Unifi Aviation wins Unsung Hero Award for General Manager who overcame personal challenges, drove operational success

ATLANTA – Unifi Aviation is proud to announce that JJ Hernandez, general manager of ramp operations for Unifi at San Diego International Airport, has been awarded the esteemed “Unsung Hero Award” at the Pride of Ground Handling Awards during the 24th Annual GHI Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Hernandez, a seasoned professional in the aviation industry, was awarded for his unparalleled resilience when faced with life-altering news. While serving as Station Manager, Hernandez lost most of his eyesight. When he stepped away from the role as a result, the station struggled without his leadership. Hernandez returned, and despite his setback, turned the station around and grew operations for the customer from 30 flights a day to 65 flights a day.

Greg Kennedy, COO of Unifi, commended Hernandez’s achievements, “JJ’s story is one of operational excellence, and personal triumph. No one is more deserving of this recognition. JJ’s commitment to safety and success ensures that his team goes above and beyond to guarantee both for our customers, and we are lucky to have him on our team.”

Hernandez leads a team of 245 employees, overseeing baggage handling, aircraft servicing, cabin cleaning, security bag room operations, and towing for Alaska Airlines. His success lies in his operational leadership – evident in innovative programs he implemented, including an initiative that allowed leaders to reward agents who displayed proper safety behaviors. The program saw significant improvements to safety across the board. Under Hernandez’s leadership, performance metrics also soared, with customer satisfaction ratings reaching an impressive 100%.

Josh Kennedy, SVP, Operations for Unifi says, “I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with JJ for five years. He has a drive and energy you cannot teach and sets a great example for his team. JJ takes employees under his wing and it’s a testament to how good he is that many of the people he has mentored have also gone on to leadership roles. I’m thrilled to see JJ being celebrated – he truly is a hero.”

The “Unsung Hero Award” recognizes outstanding contributions by ground handling professionals. Nominations showcase individuals who go above and beyond in their roles, embodying resilience, leadership, and commitment to excellence.

Hernandez’s recognition not only highlights his remarkable journey but also reflects Unifi Aviation’s commitment to excellence, safety, and elevating its people.





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