THANK YOU, SAN DIEGO!

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Kelly Knox Leah Koontz and Lidia S Martinez

The coronavirus pandemic has created one of the most challenging times for our country and our economy. In true Southwest fashion, we remain hopeful and persistent, while recognizing our business will continue to endure adversity given the uncertainty of the future. Southwest remains committed to supporting its Employees during this difficult time and has offered an incredible and generous voluntary separation opportunity.

I have accepted this opportunity in support of my beloved Southwest’s success and the future generations of Southwest Employees. I will retire from Southwest Airlines on September 30, 2020!
In 2006, my daughter Melyna started her own SWA journey. (Actually, she claims she started working for us when she was three, as she kept being “voluntold” to help with our Marketing events!) Melyna is a SWA University Field Instructor in Las Vegas and she loves her job. I hope she is able to build her own beautiful legacy and retire with great pride 30 years from now! I wish the same for all the “Melynas” at Southwest who are just now starting their own professional journey.
I started my flight with Southwest on July 16, 1990 – 30 years of great LUV! Today, I am a People Leader responsible for our Outreach Regional Relationships across the country. I started this journey as the Receptionist for the Vice President of Marketing; have served in various leadership roles; have worked in three different states (TX, IL, CA); and have been able to stay in the SWA Family thru several reorganizations.
I am proud of the legacy I am leaving behind, which includes the newly created National Multicultural Community Affairs department in 2003. I was one of five individuals who successfully created the outreach platform for Southwest to invest and engage in communities of color. Our award-winning work opened a new opportunity to help create and launch the outreach efforts for all of the communities we now serve. I have helped my company set the standard for outreach and corporate social responsibility.

It has been my honor to get to know and work with so many wonderful, brilliant, bold, compassionate, and kind leaders across the country. Many have become close friends and partners in power. Thank you for your unwavering support!
One of my passions is to personally support leaders and organizations that advocate for equity, human rights, equality, and civil rights. I will continue to do that. And I will continue to look for ways to help empower underrepresented communities here in San Diego!
Please know Southwest remains steadfast in its commitment to investing in and empowering communities to thrive. San Diego has been great to Southwest and Southwest will continue to support efforts that matter most to you.
We are lucky to have a great champion in our VP/Controller, Leah Koontz. Leah has been engaged in our outreach work for a few years and has greatly impacted our footprint here. Those of you who know Leah know just how much she loves our community. I know she will remain engaged and committed to San Diego. Please continue to embrace her. I know I will!
Thank you, San Diego, for the lessons learned and the many opportunities you have given me to excel and give back.

¡Millón de gracias!

Lidia S. Martinez

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Esteban Villanueva
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