Ashley Medeiros: ‘We have such a great group of people here, and we’re so family-oriented, everyone does their part.’
By Hilary Reeves
According to Ashley Medeiros, most graduating high school seniors born and raised in Hawaii know that the best jobs, the most opportunities exist on the mainland.
“If you really want to make it ‘big,’ you have to go away,” she said. “But I never even considered leaving.”
Medeiros is one of seven siblings who grew up on Maui. Both her parents worked at airports on the island.
“I’ve always been around the airport, always around the tourism industry,” she said. “My first job was as a lei greeter for my uncle’s company. I met and greeted people arriving on the island, helping with their luggage and arranging transportation.”
American Airlines picked Medeiros up, via the company’s contract with then Aloha Airlines. She had spent just a week working as a cargo agent in 2008 when Aloha Airlines transitioned to Aloha Air Cargo. But she kept her position, and was transferred to Honolulu (on the island of Oahu) in 2012. By 2015, armed with an Associate’s Degree, she transferred to the role of Line Maintenance Administrative Assistant in the Maintenance Department, a position more in line with her ideal career field.
“It was time to move around, time to try something new, and I discovered that I love maintenance,” she said. “I started working under (Line Maintenance Manager) Gary Fong. He started to open other doors of opportunity, exposing me to different departments in aviation. I got to work with the planning manager, and when he moved up, I got to move into his position.”
Medeiros has been a maintenance planner for Aloha Air Cargo and Aloha Tech Ops since October of 2016.
“There’s always something new to learn,” she said. “I like watching the maintenance. I’m not mechanically inclined, but I’m passionate about watching and learning how things are done – it amazes me.”
Medeiros said she’s also amazed at people’s resilience in the face of hard times, and she lives to help others.
“A few years ago I asked our Director of Maintenance if we could ‘adopt’ a family for Christmas, she said. “It was a success, and we’ve since made it a tradition. Now we adopt a family, and also do a school supply drive. No one has to give, but we have such a great group of people here, and we’re so family-oriented, everyone does their part.”
In addition to planned giving, Medeiros recently spearheaded an emergency supply drive in response to massive flooding on Kauai. Families across the neighbor island experienced a record 50 inches of rain in 24 hours – and a subsequent flash flood that damaged homes and infrastructure – in April.
“We collected 1,800 pounds of food, water, baby food, diapers and other necessities for families, and with the National Guard was able to send it to families on Kauai,” she said.
Medeiros’s team is currently working on regularly scheduled heavy maintenance, and fleet bridging with Northern Air Cargo.
“We also have the (Boeing) 767 here in Hawaii that travels to Los Angeles,” she said. “We’re very busy in maintenance right now – it never ends.”
She’s currently working on earning her bachelor’s degree, and spends her free time with family.
“I have a fiancé, three of my own children, and one step-daughter,” said Medeiros. “I’m a very family-oriented mom, and I love to get my kids involved with our company’s community service projects. But my major passion is family time. Just doing anything. For me, in my off time, my full attention is on my family.”