Name: Andrew Bowen
Employer: City of CLT/Aviation Department
What is your job title? Senior Budget Analyst
How long have you worked at CLT? 1.5 years
What originally attracted you to working at CLT?
Growing up here in Charlotte, my mother worked for an airline. We could fly regularly to see family in New York, or otherwise drive to the Airport to pick them up. During these trips, riding down Josh Birmingham Parkway in the station wagon with the sunroof open, with a plane landing on Runway 23, was my 8-year-old idea of a great time. Once I grew up and started my career, I was lucky enough to get exposure to some of the people and their work at CLT, so I jumped at the chance when I saw a job opening that interested me.
Describe your typical workday.
I’ve got normal cyclical duties that I need to complete, such as checking on and approving procurement requests, approving purchasing card statements and packaging information for city council. About 99 percent of CLT expenses come across my desk at some point and that’s monitoring the puzzles that are our operating and capital budgets. These puzzles are expressed in one of my favorite parts of the job, which is our airline rate model (the cost allocation plan for the airlines) and seeing how we can constantly improve by working with coworkers on special projects (think traffic analysis, cost recovery analysis, processes) and, of course, helping others understand and manage one or more of our 50-plus budgets. At the very least, I love nerding out in Excel.
What do you like most about working at CLT?
My formal education in Geography, but I am terrible at national capitals and identifying the world’s rivers. I studied how cities work, grow and change over time, with a focus on transportation. CLT is a huge asset to the City and North Carolina – because it functions like a city. I look at the terminal as a 1.8 million square foot city with a few thousand residents (workers) and millions of visitors every year. There isn’t much else like it. I go to the terminal to look at new projects and initiatives every chance I get, and it is truly awesome to watch it work. Where many of the people who visit are just passing through, they also get a glimpse of the great things Charlotte has to offer: rocking chairs, the people, and hopefully for their flight, good weather. Oh, and the CLT Canine Crew is great; who doesn’t love puppy time?
What daily attitude/saying/motto do you bring to your job?
My way of operating is to keep it as light and as fun as I can with my colleagues. My lanyard has an image of Bob Ross and the statement “No mistakes, just happy accidents.” I always aim to have fun, while at the same time recognize that we – me especially – can all learn from and/or adapt to our faults and mistakes.
Do you have any fun memories or moments/stories from your time at CLT that you would like to share?
One of my first meetings when I started in November 2017 was with the Facilities group, right as they were prepping for snow season. At 3 a.m. a week later, I was cruising up and down the runways in the passenger seat of the lead snow plow in CLT’s annual snow removal exercise. That was the first of many times a coworker has happily showed me what kinds of things go on in their job that help me understand their needs a little bit better – thanks Chad!
What keeps you at CLT?
There are no shortages of challenges, things to learn, and people from whom to learn all kinds of interesting things. It is an honor to be part of the team that keeps CLT growing, competitive and safe, all the while a thrilling place to work.
What makes the City of Charlotte a special place to live/work?
It’s home. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with the city. Looking back to 15-20 years ago, the change is astounding. So much is different and not every change is ideal, but we still work to maintain our sense of history; bring back the Hornets a few years back immediately reminded me why, to this day, I still have my faded childhood Hugo figurine on my desk: Grandmama.
What is the best advice you’ve gotten from someone since starting work at CLT?
“There’s a lot to learn about the airport.” And it’s true. Between all the different agencies and businesses that operate on the property within the various regulations, there is always something new to learn and that helps keep it exciting.
If you could hop on a plane and fly anywhere, where would you fly and why?
First, I should probably tell the wife and make sure she had a ticket too. I’d find an itinerary that gets us on the soon-to-be-retired 747 to go across the Atlantic and see what kind of trouble we could stir up during a month-long trip across Western and Northern Europe. While I’m making things up, this is after winning the lottery, right?