Meet Michael Ammerman- Gogo’s March High Flyer!
What attracted you to Gogo initially?
All this potential! I started in FP&A. I remember interviewing with the team, and everyone was so excited about the company. It was all very contagious. I think many come to Gogo and stay because of how enthusiastic everyone is about what we can accomplish.
What roles have you held?
I spent my first 4.5 years in FP&A as manager of the technology functions. I loved working with those teams. It gave me an awesome opportunity to learn about all of the technology in development and the operations of the network and services teams. I never would have learned so much about ATG, satellite, and operations if I had any other role or if the leaders of those teams weren’t so generous with their limited time. It was really something I enjoyed.
About a year ago, I was approached about moving into Supply Chain as the Sr. Manager of Demand Planning. I realized I didn’t really know what he was talking about, so I said yes to the opportunity to learn something new. The excitement for the positive changes we could make in Supply Chain was great. I really underestimated what this role would entail, but I like the challenge. We can now plan for installations and shipping up to 36 months in advance and compare that to Gogo materials and warehouse capacity. We can identify supply and capacity issues far earlier than ever before and that enables us to resolve those problems without missing a shipment.
What do you love about your current role?
I love the team. We take On Time Shipments seriously, and we are working hard to root cause any time we miss. It takes the entire team to get things out to our customers on time. Also, I was able to build my team with people that have a ton of potential to do great things for Gogo, and I am really excited to see the things they can do.
I had worked in Finance in some capacity for my entire career, and it has been a great change for me to have more direct accountability to satisfy our airline customers. Not everything goes to plan in Supply Chain, but we have a ton of ideas on how to continue to get better which is really exciting. We take our goals seriously, and we also have a lot of fun as a team.
FROM LUANNE RUDDY, DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS:
“Mike is a huge Blackhawks hockey fan. And working so closely with Mike, if I equate hockey and his performance obsessed professional approach here at Gogo, Mike is ALWAYS on a power play! Firing on all cylinders, looking and creating opportunities, doing everything so Gogo can win.”
By the way you speak, I can tell how passionate you are for what you do. Tell us, where/ how did that start?
My dad had a great work ethic. He hardly ever missed a day of work, and he worked outside as an electrical lineman in brutal heat in New Mexico or cold when we were still in the Midwest. He actually retired almost a year early because of how much vacation he had. I learned from him: no matter how you feel each day you work hard and you try to get better. I always wanted to be someone that my coworkers could trust to get my part done and to come up with solutions for difficult problems.
I had always worked at smaller companies that were part of larger corporations, and I think that small company mentality of doing whatever you need to do regardless of your job description has been a big reason why I am passionate about my work.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used” – Hunter Thompson.
What has been your biggest accomplishment/win at Gogo?
In my current role, we had a huge constraint on radomes for the 2Ku launch last fall. Our vendor’s facility that needed to open for us to reach the capacity we needed to support our 2Ku installation goal was delayed by months. While our procurement, quality, and certification teams worked like crazy to get the facility certified, we worked daily to make sure that we were getting the right radomes with the right paint colors. Many times we were calling the same day that the radome was going to paint to make a change. That was a big accomplishment because it showed what we could do when all the pieces work together.
What is your favorite Gogo perk?
I love being in the city. I live in the city, and this has been such a great change for me. Also, I think our company outings are always outstanding. The team that puts those on does a great job.
And I love the discretionary time-off policy! It is great to treat us like adults, and let us do our jobs without having to worry about managing the time to handle life outside of work too. I haven’t even taken one day off, and I don’t need to save them up for Lollapalooza anymore.
What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?
I think most people know this, but I love alternative music. Most weeks you can find me at Thalia Hall or Schubas checking out a band that most of you don’t know exists. I love Lollapalooza and Riotfest. A good friend of mine and I even go out of town for festivals when the lineup is good.
Somewhat related, I am a terrible guitar player. I have owned guitars of one kind or another since high school and have never really practiced enough to get good. My girlfriend just bought me a new one, so I am rededicating myself to the struggle.
What advice would you give to others about collaborating with cross functional teams?
Having been in Finance and now in Supply Chain, I can say don’t be afraid to reach out. We are all crazy busy, but with better communication, spending that extra five minutes, it can help so much. Just an email, with “Hey we are about to change all this stuff, does that impact you?” can go so far.
Gogo is home to a fast paced, challenging, and rewarding group of people, making inflight internet and entertainment easily accessible for all aircraft types and its flyers. But you can’t make a company revolutionary without having awesome people behind the scenes. Find out more about who’s redefining the way you fly! Ready to make a difference on a daily basis yet? Check out our current job openings on our Careers page.
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