The LCLD Fellows flew into Chicago, Illinois on September 17-18, 2018 to visit the headquarters of United Airlines for a Learning Experience hosted by LCLD Member Brett Hart, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel of United.
The Learning Experience began with a Welcome Reception hosted at United’s corporate headquarters—the famous Willis Tower. At the reception, Hart sat down with and LCLD President Robert Grey for a ‘fireside chat,’ discussing Hart’s career path and advice to emerging leaders. A few brave Fellows also got a private view from the Willis Tower Skydeck on the building’s 103rd floor.
The next morning, Fellows were welcomed by two leaders from the United Legal Department: Jennifer Kraft, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, and Vania Wit, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. Kraft and Wit provided an overview of the legal department and discussed issues related to hiring, working with outside counsel, and United’s pro bono program. Toby Enqvist, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, then discussed recent changes made to enhance the customer experience.
Fellows also received an unexpected visit from Oscar Munoz (right), United’s Chief Executive Officer. While Fellows may have been surprised to see the CEO passing by, United employees said it was not unusual for him to take an interest in an event like this. Munoz discussed the company’s values and answered questions from Fellows on company culture and metrics for success.
After Munoz’s visit, the substantive sessions continued, giving Fellows a closer look into the inner workings of the company. Ankit Gupta, Vice President, Domestic Network, explained how the company decides where and when to fly. Dave Hilfman, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, talked about United’s relationships with its large-scale customers. Suzi Cabo, Managing Director, Corporate and Community Affairs, and Aaron Stash, Manager, Environmental Strategy and Sustainability, detailed the pillars of United’s commitment to the environment and the community.
After lunch, Fellows took a visit to the Network Operations Center, where the day-to-day operations of the airline takes place. From here, United employees monitor each flight, track delays, check plane and weather conditions, and speak with pilots. Hundreds of employees are stationed on this floor to keep the airline running smoothly.
The Learning Experience concluded with a session on fostering a diverse and inclusive culture. Vania Wit moderated a panel featuring Kate Gebo, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Labor Relations; Sharon Grant, Vice President, Community Affairs; and Gavin Malloy, Vice President, Corporate Real Estate. They discussed everything from United’s employee business resource groups and Executive Diversity Council to working with diverse suppliers. They also engaged in a lively discussion with the Fellows.
LCLD would like to thank United’s Legal Department leadership; LCLD Fellows Averil Edwards, Javaria Neagle, Mike Henning, Greg Wu, Richa Himani, Sean Nash, and Cristina Nutzman; and United’s Senior Manager of Meetings & Events, Cynthia Treece for their assistance with this event.
Photos by Johnny Walker, United Airlines.