TSA Manager Olivier Jodloman — Flying the Friendly (And Safe) Skies

Originally published on 12/20/2014 by Hawaii-Filipino Chronicle. Download the pdf here.


TSA Manager Olivier Jodloman — Flying the Friendly (And Safe) Skies
by Deborah T. MANOG
With gas prices at near-record lows, tens of millions of Americans are expected to take to the skies during the 2014 Holiday Season to visit loved ones. And although the majority of the traveling public is unaware of it, a group of individuals are working behind the scenes to get them safely from point A to point B.
“That’s your child. It’s your job to keep him safe and to make sure that kid reaches his destination safely and comes back home to Hawaii,” is what Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Manager Olivier Jodloman tells his team of security officers at Honolulu International Airport.He advises his officers to think of each person that goes through the security checkpoint as a member of their own family.

“I think it really hits home because a lot of us are travelers ourselves,” says Jodloman. “All it takes is one mistake and it can cost hundreds of lives.”

The TSA’s mission is to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. The agency was established in 2001 after nearly 3,000 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. TSA uses layers of security to ensure the traveling public and the nation’s transportation systems are protected.

A year later, Jodloman applied and began his career with the federal government as a transportation security officer (TSO). He rose through the ranks over the years and is currently a transportation security manager who oversees a team of TSOs at the airport’s Inter-Island Terminal.

For Jodloman, the most important traits a TSO should have are integrity and patriotism.

“Integrity is important because the lives of the traveling public depends on me and they should be able to trust me with their lives,” Jodloman says. “If I have integrity, I am trustworthy.”

Although Jodloman genuinely loves his job, it’s a career that his 20-year-old self would have never envisioned for his future. Beneath the stresses of his job dealing with large scale safety and terrorist prevention lies the soul of an artist.

Jodloman was born into a talented family with six siblings. His father is a skilled illustrator who drew for DC and Marvel comic books. Both of his parents were singers in the Philippines. Music had always been a significant part of his childhood. He grew up singing and playing several types of instruments. He was also a member of his family’s band, Musikinesis, which toured all over the world including the Middle East during the 1980s.

Later, he met his American wife and moved with her to Hawaii. He found himself moving around in the restaurant business from working as a cook and waiter at several Oahu establishments and as a supervisor and manager, while pursuing his love for art in the islands.

Jodloman has experience in the performing arts, directing, film production, illustration, graphic design and has written two children’s novels that he hopes to publish soon and dreams of turning them into musical plays and animations.

This creative jack-of-all-trades says his greatest passion is acting. He has graced the stage of Diamond Head Theatre in several different plays. He won the Po’okela Award for best featured male in a musical with his portrayal of Max Von Mayerling in DHT’s “Sunset Boulevard.” Po’okela Awards are like the Tony Awards of Hawaii and are presented at the annual Stars Night Out event to honor the best of the best in local theater.

Lino Brocka, his early mentor and a famous Filipino director, once told him that in order to be a good actor, you don’t pretend to be someone—you just have to be that character.

“Like Johnny Depp, you don’t see him as an actor on-screen, you just believe that he is the role that he plays,” says Jodloman.

On top of all this, this jack-of-all-trades also holds the title of “tennis instructor” up his sleeve. At first he knew nothing about the sport and would sit on the sidelines during his daughter’s tennis matches and overhear other coaches mentoring their players. He was later asked by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to volunteer as a parent-coach for his daughter’s tennis team.

When he’s not busy working at Honolulu International Airport, Jodloman spends a lot of his time under the beating sun teaching weekly tennis classes to all ages ranging from little children to adults. He loves coaching and finds happiness in seeing his students make progress after working with him.

The arts continue to play a very special role in Jodloman’s life. He jokes around that he can no longer compete in the music and theatre industry because “one needs to have hair.” But even with his position at the TSA, he still finds a way to incorporate his artistic vision.

He has created entertaining, interesting visuals and animations to train and educate TSOs during his tenure as the Supervisor of TSA Honolulu’s training department. One of his animated creations earned him as the first recipient of Kip Hawley’s (TSA Administrator) “I AM TSA” recognition award.

Jodloman loves his position in mentorship and enjoys using his creativity, enhancing the learning of the Transportation Security Officers.