From a young age, Envoy Captain Jeff Runyan knew he wanted to be a pilot. His parents’ decision to support his childhood dream with flying lessons at the age of eight only fueled his passion for aviation. This was a great start, so when a 737 Captain offered to show young Jeff the flight deck and placed a pilot hat on his head, Jeff knew flying was going to be his career.
Age and size weren’t an issue – when Jeff started taking lessons in a Cessna 150, he used pillows to raise himself high enough to see over the dash and never wavered from his goal of becoming an airline pilot. In 2017, he was hired by Envoy at Utah State University as a Cadet Instructor, and the following year, he went to ATP Flight School in Addison, Texas – just 15 miles from Envoy Headquarters. Today, Jeff is a Captain at Envoy, flying the E175, and enjoying every day of his dream career.
Like son, like mother
But flying isn’t just Jeff’s passion. His mother, Envoy Flight Attendant Lisa Runyan, always dreamed of working in aviation. While she initially applied to TWA as a Flight Attendant, she eventually became an elementary school teacher, a career that lasted for 30 years, before joining Envoy in November 2022. Throughout her life, Lisa has had a love for world travel, making it a priority to expose her family to different cultures.
“I would rather be homesick than home,” jokes Lisa. “I’ve navigated our family through five continents and some of our greatest family memories are from our time abroad.”
In addition to traveling, the family has hosted three foreign exchange students from Italy, which resulted in Jeff becoming fluent in Italian. They’ve made about a dozen trips back to Milan, where their exchange families have become like extended family.
After retiring from teaching, Lisa decided to follow in Jeff’s footsteps and embark on a second career as a Flight Attendant at Envoy. The shared love of aviation has brought Jeff and Lisa together in a unique way. Even while on the road, Jeff calls Lisa every day with information about the weather, safety concerns, and good places to eat on layovers. Together, they’ve been able to work two trips as a Pilot/Flight Attendant team.
Of their first experience working together, Lisa shares, “We both laughed when Jeff called from the flight deck to ask if the cabin was ready for departure and ended their conversation with, “OK thanks Mom, Love You”.”
Happy Mother’s Day to our aviation families!
Interested in joining Envoy? Tell your friends and family to visit envoyair.com/careers to learn more and apply.