Catching up with Sangita Woerner-SVP of Marketing and Guest Experience at Alaska Airlines
This blog post was written by Emerging Leaders 365 donor and Committee Member Andrea Gohlke- Guest Product Delivery Manager at Alaska Airlines
On Thursday, July 30, Emerging Leaders 365 event attendees had an opportunity to virtually connect with Alaska Airlines marketing executive, Sangita Woerner. Woerner, a graduate of both University of Michigan (BA, Accounting) and University of Chicago (MBA) shared insights about her career path, and how Alaska Airlines is navigating COVID-19 and racial inequalities.
Raised in a traditional Indian household, Sangita was encouraged to explore the paths of accounting or engineering for career options. Ultimately she opted to get a degree in accounting, but knew that she wanted to be able to flex both her creative and analytical skill sets. Jobs in accounting and supply chain at corporations such as American Express and Unilever parlayed into opportunities and exposure in brand management.
When a window of opportunity presented itself to relocate her family to Seattle, she intentionally pursued roles at Starbucks, where she ultimately landed. While there, her portfolio of work focused on Seattle’s Best Coffee and global coffee innovations, and new beverages such as cold brew and nitro. An unexpected invitation to pivot from retail and head Marketing at Alaska Airlines was a unique challenge she couldn’t turn down. From the outset the strong culture, care for guests, community involvement and resiliency of the brand appealed to her.
In the 5 years she has helmed Marketing and Guest Experience, the organization has undergone a complete brand refresh, and acquired an airline (Virgin America). Most recently she has been focused on providing Next-Level Care, an initiative focused on nearly 100 different measures put in place to enhance the safety, confidence and well-being of guests and employees as they travel.
Sangita was also able to talk about Alaska’s commitment to being an industry leader in advancing racial equality and creating an anti-racist culture. This extends beyond their employees, and includes items such as the content that is being shared and promoted via the inflight entertainment portal and community organizations they continue to partner with.
Sangita’s interest in being on the United Way board was driven by the breadth and impact of UWKC. The clarity of the mission is something that really resonated with her particularly the area around education and programs like Bridge to Finish.
The session ended with moderator Albert Cheng (Convoy) inquiring as to what she attributed to her super power/secret sauce. She stated it is knowing how to get things done to make a material impact on the business and blending strategy, creativity and business into powerful solutions. It was truly a delight to hear and glean insights from Sangita. You can follow @alaskaair on Twitter and Instagram to keep afloat of fare sales, work they are doing regarding being antiracist, and their connections to the communities they serve.
Excited to hear from another awesome speaker? Join us on August 18th from 5:30-6:30pm to hear from Angela Dunleavy-Stowell, CEO at FareStart.