Ginger Hardage: Power List 2013

SVP, Culture and Communications, Southwest Airlines

Year in and year out, Southwest Airlines appears on many best-of lists and no wonder, the company has never had any lay-offs – an astounding feat in today's economy.

The airline recently passed United Airlines as the largest carrier of local passengers to Denver, having only begun service in the area seven years ago, and there is significant buzz in the news about Southwest going international – although executives remain tight lipped about future plans.

And one of the cornerstones of a corporate culture and employee morale envied by most businesses is Ginger Hardage, who has been with Southwest since 1990.

Hardage and her team have built a robust slate of initiatives to recognize employees that "live the Southwest way." One example is Heroes of the Heart, a program that recognizes a behind-the-scenes employee or department that goes above and beyond by painting the names of winners on the side of an airplane for a year. 

"I don't think there are many companies that spend as much time as Southwest does on direct employee contact," she proudly asserts.

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