How core values drive business success

At the Akron-Canton Airport, we don’t get too fancy. This is a simple place. We are against complicated. Although there is a constant tug to move in that direction as we grow and add new air carriers, we feel strongly that remaining true to our core values will help to keep CAK a better way to go, for our customers and our employees.

In addition to simplicity, respect is another important core value that drives our decisions and our behavior as an organization. It means that we treat each customer with respect from the parking lots to the gate. It means that we respect our physical environment, keeping the terminal building sparkling clean and the airfields safe and efficient for our air carriers. And of course, we respect each other — not just in thought but in our actions. We listen carefully to new ideas and we honor employees who go above and beyond their normal job duties.

Like family

Building on our foundation of respect and simplicity, we also embrace family as a core value. Family focused amenities like our Step2® Play Port, breast-feeding rooms and family restrooms help our customers feel comfortable while traveling through CAK. Additionally, our interpretation of family must extend to our mature customers as well. Friendly skycaps, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility and ample handicap parking are just a few of the ways we infuse family into our facilities.

Family goes beyond that though. Our small team embraces each other, pitching in when needed and not just when asked. We recognize important milestones and treat our tenant and airport partners (airlines, security, concessions, parking, etc.) as family too. This approach goes a long way, in both good and tough times. We need each other most when things aren’t necessarily firing on all cylinders.

Organizational identity

Finally, offering a good value to our customers is, well, a core value. A good value in the aviation industry can have lots of different meanings. Value to a business traveler means jet service to hubs and big business destinations at convenient times. To small business travelers, add affordable fares to that mix. Good dining choices and a great cup of coffee or a local beer also help define a good value to our airport customers as well.

Values define an organization. Identifying and committing to a set of core values keeps our airport and many strong organizations focused on what matters most. At CAK, simplicity, respect, family and value shape how we make decisions and behave as an organization. We aren’t perfect and really don’t want to be. We do a better job, though, at running this airport because we know what we stand for. What about you?

Rick McQueen is president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Airport. He leads more than 50 employees at Akron-Canton Airport, which has annual revenue of $13 million. CAK contributes more than $500 million annually to the local economy and offers the lowest average fare of any Ohio airport.