This May, we want to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and the many generations fortifying our nation’s historical fabric and playing an important part in our future success. In this 60-second interview series, we’ll speak with some of our own employees to learn more about their culture and how they celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
First up, we have Crystal Kalamafoni who is a Customer Service Agent extraordinaire at San Angelo Regional Airport (SJT).
What’s your Envoy story?
I started with American Eagle, back in 2004 in the catering department at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) airport. Then, I transferred into the tower as a load planning agent in DFW.
From there I accepted a position as for American Airlines in Reno, Nevada. Shortly after, I had to move to a city that didn’t have an American Airlines affiliated carrier. Eventually, after some changes in the industry, I found myself back with Envoy as a cross-functional Customer Service agent here at SJT where I’ve been for the last four years.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
My day-to-day responsibilities here in SJT extend to every area of our station; including, but not limited to, ticket counter, gate, ramp, baggage, operations, and administration.
What’s the significance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month to you?
It allows myself and others to pay tribute to the achievements, sacrifices, and contributions Asian and Pacific Islanders have made here in the United States.
Do you have any favorite historical figures?
Nelson Mandela one of my favorites, because his fight for equality still echoes in many nations around the world today.
Who in your life has inspired you or is your role model?
My grandfather, Tevita Mapa Va’enuku, inspired me to work in this industry. At a very young age, I had the opportunity to travel on his buddy passes each summer to visit him and it is what sparked my interest in working in aviation, specifically American Airlines.
He retired from American Airlines after 26 years of dedicated service. He is the reason why I have dedicated all my years of aviation service working only for airlines that fall underneath the American Airlines umbrella.
How do you like to show your Asian/Pacific Islander American pride?
I sing this song, popular on TikTok, except I replace boy with girl. ”…cos I’m a island girl, I’m just tryin to make it. And Imma island girl, Imma just island girl.”
Music is my love language! It’s also a huge part of my culture and my upbringing. Sharing my random outbursts of song to my coworkers is my way of sharing who I am, where I come from, and how proud I am to be just that.