New Jersey TSA officer passes baton to daughter

Friday, May 20, 2022
Mother and daughter at EWR photo

Lead Transportation Security Administration Officer Lori Saimson started her TSA career nearly 20 years ago at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport. Who knew that for the last five years she would be sharing that experience with her daughter, Supervisory Officer Melissa Lyons?

Mother and daughter photo
Lori Saimson and Melissa Lyons pictured together on Lori's last day of work for TSA on April 26, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Lori Saimson)

“I never thought one could enjoy working with their mother,” Lyons said. “However, it’s been the most fun I’ve ever had at a job.”

In 2008, Saimson brought her daughter to the airport as part of TSA’s annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Nearly 10 years later, Lyons followed her mother’s footsteps into a permanent career journey of her own. “TSA has opened so many doors for me and I thank my mother for that,” said Lyons. “When I was in a rut, unsure about my future, my mother pushed me to apply for TSA.”

Saimson could not be more proud of Lyons’ rapid professional development. Over the past five years, Saimson has motivated her daughter to advance in her career. “Watching Melissa grow through TSA from officer to supervisor were proud moments for me,” Saimson added.

Saimson recently retired after almost 20 years of service. Lyons said she will miss catching up with her mother during their daily work encounters. When they participated in the same on-the-job coach training class, one of Lyons’ fondest moments was discovering their similar personality types.

Mother and daughter photo
In 2018, mother and daughter attend Newark Liberty International Airport’s Diversity Day. (Photo courtesy Melissa Lyons)

Saimson paved the way for Lyons’ current career path. “I never could have imagined I’d be where I am today without her guidance and support,” shared Lyons. She plans to keep making her mother proud by carving out her own legacy. Lyons’ goal is to strive for a managerial position.

Saimson looks forward to retirement life, taking vacations with her husband, volunteering at different organizations and spending time with her children and grandchildren. 

By TeaNeisha Barker, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs