Travel Adventures from our Airport Baggage Handling Project Managers
by Cassandra McAllister
In part one of our two-part airport baggage handling project management series, we gave you An Inside Look at Project Management. In part two, we asked some of our project managers to share their favorite travel stories.
As mentioned in our previous post, An Inside Look at Project Management, airport baggage handling is a rapidly growing industry. Which is why we’re looking for project managers and other talented people to join our team. It’s an exciting and challenging career that offers opportunities to grow in a stable, financially rewarding market.
In part two of this two-part article, Tip Hipp, Nav Thakur and Jamie Chippendale share details about their favorite aspects of working for Daifuku Airport Technologies. If you missed part one, you can read it here.
It would be hard to find a project management career that will take you to more locations than one at Daifuku Airport Technologies. Our Project Managers oversee projects in some of the nation’s greatest cities, often near cultural hubs and scenic destinations. With travel being an essential part of airport baggage handling project management, our project managers had a lot to discuss on the topic of business trips.
Navwant Thakur has been at Daifuku for three years. In that time, he has managed projects in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Seattle, among many others. Nav has enjoyed visiting the famous monuments of D.C. as well as Chicago’s fascinating architecture and, by his meter, unrivaled pizzerias. When asked where his favorite place to visit is, Nav surprised the group by mentioning somewhere a little closer to home. “Of course, Washington D.C. is home to classical monuments and buildings worth visiting, and Chicago’s skyline, bold architecture and fine cuisine are worth experiencing. But my favorite place to visit is Harbor Springs or Boyne City.”
These northern Michigan towns are also where you will find Daifuku Airport Technologies’ manufacturing plants. “It’s very relaxing. It gives me a calm feeling, and I can always enjoy some delicious lake trout or perch from the local restaurants.” Tim and Jamie both agreed with Nav that they appreciate heading to the manufacturing plants up north. Jamie mentioned, “Not only are those places so beautiful, but it’s really good interfacing with the manufacturing team.”
Tim, who has a little more time with the company to draw from, had the enviable job as a project manager for Daniel K. Inoute International Airport in Honolulu. He said, “Honolulu is pretty obvious for a favorite project site. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work in Hawaii? But for me, it’s because I love all forms of nature and outdoors. And working on projects in the Pacific Northwest allowed me to experience a lot of that part of the country—which I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
Of course, business travel isn’t all fun and games. “Travel plans can get canceled. You might need to travel to resolve a problem. And the weather can be lousy,” Tim pointed out. “Overall though, sampling different areas and cultures from all around the country has been good.”
Jamie Chippendale currently manages a project in LAX. It’s a large job that requires a lot of attention, so she spends about a week there every month. However, on the bright side (literally), it gives her a chance to escape the impending blustery winter weather of the Michigan office. “When I get off work in LA, I can take a ride share and walk Hermosa Beach or Manhattan Beach. It’s really nice after a long day.” Jamie added, “I also love going to the Moynihan Train Station in New York. It’s right on 33rd Street in the middle of Manhattan. I just love New York and the pulse of the city.”
Daifuku Airport Technologies project managers get to take advantage of Michigan’s—or in Tim’s case North Carolina’s—relatively low cost of living, while also getting to experience more of the country. It’s a great fit for someone who enjoys traveling but doesn’t want to spend all their time on the road or in the sky. While travel is an essential part of the job, it’s just as important for employees to enjoy their free time. So Nav, Jamie, and Tim shared a little about their hobbies and favorite ways to unwind.
“I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, traveling, and hiking,” said Tim. “I also love checking out new breweries and restaurants when I get the chance. That’s definitely one of the benefits of visiting job sites. My wife has told me that I must have been a travel agent in a previous life, based on my enthusiasm for reading about upcoming destinations and planning itineraries. She might be right.”
“I like to be outside as much as possible, which is what I do when I travel for work,” added Jamie. “Even if it’s just going home and doing yard work, or taking a walk to a playground with my family. I also like to hike on the weekends and snowboard in the winter. I’m planning a vacation in February to get my little girls on skis.”
Nav chimed in about his latest hobby. “I used to go to the gym or for a run, but I recently started kickboxing. It helps relieve stress and gets me into shape. But if I’m not doing that, a glass of wine and watching some Netflix works too.”
As you can see, a project management career at Daifuku Airport Technologies is a great chance to expand your horizons—whatever your interests or hobbies may be.
We are searching for PMs and other talented individuals to join our team at Daifuku Airport Technologies. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Grusnick.
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