Meara Blog

FlightStats Team Spotlight: Meara McLaughlin

Team member:

Meara McLaughlin

What is your position at FlightStats?

VP of Business Development, working specifically with agencies and mobile customers supporting travel agencies .

What made you interested in what you do?

In 1986, I started working with a publishing group that offered a directory for unscheduled aviation. We monitored and catalogued every on-demand aviation resource that was available commercially in the world. When I moved out to Portland, I wasn’t expecting to find a job even remotely related to this niche industry, but then I discovered a small technology company that eventually became FlightStats. I found that so much of my experience, particularly around business travel and managed travel, was very useful and it has been fun to help define some of the solutions that we brought to market.

How long have you been working at FlightStats?

11 years

How has FlightStats evolved since you started?

There were only eight other people working here when I started. It was interesting to join a team where everyone had worked together for a long time and they were so amazingly productive. It was impressive to observe how well everyone understood each other. I think as we’ve grown, we’ve  always been able to find the right people who could fit into that dynamic. The company really hires for a cultural fit. They’re looking for people who are smart, communicative and not ego driven. As a result, we’ve continued to maintain a creative atmosphere that inspires everyone to do their best.

What do you like about working at FlightStats?

Everyone here is an adult. What’s interesting about a company that has respect for its employees is that we actually work harder because we all feel invested. Also, many of my co-workers do interesting things outside of work. Some of us are musicians, artists, environmental sound designers, drone engineers, pilots and farmers.

What is the best part of selling products for customers in the aviation industry?

I think in the last few years we’ve been putting a lot of effort into creating new things and addressing challenges that we previously thought were outside of our core mission. It’s exciting to see where the company is going and the types of problems we are uniquely positioned to solve. I’m really excited to start talking about some of the things we are planning and bring them to market.

What are your hopes for our industry?

I hope the air travel industry continues to move away from commoditization. It’s important to communicate value in a way that is not only ticket price. Richer service intelligence is a great antidote to commoditization. We will continue to work with our customers to make sure the market understands that buying the cheapest flight isn’t always in their best interest from a true cost or convenience perspective.

What do you do in your free time?

I love to play music. I play the accordion, tuba, fiddle and banjo. I’m also very social. I host house concerts in a Prohibition-era speakeasy and I throw Portland’s largest Groundhog Day party (the holiday no one else wanted).

Any other fun facts you want to share?

I collect animal and bird bones. They are sculptural and iconic of the animal they come from.  Someone gave me a horse skull the other night.