Meet Sophia Philis-Ortiz Managing Director for American Airlines
Sophia began her position last October after previous Managing Director John Daley retired. In her role, Sophia is a highly visible leader that oversees American’s daily operations and more than 4,000 local team members responsible for customer care, customer operations, maintenance, passenger service and more.
She brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She began her career as an agent while working her way through college and found it to be so rewarding that she stuck with it. Her passion for aviation has led her to numerous roles within the industry including a range of customer service and operations positions with American Airlines at all three New York-area airports, Philadelphia and Dulles International and has separately held management roles with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Prior to relocating to Phoenix, she served as Managing Director of Customer Operations for American Airlines at Philadelphia International Airport, leading team members responsible for ramp operations, aircraft servicing and baggage handling.
What’s a typical day like?
“As cliché as it sounds, I’m not sure that any day could be defined as typical. Sure, we come to work every day with the goal of living out our purpose to care for people on life’s journey. But, each day is different and presents new and unique challenges for our local, world-class team to navigate. I’m truly proud of all that the team accomplishes here at the airport each day.”
What have been your impressions so far here at PHX?
“Since moving to Phoenix, I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and exploring new places. The region is so beautiful and offers a lot for locals and visitors alike.”
What do you hope to achieve here in PHX in the next year?
“If you ask any of my friends, colleagues or family, they will tell you that I’m highly competitive and I like to win. I’m a huge believer in putting in the hard work that yields results, but also making sure that teams are set up with the tools they need to succeed. Internally at American, we have this competition called the Customer Cup. This year, I’m focused on connecting with and supporting our local team so that they are set up to succeed and bring the Customer Cup back to Phoenix.”
What is your favorite thing to do in Phoenix?
“I’m very much an adventure-seeker. I like to explore and see the many sights that the region has to offer.”
Sophia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Felician University. Sophia spends time away from the Airport with her family and volunteers for causes such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.