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Employee Spotlight – Justin Hester

For the past ten years, Justin Hester has been a part of the Airways team. He previously worked as an automotive technician at a local General Motors dealer when the industry took a hit in 2008. Due to the uncertainty, Justin decided it was time to switch gears. After hearing about an opening at Airways Freight from a couple of close associates, Justin applied and has been working in operations ever since.

Justin started Airways working in the Nights Operations division which eventually lead to him becoming Night Operations Manager. Presently, he is working in our International Trade Shows department as an Account Manager. His day consists of arranging shipments, transportation logistics, customs clearance, and customer service of trade show goods all around the world. Due to the time differences, Justin spends a lot of his day answering and sending emails.

Justin was born in Irving, Texas and raised in Farmington, Arkansas. He grew up riding and training horses and raising cattle. Some of his fondest memories were riding the trails at Devil’s Den. Twice a year,  He and his family would take their camper and horses and spend a week at a time riding trails.

Justin married his wife Nikki over four years ago. Together they have a one-year old daughter named Anniston Kate. He loves spending as much time as possible with his family, but also loves to travel, try new food and work on cars.

One of Justin’s great influences is his father. The sacrifices he has made for his family, no matter how difficult, have been inspiring. He has always been there to offer wisdom through experience and has intuitively been the basis of his decisions. They also have the same sense of humor and always share a laugh when they are together.

Something you may not know about Justin, is that he enjoys classical music. He is also good at drawing and painting.

Justin is considered by his colleagues as loyal, funny, and kind. He is an essential part of the International Trade Show department at Airways and is a driving component in an accelerated business.


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Employee Spotlight – Blaire Branch

As part of what we like to call our Airways 2.0 (2nd Generation) Blaire Branch started her employment in January of this year. With her father, Tyler Morrow having worked at Airways for over twenty years, Blaire grew up well aware of the environment and camaraderie the employees share.
Born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, Blaire grew up in a large family with lots of cousins close in age. She loved spending time with them and some of her fondest memories include spending the night sleeping on her trampoline and waking up to dew covered blankets.
Coming from a large family it was an easy transition to work for a company that has always felt so close knit. Blaire has always felt the dedication and loyalty that each of the employees embraced and wanted to be a part of that. Since starting her employment at Airways, she has found that there is always someone willing to give a hand.  She has witnessed the commitment and dedication to their employees as well as customers and sales agents.

Working in the Trade Show Department, Blaire focuses her day on inputting data, tracking, and assisting operations with anything they may need. She is learning the logistics side of operations and gaining accessible knowledge to further her career at Airways.  

When Blaire is not at work, she loves spending time with her husband Skyler and their two dogs. They enjoy fishing and kayaking, or just spending time watching movies at home.
One of the most influential people in Blaire’s life has been her mother. Not only does she look just like her, she has learned many valuable life lessons from her.
Blaire is quiet, caring and laid-back. Her favorite quote is “Life is a book. Every day is a new page, every month is a new chapter, every year is a new series”. She is beginning a new chapter in her life at Airways, and we are happy to be written into her story.

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Employee Spotlight – Anna Whitfield

Starting as a part-time employee in January of 2015, Anna Whitfield began her employment working for Airways Freight assisting in Administration. In June of 2017 went full-time, and recently moved to our International Customs Brokerage Department, where she is beginning the work and experience necessary to test for her license as a Custom’s Broker.  

During her part-time at Airways, Anna also worked for three years as a full-time nanny of three children.   

Anna has always loved the comradery throughout the company. Since she was a child she has been attending the annual Mudbug Bash. Something she has always admired about Airways is the welcoming environment as well as the family-oriented atmosphere.  

Anna grew up in Springdale, Arkansas and had a traditional childhood consisting of riding bikes, swimming, jumping on her trampoline and playing with her animals. She has always had a love for animals and regularly fosters kittens. She also has two dogs named Bamm Bamm and Bear.  

Anna is in the midst of major lifetime changes, she is getting married to her fiancé Clint on July 22 of this year and has recently started her training as a Custom’s Broker at Airways.  

Her Grandparents served as a great influence in her life by giving her the advice, compassion and work ethic she has grown to appreciate. They have given Anna the strength and tenacity to handle anything that comes her way.  

Anna likes to collect Funko’s and has quite the selection. She also likes to garden, swim, and has the ability to draw anything she sees.  She also has a fascination with sharks and can tell you anything you want to know about them.   

Airways extends warm wishes to Anna on her upcoming nuptials as well as the upcoming career path she has chosen. Congratulations Anna!

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Employee Spotlight – Jerome Casey

Having heard about Airways at a Walmart Shareholder event, Jerome Casey had quite a diverse employment background. From being self employed as a heavy equipment operator doing demolition and excavating for an exhibit house, being on the faculty at LSU Baton Rouge running the research shops for their Agricultural Engineering Department, to his experience in the United States Marine Corp. and as a Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army.

Jerome began his employment at Airways on April 1st, 2002. He is now an Account Manager for Airways Freight’s International Ocean Services Department. His primary focus is the export of goods that are going overseas to events, and to oversee their return. He handles oversize out-of-gauge shipments as well as the shipping of cars, trucks, and other equipment (large or small). He does a wide array of customs documents and creating ATA Carnets. He also reviews invoices and packing lists for various shipments. He loves that every day is different and that there are always new challenges.

Coming from a military family, Jerome was born at St. Albans Naval Hospital, in Queens, New York. He and his family moved to a different place about every three years. Together they either lived or traveled to various places including New York, Germany, Maine, Louisiana, England and eventually Arkansas.

He is intense, reliable and honest. He thanks his parents for being so influential in his upbringing. His Mother (who was born in Walls End Upon Tyne, England) in particular. During the time Jerome was born, his father was stationed in Korea and it was three years before he eventually got to meet him.

Jerome enjoys competitive shooting and considers marksmanship to be one of his top hobbies. He is a military enthusiast and currently the President of the Arkansas Chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. He is an avid collector of military memorabilia and the equipment associated with it. He also loves to restore military vehicles. To this day he owns and has restored 5 different vehicles including a 1952 Willy’s M38 Jeep, a 1962 M37 ¾ ton truck, a 1944 CCKW 6×6, a 1962 M35A2 6×6 and a 1990 M929A2 5-ton dump truck, plus numerous other trailers and equipment.

With the skills to drive or operate just about any type of machinery, he has also learned to fly planes and has even learned to fly a helicopter. Jerome has also worked mechanically on several historical aircrafts, one being the B-29 Fifi. At that time, it was the only one flying.

Jerome has been married to his wife Marsha Jones-Casey for nearly nine years. He proposed to Marsha, in the back of a pickup truck, at a airshow in Ft. Smith while watching the Thunderbirds perform.

His favorite quote is “Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way”! He’s a leader in everything he does, and his accomplishments in life have made him a consummate professional in the day to day operations at Airways Freight and we are humbled and proud to work with him and all of our veterans of the United States Military.

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Employee Spotlight – Angie Collins

While working for the Washington County Department of Human Services as a Food Stamps and Housing Eligibility Specialist, as well as teaching parenting classes to incarcerated women at the Washington County Jail, Angie Collins was seriously contemplating a career change.

When she heard through the grapevine that Airways Freight was hiring, Angie applied for the position. With several friends working for Airways, she witnessed great things and knew that Airways Freight was an excellent company to work for, as well as having exceptional benefits.

Now, for the past two and a half years Angie has been a sustainable part of our Accounts Receivable Department at Airways. Her day to day consists of processing credit card payments, doing accounts receivable for special accounts as well as running invoices. She loves the friendly work environment and her fellow co-workers make her career decision, a change for the better.

Born and raised in Harrison, Arkansas, Angie grew up on her family farm with Charolais cattle and horses. She spent her childhood riding four wheelers, motorcycles, fishing, and hunting. In 1988 she moved to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2000. She has since made Northwest Arkansas her home.

Angie has been married to her husband Bill for ten years this month. She has two stepchildren, Tyler 26, and Kyle 18. For their anniversary they recently travelled to Ireland, Iceland and Scotland on a cruise booked through Destinations. They visited various locations and some of her favorites included St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Blarney Castle, and the Blue Lagoon and Gullfoss waterfalls in Iceland.

Traveling has always been a big part of Angie’s life. She has been to New Zealand, has hunted in Namibia, swam with dolphins in Jamaica and has toured various locations in Scotland.

When Angie is not traveling, or working she loves to hunt and fish, her and her husband like riding motorcycles and four-wheelers. She is an adventure seeker, and enjoys skydiving, water skiing, snow skiing and rollercoasters. She also likes to go to the movies and play the piano and sing.

Angie is a straight-shooter, she is very driven and has never met a stranger. She enjoys uplifting others and her parents have been a great influence in her life. She is dependable, hardworking as well as giving and friendly. She makes the best of each day and Airways is proud to have her as an employee.

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Employee Spotlight – JR Hampton

When it comes to having talent, this guy is filled with it. From playing the drums and singing, to flying airplanes. JR Hampton is multi-talented and for the past nineteen years he has been one of our most dependable employees and as such, was recently appointed as head of our new Aerospace Division at Airways Freight.

While previously working as an installation specialist at Hollywood Overhead Door, JR had heard about Airways through a couple of friends; Andy Moran and Shane Landelius, who were both employees at the time. JR started his journey in July of 1999 in the Trade Show Division and credits a lot of his success to his co-worker and Supervisor Hal Poole. JR feels that without his leadership and guidance, he would not be where he is today. He has tremendous gratitude toward him as well as all the management at Airways, for always providing a family atmosphere, and offering their personal assistance when needed. He says, “they are truly great people”.

Born in Woodward, Oklahoma, JR moved to Mooreland, Oklahoma when he was seven. His family eventually settled in Northwest Arkansas and have been here ever since. The youngest of eight children, life was never boring in the Hampton household. He and his brothers were always involved in either sports or playing the drums.

When JR has free time, he loves being on the water. Whether it’s the lake or the ocean, fishing or boating, he enjoys it all.

JR has been married to his best friend and wife Lisa, for nearly two years. Together they have one fur baby, a one-year old German Shepard named Tika.

Something you may not know about JR is that he has fulfilled two of his life-long dreams. One, is that he has his Private Pilot’s Certificate and two, is that he is a professional drummer in a notable band. He has recorded two albums and is on You-tube with both.

JR stays true to his faith and lives his life by the “golden rule”. He is hardworking, loyal and organized. He is a part of the Airways family and shoots for the moon on a daily basis. We are honored to have him lead our Aerospace Department.

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Employee Spotlight – Christian Johnson

As one of our overnight operators, it is unlikely you will catch Christian Johnson during regular business hours. Acclimating to the grave yard shift is no easy task, but Christian does it with ease and has proven to be an essential link in the operational chain at Airways Freight.

Starting with Airways in February of 2007, Christian previously worked at Ozark Natural Foods warehouse as a special-order shipping manager. He has spent the last 10+ years at Airways and is currently working as an Special Accounts Manager in our overnight operations division.

Born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, Christian is no stranger to the outdoors. Whether it is camping, kayaking, diving, hiking and mountain biking, there is not much he hasn’t tried. When he is not at work, he spends a lot of his free time remodeling and adding on to his house. He and his girlfriend Callie have built a greenhouse and garden and with that, try to be as self-sufficient as possible. One of the things they enjoy growing is mushrooms.
Something you may not know about Christian is that he used to sing and sell merchandise for different bands on tour. He has
visited 49 states in the U.S. and two different countries. He made numerous friends and got to meet a lot of amazing artists along the way.

He is easy going, spontaneous and giving. He is also very loyal to his family and friends. One of Christian’s favorite quotes is “Life’s too mysterious to take too serious” by Mary Engelbreit.

Airways Freight has been a part of Christian’s life since he was a child. His mother worked for Airways back in the 80’s when they were located at Drake Field. He also has a brother that works for Airways named Jeremy Johnson.

One of Christian’s favorite things about working at Airways Freight is the constant push to be the best you can be; whether it’s from his co-workers, agents or customers. His industrious work ethic and attentive mind-set are two qualities that are imperative in solving any problems that may arise, and we are glad to have him watch over Airways as we sleep!

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Airways Spotlight – Lotta Bergqvist-Knoll

Lotta Bergqvist-Knoll has been an Airways agent for the past 20 years! Her dedication and loyalty are inspiring to so many. She has opened doors in a predominately male industry and has proven to be one of the best sales agents Airways Freight has had the honor of working with.

Q: Where did you work before coming to work as an Agent for Airways?

A: I worked for another tradeshow forwarder in San Diego before I became an agent. Previous to that, I was in hotel sales in Sweden and later worked in sales for a resort in San Diego.

Q: What attracted you to Airways?

A: I loved the concept! And when I met all the awesome people that work for Airways I knew I was home!

Q: It has been 20 years; do you have any memories that stand out?

A: I have so many good memories and all of them are with people that work for Airways. The first girl I met at Airways was Shelly Greninger. She was working in the international department back then and was a young mom, now she is a grandmother! Many of my friends at Airways had young children when I started and now they are all grown, done with college, getting married and starting families of their own, pretty cool!

For me it is more than work, it is family. I could not do what I do without the support of the amazing people that work at Airways Freight. Their knowledge, commitment and customer service are unmatched. It has been an amazing 20 years and I am so blessed and honored to be part of the Airways team.

Q: Tell me a little about what you do now?

A: I love my life in beautiful San Diego. If you ask any of my friends or family, they will tell you that I work all the time! The great thing about being an agent is that you can work from anywhere in the world.

I enjoy travelling and I do that as much as I can. I grew up in Sweden and love anything outdoors from hiking to biking and exploring a new city. I have lived in the US for almost 25 years and every year I travel to a new place, but there is so much more to see! My husband and I have taken many road trips and explored many National Parks in this awesome country.


“Lotta, you are an inspirational woman to myself and many others. Opening doors in a men’s industry and proving yourself the best among many. I remember going to the Candy Show and not even knowing my way around the aisles! Thanks for your patience, guidance and friendship along the way! I have only got to be part of a few of your 20 years but watching you and your amazing sales abilities and achievements have been amazing! Thank you so much for all you do, and I am so glad to know you!!”
“Congrats on 20 years!!” – Patty Osburn

Lotta, is such an inspiration to many and such a wonderful female role model. I have yet to work directly with her operationally, with her being in such high demand on the International side of Airways, but I have participated in a few “on the road” tradeshows with her and she is so loyal to her customers. I love to see her in action, she is a devoted agent and takes such good care of the business.

Just this past October, she asked seven Airways ladies to join her in a “GIRLS NYC TRIP” and I can personally say I had one awesome time. Loved getting to know her on a more personal level was great. We plan to get together for another one soon.

Lotta is just one of the nicest women I know and I love her.
Congratulations Lotta, keep smiling and stay smart and beautiful.
XOXOXO – Mandy Wood

“Lotta has always displayed the very best in customer service with her clients, creating friendships that endure over the years. She has that unique ability to command trust and respect which is so important in discussing shipping options to her customers, as well as interacting with our operations personnel.” ~ Grant Green

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Employee Spotlight – Scotty Eaton

Laid-back and friendly are only two of the qualities used to describe Scotty Eaton. Add that to his work ethic and can-do attitude and you have a great asset to our Tradeshow Division here at Airways Freight.

Scotty’s journey began in February of 2015 after working in construction, roofing and delivering furniture for a consignment store. Scotty previously had several encounters with the employees of Airways through his Mother, who was a great friend of many of the people at Airways. Her and Scotty had even attended a few of their crawfish boils. When a position became available, he jumped at the chance to work for a company that was so family oriented.

Scotty began working in Night Operations and focused his attention to learning everything he could about logistics and the freight forwarding business. After two years as a night operator, he was promoted to a day position assisting with Aerospace business in the domestic division. Soon after, Scotty began taking over his own accounts and is currently a special accounts manager within our domestic trade show division. He loves the volume of freight that needs attention daily, and it has been a real “growing experience” for him as well. He loves talking directly to customers and solving any problems that may arise.

Scotty was born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was a self-described daredevil and loved to make people laugh. He attended college at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and played football. He’s been married to his wife Allie for two years, together they have two Great Danes named Diesel and Glacier and a cat named Luna.

When he has free time, Scotty loves to spend it with his wife. He likes to barbeque and entertain friends. He enjoys kayaking and spending quality time outdoors.

Scotty’s favorite part about working at Airways Freight is the atmosphere. He has been made to feel like he’s part of the Airways family since his training, to this day, the feeling has only gotten stronger.

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A Brief History of the Crawfish Boil

What looks, smells, and tastes like seafood, but does not come from the sea? It is that little red “lobster like” freshwater crustacean that has become a Louisiana delicacy and has been a staple for the annual Mudbug Bash held at Airways Freight for the past 30 years!

Also known as mudbugs, Native Americans were first eating the shellfish long before the Europeans arrived. Local tribes would put reeds baited with deer meat into creeks and ponds to catch the crawfish.

After the Great Expulsion in 1755, Acadians arrived from the Canadian Maritime provinces in Louisiana, and settled along the bayous where crawfish were abundant. According to Cajun legend, after the Acadian (now called Cajuns) were exiled in the 1700’s from Nova Scotia, the lobsters yearned for the Cajuns so much, that they set off across the country to find them. Their journey was so treacherous that the lobsters began to shrink in size, and by the time they found the Cajuns in Louisiana, they had shrunk to the size they are now. Upon their arrival, festivals were held in their honor and what was once known as the smaller lobster, was now called crawfish.

In July of 1983, the Louisiana Governor approved a law appointing the crawfish as the state crustacean, thus becoming the first state to adopt an official crustacean.

From having the stigma as a “poor man’s food” the crawfish has increasingly become popular among the local Louisiana people, and in 1960 after Breaux Bridge was named “the Crawfish Capitol of the world”, the first Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival was held. Restaurants began incorporating the crustacean into their menu and creating delectable dishes such as Crawfish Étouffée! .

Thirty years ago, Dale Caudle and the employees of Airways Freight started enjoying those delicious little crustaceans with an annual Mudbug Bash. The crawfish were brought in courtesy of our Louisiana agent, Scott Beeman who delivered them personally from Monroe, Louisiana.

To this day Scott has been supplying Airways Freight with nearly 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of crawfish each year and cooking them up for all of their employees, agents, family, and friends to enjoy. And what a better way to enjoy crawfish than with the tasty customary side dishes like potatoes, mushrooms, and corn on the cob all deliciously seasoned with that spicy Cajun flavor.

So, whether you call them crawfish, mudbugs, crayfish, crawdads or yabbies’ we all feel a little bit of that Cajun joie de vivre when we peel the tail off of that divine little crustacean and pop it into our mouths!

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