When Southwest Airlines began service in Orlando in the fall of 1996 with 12 flights a day, Steve Goldberg had only been working for the airline a few months. Today, Orlando has grown to be Southwest’s eighth busiest airport in terms of daily departures with more than 120 flights per day. Goldberg, who began his career as a customer service agent in Las Vegas, now serves as senior vice president of Ground Operations & Provisioning at Southwest’s corporate headquarters in Dallas. A lot has changed in 20 years.
“Orlando is an important market for Southwest, and we’re committed to our growth here,” said Goldberg. “We’re continuing to invest in the Sunshine State with relevant service in all eight of our Florida airports to connect our customers to what’s important in their lives.”
Goldberg oversees the strategic planning and operational execution for Southwest’s ground operations and provisioning departments and is responsible for nearly 20,000 employees. He recently added a new responsibility to his Southwest role, that of lead executive ambassador for Florida.
Goldberg is excited to serve in his new role, as it will provide more opportunities for him to make new connections in the community and strengthen existing ones.
Southwest is Florida’s largest domestic carrier with more than 13,000 customers traveling daily to and from Orlando alone. Florida capacity accounts for 10 percent of the entire Southwest network of flights. Over 4,000 Southwest employees are based in the Sunshine State.
With more than 13,000 customers traveling daily to and from Orlando alone, Florida capacity accounts for 10 percent of the entire Southwest network of flights.
“Southwest is committed to connecting our customers to the destinations they want,” said Goldberg, “with a schedule of convenient times, low fares, and served with our legendary customer service and extraordinary hospitality.”
Goldberg is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He and his wife, Gaby, have four boys. As demanding as his job can be, he never forgets to protect his most important investment at home, his family.
“He’s a great dad,” said Tennina McAnany, Southwest’s station leader in Ft. Lauderdale. “A typical day in Steve’s world is to get up early, fly across the country to one of Southwest’s Florida airports to meet with his employees, and be back at home to make his son’s little league game.”
Goldberg believes in leading by example and enjoys having fun at work. “It’s important at Southwest that we take our work seriously, not ourselves,” he said.
Southwest has been named to FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list for 22 consecutive years and was ranked the No. 7 Most Admired Company in 2016 (the only commercial airline to make the top 10).
The next time you are traveling through one of Florida airports, you might just make a new Southwest connection… to Steve Goldberg.