The Portraits of Changemakers series focuses on visionary individuals who work at Aero Mag and who, every day, demonstrate a willingness to make a difference in the world. This week, we are showcasing Oscar Garcia, Operations Manager at our Denver station (DEN).
Oscar has been a member of the Aero Mag family since 2015. The Operations Manager delves into a bit of everything when it comes to daily operations. “I make sure that our tanks are full, our trucks are ready to go and our people stay safe.” Oscar is a well-known figure at Denver International Airport as he has been working at DEN for over 20 years.
When he first joined Aero Mag, Oscar started out as a deicing technician. He caught on pretty quickly thanks to his past experience recovering and providing deicing fluid for airline carriers.
The Operations Manager considers himself a changemaker because he takes into consideration the feelings and challenges of his crew in order to make positive adjustments. “I was in their position before so I listen and make changes as soon as possible. People know that I will not wait for someone else to do it.”
Oscar also believes in the potential of his colleagues and loves to give new opportunities for them to shine. He once arranged for a long-time technician to leave her deicing truck and try out a communications position. “She was so excited! I knew she had it in her and she was happy that I took that chance.”
“I want to be able to make these changes and get people where I think they need to be.”
Oscar recounts that throughout his career, people did not necessarily see him as someone who could take care of an operation or move up the business ladder. Being a person of color, he had to face more adversity than many, but that never stopped him from volunteering to take on challenges as Aero Mag gave him opportunities to grow. “I was always the first one to raise my hand and get out there.” Strong-willed, Oscar has the determination to keep going forward and reach new heights at Aero Mag.
“I’m a worker. I have a family that I want to set up right. Things I didn’t have when I was young, I want to make sure they get.”
In turn, Oscar’s family ensures that he is comfortable out there on the airfield, even in the freezing Colorado winter. “They know what presents to buy me. They give me the things I need to get by at work and I love it!” Last Christmas, he received a winter face mask that keeps the whole face nice and warm, which comes in handy when it’s 10ºF (-12ºC) outside.
To face winter weather, the Operations Manager always tells his crew to layer up. “I’ve been in Colorado all my life and I love the cold, so I always come prepared!” He will sometimes wear thin sweatpants under his jeans, two shirts and two pairs of socks. “You also have to have the right gloves that are waterproof to keep your fingers warm.”
His advice to coworkers is a testament to how much he cares about his team. “We have a lot of good people.” They are the ones who motivate Oscar to give his best on-the-job performance. Besides the people, he also loves the truck, the equipment and the management team.
“They are compassionate and caring. I just love the hospitality I get here at Aero Mag.”
This is why Oscar loves to put smiles on people’s faces and will do whatever he can to help colleagues enjoy their work. “The first thing I do during a morning briefing is handing out food. I tell people to grab whatever they want. It’s important that my colleagues feel that I care and that, without them, there wouldn’t be Aero Mag.”
As Oscar mentioned, the company is always growing so the future of the DEN station looks bright. “If we start recycling glycol here, like at the RRR recycling plant I visited in Montreal, I would see myself moving into that role and running the installations.”
Oscar might have the determination to keep going forward and reach new heights, but he isn’t the only changemaker at Aero Mag! Meet Sonya Cameron, Operations Supervisor at our Calgary station (YYC).
To reach new heights, you have to raise tough questions and stay abreast of the latest news in your industry. And our newsletter aims to do just that!