Jim led all people/workforce elements of successfully launching and growing Avelo Airlines (during the Covid-pandemic) including culture, compensation/benefits, recruiting, onboarding and workforce standards. Customer response has been very positive including an initial Net Promoter Score significantly higher than any other U.S.-based low-cost airline. Avelo currently operates 11 Boeing 737s in 31 airports with over 500 Crewmembers as it continues to grow.
With Darden Restaurants as SVP, People for Red Lobster (Darden Restaurants), Jim led implementation of a new vision, values, and metrics to transform Red Lobster into a guest-focused, operationally excellent business. Red Lobster’s guest experience and loyalty grew from dead last in its competitive set to top quartile and earnings increased by over 300%. Red Lobster was recognized twice for the “Best People Practices” in the industry (based on quantitative results in retention, diversity, and other metrics), in an annual award made by Black Box Intelligence/People Report.
While leading the HR function for Unisource Worldwide ($6B distribution business, owned by Bain Capital), he led a cross-functional team to develop and implement a new business model for 50% of the business’s customers (who were unprofitable). That initiative grew EBITDA by over $60mm and put the business in the black for the first time in 5 years.
With Spirit Airlines, Jim was responsible for HR, PR, Communications, and rebuilding the culture/brand from the inside out by establishing a compelling purpose and brand positioning, activated through aligned and improved employee selection, onboarding, training, communication, rewards/recognition, branding, and marketing and public relations. Those initiatives led to a 40% improvement in Net Promoter Score and improved workforce engagement and productivity.
At JSX (an innovative scheduled service airline operating from private terminals), Jim led the executive team in developing and deploying the brand vision and two-year strategic plan, led brand awareness/preference consumer research to support a capital raise to grow the airline, and reduced labor costs and improved talent quality by relocating the headquarters to Dallas.
Jim holds a M.S. in Industrial Relations from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside. He earned the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation early in his career.