60 seconds with American Airlines Cargo’s Lisa Oxentine

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American Airlines Cargo managing director global and key accounts - cargo sales, Lisa Oxentine

Lisa Oxentine is the managing director, global and key accounts – cargo sales. Prior to joining the cargo team in 2017, she led the customer recovery team in the Customer Experience department, managing 47 system-wide managers who focused on ensuring a top-notch experience for customers across the entire American Airlines network. She joined American in 1987.

ACW: You have been involved with cargo at American Airlines for just a year. What have you still to learn?

Oxentine: Thanks to all the great people I’ve met, I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible in the past year. But, there’s always more to learn. This is an exciting time to be a part of American Airlines Cargo and I look forward to what’s to come.

ACW: Any surprises since you have become managing director, global & key accounts?

Oxentine: I have been truly surprised at how much paper is still involved in cargo. I came from the passenger side of the business and we switched over electronically quite a while ago. I’m part of an organisation that’s pushing for quick change from an e-freight perspective.

ACW: Are you challenged or invigorated by the arrival of Amazon Prime?

Oxentine: I feel very excited about all the possibilities and intrigued by how our society has to have everything in an instant. It is changing how we do business every day, but it’s going to make what we do even more exciting and cutting edge.

ACW: What do you see as the key requirements to get the most from your staff?

Oxentine: Listening to them on a daily basis and then taking that information to make the necessary changes they need to do their jobs better. Follow-through and trust are key requirements in maintaining a successful team dynamic.

ACW: In terms of AA Cargo’s business, what are the main opportunities you see over the next five years?

Oxentine: The next several years are going to be about adjusting the way we do business to support the growing e-commerce demand.

ACW: If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Oxentine: Bread, pasta and ice cream.

ACW: If you could be anyone in history who would it be? Why?

Oxentine: If I could be anyone, I’d be Danny Thomas who created St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. I visited about two years ago and what an amazing place with the most amazing people! The work that they have been able to do there is magical and they have changed so many families’ lives that have to deal with so much pain. I would love to be able to touch so many people’s lives and save the children the way Mr Thomas has.

ACW: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?

Oxentine: That I love sports; more specifically the Dallas Cowboys. I also love hockey and The Dallas Stars. Both of my kids played soccer and football in college, so it has been something I am very passionate about.

ACW: We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

Oxentine: First I would take care of my Dad and make sure he has everything he needs. My kids of course, then make sure that my niece and two nephews are set for college. After that, I would donate to two charities – St. Jude and Scottish Rite hospitals since both of these do not charge families for care. I would have to think about if I would still work. I might retire and then volunteer at either of those hospitals and take golf lessons. I would then spend some of money on a great vacation.

ACW: When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

Oxentine: Call my sisters or my best friend to vent. They always make me laugh. I do try and remember that I have survived many bad days while working at the airport during bad weather. Thinking about some of those and how I made it through helps me remember that whatever I’m going through probably doesn’t measure up to those crazy days.

ACW: What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?

Oxentine: The last thing I watched on TV was the Voice. I love that show and specifically Blake Shelton. It is very funny too, so it really makes me laugh, and I enjoy that after a long day.

ACW: What was the last film you saw?

Oxentine: Game Night at the movies and on the airplane I watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

ACW: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Oxentine: I wanted to be a teacher because I love to help others, especially kids.

ACW: If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

Oxentine: 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton.

ACW: Iced tea or Mint Julep?

Oxentine: Iced tea, but unsweetened.

ACW: What’s the worst thing you did as a kid?

Oxentine: The worst thing I did was opening all of my Christmas presents before Christmas and then I re-wrapped them.

ACW: Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson. (Not AA Cargo!)

Oxentine: Starbucks.