11 Years Flying High!

Next Friday, June 6 is an important date here at Aerial Innovations of TN & KY. That was the day we set up shop in Nashville, TN in 2003. Can’t believe it’s been 11 years already!! And we pale in comparison to the longevity of our sister companies in Florida and Georgia (from whom we learned EVERYTHING!!).  All of us celebrate our “birthdays” in the spring,  Tampa turned 27 on May 9th. Click the link below to view images from their celebration:

Aerial Innovations of FL, Tampa Turns 27!

In Georgia, Sheri and the gang celebrated 23 years with a few blasts from the past, check out this opening day photo from the GA Dome:

Aerial Innovations of GA Turns 23!

So, we are just babies here in TN & KY, but we still know how to have fun. We have gathered some of our favorite “AI in Action” shots to share. View the link below to see what a day in the life of the best job in the world is like:

Aerial Innovations of TN & KY Turns 11!

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First Ever AI Summit

This past weekend, the founders and owners of the three Aerial Innovations companies (Florida, Georgia & Tennessee/Kentucky) converged in Tampa for the first ever Aerial Innovations Summit. It was so much fun to have all these energetic and talented women in one room…and despite swapping flight stories and fussin’ about hard times, we actually managed to get some work done! There are a lot of exciting things in the works for all three companies…stay tuned as we reach for the sky!

Oh, and it just happened to be Salvador Dali’s birthday so Wendy headed off for a little art before the Summit. Love us some Dali!

Pictured in group photo: L to R: Founder Colette Eddy (FL), Jenny Smith (FL), Julie Palermo-Valdes (FL), President Sheri Christianson (GA), President Wendy Whittemore (TN/KY)

Eight-Year-Olds Are Tough!

So on Tuesday our VP, Julie, came in with a horror story of how her eight-year-old son, Jared, cracked his head on the edge of the sidewalk the night before while playing tackle football in the neighborhood.  Doing what head-wounds do, blood was pouring down his head and back while a neighborhood dad tried to stop it with a handful of gauze.  Julie took Jared to the emergency room where he received five staples to close it up.  And um, yeah, with no local anesthesia.  He later said that the first two didn’t hurt too bad, but he cried during the last three.  It’s OK though, he’s a tough little guy. 

Of course, being the creative photographers that we are, we couldn’t pass up a photo-op.  When Julie picked Jared up from school the next day we did a nice close-up shot of the staples – gore and all.

To make him feel better we decided to make him a special present.  We thought he could use a motivational poster to commemorate the event.  You know, just in case the scar wasn’t going to be enough of a memory.

We heard he liked it so much that he took it around with him and showed all his friends and neighbors.  Go Jared!!!

They Grow Up So Fast!

On Tuesday, Aerial Innovations Tampa celebrated its 22nd anniversary!  In the past, Colette has taken all of us to a nice restaurant to celebrate anniversaries.  But this year, to celebrate in an economically friendly way, Colette organized a “Recession Lunch” at the office for the A.I. crew.  For a week no one knew what exactly was going on – she was being very sneaky.  We knew there was going to be a big group lunch;  we had to bring in one place-setting from our homes for the table and 12 placemats were made at Kinko’s of the spring photo-contest winners’ images.  Monday afternoon, the day before the lunch, Colette asked us all to bring in fresh flowers from our gardens for the table.  Aside from that, we were kept in the dark.

Tuesday morning the conference room was magically transformed into a colorful and eclectic banquet hall.  Each place-setting was different, the cloth napkins were folded and arranged, flowers lined the center of the table.  Oh, yeah, and the professional chefs were setting up in the back office.

Greg and Michelle Baker of Cooks & Company created a gourmet meal with arugula salad, steak or salmon with asparagus and gnocchi, and a special chocolate cinnamon mousse with a toffee bar and strawberry.  Champagne and fruit-infused iced tea was also on the table.

Greg and Michelle prepared everything in our tiny back office while stepping over the all-too-curious office dogs, Leica and Sky.  Greg grilled everything on our ancient Webber grill that has been in the backyard forever and Michelle served everyone in the conference/banquet room while, of course, stepping over dogs.  Working in close-quarters with only a charcoal grill, they prepared the most amazing meal.

Aside from being gourmet chefs, Greg and Michelle are also food critics.  They were so impressed with how everything came together that they are going to feature our little “Recession Lunch” in their next article for the local newspaper.  Congratulations Aerial Innovations!!!

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Goats

Happy Holidays from the Aerial Innovations Tampa Crew! We’re busy little fly-elves this season. We had a photo contest to design our Holiday card and Tacy Briggs won first place. Coming in a close second is Amanda Rigby and Jenny Brockwell who tied. Tacy’s image became our card. We made laser copies of Amanda’s and Jenny B’s photos and they are being sent out with all the December projects.


Instead of giving out candy this year, we’re “going green” and delivering festive bags of tangerines and red and green apples to our local clients. We don’t want any tooth-aches for the Holidays!

Instead of giving gifts to each other in the office, we’re giving the gift of a goat to a needy family in a poor country. We collected money in our office and are donating it to Heifer International, a charitable organization that purchases farm animals such as goats, sheep, ducks, cows, llamas, rabbits and chickens. They give them to families in need who then use their milk, eggs, wool or meat. Please stop by www.heifer.org to see what a wonderful organization this is!

Happy Holidays from Aerial Innovations, Tampa!

Competition is Good

To keep life interesting (and by that we mean competitive), Aerial Innovations Tampa has occasional competitions among the sales people and the photographers.  The August sales competition was for the most new clients and the photography competition was for the best abstract image, not necessarily aerial. 

The winners of the sales competition are Stephanie Smith, who won first place, and Jenny Smith, who won second place, for earning the most new clients.  In the photography division Mike Fulkerson came in first, Jenny Brockwell came in second and Laura Russo came in third. 

The next photo competition is well underway.  The winning image will adorn our Holiday cards.  Who will come out on top?  Who will be crowned the ultimate Holiday Photographer???

Summer Fun in the Sun!

Well, it’s that time of year when no one wants to stay indoors and work. It’s time to play, it’s time to relax, it’s time to take some time off. Here’s how some of the Aerial Innovations, Tampa crew spent their summer:

Colette had a trip planned for the end of July with the Wild Spots Foundation to go to Argentina but the trip was cancelled due to a farmers’ strike. So, instead, she spent a long weekend at her favorite place on Captiva Island and she’s going heli-hiking in British Columbia.

Stephanie went to New York to spend some family time at the farm Upstate at the end of June. She hiked some waterfalls and enjoyed her time off. At the end of July she’s going with her husband and kids to Vero Beach for their annual family reunion. They hope to see some sharks.

Mike went to Las Vegas the week of July 7th. Good News! He didn’t get married and he actually left with more money than he started out with.

Jenny B. went on a Caribbean cruise at the end of May for a week with her husband and some friends. After seeing several Caribbean beaches she has decided that Florida beaches are the best! Then she took the week of July 4th off to work on her pet photography business and to do some house repairs.

Matt is meeting all his old friends in Delaware at the end of July for a week-long canoe trip. He shipped a huge box of sharp objects and other camping paraphernalia ahead of time so that he would not be arrested as a terrorism suspect at the airport.

Amanda is going to Captiva Island to re-visit her honeymoon spot with her husband and their crazy Golden Retriever, Bocephus, at the end of July. They are going to enjoy one more romantic weekend before their baby arrives in November. They are planning on catching a huge Snook and a tan.

Laura, our ground-photography sales associate and photographer, is officially graduating from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa on Saturday, July 19th, 2008. Congratulations Laura!!!

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Check out some of our vacation snapshots:

Abstract Exhibition on tap

Lately we’ve been thinking abstractly about what we do:

And the results will soon be seen at Tampa International Airport.

It’s important to remember the beauty that surrounds us. It’s not always about the next site, sometimes you just have to remember to look down and keep your mind open.

And as an added bonus, Channel 10 did a story on it.

The addition of Sky

There is someone new around the office at Aerial Innovations Tampa and she is….Sky, a beautiful Australian Shepherd puppy to keep the original herder, Leica, company. Welcome to this craziness Sky – try to keep your nose clean!