DALLAS and ATLANTA, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced that on Aug. 17, 2011, its Board of Directors appointed J. Veronica Biggins to the Board. For a photo of Biggins, please click here:http://swa.wieck.com/photos/439d99f6-f4a1-a972-f360-f8004e4eb42c?search=biggins. Biggins was a member of the Board of Directors for AirTran Holdings, Inc., parent company of AirTran Airways, which was acquired by Southwest Airlines in a deal that was completed inMay 2011.
Biggins is a Managing Director in the Atlanta office of Diversified Search, LLC, a privately-held executive and board search firm focused on helping corporations build effective leadership teams. Biggins joined Diversified Search (formerly Hodge Partners) in 2007. Previously, she was Senior Partner and Head of Diversity Practice at Heidrick & Struggles in Atlanta, where she created the firm's first diversity practice, trained internal consultants on what diversity means, and advised clients on how to embed an effective diversity practice within their businesses.
"We are honored to have Veronica join the Board, and we know that she will be a great addition to the comprehensive Leadership that currently sits on the Southwest Board of Directors," said Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer for Southwest Airlines. "Her ties to the Atlanta community and her previous experience as a member of the Board of Directors for AirTran Holdings, Inc., will be a tremendous asset to our Team. Her background and experience in human resources, recruitment, and diversity also will serve us well."
Biggins also served as Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of Presidential Personnel under President Bill Clinton. In that capacity, she was responsible for directing the recruitment, nomination, and appointment process for all political appointees within the federal government, including the placement of agency heads, ambassadors and members of presidential boards and commissions.
Biggins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and a Masters of Education degree from Georgia State University. She also completed Harvard University's Advanced Leadership Initiative class in 2010. Her background includes 20 years' experience with NationsBank (now Bank of America) and its predecessor, The Citizens and Southern National Bank. Prior to joining the White House, she was one of the highest ranking females in the banking industry, serving as Executive Vice President for Corporate Community Relations.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Avnet, Inc., and Zep Inc., and has formerly served on several boards, including AirTran Holdings, NDC Health, Cameron Ashley,Morrison's Corporation, and the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. In the Atlanta community, she serves as a Board member for the East Lake Foundation; on the Atlanta Advisory Board for the Savannah College of Art and Design; on the Board of Trustees for the Woodruff Arts Center; and as a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club.
Biggins served as Vice Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She's been recognized by many organizations for her leadership, including being named to Ebony's List of 100 Best and Brightest Black Women and Georgia Trend magazine's list of the 100 most influential Georgians.
She also received a Points of Light Award from President George W. Bush for her leadership of the Czech Slovak American Enterprise Fund.
Biggins will initially serve for a term lasting until Southwest's next Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Other members of Southwest's Board of Directors are: David W. Biegler;William H. Cunningham, Ph.D.; John G. Denison; Gary C. Kelly; Nancy B. Loeffler; John T. Montford; Douglas H. Brooks, Thomas M. Nealon, and Daniel D. Villanueva.
About Southwest Airlines Co.
In its 40th year of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Southwest serves 72 cities in 37 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest Airlines One Report(TM). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide. Earlier this year, Southwest Airlines completed the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., and now operates AirTran Airways as a wholly-owned subsidiary. AirTran serves 63 cities in 30 states and currently operates more than 790 flights a day. Additionally, AirTran serves seven international destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. AirTran employs more than 8,500 Employees across the country.