Seventeen years after joining the company, Ed Rowe said growth is inevitable – but some things remain the same.
By Hilary Reeves
Ed Rowe joined Northern Air Cargo (NAC) in September of 2001 as a Warehouse Agent.
He grew up a middle child of three in Michigan City, Indiana, enlisting in the U.S. Army in May of 1991.
“Three days after my high school graduation, I was on my way to start my career in the Telecommunications field as a Radio Transmissions Operator,” he said. “My first duty station was Bad Kreuznach, Germany. After Germany, I was stationed at Ft. Richardson, Alaska and finished out the rest of my enlistment.”
While stationed at Ft. Richardson, Rowe met and later married his wife Laticia Rowe, a NAC Claims Agent, on Jan. 31, 1998. The couple left Alaska in 1999 only to return in 2001 after living in Hinesville, Georgia for more than two years.
Three years after joining NAC, in 2004, Rowe was one of the first few original ramp employees who began the Conoco Phillips Shared Services Contract. He left Shared Services in 2006 to return to NAC to help start the contract freight handling for numerous airlines – United, Continental, Hawaiian, Air Canada, American, Frontier, and JAL – but returned to NAMS when the contract expired in 2008. He’s been a Ramp Lead for more than a decade.
“I enjoy working with a great group of people,” he said. “My greatest challenge has been remaining flexible with constant changes in the operation and making sure everyone remains safe. My day starts at 4:30 in the morning. I assign the jobs for the day and make sure all the equipment is properly functioning. We prepare the ramp to receive the aircraft for two morning departures and one turn. We download, clean, cater, and upload the aircraft to ensure the flights depart on time.”
When Rowe started with NAC, it was a family-run business with some 200 employees.
“Since that time, it’s really grown and there have been so many changes. To see how much it’s grown – it’s something I couldn’t imagine when I started more than 17 years ago.”
But one thing hasn’t changed: employees are family.
“One of my favorite stories is how NAC showed the true meaning of family just four months after I started there in 2001,” he explained. “I received a call from home telling me that my Dad has passed and that I needed to come home immediately. Trying to get last-minute tickets was expensive, and NAC helped me get a plane ticket to go home to be with my family. The company also sent flowers for the funeral. It really showed me that I wasn’t alone and what a caring company I worked for.”
Rowe and his wife have three children, ages 24, 19, and 15. He said he’s proud of his family and is planning to relocate “somewhere in the south” in the future.
“Anytime I get a chance to spend time with my family is fun,” he said. “Collecting model cars and car detailing are my hobbies. I’d like to start a car detailing business after relocating. When I started with NAC, I never thought that I’d be here this long. I had no experience in the transportation industry, but time has really flown and I’ve learned a lot. It’s truly been an experience.