Look up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Nilsa.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
FAI Picture

Well-known poet and author Oscar Wilde wrote, “To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.”

“It goes without saying that Nilsa Reid is a positive example of giving selflessly at TSA and to her community,” said Trina Beauchamp, a TSA Training Specialist in Fairbanks, Alaska. “That’s just who she is.”

Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) Supervisory TSA Officer Nilsa Reid is a legacy member of TSA, starting her career in September 2002, and since then, has never looked back. She is the consummate achiever/volunteer, a graduate of the Mid-Level Leadership Development Program and TSA Associates Program. A former chair of the FAI Safety Action Committee and current co-chair of the Scheduling Committee, she is also an active Employee Advisory Council member and an TSA Assistant Training Instructor contact.

Modeling Masks

Then, there is her off-duty community service.

Reid is a member of the Fairbanks Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), serving for more than four years, assisting local law enforcement in a variety of ways. During an emergency requiring evacuation, CERT volunteers go door-to-door warning occupants and advising them of safe escape routes.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Reid’s CERT duties include traffic control and security at a drive-up medical testing clinic in downtown Fairbanks, where she has worked several 15-hour shifts and continues to volunteer on her days off.

In her spare time, Reid and her daughter sew cloth masks for local medical clinics, her FAI coworkers, and a former TSA team member in Alabama. An FAI law enforcement officer recently said he didn’t have a mask, so right away Reid took care of him, offering one of her homemade works of art.

When a coworker commented about Reid’s activities in and out of work, Reid replied, “I am not doing anything special or what others aren’t already doing.” 

FAI Production

Back at work, she is actively involved with TSA charitable programs and initiatives.

Each year she volunteers for Feds Feed Families and helps with the Fairbanks Facing Foster Care in Alaska Benefit Garage Sale, delivering items to foster kids. She helps with the annual U.S. Marines Toys for Tots, is the former chair of the Alaska Combined Federal Campaign and participates in other TSA community programs. 

“There is only one Nilsa Reid, but I wish I could make more,” said Reid’s supervisor, TSA Manager Kimberly Burke. “She knows how to shine, though she tries to stay behind the curtain.”

Reid’s selflessness to always volunteer and give back to her community, but doing so without any desire for recognition – a special quality that is unique.   

“Nilsa is one of FAI’s senior supervisory TSOs and a perfect example of service before self,” said TSA Assistant Federal Security Director Dawn Baptist. “Not only does she give her all to TSA, but she also supports the community and sets the example for all of us. I’m glad to have her on the FAI team.”