SPEEA paid to ship surplus airplane
seats to service dog training center
By Karen McLean
SPEEA Publications Editor
A journey of more than 3,000 miles started with Boeing aerospace engineer Mark Beasley who had an idea to help others.
Without SPEEA, the idea would have stayed on
a shelf in Everett.
Beasley, who works at Boeing Huntsville, Ala.,
is a U.S. Air Force veteran and amputee. He
met his service dog, Cruiser, at Southeastern
Guide Dogs, a training center in Florida which
provides free service dogs to veterans.
After spending two weeks learning how to work
with a service dog, his first and biggest hurdle
was getting on the plane to go home. “That
was the most stressful part of the whole thing,”
Beasley said, noting he was lucky to have a flight
attendant with service dog experience.
After returning to work with Cruiser, an
English standard yellow Labrador, he joined a
crew disassembling a 747. That’s when he had
the idea to ask Boeing for surplus plane seats to
replace the cafeteria chairs used at the center to
simulate boarding a plane.
Boeing was able to provide two rows of surplus
seats, but Beasley still had to figure out how to
cover transportation costs from Everett to Florida.
He started with the Boeing Employees Veterans
Group (BEVA) in Huntsville, where he met Angel
Baytop, a staff analyst for Boeing Research and
Technology. She’s no stranger to getting things
done. She helped launch the local BEVA, for
example. She asked several people who ultimately connected her to James Fullerton, a SPEEA
member, Boeing Everett engineer and Associate
Technical Fellow (ATF) who works in BCA interiors product development.
Fullerton secured two sets of seats that were
once used as mock ups (props) for Boeing interior concepts and were destined for disposal.
He received the clearance to provide the ‘orphan’
seats but shipping was another story. Since Boeing
Continued on page 2
Mark Beasley, left, with Cruiser, his
service dog, made the request to send
surplus mock-up seats to a Florida
training facility. He’s shown here with
Angel Baytop whose multiple efforts
over many months ultimately led them
to SPEEA. They both work at Boeing