Team Leader

Whether it’s running a marathon or raising funds for a cause, American Airlines employee Carolyn Barnes commits to going the distance.

Barnes (center) began her career in Human Resources 28 years ago. She eventually landed a job in the ramp control tower at Miami International Airport, where she’s worked for 22 years.

Barnes is Senior Planner of Tower Operations, which involves talking to American pilots on a radio frequency about flight issue resolution and ramp control traffic, as well as assisting the ramp manager with operational issues. She enjoys the excitement and the teamwork the job allows. “I am very fortunate to have this unique job,” she says. “I love working in the tower.”

After participating in a race organized by corporate in 1994, Barnes was inspired to create a running team for American employees. “I distributed flyers to employees and the response was great,” she says. “At our first event, we had 22 runners raising funds for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Now we have 198 members.”

Barnes’ vision, which ultimately qualified her as a finalist in the 2012 American Airlines Spirit of Giving Award, was to bring together employees from all work groups and encourage teamwork and engagement in community events. The running team works to benefit the community and promote good health and fitness in the workplace.

For 19 years, the American Miami Running Team, which includes Barnes’ husband and Miami firefighter Bob Barnes, has worked to fulfill the vision, raising countless dollars at events for organizations such as the American Red Cross, United Way, Komen Race for the Cure and ING Miami Marathon.

The running team and many other coworkers also raise funds with bake sales, raffles and airport walkathons that encourage passenger participation. “Our participation fosters friendships and brings awareness to people who may not know about needs in our community,” Barnes says. 

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