Aerostructures

Aerostructures
October 22, 2014
Vol. 24, No. 35
2014 UTC Aerospace Systems Leadership Conference
“Aerostructures was featured positively throughout the
conference, through examples of our operational excellence,
quality focus and new program execution”
Reduce costs and continue to meet financial targets.
Make quality a personal obligation.
Look for talented employees and develop them.
(Continued)
The theme of the Oct. 1-3 UTC Aerospace Systems Leadership Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina was
“Connecting People, Performance & Ideas.” One of the conference presenters, Gail Baker, vice president of the
Aerospace Customers & Business Development organization, told attendees that MFA surveys show customers
are pleased with the way UTC Aerospace Systems has handled the integration and are no longer concerned that
it will create an internal distraction. “Now they’re getting to the point where they’re expecting more and more
out of us,” she said. “They don’t talk about the integration anymore. They just want us to perform.”
Editor: ext. 3635 / [email protected]
Mail Zone 99B
These were some of the key messages shared by presenters at the Oct. 1-3 Leadership Conference in Charlotte,
North Carolina attended by more than 200 UTC Aerospace Systems leaders.
Among those leaders were Aerostructures President Marc Duvall and the members of his executive team. What
were the highlights and major takeaways from the three days – which were spent reviewing UTC Aerospace
Systems’ progress in its first two years and mapping out its path for the future – for Duvall and his staff? Here
are their impressions…
“We’ve come a long way in two years… the integration of Goodrich and Hamilton Sundstrand is largely completed.
Aerostructures was featured positively throughout the conference, through examples of our operational excellence,
quality focus and new program execution. It was very gratifying to see our business unit mentioned positively again
and again… we need to maintain our prominent position within the company by continuing to perform strongly.”
Marc Duvall
Aerostructures President
“UTC Aerospace Systems has $200 billion in life-of-program sales ahead of it, thanks to better-than-expected synergies
between the Goodrich and Hamilton Sundstrand business units. As a consequence of the conference, Aerostructures
should expect to be increasingly focused on overall quality and development of Standard Work… in all functional
groups. We’ll be expected to improve the early recognition and development of talent within our business unit. And
we’ll also be expected to make significant progress in inventory reduction.”
Stephane Dion
Engineering Director
“We’re increasingly operating as one UTC Aerospace Systems versus two segments. The integration process is clearly
progressing on many fronts relative to where we were at the last conference, but we also clearly have significant work to
do moving forward. Aerostructures is clearly looked to for leadership in financial and operating performance. Hitting
our cash flow objectives, particularly in the areas of improved working capital performance, will be a focus for 2015.”
Paul Snyder
Aftermarket Vice President
“There was a recognition at the conference that Aerostructures utilizes Standard Work exceptionally well and the
balance of UTC Aerospace Systems needs to ‘get on board’ and drive Standard Work deployment. There will also be a
greater focus on Talent Development in 2015.”
Martin Lodge
Operations Vice President
“One thing that came through at the conference was the need to place more emphasis on the working capital components to improve our cash generation… this includes inventory, payables, receivables, etc.”
Tom Donnelly
Airbus Programs Vice President
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Breakout sessions – including the one pictured above devoted to brainstorming what UTC Aerospace Systems’ top
three accomplishments have been and what its top three opportunities going forward are – were a prominent part of
the 2014 UTC Aerospace Systems Leadership Conference agenda.
“A key message was grow the business. UTC Aerospace Systems has a great business on all of the right platforms and
we have to be focused on growing the business organically – both in terms of original equipment and the aftermarket.
We also need to employ the ACE operating system tools to continue to take cost out, be innovative, and continuously
improve our processes.”
Dana Stephenson
Spares and Supply Chain Director
Note: All Systems News featured a two-part synopsis of the 2014 Leadership Conference on Oct.
9 and 16. Please visit the UTC Aerospace Systems intranet home page and click on the black
“Archive” button to view those stories for insights into what Aircraft Systems President Dave
Gitlin and other UTC Aerospace Systems leaders had to say at the event.
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Going “back to the future”
Aerostructures’ phenomenal new program growth will be
accompanied by an unacceptable rise in its Cost of Poor
Quality unless we embrace the ACE tools and re-focus on
Standard Work, Visual Controls and RTPR
With nacelle systems on 10 new or re-engined platforms entering service within the next five years, it’s no
exaggeration to say Aerostructures is on a phenomenal growth spurt. But there’s also a challenge associated with
this positive momentum: the need to harness the Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ). These are the expenses incurred
by not doing things right the first time, such as the resources and rework required to address defects
To check COPQ and reduce non-value added activities, our business unit must drive the Standard Work that is
second nature on legacy programs on all new programs. This is especially critical given the aggressive schedules
and cost challenges associated with new programs. Accelerating defect reduction efforts, with a goal of zero
nacelle system defects at a platform’s entry into service, is the ultimate objective. And the key to getting there is
going “back to the future,” according to Operations Vice President Martin Lodge.
“In the 1990s, we didn’t win programs and we didn’t make money – we had to make some changes,” said Lodge.
“We embraced the Lean and Continuous Improvement (CI) tools, and that’s what has made us successful. But, in
recent years, in the wake of all of the new program wins, we’ve become comfortable and distracted. We’re not
making the same investment of time in the CI tools that made us successful in the past.”
And while Aerostructures has benefitted significantly from deployment of the ACE operating system and
exceptional quality improvement tools such as Quality Clinic Process Charts, process certification and relentless
root-cause analysis, Lodge believes it’s time to focus on some classic CI tools that have served us well: Standard
Work – including Standard Worksheets, Standard Work Combination Sheets and Percent Load charts – visual
controls, and real-time problem resolution (RTPR).
“In the 1990s, we didn’t win
programs and we didn’t make
money – we had to make some
changes. We embraced the Lean
and Continuous Improvement (CI)
tools, and that’s what has made us
successful. But, in recent years, in
the wake of all of the new program
wins, we’ve become comfortable
and distracted. We’re not making
the same investment of time in
the CI tools that made us
successful in the past.”
Diligent application of Continuous Improvement tools
such as Standard Work, Visual Controls and Real-Time
Problem Resolution beginning in the 1990s was instrumental in improving Aerostructures’ profitability and
ability to capture new program wins. Operations Vice
President Martin Lodge believes it’s critical to re-focus
on these “classic” tools now to achieve a goal of zero
nacelle system defects at a new or re-engined aircraft
platform’s entry into service.
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Pay me now or pay me later
Problem/Issue/Opportunity
(PIO) occurs (defect/escape/
CT>TT/etc.)
Do we have
Standard Work for
this task?
“Standard Work enables us to do things the same way
every time to reduce variation and waste in our
processes. Visual controls tell us when we’re not doing
this. And RTPR, using the various quality tools and
processes as appropriate, helps us correct any problems that are leading to product quality issues and
preventing cost reductions,” Lodge noted. “We need
to drive the use of these three specific tools to accelerate our defect and cost reduction efforts.”
No
Write
Standard Work
This is already happening across Aerostructures’ new
programs. Defects per unit are being measured and
tracked and Pareto charts are being used to identify
top problem areas. Plans are then being put in place to
identify root causes and implement corrective actions.
But Lodge says it’s time to step on the gas and accelerate these efforts.
Yes
No
Work to
Standard Work
Are we working to
Standard Work?
“Standard Work is an investment
that will improve everything -quality, on-time delivery, cost,
safety, overhead levels, etc. It’s
a ‘one-stop shopping’ tool that, if
used properly, will address any
problem that occurs, in any place
you chose to use it, not only in
Operations.”
Yes
Is the PIO preventable
or detectable in
Standard Work?
No
Improve the fidelity of
Standard Work
(and repeat)
Yes
“We need an increased bias for action,” he said.
“Creating Standard Work, revising it and validating it
requires a huge investment of time. And we’re not
always making it.”
Observe/Validate
elements in Standard Work
associated with PIO
The return on investment is too substantial not to act,
according to Aerostructures’ senior leadership team
and program directors.
To avoid unacceptably high resource expenditures to
address product quality issues on its new nacelle programs,
Aerostructures must embrace the ACE quality improvement tools and also refocus on proven CI tools such as
Standard Work. “We now have Standard Work in place
on all of our internal nacelle components on the Boeing
787 program,” according to 787 GE Nacelles Program
Director Jeff Raley. “We are – and will continue indefinitely – improving the fidelity of that Standard Work.
As this visual illustrates, it’s a never-ending cycle.”
“It is a huge investment,” said Airbus Programs Vice
President Tom Donnelly. “But, imagine the money we
leave on the table by not doing it. We have to accelerate improving the margins on our new programs
and Standard Work is the time-tested tool to do it. We
can’t leave so much opportunity untapped.”
Programs Vice President Jeff Rogers agreed.
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“If you’re a newer employee, I would recommend what we all learned.
Take a leap of faith and trust the tools to work if applied rigorously and
relentlessly. Remember that it’s not a one time and done process. It’s not
a lot of fun at times, either. But it works… and the satisfaction comes from
the correlation between your effort and the results in the business. If it
was easy, everyone would do it. That’s what differentiates us.”
“Not to be overly simplistic, but it’s one of those situations where you can ‘pay me now or pay me later,’” he
said. “Activities in the ‘pay me now’ category are straight forward: Standard Work events and red dot/green dot
visual control approaches. The ‘pay me later’ category is exemplified by multiple Quality Notifications that are
dispositioned by knowledgeable engineers that should be focused on design/development of the next new
program that we need to win to continue our phenomenal growth.”
Added 787 GE Nacelles Program Director Jeff Raley: “It’s an investment in time and resources that you must
make a conscious decision to embark on. Once you elect to use the tools and use them correctly, you will see the
benefit. But there’s no easy way, shortcut, or magic bullet to implementation. You have to take a leap of faith and
make the investment. We now have Standard Work in place on all of our internal components on the Boeing 787
program. We are – and will continue indefinitely – improving the fidelity of that Standard Work. It’s a neverending cycle.”
He continued: “Standard Work is an investment that will improve everything – quality, on-time delivery, cost,
safety, overhead levels, etc. It’s a ‘one-stop shopping’ tool that, if used properly, will address any problem that
occurs, in any place you chose to use it, not only in Operations.”
Raley, Rogers and Donnelly also had some advice for newer Aerostructures employees still trying to gain
familiarity with the Standard Work tool: learn by doing.
“Come out of your area of the business and participate in the activities of observing/validating/writing
Standard Work. It’s the best way to learn about the business and learn how these tools can help your program
and even help you in your job,” Raley said. “One thing that helps with implementation is to get people out of
their comfort zones and use employees from every discipline on the program to observe, validate and write
Standard Work. On the 787 program, we routinely have people from Finance, Quality, Contracts, Operations,
Manufacturing Engineering, and other disciplines, as well as people from other sites or businesses, participating
in our Standard Work events. We have people from every walk of life helping us.”
Noted Rogers: “Seek out Standard Work events. Ask your leadership to put you on one of these events. There’s
some training involved and you’ll come out the other side a better Aerostructures employee.”
Concluded Donnelly: “If you’re a newer employee, I would recommend what we all learned. Take a leap of
faith and trust the tools to work if applied rigorously and relentlessly. Remember that it’s not a one time and
done process. It’s not a lot of fun at times, either. But it works… and the satisfaction comes from the correlation
between your effort and the results in the business. If it was easy, everyone would do it. That’s what
differentiates us.”
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Foley OE and MRO operations celebrate their 30th birthdays
“This has been a good place to work, with many opportunities
for advancement”
In 1984, Warena Davison was working in a fast food
restaurant and attending college when the opening of
a new business in town caught her attention.
Not long after, she was assembling pylons for the
Lockheed C-5B Galaxy military transport at the Rohr
assembly facility in Foley, Alabama.
“I had no previous aviation experience, so I remember
a lot of learning and long hours in those early days,”
says Davison today.
“We used to have big year-end
events. There was one in particular
where we staged a talent show
where anyone with talent could
sing, dance, put on skits, or play
musical instruments. We were
surprised by all of the hidden talent
that was displayed here in Foley.”
But there were a lot of positives, too… including the
mutual trust and friendship that quickly grow among
people who spend a lot of time together.
“We were a close-knit group, everyone knew everyone
else’s name,” she explained. “We would have ‘Hello
Meetings’ where new hires would introduce themselves to the group. We also had lots of cookouts and
just socialized with each other a great deal.”
What other memories stand out?
“We used to have big year-end events,” she said.
“There was one in particular where we staged a talent
show where anyone with talent could sing, dance, put
on skits, or play musical instruments. We were
surprised by all of the hidden talent that was
displayed here in Foley.”
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“We here in Foley take pride in our product. And when we see something
that works, we go for it! That’s been the case with the Lean and ACE tools.
They’ve helped us in making a great quality product at a fast rate. Going
forward, employees must continue to take pride in the quality of work we
produce and we must continue to build a quality conscious, skilled
workforce focused on doing it right the first time… and each time thereafter.”
With the Foley facility celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Davison – who today serves as an inspector
– was one of several long-service employees Skylines asked to reflect on the plant’s first 30 years.
Another was Alabama Service Center Sales & Marketing Manager Tom Barrow. The Alabama Service Center
(ASC) was established the same year as the Foley original equipment assembly operation. While its first home
was a leased facility at the nearby Fairhope Municipal Airport, the ASC was consolidated with the Foley OE
facility in 2002.
Members of the combined original equipment and maintenance, repair and overhaul workforces at the Foley facility
gathered to observe the two operations’ 30th anniversaries at an Oct. 15 celebration. In August 1984, the Foley site
had an employee population of nine people.
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The Foley original equipment and maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses, both established in 1984, celebrated
their 30th anniversaries with an employee luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Recalling the Foley facility’s early days,
one of those employees – Foley OE Senior Finance Analyst Steve Godwin – noted: “I had no previous aviation experience prior to working here as an assembly mechanic on the Lockheed C-5B Galaxy military transport program. My
previous work experience was in banking, so this job gave me the satisfaction of actually building a product that our
military would use and value. The mergers with Goodrich and later, UTC, made me feel optimistic about personal
growth opportunities. I feel we have a very dedicated, hard-working group of employees here at Foley that strive to
perform their assigned tasks with a focus on quality, safety and waste reduction.”
“The startup years were nice”
“In 1984, I was working on helicopters in Louisiana as an A&P (Airframe/Powerplant) mechanic,” said Barrow.
“I’m originally from the Fairhope/Foley area and wanted to get back home. So Rohr opened at just the right time.”
Barrow’s recollections of those first days are universally positive ones.
“The startup years were nice. We didn’t have many resources, so we had to work together and get creative,” he said.
The timing of the Fairhope and Foley facility openings was also fortuitous for ASC Design Engineer Wayne
Merchant, who launched his Rohr/Aerostructures career as a tooling generalist at the Foley OE facility.
“I had just been laid off from another job and heard about a new plant coming into the area. I really did not
know what type of work would be performed there, but I needed a job,” he said. “I didn’t have any prior aviation industry experience, but I got the plant manager’s address. I sent him my resume and had an unofficial
interview in November 1983, followed by a formal interview in late December 1983, at which time I was offered
a job. I performed maintenance-type tasks getting the factory ready for start up.”
Merchant’s lasting memories are mostly of the many people he has worked with over the years.
“I have met and worked with many wonderful people and have had the opportunity to learn from them,” he
noted. “This has been a good place to work, with many opportunities for advancement.”
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Foley OE Assembler Helen Smith echoes those sentiments.
“We were like one big happy family in those early days. I looked forward to coming to work every day!” she said.
What have been the most significant workplace changes she has witnessed since 1984?
“We have different management, better tools to do our jobs, and we’ve undergone a Lean transformation,” Smith
noted. “As for the Lean and ACE tools, they’ve given us more structure and efficiency, which allows us to spend
more time with our families.”
Asked what the Foley OE facility and the ASC need to focus on to remain successful for another 30 years, Smith,
Merchant, Barrow and Davison cited similar themes: delighting the customer and continuous improvement.
Staying on the path of Continuous Improvement
“We have to be efficient and serve as problem solvers for our customers… while also maintaining good working
relationships with them,” said Barrow. “They’re people just like us.”
Merchant agreed, noting: “Customer satisfaction is the key. Without customers, there will be no success. ACE
will drive us to do what is necessary to be successful.”
And what about the keys to future success for the OE side of the house?
“We here in Foley take pride in our product. And when we see something that works, we go for it! That’s been
the case with the Lean and ACE tools. They’ve helped us in making a great quality product at a fast rate,”
Davison said. “Going forward, employees must continue to take pride in the quality of work we produce and we
must continue to build a quality conscious, skilled workforce focused on doing it right the first time… and each
time thereafter.”
Added Smith: “People are the key to our success. First, maintaining open communication and second, staying on
the path of Continuous Improvement.”
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The correct use of Destination Control Statements is
required when exporting commodities or technical data
U.S. Export Regulations require that all commodities or technical data exported to another country
include a Destination Control Statement – or DCS. The purpose of a DCS is to inform the recipient that
the item they’re receiving is controlled by the U.S. Export Regulations and cannot be shared or transferred
without proper U.S. authority. This protects the company in the event the goods arrive in a restricted
country without our knowledge.
However, including a DCS in the documentation accompanying commodities or technical data that are
not subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or International Traffic in Arms Regulations
(ITAR) requirements represents improper usage. One, it’s misleading to the recipient. Two, it violates UTC
Corporate Policy Manual (CPM) 20 and Aerostructures EEP 1038: Export Compliance.
When exporting commodities or technical data, you’re required to be fully aware of the content you’re
sharing and also that it contains the proper documentation as specified in UTC CPM 20 and EEP 1038.
Here are examples of the Destination Control Statements that should accompany exports of commodities
or technical data subject to the EAR or ITAR requirements. (Note: These statements are also contained in EEP
1038 for reference purposes.)
EAR DCS
WARNING – This information is subject to the export control laws of the United States, specifically the
Export Administration Act and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), 15 C.F.R. parts 730-774,
diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited. The export, re-export, transfer or re-transfer of this technical
data/technology to any other company, entity, person, or destination, or for any use or purpose other
than that for which the technical data was originally provided, is prohibited without prior written
approval and authorization under applicable export control laws. EAR Export Classification: ECCN
(Insert ECCN.)
ITAR DCS
WARNING – This information is subject to the export control laws of the United States, specifically the
Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 C.F.R. parts 120
– 130, diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited. The export, re-export, transfer or re-transfer of this
technical data/technology to any other company, entity, person, or destination, or for any use or purpose
other than that for which the technical data was originally provided, is prohibited without prior written
approval and authorization under applicable export control laws. ITAR/USML Category: (Insert ITAR/
USML Category and subcategory.)
11
Women in Aviation employee resource group launches
“This is a home for people determined to apply and grow
their skills”
When Chula Vista R&D Staff
Stress Engineer Firdaus Khan
was in elementary and high
school, the Boeing representatives attending career days
were typically men.
“That gets a child thinking:
‘Hmm, that industry is mostly
guys,’” said Khan. “While
things are changing, there still
isn’t as much encouragement
in our elementary and high
schools as there should be for
girls to pursue careers in
science and technology.”
“Women in Aviation could be our one-stop
shop at Aerostructures for training and
mentoring – a home for people determined to
apply and grow their skills.”
On Oct. 15, Khan took a first
step toward providing such
encouragement. Last
Wednesday, Khan launched
the “Women in Aviation”
employee resource group at a
Chula Vista Lunch and Learn
session. Along with providing
a supportive environment for
mentoring, networking and
professional development, the
group will be focused on
outreach to the educational
community.
That mission resonated with
several employees attending
the session, including Staff
Engineer Tammy McEuen.
“I hope to encourage more
young women to enter the
aviation industry as a career
through outreach activities,”
she said.
McEuen also liked the inclusive nature of the Women in
Aviation group, which is open
to male employees.
Chula Vista R&D Staff Stress Engineer Firdaus Khan helped launch a “Women
in Aviation” employee resource group at a Lunch and Learn session in the
Building 107 cafeteria last Wednesday. The group’s goals include providing
networking and mentoring opportunities, as well as encouraging employee
participation in community outreach activities aimed at inspiring girls to pursue
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. At the launch
meeting, Khan said the group will meet quarterly, with an immediate agenda of
developing a leadership team and creating goals and objectives.
(Photo by Patrick Palmer)
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A one-stop shop for training and mentoring
“I like the fact that men and women here at Aerostructures are interested in supporting women in this industry.
Some of my earliest mentors were men,” she said.
Military Programs Director Ana Brill expressed similar sentiments.
“What I liked best about this organization is that it is not strictly a ‘women’s’ organization. The fact that it
welcomes men and women is significant to me because it shows that the target is to celebrate/understand/
acknowledge our differences,” she said. “The emphasis on diversity and the benefits it brings to the workplace
can serve to enhance all of our roles at UTC Aerospace Systems.”
Brill continued: “I would like to continue to learn from our diverse workforce. As a leader, I want to support the
group and be a role model for other employees, not just females. I want employees to receive the message that
we work in a company that is inclusive… that hard work will pay off here, regardless of gender, beliefs, personalities, nationalities.”
Staff Engineer Lisa Martini-Saliers also sees benefits flowing from the formation of the group.
“Women in Aviation could be our one-stop shop at Aerostructures for training and mentoring -- a home for
people determined to apply and grow their skills,” she noted. “Additionally, as we get out of the small world of
our immediate work groups, I would expect camaraderie and increased awareness of other groups where we
can, and will, make a difference.”
Both male and female Chula Vista employees attended the inaugural meeting of the new Women in Aviation employee
resource group last week, reflecting its inclusive nature. One of the attendees, Staff Engineer Tammy McEuen, was
delighted by some of the things she learned at the session. “I was pleasantly surprised to find that women now represent 26% of the Chula Vista facility’s population,” she said. “When I was at San Diego State in the early 1980’s,
women made up only about 10% of the engineering students. And when I first joined Rohr/Aerostructures, women
were still a small percentage of the company’s personnel.” (Photo by Patrick Palmer)
13
Christmas in October
“Giving our time is the least we can do to help others”
Chula Vista resident Leo Romero is an
Air Force veteran, a journeyman floor
layer, and a family man who’s suffered
the misfortune of outliving his wife and
son. At 80 years old, he has also found it
more and more challenging to keep up
with much needed home repairs.
“His driveway was extremely unsafe,
lifted by tree roots as much as 5 inches
high and broken all over,” according to
Leo’s nephew Steve Erickson, a former
Aerostructures employee who now
provides design engineering support to
the Airbus A320neo Inner Fixed
Structure program as a contract
Earlier this month, Chula Vista employees – along with their friends and family members – sacrificed a weekend (or
two) to transform the home of Chula Vista resident Leo Romero via their involvement in the annual Christmas in
October community service project. Prior to the volunteer effort, the driveway of the house was extremely unsafe,
lifted by tree roots as much as 5 inches high. The walkway to the front door was full of tripping hazards and there were
wasps’ nests along one side of the house. There were also no railings on the backyard porch, which the homeowner had
fallen off of two times. By project’s end, the home was both safer and more comfortable. “Everyone will need help at
some point in their lives; some people just don’t have the resources to get through the tough times on their own,” said
Export and IP Focal Deni Fullmer, one of the volunteers and project organizers. “I hope we have made Leo’s life easier
and safer and I hope that this experience has been as positive for him as it has been for me.”
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employee. “The walkway to his front door had tripping hazards and there were wasps’ nests along one side of
the house. The rear garage door did not function because a tree had grown in the back porch area forcing the
retaining wall in front of the garage door. And speaking of the porch, there were no railings and he had fallen off
of it twice.”
In short, Leo was in dire need of a helping hand in making his home safer and more comfortable. Over the
course of a recent weekend, Aerostructures employees extended that helping hand. They lent their support by
volunteering to participate in the annual “Christmas in October” community service effort. This project mobilizes volunteer teams to perform home makeovers for elderly, disabled or low income Chula Vista residents,
revitalizing not only houses, but communities.
“I couldn’t participate last year and it looked like a blast, so I definitely
wanted to participate this year. Giving up one weekend this year for such
a great experience really wasn’t as difficult as I thought. It didn’t really
feel like work since I got to be outside the whole time; it’s a nice change
from being in front of the computer all day.”
“Christmas in October is all about the volunteers… their energy, unselfish efforts and sacrifices of time and resources,”
according to Chula Vista Staff Engineer Bill Stacy, the main organizer of the annual effort. “The ‘vibe’ at these events
cannot be explained. You just feel it.” The Aerostructures volunteer team is pictured above.
15
“Revitalized” is a good description for Leo’s home after Saturday, Oct. 11 – the main Christmas in October
project day. He had a brand new driveway, walkway and porch railings… not to mention a freshly painted home
exterior as well as interior kitchen and living room walls, a new landscape that conserves water and protects the
environment, and other improvements. Needless to say, Leo was smiling as he surveyed the changes to the
residence. But so were the volunteers.
“When I stopped to look around, there were only smiles on faces and
people happy to be helping out with their coworkers, friends, and family
members. It’s great to see everyone sweating for a cause.”
“I believe in paying it forward”
“I couldn’t participate last year and it looked like a blast, so I definitely wanted to participate this year,” said
Associate Engineer Emily Gray. “Giving up one weekend this year for such a great experience really wasn’t as
difficult as I thought. I mainly did outdoor painting, also helping with clearing the backyard of debris. It didn’t
really feel like work since I got to be outside the whole time; it’s a nice change from being in front of the
computer all day. It felt good to put my spare time towards something that would have such a positive impact
for this individual and the neighborhood.”
Commented Project Manufacturing Engineer Patti Veeraplin: “I recently transferred here from a UTC facility in
Massachusetts. Deni Fullmer, who is the definition of an engaged employee, told me about Christmas in October
and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I participated both weekends because I believe in paying it forward.
Giving our time is the least we can do to help others. The first weekend I was inside cleaning the walls of the
kitchen and living room to prep for painting the following week. The second weekend I was outside doing yard
work. When I stopped to look around, there were only smiles on faces and people happy to be helping out with
their coworkers, friends, and family members. It’s great to see everyone sweating for a cause.”
For Erickson, a Christmas in October volunteer for the past four years, the project was especially meaningful
given that it involved his uncle.
“My uncle said to me numerous times: ‘These people are neat, pleasant, and so nice to me. They get along so
well. This is really fun,’” Erickson said. “One moment that stands out for me came on Tuesday, Oct. 7 when I saw
some guys – Allen Meserve, Farid Muhammad and Justin Schuler – while walking down the hall in Building
107. None of them were Christmas in October volunteers. But when I asked them if they would come and help
us wheel concrete the next morning, all three agreed. They all showed up, and they worked, and they loved it.
It’s great to see the passion brought forward by employees like these and also the project volunteers. Bill Stacy,
who organizes this project every year, has a gift for motivating the masses and keeping them interested year after
year.”
Stacy, a staff engineer, couldn’t say enough about the Chula Vista employees that rolled up their sleeves to make
the 2014 Christmas in October event a success.
“As always, it’s about the volunteers… their energy, unselfish efforts and sacrifices of time and resources,” he
said. “The ‘vibe’ at these events cannot be explained. You just feel it.”
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