Black History Month Spotlight: Phyllis Minter
In honor of Black History Month, Bristow is shining the spotlight on the company's diverse workforce that delivers safe, efficient and reliable services every day. This interview features Customer Service Representative Phyllis Minter from our Lake Charles, Louisiana base.
Talk about your role at Bristow and what are you currently working on?
I am the Customer Service Representative (CSR) for B Hitch at the Bristow Lake Charles base, which means I am the liaison between the customer and Bristow pilots and maintenance technicians. I ensure the flights depart on time and all documents are accurate with the assistance of the Bristow ground crew. I’m always focused on providing a clean, safe and friendly environment for our customers to be transported to their jobs out on the platforms.
What is a recent success you’re particularly proud of?
I am incredibly proud of making it through my crash course of handling 10 – 12 flights daily October – December 2021 due to the damage caused to the Houma base by Hurricane Ida. Bristow moved most of our flights to the Lake Charles base.
I was hired on August 9, 2021, then trained in Houma prior to the hurricane. Immediately after I finished training, Hurricane Ida made impact and I hit the ground running! I am happy to report that not only did I make it through, but I am very comfortable with the fast pace of a busy base.
What in your background prepared you for this assignment?
I have more than 40 years of clerical and customer service experience that have helped me immensely with the paperwork aspect of this position. As far as the customer service piece of the role, I have a love of people and heart for service, so it’s a very natural fit for me.
What are the opportunities and challenges that are unique to your area?
Since I’m new to Bristow aviation as a whole, I have a lot to learn, but I am learning quickly and enjoying the process.
So far, I’ve had a very positive experience with Bristow. Everyone – from management to my coworkers – has been a wealth of valuable information and willing to help when ever needed. It feels like family here.
What was the greatest lesson you learned from a colleague?
A coworker from the ground crew told me, “There are no dumb questions.” While anyone can say that he walked the walk and talked the talk and was always happy to answer my many questions – no matter how strange they were.
A customer service colleague from Houma told me, “Every mistake can be corrected,” and this helped me to keep going even if I had failed in one aspect or another.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a time set aside for the United States to learn about and celebrate my ancestors and their many contributions they gave to the United States and the world. It’s also a time to recognize current Black contributors in society. If we can work together, we can make the world a better place.
What Black role models inspire you and why?
I went to an integrated school in 1969. Without Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream, I would have been going to school with only my race. Thanks to him, I never knew about going to any type of school except one with all races. This integration helped me learn to love all races.
My mother and both my grandmothers were tremendous Black role models for me growing up. They showed me that doing my best will always give me great results and taught me that kindness is the most important thing when getting along with others. This way of thinking has taken me to many wonderful places in my 59 years on this earth.
What significant events in Black history stand out to you personally? Why?
The presidential elections with President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris. Despite the issues with voting rights, we as a people proved that we do great things when we are united. The office of President and Vice President is an incredibly powerful position in the world, not just the United States, because we as a country affect the world.
What question should we have asked you?
How do I do my part on a daily basis in achieving equality for all?
I was taught to treat everyone the way I want to be treated – with dignity, respect, love and kindness, no matter how they treat me, and I don’t ever let anyone disrespect me, because we all deserve respect.