GE would not be the company it is today without its employees. From working mothers to U.S. military veterans, GE has a diverse team that should be recognized and celebrated. So, we created a series called the “Quick Six”—six questions we are asking employees to help us learn about their talents and backgrounds. Together, GE works.
In our next installment of Quick Six, The Bike Shop sat down with Teresa Saint-Blancard, a customer program manager at GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio.
How long have you been in your current position, and could you provide a brief overview of what you do?
I recently became a Regional Engines & Services Customer Program Manager, in which I manage the TrueChoice service agreements for Flybe, Alitalia, Arkia and SA Airlink. Prior to this role, I worked for three years as a TrueChoice Transitions Strategy Director, working primarily with technical support around the TRUEngine Program and forecasting Used Services Material needs for the Services Materials team.
What was your career path before coming to GE? What led you to GE Aviation?
Growing up in Puerto Rico, I was always fascinated with airplanes. To visit anywhere outside of the island, we had to get on a big airplane and it would take me wherever I wanted. It wasn’t until college where I took some of the basic propulsion classes that my love for aviation really got sparked.
After completing my engineering degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, I decided to come to GE Aviation. I started in engineering, but quickly discovered I loved the commercial side of the business, seeing how our work impacts the day-to-day operations of the airlines. The best thing at GE Aviation is that it has let me do very different roles from engineering, product management, marketing and now services. Within my different jobs, I have also had the opportunity to explore the world, which was one of my childhood dreams.
What motivates or inspires you at work?
I’m motivated when I think of how I can make a difference with our customers. I love seeing the quick impact we can have on their operations.
I am also very inspired by the people that work here at GE Aviation. I had the unique privilege of leading the GE Aviation Hispanic Forum in Cincinnati for 3 ½ years. I distinctly remember thinking when I accepted that role that it was the ‘right thing to do’. I quickly realized that to inspire and make an impact within GE, this position had to be much more than just a role. The people within the group have become my family away from home, and this deep relationship has enabled the Forum to have a more significant impact within the company and our community. I learned a lot about myself through this journey. Today I celebrate all achievements of my peers/family within the Hispanic Forum like they are my own.
Recently, I was recognized as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever (YHCA), which is a national recognition from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR). The program started in 2007 to recognize young Hispanics in Corporate America from Fortune 500 companies. As one of 36 YHCAs, I represented GE Aviation along with my friend Juan Alvarez, and we attended a four-day training course where we networked with other Hispanic leaders. The best part of the program was to meet the other 35 YHCAs. Their stories and work in their respective companies truly inspired me. I quickly realized that we had similar goals, including the desire to give to our country and communities. I left with a lot of energy and more passion to help here at GE. For more information on the program: https://hacr.org/hacr-yhca/
What has been a lesson you’ve learned that has served you well at GE and in the military?
The biggest lesson is to never stop learning and taking advantage of each day as much as you can. GE is a big company with a lot of different opportunities. I remain humble each day as I know I have learned a lot during my tenure here. And I am grateful that there is always something new to discover.
What is your favorite engine and why?
My favorite is the GE9X engine, the world’s next great engine. It is such a powerful engine, such a big machine, and much bigger than the ones I saw as a kid. I had the opportunity to serve as the GE90 & GE9X product marketing leader when the GE9X engine was unveiled at the 2013 Dubai Air Show. That was the coolest experience working with Boeing and different members of our Aviation team. I also attended the Dubai Air Show during that special moment. I will never forget the pride and excitement from the team as well as our customers. This was a very rare occasion in someone’s career of being part of a launch of such a big product which is the widebody airplane/engine of the future. I will treasure those memories.
What is a surprising aspect or passion that people may not know about you?
I have built a passion for running that I never thought possible. Running for me is a way of meditation and a big stress relief. I can start each run with a million worries but then finish with a sense of peace. My biggest surprise completing a marathon, which I’m proud to say I accomplished several times, including the 2017 New York City Marathon. The New York City Marathon was extra special as it was my birthday and my participation supported the Ronald McDonald House. Since that marathon, I’ve taken time off and just do fun runs. Maybe in the future, I will complete another one.
The biggest surprise is that my running has inspired others to run too. Last year, a Hispanic Forum team ran together for Cincinnati’s Flying Pig weekend. I also participate in an organization called ‘I RUN 4 Michael’, which is a non-profit group that pairs runners with a person with a disability and you dedicate the miles you run to that person. I was paired with Delaney who is 9 years old and has a twin sister. Delaney has severe autism, but her sister does not. I have dedicated miles and all types of different exercises to her, and she tells everyone that she meets that she wants to be like me. That has truly touched my life in a way that I cannot describe. Something so simple can mean so much to someone else. I text and talk to Delaney often, and I even got the opportunity to meet her in person last year which was incredible.
Did you know Quick Six is a series? Read our previous features:
- Quick Six with Gavin Roe, an international program director in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Maria Giuseppina Motta, a GE programs director at Avio Aero in Italy.
- Quick Six with Greg Gass, a director of strategic and Army programs in Washington, DC.
- Quick Six with Carlo Porro, an intellectual property cybersecurity manager in Italy.
- Quick Six with Ashley Ringer, a mechanical design engineer in Dayton, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Eric Ridder, a cyber security operations director in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Michael Eilers, a Digital Thread leader in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Lauren Duncan, an engineer in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Katie Culic, a Military advanced programs project manager in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Raj Das, the general manager of GE Aviation’s Military manufacturing programs in Lynn, Massachusetts.
- Quick Six with Nina Tohill, a customer support manager in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Carol Hartman, a commercial engines technical publications production manager in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Quick Six with Kelly Cole, a senior sales director for GE Aviation in London, UK.