November 15, 2017 -- By Sarah Tuckowski
For Ultimate Air Shuttle, giving back to the community is a regular practice. In a recent interview with Rick Pawlak, Managing Director of Ultimate Air Shuttle, he recalled the reason why he jumped at the opportunity to be a sponsor for The Hue Jackson Foundation. Due to an in-kind donation from Rick Pawlak, and the whole team at Ultimate Air Shuttle, we were able to raffle off two, free airline tickets (with all accommodations included) to the Cincinnati Bengals v. Cleveland Browns game on November 26th.
Q: What drove your company to become involved with the Hue Jackson Foundation?
Pawlak: I heard about the foundation being developed in the background from Michelle and Hue Jackson. After hearing of the foundation, Andrea Wedren, the Executive Director of The Hue Jackson Foundation, reached out to me and presented me with the opportunity to become involved. Ultimate Air Shuttle provided an in-kind donation of airfare tickets that will be raffled off at The Hue Jackson Foundation’s November 2nd event. I was excited to participate in The Hue Jackson Foundation on behalf of Ultimate Air Shuttle.
Q: Is supporting community organizations something Ultimate Air places emphasis on? What makes this partnership with the Hue Jackson Foundation unique?
Pawlak: We support hundreds of organizations in Cincinnati and Cleveland. However, none of the organizations we have supported were working towards raising an awareness of human trafficking. [Human trafficking] is such an epidemic that no one really talks about and a lot of people truly don’t understand what it is. I didn’t hesitate to accept to be a sponsor and donor. If we, Ultimate Air Shuttle, can help to educate the public on what to look for and to support efforts to combat human trafficking, then we are behind it 100 percent.
Q: In what ways is Ultimate Air involved in organizations within the community?
Pawlak: Ultimate Air Shuttle is not only about helping the causes themselves, but also, we have this stage to really be visible with involvement in many charities. We have helped numerous foundations raise funds with our tickets. In fact, our tickets are often times the highest-revenue generating items at events for organizations. This is a majority of what we do. We donate, or heavily discount, tickets for organizations’ fundraisers. They then are able to keep 100 percent of the proceeds.
Q: What does this mean for your organization? Does heavy involvement with organizations help to create a bond between Ultimate Air and the community?
Pawlak: Ultimate Air Shuttle was first started in 2009. We realized quickly that the community and businesses were learning of our services. During this time of growth, we tried to educate the community on who we were and what we did. While I was out in the community, I learned of the possibility to help nonprofits and charitable organizations at the same time. We understood that growth of our company meant that we could ultimately support more community efforts. It meant a lot to grow, but it also meant a lot to the managers, pilots, and whole staff of Ultimate Air Shuttle to be in the community. We are all in with the community, because they are all in with us.
Have you heard?
The Hue Jackson Foundation was nominated for The Liberator Awards due to our work on combating human trafficking! Find us under the Organization/Church/Civic Club category on the poll. Voting ends November 30th!