“It makes me smile,” says Beth Martin, Monsanto Development Manager. “Using my skills to give back to those who sacrificed so much for us – that’s an incredible feeling.”
Martin, along with a small group of Monsanto IT volunteers, have been partnering with Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF) using monthly evening work sessions to develop an administration application. Through additional data entry parties, the group has helped Honor Flight fully transition to the new system. The admin app enables Honor Flight personnel to easily view and sort all veteran’s applications by a variety of criteria, including application date and flight schedule. In addition, the app allows Honor Flight personnel to assign flights and includes a dashboard for a quick metric view of incoming online applications.
Greater St. Louis Honor Flight is a not-for-profit organization flying WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the war memorials free of charge.
“We knew we could help them out,” Martin says. “I’m really proud of our deliveries to Honor Flight.”
The Monsanto IT team also developed a text-based notification system for all those attending the flight to keep in contact with each other, so they can receive updates or emergency notifications from their flight leaders. “This has been really useful and quickly adopted,” says Martin.
During the development process, the IT team used what’s known as the agile methodology to understand Honor Flight’s priorities and then deliver incremental concepts, updates based on feedback, and ultimately the finished tool.
In November 2014, a team of Monsanto IT volunteers partnered with Washington University students through a Codefest to build the base for a cloud-based web application. Completed in early 2015, this app automated Honor Flight’s online application entry for veterans, guardians and volunteers.
“Honor Flight employees have told me these tools have changed the way they work,” Martin said. “It’s a fantastic feeling to apply the technical skills I’ve learned at Monsanto, like agile, to help our community.”
Martin adds that she can’t thank Sarah Riley, Agile Coach Office Lead, enough in helping her get up and running with Honor Flight. “It’s been such an honor for me personally to be a part of it,” she says.
Honor Flight typically flies approximately 25 veterans each month from March through November.
If you know a Veteran of WWII, Korea or Vietnam please talk to them about applying to fly to D.C. to visit the war memorials and monuments built to recognize and honor their service and sacrifice at no charge to the Veteran. Local Veteran applicants apply online at www.gslhonorflight.org to find your nearest hub nationwide visit: https://www.honorflight.org/regional-honor-flight-hubs/.