LEARNING IN LEADERSHIP.

Author:Luckow, Kaitlyn
Position:HISPANIC HERITAGE: AMERICAN AIRLINES
 
FREE EXCERPT

Ralph Lopez is currently overseeing American Airlines' Integrated Operations Center (IOC) at their HDQ campus in Fort Worth. He has grown right within American Airlines, and each role has contributed to his current seat.

Ralph Lopez' story is one of unexpected turns, travel, and adaptability. Throughout his life, Lopez not only welcomed challenges, but learned and grew from them to get to the leadership position he is in today. Growing up, Lopez was destined to be a traveler. Born to a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from Trinidad and Tobago, Lopez traveled between the two at a young age. As he continued to grow up, he spent some of childhood living in Spain before returning to Trinidad and Tobago for high school.

"I enjoyed getting to go all of these places and traveling," Lopez said. "That opportunity helped shape a lot about what we may talk about next....A worldly education."

While attending a British all-boys school in Trinidad and Tobago, Lopez learned how to structure a path and gain skills that would allow him to be competitive in his chosen career. Although he had a strong passion for business and art, his academic prowess allowed him to graduate early, without having a clear vision of where he wanted to go next. Lopez' dad suggested that he take a year off in between high school and college, and that's what led him to study finance. While on summer break from college, Lopez took a summer job at a company that ended up shaping his whole career: American Airlines.

"I loved what I was doing. I just fell in love with the airline itself," Lopez said.

Throughout Lopez' career at American Airlines, he has held a variety of positions all around the world: mainly in the United States, the Caribbean and South America. ADD He is currently overseeing the Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas, essentially coordinating the airline's worldwide operations.

However, his career wasn't always easy, especially when the airlines declared bankruptcy in 2011. This time in his career taught Lopez how to retain passion even during a tough time. Eventually, the airline merged with U.S. Airways and American Airlines continued.

Philosophy on Leadership

Lopez has an ever-growing view on leadership thanks to his many years of experience at American Airlines. In fact, one of the most important traits of leadership that Lopez holds is the...

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