60-Second Interview: Maima Blackwell-Duckett

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re sharing a series of 60-second interviews with employees and leaders from across Envoy. In this interview, we’ll hear from Maima Blackwell-Duckett, Envoy Passenger Services Shift Manager at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

What is your Envoy Story?

I have been with Envoy since 2016 — I’m in my eighth year. As a Shift Manager, my normal day consists of leading the day-to-day operations of the Customer Service Agents and passengers both at the gate and Baggage Service Office.

I ensure all customers are being met with the best smiles, assisted with a positive attitude and handled with the utmost care.

As we celebrate Black History Month, which historical figure is an inspiration to you and why?

You run into a lot of heroes in your life, but one that sticks out the most for me is Madame C.J. Walker. Learning about her inventive nature to help people has always inspired me even when I was younger.

When I got older, I realized that she was more than just a Black lady who invented and created hair care products. She helped many Black people develop jobs, showed others how to budget and become business owners, and even created a beauty school to help further the education for her staff.

Doing all this made her the first self-made, female millionaire in the U.S. This has always shown me that working hard and helping others succeed can also help you succeed in your own life.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

My mother and I love to learn about our family history and culture. We sometimes go through our family tree and look over photos and items kept from our family years ago.

There is so much history within our own families and it’s just fascinating to learn.

What’s one surprising thing about you people might not know?

When I was younger, I always wanted to be the first-ever Black female opera singer, but I didn’t learn about Caterina Jarboro until I was much older.

However, I began training for opera and Broadway at a very young age and continued doing shows and plays all the way into adulthood. I even completed my music career with an Associates in Recording Arts and Engineering from the Los Angeles Recording Arts School in 2010.

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