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American Way Names Winners of Annual Road Warrior Contest
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What Do Chocolate, Squid and a Nonprofit Have in Common?


Editor’s Note: Photographs, Profiles of Winners, Winning Entries and Video of the Winners’ Photo Shoot are available on request.

FORT WORTH, Texas – American Way, the award-winning inflight magazine of American Airlines, today reveals the five winners of its 11th Annual Road Warrior Contest. The magazine’s March 15 issue showcases the winners on its cover and in the feature story. 

“We love being able to reward our customers every year with the annual Road Warrior Contest,” said Adam Pitluk, editor of American Way. “These entrants continue to be our most loyal customers and we are excited to be able to recognize them for all of the travel they do.”

In July and August 2012, American Way invited readers to enter the contest, whereby they were asked to complete a series of tasks, explaining in creative ways why they thought they were worthy of the honor (and prizes) that come with the elite Road Warrior title.  

Contestants were asked to compose an essay describing why their road warrior lifestyle puts them in a travel category far above the norm. To liven up the contest, at least 10 idioms had to be woven into the stories for qualification. They also had to provide an example of their typical two-week travel schedule, as well as complete other tasks depicting their robust travel lives.

In November, after the thousands of entries were narrowed down to a group of five finalists, readers were invited to go online and vote for their favorite contender. When the month-long voting process ended, the Grand Prize, Second Prize and three Third Prize winners were notified.

The readers of American Way have selected the following winners:
  • Grand Prize – Gillian Smith of Miami is Chief Marketing Officer for City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization. Smith flies nearly every week to visit with the teams of Americorps members working in high-need, high-poverty public schools across the U.S. in their mission to keep students in school and on track to succeed.  In true nonprofit fashion, Smith is donating the Grand Prize AAdvantage® miles she won to City Year.
  • Second Prize – Jerry Swain of Solana Beach, Calif., is Founder and CEO of Jer’s Chocolates. In his essay, Swain shared about how he began creating his signature chocolates and how getting his confections around the globe is the reason he can be found in the sky more than on the ground.
  • Third Prize – Flory Ellis of Playa del Rey, Calif., is Director of Export Management for Northrop Grumman, a major aerospace and defense company. Ellis travels routinely, and had accumulated more than 1 million miles before age 35; Michele Nishiguchi of Las Cruces, N.M., is a professor of biology at New Mexico State University who studies squid. Because Nishiguchi lives in a landlocked state, she must travel to oceanic areas of the world such as Hawaii and Australia to collect and transport squid for her research; Ruban Selvakumar of Los Angeles works for GFT as the co-head of a hedge fund-tech consulting team and is also part-owner of the software company G2 FinTech, which develops tax analysis software. Selvakumar travels the world and in his words, “Helps rich people get richer by day, and ensure they pay their taxes by night.”

The Grand Prize winner received 500,000 AAdvantage® miles, the Second Prize winner received 300,000 AAdvantage miles and the three Third Prize winners each received 200,000 AAdvantage miles.  Additionally, each of the five contestants won a Bose® Wave® music system, a pair of Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones, five Rental Rewards Days from Avis®, a Samsung Galaxy S® III smartphone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab®.  

The winners’ photo shoot took place at the luxurious Grand Del Mar in San Diego. Winners and their guests were treated like celebrities for a week of pampering, which included Avis Chauffeur Drive® by WeDriveU® Chauffeur Service. To read the winners’ complete contest entries and view their photo shoot video, visit www.aa.com/roadwarrior.

Over the past 11 years, more than 60,000 readers have entered the contest in hopes of becoming one of the five annual winners. If you believe you have what it takes to be considered a bona fide road warrior, but missed your chance this time, you can check out American Way magazine or visit www.aa.com/americanway this summer for information about the next contest. 

About American Way Magazine                                                                            
American Way magazine is published on the 1st and the 15th of each month by Fort Worth-based American Airlines Publishing. The only inflight magazine to be published twice monthly, American Way is in seatback pockets on all American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® flights.  For more information, visit www.americanwaymag.com.

About American Airlines
American Airlines focuses on providing an exceptional travel experience across the globe, serving more than 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories. American’s fleet of nearly 900 aircraft fly more than 3,500 daily flights worldwide from hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. American flies to nearly 100 international locations including important markets such as London, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. With more than 500 new planes scheduled to join the fleet, including continued deliveries of the Boeing 737 family of aircraft and new additions such as the Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, American is building toward the youngest and most modern fleet among major U.S. carriers. American's website, aa.com®, provides customers with easy access to check and book fares, and personalized news, information and travel offers. American's AAdvantage® program, one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in the world, lets members redeem miles for flights to almost 950 destinations worldwide, as well as flight upgrades, vacation packages, car rentals, hotel stays and other retail products. The airline also offers nearly 40 Admirals Club® locations worldwide providing comfort, convenience, and an environment with a full range of services making it easy for customers to stay productive without interruption. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, including global brands like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia Airlines, Japan Airlines, LAN and Qantas. Together, its members serve more than 840 destinations with some 9,000 daily flights to nearly 160 countries and territories. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir or Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.




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