“Not even in my dreams could I have imagined I would become a flight attendant. I loved everything about it. It was a fun job and, to this day, I still think it’s the best job in the world.”
That is how Linda Kunz, Vice President of Flight Service at Envoy talks when she is asked why she became a flight attendant. The Dallas Business Journal recently announced the 30 honorees for its 11th annual Women in Business Awards program and Linda was recognized in the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality category. She currently leads the 1,500 Flight Attendants who provide service on Envoy – operated American Eagle flights throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
A 30-year veteran in the aviation industry, Linda started as a flight attendant for Ozark Air Lines, which later became part of Trans World Airlines (TWA). Her leadership style is sensible, human and empathetic. But, at the same time, she’s a determined woman who can tackle a challenge. When American Airlines declared bankruptcy, she navigated through the complex negotiations with the flight attendants’ union. It was a difficult time, as there was much uncertainty within the labor group. She is a leader who will stand up for her employees and understands how important they are to the organization. She will hold them accountable, but she will also empower them to succeed and reach their goals. During the negotiation, this was her main tool to help steer discussions to a point where the conversations between the union and management started to become productive and finally reached an agreement.
Linda feels anyone can succeed as long as they “don’t pass on opportunities and don’t turn their back on their future.”
The category for which she was honored highlights the vital role that she plays in keeping North Texas a contender on the national and international stages. Linda is known for making sure her teams maintain quality controls that will create a seamless onboard experience between Envoy’s American Eagle regional operation and the service customers have come to expect from American Airlines.
Besides her corporate responsibilities at Envoy, Linda has demonstrated that she has a big heart. Her willingness to make a difference in other people’s lives has moved her to volunteer at a shelter called HOPE. The shelter provides housing, clothing and food for abused women and their children for a year. She has shared her experience and knowledge to help prepare women for job interviews.
Before becoming a flight attendant, she wanted to become a teacher. That’s why she’s also committed for the last seven years to participate in the annual “JA in a Day” event in support of Junior Achievement. Each year, volunteers spend the day teaching the basic concepts of business and economics to students from kindergarten through fifth grade, emphasizing how education is relevant to the workplace. The activities build on studies from each preceding grade and prepare students for secondary school and lifelong learning.
This year’s winners will be recognized at a luncheon and trade show on Thursday, August 23, at the Omni Hotel, Dallas, Texas.