Boeing's Dern to see to it that expansion gets press

SEATTLE: The Boeing Company has appointed John Dern as director of media relations. Dern's predecessor, Sherry Nebel, has moved to a new division of the aerospace giant, just one of several new initiatives the company has put in place since October 2000.

SEATTLE: The Boeing Company has appointed John Dern as director of media relations. Dern's predecessor, Sherry Nebel, has moved to a new division of the aerospace giant, just one of several new initiatives the company has put in place since October 2000.

SEATTLE: The Boeing Company has appointed John Dern as director of media relations. Dern's predecessor, Sherry Nebel, has moved to a new division of the aerospace giant, just one of several new initiatives the company has put in place since October 2000.

Dern has worked for Boeing for 10 years, most recently as director of media relations for the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group.

'Boeing is a company that is changing a lot. It's not just about commercial airplanes or military planes any more,' Dern said. 'It is entering new markets, and we want to tell that story as aggressively as we can and paint a big picture.'

The company has no single agency of record, but retains PR support on a project basis.

Dern is responsible for making the media see the full Boeing story. 'One of my jobs is to make sure we get coverage from the right person, at the right place,' he said. 'If you are unsuccessful in that it can frustrate everyone.'

Boeing recently promoted Nebel, to vice president of communications for Connexion, a unit launched by Boeing last October. Connexion is charged with developing a service that will allow travelers access to high-speed data communications services from airplanes, as well as other transport.

Other units founded in October include Boeing Capital Corporation, a financial services group, and an air traffic management division, which was the subject of an extensive article in The Washington Post last week.

The unit is currently preparing a proposal for the government that aims to solve the problems of congestion and delays related to air travel.

'This is something we hope to have available in May,' said Debbie Nomaguchi, communications manager for the air traffic unit. 'We are seeing symptoms that the system is nearing its capacity, and we certainly don't want to get to a point where the government has to step in and limit the number of flights.'

The unit is building relationships with various constituencies affected by the issue, including the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, airline pilots and airport management. Consumer groups will be included as the project grows closer to completion.





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