Reflecting on these Challenging Times: A Note to Employees from John Dietrich, President & Chief Executive Officer

I feel great pride in working for Atlas, a company that not only carries the world, but also cares about the world we carry.  Which is why it is important for me to share some thoughts during this very challenging time. Our world has been challenged by a global health crisis that we never thought was imaginable.  And in the backdrop of this global pandemic, this week we were reminded of a very different challenge to our collective humanity that continues to exist in our society – the devastating impacts of racial injustice.

We are heartbroken by the senseless and horrific death of George Floyd, which comes on the heels of the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others.  Since last week, we have seen peaceful protesters taking to the streets to express their right to organize and have their voice heard, and, unfortunately we have also witnessed the troubling and unnecessary violence that has broken out across our country.  It is hard for me to find the right words, but I feel the need to say something.

Racial inequality is simply unacceptable.  Period.  I do not pretend to be able to put myself in the shoes of those who have experienced racism on a profoundly personal level, but I know that I can listen and learn, and that I can become an ally who provides support and comfort to our entire Atlas team.  In this moment, there is a calling for all of us to be better – to listen, learn, and do better.  It is a time of reflection.  And during this time of reflection, I have thought a lot about the core values of our company.  One of our values is “it takes a team” – and by team, I mean a united team, where our diversity makes us stronger.

We are committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion.  In our workplace, we are focused on attracting and developing a workforce that reflects the composition of our communities and the world around us.  This is reflected in the very diverse composition of our Board of Directors, and we continue to expand and focus on the diversity of our teams at all levels of the organization.  We continue to pursue partnerships with local organizations who are focused on the education of our youth in underserved communities.  And we continue to advocate in Washington D.C. for more programs that provide increased access and affordability to aviation educational programs.

Yes, this is progress.  And yes, more needs to be done.  We continue to make this a priority for our company each and every day, which in turn, helps our society at large move forward on the journey to racial equality. We all must do our part.

As always, we remain focused on the safety of our people. Amidst the protests and escalating violence taking place in many cities across the country, I want you all to know that we are working to keep all of our employees safe by taking appropriate steps, including relocating hotels where and when necessary for our crews, as well as monitoring curfews and vital transportation system shutdowns that impact our airport staff, as well as those working on the ramp and in the warehouses.

I do not have all the answers alone, but working together, we can be a powerful part of the solution.  Your voices represent the world we live in – and we value and want to hear them.  I invite you to share any of your views and experiences with me and your other leaders, and help us to do better for you as we provide a safe, inclusive workplace.