Employee Spotlight: Brock Wood

Since birth, Brock Wood has been a part of Airways Freight. He spent a lot of his childhood in and around the office, and always knew the history and values that Airways was built on. He grew up knowing how much the employees loved their jobs, and thought he would one day be a part of that.

Brock previously worked at a local grocery store, in the receiving department. His customer interactions gave him the skill and knowledge to transition to a position at Airways in the Domestic Operations Department, where he is currently. Brock appreciates and acknowledges the challenge it takes to “think outside the box”, and he has demonstrated that continually.

Brock was born and raised in East Fayetteville, Arkansas and grew-up close to Elkins, Arkansas. Some of his favorite memories were spent riding around backroads on four wheelers and motorcycles. On one occasion he remembers he and his brother getting mini bikes Christmas morning, and within minutes after receiving them, they had both wrecked them!

Brock met his wife Mandy while working together at Airways. They married in 2008 and have a son named Parker. Hand in hand, they have completed three different remodeling jobs to their family home, which is something Brock takes great pride in.

When not working, Brock loves being outdoors. He likes camping at the lake, shooting guns and riding ATV’s. Brock also loves to travel and is quite a history buff. He enjoys learning about history and visiting historical sites and museums. Brock believes that visiting historical areas gives people a greater appreciation for what they have, and what people had to go through before us, to give us the freedoms that we often time take for granted.

This past year, Brock got to travel to Guam on his ten-year anniversary with Airways. His experience was very humbling in that he visited WWII landmarks and museums and one of the beaches particularly had a lot of remaining heavy artillery from WWII and he imagined thousands of soldiers coming ashore, knowing and learning what they had gone through to take Guam back from Japan, and eventually secure the United States foothold in that area.

Brock is laid back and personable, he is also described by his co-workers as hard working and dedicated to both his job as well as his family and friends. He is respected among his co-workers and his work ethic is commendable and appreciated. He most recently has been appointed as one of our Advisory Board members. Go Brock!

Happy Thanksgiving!

With the Holidays quickly approaching and Thanksgiving knocking on our front door, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to our Staff, Agents, Customers and Vendors. Without your service and dedication, there would not be an Airways Freight. That being said, Thanksgiving is a time for traditions, but did you ever wonder where some of those traditions started? Like where the term “Black Friday” came from? Or why we break the wishbone? Here are some fun facts from Babbel and Country Living Magazine.

1) The Original Feast
While most agree that the first Thanksgiving took place in Massachusetts in 1621, did you know that some people believe the town of San Elizario, Texas near El Paso hosted the first feast? In 1598, Spaniard Juan de Onate and 500 members of his crew crossed the Chihuahuan Desert and celebrated their survival with a feast of fish when they got to Texas.

2) The Food
While turkeys are local to the area where the pilgrims landed, the Wampanoag Indians would have been more likely to bring lobsters along with deer meat, clams and eels instead of the first feast. The pilgrims’ English preferences mean that they would’ve opted for duck and goose over turkey as well. In fact, turkey didn’t become a holiday staple until the 19th century when it was recognized as a cheap source of protein that could feed a large crowd.

3) The Side Dishes
While traditional sides like sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce seem like they could have been at the first Thanksgiving, they actually weren’t introduced to until about 50 years later when cranberry sauce was finally invented, and sweet potatoes finally made their way to America.

4) The Leftovers
Did you know the first-ever TV dinner came from Thanksgiving leftovers? In 1953 a worker at Swanson ordered too many frozen turkeys (260 tons too many to be exact) so a company salesman named Jerry Thomas had the idea to create a packaged dinner on aluminum trays. After an assembly line of women scooped turkey, corn-bread dressing, peas, and sweet potatoes onto the trays, the TV dinner was born!

5) The Holiday
We bet you didn’t know that the woman who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is also the person responsible for making Thanksgiving an official holiday. After petitioning the government for 17 years, writer Sarah Josepha Hale finally convinced Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to make it a national holiday that took place every year on the fourth Thursday of November.

6) The Date
However, Thanksgiving hasn’t always taken place on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1939, FDR moved the holiday up one week to help boost retail sales during the Depression. So many people complained that it was eventually moved back to the original date in 1941. The Thanksgivings between those years are referred to as “Franksgivings” still today.

7) The Wishbone
Breaking wishbones to grant secret wishes isn’t an American original. The tradition was inherited from the British, who got it from the Romans, who adopted it from the Etruscans who believed that birds had oracle powers. When birds died they would keep the wishbone and stroke it as they made wishes, which isn’t too far off from the modern practice.

8) The Parade
Every year millions of Americans tune in to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but did you know that the parade has European origins? In 1924, the store’s immigrant employees decided to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season like they would have in their European homelands-with a parade with knights, jugglers and clowns. The balloons weren’t introduced until 1927.

9) The Football
Millions of Americans tune in to watch football on Thanksgiving every year and it all started because the owner of the Detroit Lions wanted to promote the game in his baseball-obsessed city and convinced NBC to broadcast the game. Ever since that first NFL broadcast in 1934, the Lions have played on every Thanksgiving except during WW2. The Dallas Cowboys joined in on this NFL tradition in the 60s and America has had its post-dinner plans figured out ever since.

10) The Friday After Thanksgiving
Ironically the name “Black Friday” was supposed to keep people from not going shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Even though Black Friday is now one of the biggest shopping days of the year, in 1966 the Philadelphia Police Department started referring to the day of shopping deals as Black Friday in hopes that it would deter people from adding to the traffic and commotion before the Army-Navy football game that same weekend.

Employee Spotlight – Brett Parker

Something you would never expect about Brett Parker, is that he was a former Correctional Officer at a maximum-security prison in Huntsville, Texas and that as a rookie, he had to watch and count the inmates on death row. His integrity and fortitude are characteristics he drew from his experience and have been his motivation since.

Hired in January of 1994, Brett had previously been working as a customer service representative at a local car rental company. When he heard about a position opening from his brother-in-law, who was working for Airways at the time, he applied and was hired to work in the Trade Show Division. He heard great things about working for a “new and up-coming” company and his experience in customer service, allowed him to be an excellent candidate for the job. Twenty-three years later, he still loves the camaraderie of his fellow co-workers and the family atmosphere that goes along. Brett is currently working as a Special Accounts Manager and recognizes the value of “always being put in a position to succeed.”. He is appreciative of the great benefits he has encountered while working for Airways, as well as the notable college scholarship program that has helped with his son Jack’s education.

Brett Parker was born and raised in Fayetteville, AR. He met his wife Julie and has been married for twenty-six years. Together they have raised a son who is now a senior at the University of Arkansas.

When not at work, Brett takes great pride in gardening and landscaping. He also loves to play golf, especially with his son Jack. One of his favorite past-times is reading mystery novels, with Harlan Coben being his author of choice. Brett loves most genres of music, and as a lifelong Razorback fan, he loves watching the Hogs play.

Dependable, trustworthy and hardworking, Brett has always lived his life with civility and decorum and prides himself on his marriage along with raising his son. He is respected among his friends and co-workers, and has started preparing for his retirement. (hopefully not too soon).

Employee Spotlight – Craig Luttrell

For the past 23 years, Craig Luttrell has been a fundamental asset to Airways Freight. Starting out in the trade show department, he transitioned to the position he is in today, Manager of the Truckload Division. His industrious and level-headed work ethic, has earned him that title.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Craig began his career working for JB Hunt. With his Father being close friends with the Caudle family most of Craig’s life, he spoke about how much he admired the family, and that Airways would be a great company to work for. Having grown up so close to Airways, and his family having several ties within the company, Craig was encouraged to apply.

Born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, Craig was one of three boys. He spent most of his childhood on motorcycles and go-carting. His work ethic was learned at a young age by helping his father build houses during the summer. Both of Craig’s parents have been very influential in his life. They taught him the value of hard work, and the fulfillment that comes from accomplishing your goals. Through skill, perseverance and elbow grease, Craig and his family have never lived in a home that they did not build themselves.

Craig married his wife Mandy in the Spring of 2005 in Niagara Falls, NY with the picturesque water falls in the background of the ceremony. The minister that performed the service was featured on the Travel Channel, because he was well known for marrying couples by the falls. A year or two later, Craig and his wife spotted him on a TV special and said “Hey, that’s our guy”!

Having 10-year-old twin girls, Belle and Evey, life is never ordinary or monotonous. With both of his daughters involved in sports, there is always a volleyball or basketball game to attend. One of his daughters is convinced that football is in her future. As a family, they spend a lot of quality time outdoors; camping, biking and exploring Northwest Arkansas. When Craig is not spending time with his wife and daughters, he likes to go to the gym and de-stress.

In addition to Craig’s work ethic and level headedness, Craig has a fantastic sense of humor. Something his fellow employees love about him. His wit and character are only a minuscule part of what makes working with Craig so delightful. He is mindful, enthusiastic, determined and respectful. He is a commodity in the Truckload division at Airways and it is a pleasure to work with him every day.