From the Gate to the Plant

By Brian Nelson

May 2016

My first encounter with an airplane was at age 5 when I accompanied my father to the American Airlines gate at the Minneapolis airport in 1965. The bright, shiny aluminum 727's beauty bestowed itscrafty lines and trijet configuration, and I fell in love. My mother recalls that I claimed, "I'm going to fly those someday!"

Thirteen years later, in 1979, I moved west to find a job at Boeing after my youth was consumed by aviation hobbies -- from building to models to Estes rockets -- most likely from that first impression with a Boeing 727 in clad aluminum. I never did pilot a plane, but I have had five careers within the Boeing company, from beginning as a machinist at Plant 2 to working as an IT project manager in Renton, Wash.

I feel very proud when I tell people I work for Boeing because the name is associated with safety, quality, technology and, most important, trust.