No detail was spared for the 100 honorees who were inducted into Delta’s Chairman’s Club on Thursday evening at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta.
To kick off the gala, honorees of Delta's most prestigous employee honor were treated in true VIP style, making their way down the interstate with the help of police escorts. Once they arrived at the museum, hundreds of adoring fans, including friends, family members and colleagues, lined the red carpet to cheer on the honorees to the tune of live music from The Wing Tips, a band made up of Delta pilots.
Once inside, honorees were treated to a cocktail reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres crafted by members of Delta’s James Beard award-winning In-Flight culinary team, chefs Linton Hopkins and Michelle Bernstein, who were both on hand to greet guests and prepare their dishes. Additionally, master sommelier Andrea Robinson provided a wine tasting experience.
The night continued with a multi-course dinner, award ceremony and after dinner celebration with music and desserts, against a backdrop that signifies the airline’s culture and values – The Spirit of Delta.
From beginning to end, honorees and their guests were treated to a true Delta experience, including a menu and wine pairings developed by Hopkins, Bernstein and Robinson. Tables were also labeled with airport codes, which represented the honorees’ home stations.
Joanne Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, served as the emcee of the event.
Dan Carp, Delta’s Chairman of the Board, and CEO Richard Anderson thanked honorees and reaffirmed Delta’s values in their remarks to kick off the program.
“The most important investment – and the one that all other airlines get wrong – is, you invest in your people,” he said. “You take care of your people, and if you take care of your people, your people will take care of your 175 million customers. And if our 175 million customers are satisfied, then we have the resources, as good stewards of all the goodness we’ve created together, to invest back in our employees and invest in equipment and invest in our owners.”
He also noted the responsibility the honorees now have to lead by example and continue to embody Delta’s values with their exceptional service to customers and the community.
“You guys are awesome – just simply awesome,” he said. “Please go back and be the leaders you are for those new hires who you see because it’s your responsibility to train the Chairman’s Club honorees 10, 15 and 20 years from now.”
And the Hollywood treatment didn’t end with the close of the event Thursday night. To conclude the program, Ed shared with the honorees that they will travel to Toulouse, France in 2016 to bring home another new member of Delta’s fleet – an Airbus A330.
The 100 honorees represented 27 cities in six countries, and on average, have 22 years of service at Delta. The most experienced honoree has worked at Delta for 49 years.
The Chairman's Club is part of Delta's commitment to recognizing the people who care for its customers each day and continuing to build a great place to work.