The final installment of the 2013 European American Chamber of Commerce’s  Networking Series had no trouble getting off the ground.  It  did, however, seem odd for me to be heading into the airport without a significant amount of luggage and a sneaking suspicion that I have more than 50 lbs. crammed into my lime green Samsonite.  (You never know for sure until that moment of truth at the check-in counter.)  My destination for this trip, not far at all, with all of our stops in one building.

ultimate air 2

During the short walk from car to terminal several things crossed my mind:

1. I’ve never had airline food/peanuts at a networking event.  Will this be the first?

2. Am I going to have to go through TSA to get where I’m going? I know I have a myriad of Aveda/OPI products I’d hate to part with (non-regulation size)  in my purse.

3. Will someone ask what CVG stands for – like I’ve heard nearly every time I’m in the airport?  For those of you who do not know, it stands for Covington, the city in which the airport resides, though they graciously give Cincinnati top billing in the longer name.  I can see why their recent branding strategy is the condensed CVG moniker.

Ulitmate Air 1

After refreshments (which did not include airline food), we heard from leaders at CVG, DHL and Ultimate Air Shuttle on their growth and development strategies.

CVG’s major goals are indeed complex, but successful.  Something struck me – I’d been under the assumption that I was their client – the road weary traveler – when in fact their main “client” is the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region and providing the community with opportunities for economic success.  On the micro level that includes diversifying carriers, increasing routes and lowering fares while on the macro level it means making sure the major, long-standing pillars of the airport happy – like Delta and DHL.  The more successful area companies are the greater need for a strong channel into the supply chain.  It’s one big circular flight pattern!  One in which all the pilots need to have the same coordinates to achieve success.

To underscore the importance of this collaboration, we next heard directly from DHL.  As you might have guessed, their success is going up, up and away in their recently expanded facility.  Did you know that Covington is one of three super hubs of DHL?  Yes, we rank up there with Hong Kong and Leipzig, Germany!  Their compound is as efficient and tech savvy as possible – very impressive.  Equally impressive was their commitment to their employees and to corporate social responsibility.  A core value here at Barnes Dennig too.

We also heard from Ultimate Air Shuttle, who my frame of reference came from the social responsibility realm.  I’d heard of them through their support of the USO here in Cincinnati.  Think about this before your next flight (if it’s to New York, Chicago or Charlotte) – arrive 15 MINUTES before your flight, no TSA checkpoint, plush accommodations – and a shuttle up to Lunken if that’s where you flew out from provided by an extremely lovely staff.

As the goal of CVG is the growth of our area, the wind beneath the wings of CVG is its key relationships with partners to make sure the traveling experience is enjoyable and affordable.  I have to say adding a Graeter’s kiosk near the terminals was genius!

Stay tuned for the 2014 Networking Series.  We’re looking forward to learning about other wonderful organizations in our community.  Check the European American Chamber of Commerce’s website for information as it becomes available.