downtown. Soon they began seeing lines of people, 80-100 at a time, waiting for a simple meal. They realized how much of a need there was and looked at ways they could help more.

“The first time we went out, I was a bit apprehensive. I’ve never done anything like this before. It opened me up; it changed me greatly. There’s always something to complain about, but I realize every day that I am blessed.”

In 2010, with the help of fellow SHV-based A&P Technician Charles Robin, they created their foundation, Streets of Charity, as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In the years since, Streets of Charity has expanded its services to collect and distribute diapers, jackets, shoes, clothing and other basic necessities in addition to providing meals.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone. I’ve seen a lot of smart people who are homeless because of accidents, life changes, etc. Many of the guys we help are veterans. They served our country and now they are on hard times. They’re good people and they are people, too. Just like you and me. I’m proud to help them.”

Gil has received a lot of support in this endeavor from his co-workers at our Shreveport Maintenance base. He’d like to thank all those who have supported Streets of Charity by volunteering or donating to the cause.

“You don’t need to have a lot of money to help. If you have love in your heart, you can do great things for others. Streets of Charity is not about giving money, it’s about sharing what we have. Share your time, your experience, your heart.”

Gil encourages everyone to participate in something, whether it’s donating to a local food bank, working for a cause you’re passionate about, volunteering your time to help others or starting your own non-profit. If you have questions, contact him through the Streets of Charity Facebook page. Gil and Hope are happy to answer questions about Streets of Charity or how you can be more involved in your community.

“Anybody can make a change in their community and in the world. We are lucky to have flight privileges which can help us make change globally. When my wife and I travel, we pack bags full of clothes and shoes to donate in our destination. It’s all about remembering people and appreciating all that you have.”

If you would like to support Streets of Charity, you can send donations, clothing or other goods to Streets of Charity, P.O. Box 18494, Shreveport, LA 71138.

“Working with Streets of Charity has helped me change my attitude. We tend to be selfish, thinking about our own problems. But when we listen to the stories of the people on really hard times, it reminds me to be grateful for all that we have. It’s a great feeling to know that I contribute, even in a small way, to better humanity. I challenge each of you to do something today to make a difference.”

Captain Mike Ellis is the chief pilot of ExpressJet’s crew base in Dulles, Va., which serves the metro DC area. IAD is our only crew base with both ERJ and CRJ aircraft.


I first realized I wanted to fly when I looked at all the artwork I had done in elementary through high school – it was all planes!

After high school I went Iowa State University and graduated with an Aerospace Engineering degree.  After that, I spent a few years as an engineer and worked in finance.  I always found time to fly in my free time, whether I was instructing, flying skydivers, or commuting to my engineering job in a Cessna 150 with a rear view mirror.  I also flew engineers to job sites while working for the engineering firms.

After moving to Atlanta, I switched to aviation full time, flying charter and pilot service in a multitude of different airplanes, some brand new, and some twice as old as me.  I started with Expressjet in 2001 on the ATR for a few months, then switched to the CRJ700 when they first arrived.  I have been at Dulles for more than a year now, and have enjoyed the experience tremendously.

We hope you’ll come visit us soon at our Dulles Home Base!

Captain Mike Ellis

 

erindaniels

As the hub coordinator and base administrator at ExpressJet’s Cleveland base, Erin Daniels has a busy schedule. From managing relations with ground handling operations to working with United leadership to address concerns, she does it all. Erin also works hard outside of the office. In May, she ran the Cleveland Half Marathon to raise money for the Organization for Autism Research (OAR). This organization holds a personal meaning for her because her eight-year-old nephew Nicholas has autism.

Erin ran the half-marathon as a member of OAR’s Run for Autism team. Through Run for Autism, participants do not have to pay the race registration fees if they raise at least $600.

Erin raised $2,440 this year, mostly by fundraising over social media. When she started fundraising in January, she would post the link to her fundraising page on Facebook once or twice a month. Her posts became more and more frequent the closer she got to the race.

“During Autism Awareness month, I posted every single day,” Erin said. “I had to warn people that they should unfollow me if they didn’t want to see my posts all over their newsfeeds.”

Erin also sold bracelets to help raise money.  The bracelets are turquoise and lime green, and say #CLEStrong on one side and 2014 on the other.  Erin raised $300 selling the bracelets.

“When I asked if people would buy #CLEStrong bracelets, an outrageous number of people said yes,” Erin said “They really wanted to support my cause and support Cleveland.”

Erin ran the race on May 18, 2014 with her Run for Autism teammate, Greg.

“It was tough,” she said. “But it was definitely good to have someone there to encourage you.”

It was a long race, but Erin made it to the finish line and came out on top as the number one fundraiser for the second year in a row.

“When I crossed the finish line, there were tears of many kinds. I couldn’t believe I ran 13 miles.”

Erin is very grateful to everyone who helped her raise money for OAR, especially her co-workers at ExpressJet.

“My colleagues and friends from this company did so much more than I could ever imagine, “she said. “I love that they know how much my nephew means to me.”

The Cleveland Run for Autism team raised $10,741.  The money that they raised this year will provide a college scholarship to an autistic child. Next year, Erin hopes to raise even more money and run the full marathon.

Erin Daniels

Erin with her nephew Nicholas

byronhernandez

Dulles-based ExpressJet First Officer Byron Hernandez has always been passionate about traveling and volunteering. From his first trip to volunteer in Mexico with his family, to his work as a translator with Faith in Practice in South America, he’s found plenty of ways to combine his two passions.

On his most recent volunteer adventure, Byron went to Haiti for six days with a group from the Macy’s Heart of Haiti program. Heart of Haiti is a partnership that gives local Haitian artisans the opportunity to sell their hand-made pieces through Macy’s.

“Haiti is a poor country, but they’re so rich in creativity because they have to work with what they have,” Byron said. “It’s amazing to see them take a scrap sheet of metal or piece of an oil rig, do this and do that, and come up with a final product.”

Before he left for Haiti, Byron created a wish list on Amazon to collect donations to take to orphanages, churches and daycares. By the time he packed up all the donations, he had five huge, overweight suitcases full of toys, clothes and books for the kids.

While in Haiti, Byron and his group sat down with Haitian dignitaries to discuss Macy’s buying partnership with the artisans, helped sick mothers take care of their children at a daycare and spent time with the families and artisans.

Byron’s favorite part of the trip was spending Mother’s Day at a local church hanging out with the kids.

“I can’t even explain it, how great it was to see these kids laughing and playing and so happy with what they have,” Byron said.

The group also spent time with an American woman who moved to Haiti and started a daycare for women who aren’t able to financially support their families.

“This woman gave up everything to be there,” Byron said “She’s been through malaria, disease, everything, and she’s still there. It’s very inspiring.”

Byron is very grateful to all of his friends and family who helped him get to Haiti.

“So many people helped me out along the way, from our chief pilot Mike Ellis and my friends here at Dulles taking over my trips, to Delta waiving the fees for my overweight bags,” Byron said.

Byron is very excited to return to Haiti next year, and would love to have more of the ExpressJet team join him. Don’t hesitate to reach out to him if you’re interested!

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