Meridian has added Kelly Forester Pappas to its board of directors. Pappas, who for the past eight years has strategically focused on aviation sales and business development in the San Francisco Bay area, has been involved with the business since she was a teenager, when she worked as a customer service representative.
Meridian, the longest-established FBO and maintenance operation at Teterboro airport, evolved from the business founded by Pappas' grandfather, John Kenneth Forester (known as Ken Senior), in 1946. Today, the company operates FBOs at Teterboro airport in New Jersey and Hayward Executive airport in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as an FAA-approved Part 145 full-service maintenance operation that includes an in-house parts department and detailing team. The company recently sold its charter and aircraft management business to Jet Linx, a leading private jet management and jet card membership company.
“The realignment of our business allows us to focus on the foundation the company was built on and gives us greater opportunity to grow our FBO and aircraft maintenance businesses,” says Ken Forester, CEO and owner of Meridian. “We understand that maintaining a 100 per cent customer-centric approach is critical. Streamlining our business model will help us achieve this goal and position us well into the future.”
“I'm very proud to be part of an organisation that prioritises customers' needs first and foremost. I have been humbled by the hard work and dedication of Meridian employees who share in this goal every day. It is an honour to work alongside them,” adds Pappas. “Moving forward, we are committed to continuing to set the bar for excellent customer service in this rapidly changing industry. Our objective is to exceed expectations and remain an industry leader for years to come.”
One initiative that Kelly strongly advocates is the integration of SAF into corporate aviation. “I am passionate about finding ways to reduce the industry's carbon footprint and SAF will help us get there,” she explains. “Meridian can be an industry leader by offering SAF to our customers, which is critical at this point in time.”
Pappas currently works at Meridian's Santa Rosa regional office, which she opened in 2012. She is an active participant in the Northern California Business Aviation Association and Women in Aviation International.
“We are excited about this next chapter in our history,” Forester adds. “As we continue to grow our business, we are proud of the fact that in addition to the hands-on approach we as owners of the business take, we also have one of the longest-tenured teams in the industry. I know Kelly understands that component of our business well, and I am pleased that she will be serving a key role as we move into the future.”