A message from President Mary Lou Gallagher
Over the past 15 years, Beyond & Above has been fortunate to have several hundred students come through our doors, graduate, and with our help, achieve fantastic success launching into their new career as a Corporate Flight Attendant. In addition to my work with Beyond & Above, I am honored to have served on the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) which works with the FAA in Washington D.C. creating and implementing positive change in our industry. This previous appointment to the ARC, along with Beyond & Above, has given me another opportunity to make a difference in corporate aviation. I have also served on the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee, which has also provided me the opportunity to contribute ideas to professionally raise the bar for Corporate Flight Attendants. Recently, I have become a member of the IS-BAO. The IS-BAO sets, ensures, and promotes global harmonization of aviation safety standards. The IS-BAO keeps its members informed of the changes to national and international standards. Beyond & Above uses this information to keep our training current and at the highest standards of excellence.
Mary Lou Gallagher
My name is Mary Louise Gallagher and I have been involved with aviation, on and off, my entire adult life. After college, I taught second grade and had the time of my life, however, my heart was in the sky.
I began my career in aviation with American Airlines as a flight attendant and after two years, was fortunate to be hired by Pan American World Airways. I loved traveling the world, and having fellow crew members to sight see and shop with. Life couldn’t have been better. I then met my husband and decided that three years of being a gypsy was fun but now, I wanted a family, home and some roots. I married and had three fabulous children.
During the time at home with my children, I kept busy with tennis, paddle tennis, skiing, Junior League and other volunteer work. I earned my Real Estate license and bought and sold my own homes.
In 1979, I began doing public relations for Pan American, traveling to and from China with their VIP clientele, on a part-time basis. In 1985 I returned to Pan American as a flight attendant and remained with them until their demise in 1991.
After the demise of Pan Am I was a flight attendant for many other airlines, one being American International Airways based in Saudi Arabia. I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia flying charter trips for Saudia Airlines whose clientele ranged from pilgrims making the religious trip to Mecca to members of the royal family. With American International Airways, I had the opportunity to live in India for a summer and continue my work bringing pilgrims to Mecca.
As a result of my lengthy experience in the airline industry, I was commissioned by Panagra Airlines to head up their Flight Attendant Department. In my capacity as Director of In-Flight Services with Panagra I helped to develop and write flight attendant manuals and organize the department for the First Class operation that it was going to be. This experience has proven to be invaluable both to my students and to their ultimate employers.
My adventure in corporate aviation began with a trip to Ft. Lauderdale airport to visit with a friend. Once I saw her airplane and listened to the description of her job, I decided this was something I had to be a part of. I was involved in corporate aviation as a flight attendant for almost two years until I decided that I wanted to pass along the knowledge and experience I had gained to other flight attendants. I started Beyond & Above in the summer of 2001 and look forward to many years helping others find their way in aviation. Our good reputation has come to the attention of many potential corporate employers that have hired our Flight Attendants. Our academy provides an efficient recruitment device saving companies many hours of training that they might otherwise have to spend training flight attendants.
My name is Gary Ezzell, Director of Operations, for Beyond and Above Corporate Flight Attendant Training School. I have been in the aviation industry since August 1992. As a child I was always fascinated with airplanes and used to travel from Ohio to Florida several times a year. I was proud that at such a young age I could maneuver through hub airports and make it to my destination with no assistance. To say I was comfortable flying would be an understatement. I could tell you everything about any commercial plane and airline. I attended Miami University and received a BA in Technical Writing. My eyes never looked away when I saw a plane in the sky. I was fascinated with aviation. While sending resumes out to secure a job as a Technical Writer, a small ad in the local newspaper grabbed my attention. Comair Airlines, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, were looking to hire flight attendants.
I went to the interview and the rest is history. I was bitten by the aviation bug.
While at Comair I quickly became a flight attendant instructor. I was in my element.
After Comair I joined Ryan International Airlines where I served as a Lead Flight Attendant onboard a corporate Airbus for Proctor and Gamble executives. This was my first leap to the corporate side of flying and I loved it. We traveled overseas and once again I found my place in aviation.
While at Ryan I had the opportunity to be an instructor for many of their contracts. Additionally, I opened a new base for the company and participated in a 757 FAA certification Proving Run.
During this time, I learned a former boss from Comair was flying In Gulfstreams all over the world and staying in 5-star hotels. The company was called Executive Jet International (NetJets). I wanted to be a part of that world. Without hesitation I asked my former boss if she would assist me with getting my resume in the door. She agreed.
At NetJets I had the pleasure of not only flying all over the world and meeting fascinating people. I was afforded the opportunity to serve as the Director of Inflight Training, Chief Flight Attendant, Director of Inflight Standards and Standards/Check Airmen. 20+ years later I’m now retired from NetJets and sharing all my knowledge and skills at Beyond and Above. It is very exciting and rewarding to assist men and women that want to break into the Corporate Aviation World.
Online Emergency Training Coordinator and Support
A few years of working in Hotel Management, after graduation from a College for Hotel Management and Tourism and traveling the world, Lufthansa, German Airlines caught my attention and this love lasted for over 30 years. I started as a flight attendant on B737 and B707 and was promoted to Purser for short-range Flights and a few years later to Purser for long-range flights on DC 10, B747 and A340.
After applying for a position as a Flight Attendant Trainer, still with the ability to work as a Purser, my career continued to Project Manager for Computer Based Training. The close connection between Lufthansa as a launching customer for Airbus A340 gave me to opportunity to work for Airbus Industries in Toulouse. In this consulting job I was able to help Cathy Pacific and Emirate Airlines with their cabin crew training for A340.
I retired in 1999 from Lufthansa, but still continue working for Lufthansa Flight Training as a Consultant and Emergency Trainer for B737, A320 Family and A340.
In 2013, I was very lucky to meet Mary Lou and since December I am blessed with working with her. We generated the Beyond and Above Online Recurrent Training Course and are looking forward to do a few more Online Training Programs for corporate flight attendants.
John B. Farrington
John is the Principal in JBF Associates which specializes in providing advice and counsel relative to developing business plans and strategies . His background is a unique combination of a career with a Fortune 200 Corporation and concurrently serving as the Mayor of his community for 12 years. He served three years with the US Marine Corps during which he achieved the rank of Sergeant. After graduating from Fordham University with a BS degree in Business Management John joined the IBM Corporation. He was employed by IBM for 38 years primarily in Human Resources Management positions… His experience includes both time in operating units as well as Corporate Headquarters. He was involved in almost all aspects of the Human Resources field and had responsibility for both domestic as well international operations. As Mayor of Pleasantville, NY he dealt with local government issues and interacted with Town, County, State and National elected officials. He was also chosen by his peers to head a number of Westchester County, NY organizations of a political nature. John has been sharing his business acumen and consulting with the management of Beyond and Above since 2008.
Executive Protection Specialist Javier Benitez is a retired twenty year (20-year) Commander with the Florida Department of Correction and now works as a certified Adjunct Instructor with the Law Enforcement Division of the Broward County Public Safety and the Palm Beach Community College Criminal Justice Institution. Javier is certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and is qualified to teach “FDLE” High Liabilities Defensive Tactics, Firearms, and Defensive Driving.
Pamela Jo Knapik-McKean
Pamela Jo has extensive customer service experience. She has been a vital part of the Beyond and Above team. From helping students with their service presentations, to program organization, her skills are great asset.
Nelson Brandt served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a helicopter pilot for 20 years, retiring in 2017. During his Coast Guard service, Nelson attained the vaulted status of Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Air Training Command for year 1998. A skilled aviator, he received numerous operational awards for saving dozens of lives, including several during Hurricane Katrina response efforts in 2005. Following his Coast Guard career, Nelson flew for an on demand Part 135 charter company, transporting people to and from the Bahamas and throughout Florida in a six seat twin engine propeller driven airplane. After several months of charter flying, Nelson went on to get trained and qualified to fly the MD-80, a 150-seat twin engine jet airliner. He operated these aircraft as a first officer for a Part 121 supplemental air carrier on international and domestic flights. While working at the supplemental air carrier, Nelson was given the opportunity to teach ground school to pilots and flight attendants. This included Crew Resource Management (CRM) as well as other vital subjects. A certified Flight Instructor since 1995, Nelson enjoys teaching and learning. He holds a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an associate degree in Professional Piloting Technology from Miami Dade College. Nelson is a certified Airline Transport Pilot with over 8,500 flying hours and is type rated in the DC-9 airplane and S-70 helicopter. He is also an avid glider pilot and has earned the prestigious diamond badge from Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) (World Gliding Federation) for flights of distance, goal, and duration.
Anita Massey Gajus
Inflight Instructor/ CPR training
Anita is from Miami Florida and has been with beyond and above for over 15 years. She has an upbeat personality and provides a stress free learning environment when training new flight attendants. Her knowledge of the business of corporate jets is an asset to the classroom and her students. She is on hand with answers to all questions and gives each a sense of ease. Her training in CPR and First Aid are specific to aviation and it’s immediate urgency. She has been an asset to her students and Beyond and Above Corporate Flight Attendant Training.
Corporate Inflight Service & Etiquette Instructor
Hello There! My name is Michelle Trueblood, better known as my nickname “True”. I have been an instructor here at Beyond & Above for 5 wonderful years now. Bringing to our facility, my knowledge of service expertise gained by my 20 years as Chief Stewardess onboard the mega Yachts and also my experience as freelance Corporate Flight Attendant as well. During my yachting career I have trained numerous stewardess’s all of the vital information needed to become a success in the yachting industry. Now, I am so thrilled to be able to continue to teach students much of the same service knowledge, along with what is needed to become successful corporate flight attendants! In my class you will learn many important aspects of what is involved with being a corporate flight attendant. We will be covering important and helpful information on Food Presentation (how to make the most of that catering order!), proper table settings, napkin folding, wine knowledge, and the proper etiquette! Let’s have some fun in becoming the best Corporate Flight Attendants this industry can offer!