:::: Photo By LeVonn ‘Lyfe‘ Brown ::::
IN THE BUSTLING CORRIDORS OF HARTSFIELD JACKSON Atlanta Airport, there exists a story of resilience, dedication, and growth embodied by Myrna White. Starting as a temporary employee back in 1991, Myrna’s journey was set in motion. Little did she know that this airport would become the center stage for her extraordinary career and life’s work. As an information specialist, her role extended far beyond the confines of her job title. She was tasked with gaining public approval for the ambitious fifth runway project, a monumental responsibility that would shape the airport’s future and solidify her place in history.
Building Success Through Challenges
Myrna’s journey at the airport was not without its hurdles. She recalls the challenges faced during the construction of the fifth runway. Flight pattern issues and other obstacles delayed the project, but Myrna’s unwavering commitment and problem-solving skills played a pivotal role in overcoming these setbacks. Her ability to navigate through difficulties with grace and persistence endeared her to her colleagues and superiors alike.
A Special Connection to the Fifth Runway
It may seem unusual to develop a personal connection to an inanimate object like a runway, but for Myrna, the fifth runway was more than just a piece of pavement. It represented her journey and growth throughout her time at the airport. The runway’s opening in 2006 marked a significant milestone in her career, symbolizing the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Myrna’s strong sense of attachment to the fifth runway showcased her passion for her work and the airport’s success.
White played an intricate role in Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport’s rise to becoming the busiest airport in the world. Serving under six mayors and eleven airport general managers was no small feat, especially considering the political landscape that often accompanies such positions. Her ability to stay focused on the airport’s growth while avoiding political entanglements was instrumental in Myrna’s longevity and success. Her approach to leadership and unwavering faith in God and her abilities earned her the respect and trust of those she worked with.
A Growth Philosophy That Transcends Time
One of the keys to Myrna’s success was her growth philosophy, which she adhered to throughout her career. Being prepared and constantly learning about the organization’s needs allowed her to adapt to the visions of different general managers seamlessly. Myrna’s ability to persuade others was balanced with knowing when to step back, a skill that proved invaluable in her interactions with stakeholders and the public.
Throughout her decades of service, Myrna White’s faith remained a constant source of strength. Her Bible served as a guiding light during challenging times, reminding her of her purpose and the values she held dear. Alongside her faith, her circle of friends provided unwavering support, acting as a safety net during moments of uncertainty and doubt. “When you have a circle of friends to help out, you have all you need. I have been married, divorced, raised a child who just graduated from my alma mater, University of Georgia. I am proud and blessed.”
The combination of faith and friendship fortified her resolve and enabled her to withstand the pressures of her role.
Traveling the World and Embracing Diversity
Myrna’s adventurous spirit and coveted airport position, led her to explore diverse cultures and countries worldwide. Having visited almost every corner of the globe, her experiences exposed her to the beauty and richness of humanity’s diversity. She vividly recalls her time in South Africa, where she immersed herself in Nelson Mandela’s history, an encounter that left a profound impact on her. “Being in the place that Nelson Mandela lived and visiting where he was imprisoned was such an historic moment for me. It was very impactful”, she remembers. And a brief but enchanting visit to Paris left an indelible memory of a city characterized by beauty, romance, and culinary delights.
Leadership and Mentorship: Nurturing Future Leaders
Myrna’s leadership style was defined by her father’s advice to treat others better than she wanted to be treated. This principle, the “platinum touch,” allowed her to foster an environment of respect and fairness, ensuring that her colleagues, superiors, and subordinates felt valued and appreciated. As a mentor, she took pride in guiding individuals through their careers, helping them climb the ranks and assume higher positions. Her commitment to honesty and constructive feedback inspired growth in those she mentored, reflecting her genuine desire to see others succeed.
Feedback played a significant role in Myrna’s professional growth. She actively sought guidance from her general managers to identify areas for improvement and embraced constructive criticism wholeheartedly. Rather than viewing feedback as a judgment of her abilities, she regarded it as an opportunity for growth. Her open-mindedness and willingness to adapt led to continuous personal and professional development, fostering a sense of humility and self-awareness.
The Future for Myrna White: A Legacy of Knowledge and Expertise
As Myrna prepares for retirement, she embarks on a new chapter, venturing into the private sector as a public relations powerhouse. Her vision for Everest Global Engagement reflects her desire to share her wealth of knowledge and expertise with organizations seeking her services. Like the towering peak of Mount Everest, her standards of excellence and dedication will remain unmatched, continuing her legacy of impactful contributions.
The tale of Myrna White at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport is one of perseverance, dedication, and growth. From her humble beginnings as a temporary employee to becoming an instrumental figure in the airport’s success, her journey is a testament to the power of unwavering commitment and a growth mindset. Myrna’s faith, adaptability, and leadership philosophy have served as the driving force behind her remarkable achievements. As she prepares to step into a new phase of life, Myrna White leaves behind an indelible mark on the airport and its people, inspiring future generations to embrace challenges, cultivate resilience, and soar to great heights.