When asked to describe her role at Atlas, LaVerne Bowman, Senior Manager, Systems Development for Ground Operations begins by saying, “I have the best position in the company!” LaVerne has been with Atlas for 15 years and over the course of her career, she has had six different roles, working her way up with each one.
LaVerne’s interest in aviation began when she was in high school.
“We had a program in school called City As School, whereby students could explore future careers” said LaVerne. “The idea behind the program was to pair students with professionals and engage them in a collaborative project. I participated as an intern at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University and my project focused on the program called Institute on Climate and Planets. During the internship, I attended a conference where I introduced Franklin Chang Díaz as the keynote speaker. He is a Costa Rican American mechanical engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut. His story was truly inspiring to me. When the internship was over, I had learned a lot about aviation and knew I wanted to pursue a career in this field.”
The next step for LaVerne was Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida where she received a degree in Aerospace Studies with a minor in Business, Communications and Aerospace Studies.
After college, LaVerne found Atlas. “I saw the company listed on my career page at school and thought it could be a good fit. LaVerne was invited to come in for an interview and eventually was offered a position in Ground Ops as Flight Support Coordinator and Cargo Movement Specialist.
In that first role, she ensured punctual departures and cost-effective flights by coordinating and implementing diverse logistical details for global, commercial air cargo charters.
“That role provided me with a full understanding of the whole business, which was invaluable,” said LaVerne. “I had to coordinate with ground handlers, catering, enter airway bills, complete airport ground services suitability, Loadmaster arrangements and think about all of the little details that go into each flight.”
LaVerne has also held roles as an Operations Controller in Flight Operations and an Auditor in SRC formerly called Quality & Compliance. LaVerne says, “As an Operations Controller in the Global Command Center, I was responsible for monitoring real-time flight activity and preparing for an array of logistical disruptions (weather, maintenance, delays, crew changes etc.) that could potentially affect a flight and communicate status changes to all stakeholders. That role offered an incredible learning experience.”
She continues, “In auditing, I traveled all over the world to perform assessments and suggest processes to improve the business. It was a position that offered me an opportunity to drive real change.”
“Each position was unique, and trained me for my next role,” says LaVerne.
Today, LaVerne is responsible for the computer program SABLE, which the field uses to complete the weight and balance for the aircraft.
“My job is to ensure smooth day-to-day SABLE system operations, which includes directing, training, system development, conduct load error investigations, coaching and leading a team in best carrier compliance practices,” says LaVerne.
LaVerne works to update manuals, coordinates with engineering for on boarding new aircraft in SABLE and collaborates with IT to automate and streamline processes. She also oversees the training application Pelesys Learning Management System, which provides trainings to Company employees and vendor personnel, so that they can work on our aircraft and be in compliance with Weight and Balance Manuals.
In addition to the many opportunities in her career that LaVerne has had with Atlas, she is also thankful for the support she received at the Company when she became a mother
“When I became a mother, I had such incredible support from the Company,” says LaVerne. “You never know what the next part of your life will entail and that transition for me was essentially seamless. I’ve been able to be a working mother of two children while continuing to pursue my career here at Atlas, and for that I’m truly grateful to Bob Kiss, Senior Vice President of Ground Operations and the Company.”