When Horizon’s Ground Services crew at Spokane International Airport needs early-morning help because of a storm or employee illness, Marsha Pilimai often assigns herself to arrive at 3:45 A.M. to assist with shoveling snow, de-icing aircraft, loading baggage, marshaling airplanes, and whatever else is needed.
“That way, I don’t have to mandate another employee to come in,” says Pilimai, who is dual-qualified to work in Ground Services and to do her primary job as Passenger Service Team Captain on the Duty Desk, which involves staffing, scheduling and submitting payroll information for employees at the Spokane, Wenatchee, Pasco, Walla Walla and Yakima stations.
She usually starts her Duty Desk shift around 8:30 A.M. in Spokane, although if Ground Services needs help anytime during the day, or even on her days off, she’ll jump in then, too. “I’ll do whatever needs to be done. They know they can count on me.”
Because she has been with Horizon for more than 26 years, she’s able to answer questions, and she’s been a great mentor. She’s known for her sense of humor and making work fun, but also for insisting on safety, and that policies and procedures are followed.
She provides co-workers with support for personal as well as work issues. “We tell people the Duty Desk here is a safe place. We do vital things like tracking hours to make sure everyone gets paid correctly, but we also provide psychologist- and mom-like caring.”
Pilimai, who worked for three years at a youth center after graduating from high school, joined Horizon after a friend let her know the airline had openings.
“It’s been such a good job for me and for my family all these years,” she says. “I had flexibility to attend sports and school events when my two daughters and my son were growing up. Also, I really enjoy my job. I’ve said that I’ll be here until they wheel me out the door in my office chair.”
Questions & Answers
What do you like most about your job? The variety, the flexibility, the friendships, and participating in the Fantasy Flight event Alaska Air Group does each December at the Spokane airport. Underprivileged and at-risk kids board a flight that circles the airport, then lands, and parks at a hangar that represents the North Pole. I help with decorating and with filling gift backpacks for the children. These kids melt your heart with their stories. It gives me so much happiness to do this for them.
What’s important to you in life? I want to live life to the fullest, to do the best job I can each day, to be a good person, to be there for my family and friends. My husband and kids and our grandkids are the most important to me. And I want to be authentic. My mom always said, “Be who you are, and do what makes you happy,” and I live by that. I’m the same person at work and at home.
What do you take with you on a trip? My good walking shoes—I don’t want anything to hold me back.
Where do you like to travel? I love Disneyland. It just makes me happy.
Praise for Marsha
“Recognized as the heartbeat of the Spokane Station, Marsha is a shining example of our core values: own safety, do the right thing, be kindhearted, deliver performance and be remarkable. When the ramp needs help loading bags, Marsha steps in. If help is needed to de-ice a plane, Marsha steps in. If a guest needs assistance, Marsha steps in. She is known for going above and beyond, and being loyal to Horizon and the employees she works with each day. Marsha is also heavily invested in the Spokane Fantasy Flight, joyfully preparing for the many kids taking a trip to ‘the North Pole.’ In addition, her door is always open for anyone needing guidance. She is trusted, highly respected and a wonderful example.”—Matt P., Horizon Vice President of Station and Inflight Operations, Seattle
Horizon Air employees such as Marsha Pilimai are the reason for our excellence. Join us in creating an airline people love. Visit horizonair.jobs.