The Council of Airline Maintenance Managers (CALMM) held its first in-person meeting and holiday lunch since the beginning of the pandemic. Aviation High School hosted the event at the JFK Airport Annex.
It was announced during the meeting that Tom Fitzgerald of KLM will be retiring at the end of the year. CALMM President, Robert Kennedy, shared his personal memories of working with Tom and then opened the floor for other members to share their own. His impressive career and personal connections led to some very heartfelt and thoughtful speeches. Tom plans to stay active with CALMM and continue on as an advisor with Aviation High School.
CALMM members, as well as other industry professionals, shared their personal experiences working as aviation maintenance technicians with the Aviation High School fifth-year students who were in attendance. The overarching theme of the advice was to “guard your professional network” and to “avoid burning bridges.” This is a small industry, and it is likely they will wind up working with the same people at different facilities around the world. Clearly, Tom Fitzgerald was given the same advice at some point in his career.
In turn, the students did an impressive job of sharing their own professional plans as they enter the industry. These young men and women have been hard at work during the pandemic, and have found their own passions for this industry. The Annex at JFK was closed during the pandemic and has only recently reopened. The students have done their best with online learning, but are obviously happy to be back to in-person learning at the Annex.