Monday, March 25, 2013

Volunteer retires after 11 years of service to LGB

Eleven years ago, Ken Velten decided to go to work for the Airport as a volunteer.

Ken Velten, LGB Ambassador, Tour Guide, Volunteer Extroardinaire

If you've flown through the airport on a Friday night, he may have helped you with directions or guided you to check-in. Have you ever taken a tour of Long Beach Airport? Ken may have given you a tour or more than likely trained your tour guide.

Ken worked at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for 34 years from 1965 to 1999. He also served on the Airport Advisory Commission from 1999 to 2002. He had never earned a pilot's license, but learned about flight on the job and by talking to pilots. He said he almost took lessons once, but left the job of pilot to his brother. Regardless, flight had entered Ken's veins and he was attracted to travel and helping people get on their way.

So volunteering at the airport it was. The mission was helping people.

"Volunteerism for me is all about helping people, whether in a big or small way. That's why we liked the airport because it was about helping people, making their lives a little easier, especially if they needed a restroom," he said.

Barbara Velten, Ken's wife, also volunteered as an airport archivist. Barbara can be credited with saving many of the historic photos found in the Airport's basement from water damage and complete destruction. The couple will move back to Ballwin, MO where they can be closer to family and start their second phase of retirement.

Ken says there are several reasons he loves Long Beach Airport but his favorite thing is "the very friendly and very helpful staff. Everyone from the people that clean the airport, to the police, to the TSA, and the airline personnel. There have been so many times that I have watched them help passengers."

There have been so many times that we have watched Ken do the same.