Employee Spotlight: Marina Blanciforte

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Marina office photo

Marina Blanciforte has a difficult job – some may even say it’s one of the most unenviable jobs at TSA. As the Customer Service and Quality Improvement Manager (CSQIM) for Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Blanciforte owns customer service complaints until she owns the solution. 

Yet when asked about the position she’s held at BOS since 2002, she calls it “gratifying.” “I’m proud to be a member of the TSA team, helping pave the way to meaningful partnerships and collaborations with our stakeholders,” said Blanciforte.

Blanciforte has all the qualities of a good customer service person: she’s approachable, empathetic and a good listener. She polished her natural virtues into professional skills throughout her career with positions at a major Canadian Bank, United Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration. Her care for people is the constant in a varied career that has taken Blanciforte from her native Greece, through Canada and ultimately, to the U.S.

wings for autism photo
From left, Robin Zandt, Brad Martin and Blanciforte provide support at a Wings for Autism event prior to the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Marina Blanciforte)

At TSA, caring for our people is what matters most to Blanciforte. “My quest is to enable our workforce to better understand the correlation between world class security screening and excellent customer service, so as to ensure positive customer engagement and trust.” 

Blanciforte has earned trust by developing relationships at BOS and with headquarters. “I’m so very happy to say through hard work and networking, we have been able to bring several local customer service awareness training sessions offered by the Traveler Engagement Division, namely the Customer Service, Multicultural and Disability Branches, to help our workforce understand that customer service enables better security,” said Blanciforte. 

A courteous screening experience, especially one that involves additional screening, positively shapes the public’s image of the agency. Blanciforte’s work reinforces that every positive impression is important and carries over to the next experience, making successive screenings smoother.

Her far-reaching, strategic planning has created meaningful change for passengers with lost and found issues at BOS. She created and implemented new procedures for a more efficient and effective claims process, enhancing TSA’s image to anyone who has accidently left an item at a BOS checkpoint.

Marina Rome photo
Blanciforte hamming it up on a Roman holiday (Photo courtesy of Marina Blanciforte)

Collaborating early and often with non-profits such as Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity, the New England Federal Collaborative on Serious Mental Illness and the Department of Public Heath in Massachusetts–Opioid Substance Abuse, Blanciforte never misses an opportunity to open doors of understanding among officers and the traveling public. She also has completed training in the DHS suicide prevention awareness program, Question, Persuade and Refer.

Blanciforte speaks Greek (no joke), English and French fluently with a conversational capacity for Italian and Spanish. Her language skills, developed over the years with the help of extensive international travel, makes her relatable to passengers and stakeholders.

What is your greatest achievement as the CSQIM for BOS?

Hands down, teaming up with the Massachusetts Airport Authority and other stakeholders to create the very unique Wings for Autism Program where we accepted the Sam Gerson Humanitarian Award for TSA BOS’s extraordinary contributions to the screening of children and adults on the autism spectrum. Since the inception of this program in 2011, TSA BOS has participated in over 18 Wings for Autism events, each serving between 400 to 600 attendees per session.

What challenges you?

As the CSQIM, I encounter and engage with the traveling public daily. I am challenged with complaints and concerns from our stakeholders including the traveling public. However, I am rewarded with compliments for our workforce once I explain TSA’s mission and why we do what we do in layman’s terms.