2012 Volunteer of the Year: P.J. Cavanaugh

Once you meet P.J. Cavanaugh, RDU’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year, you aren’t likely to forget her dynamic personality. I first worked with P.J. last Spring as we produced a short video about the airport using our employees and volunteers as actors. I asked everyone to bring an empty suitcase and to wear what they’d normally travel in. Ever-prepared, P.J. filled her suitcase with “options,” just in case we needed something different.

Being well-prepared and a great team player are two of the reasons P.J. received this year’s Volunteer of the Year award. She also dedicates an enormous amount of her personal time to serving the airport community. In 2012, she clocked in 533 volunteer hours of service. That’s 33 hours each month assisting our customers and Airport Authority staff.

While at the airport, P.J. can often be found at the Information Desk or at one of several mobile kiosks located around Terminal 2. In addition to providing general directions, airport and travel information, she’s also been known to go above and beyond to assist our customers.

P.J. Cavanaugh (center) with Board Chair Terry Yeargan, Director of Administration Cleon Umphrey and Airport Director Mike Landguth

P.J. Cavanaugh (center) with Board Chair Terry Yeargan, Director of Administration Cleon Umphrey and Airport Director Mike Landguth

On one occasion, P.J. spotted a dad traveling alone with a young child who needed an extra hand. She volunteered to assist him through the security screening process and down to his gate. Another time, she gave a passenger $2 of her own money for the Triangle Transit bus when the passenger didn’t have exact change, just so the passenger wouldn’t miss the next bus.

And, that’s not all. P.J. is a mentor to our cadre of 42 regular volunteers, and she works with airport staff to train new volunteers, spending time teaching them the ropes and helping them learn the ever-changing airport environment. Recently, she crafted a resource book for our volunteers stocked with information on the airport and surrounding area.

P.J., who lives in Raleigh, was recognized at the January Board of Directors meeting. The airport’s volunteer corps supplements our Guest Services staff to provide more one-on-one interactions with our customers.

Take a moment to learn more about volunteering at RDU. And, join me in congratulating P.J. Cavanaugh, RDU’s 2012 volunteer of the year. Be sure to say hello when you see her out in the terminals.

About Andrew Sawyer

Andrew Sawyer is the External Communication Specialist for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and is the main writer for RDU’s website, electronic communication and airport publications. He’s also the primary face behind RDU’s social media channels. Andrew also assists with many other things, from media relations to event planning. In fact, he has an advanced degree in "other duties as assigned."
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