Continental picks out musical employee

Continental has announced the grand prize winner of its Continental Music Showcase, a contest to recognize employees’ musical talents.Receiving the top nod was Oliver Goodridge, spouse of Carol Goodridge, an Atlanta airport agent, for his vocal and instrumental performance of his original composition, “Boston.” Showcase winners, whose entries were judged by Grammy and Country Music Award (CMA) winner, Lee Ann Womack, and a panel of co-workers, will have their performances played on one of the music channels onboard Continental flights.

Womack is a country music artist whose hit “I Hope You Dance” was named CMA’s song of the year and crossed over to the pop and adult contemporary charts. Her most recent single “Finding My Way Back Home,” released in August, will be the title track of her highly anticipated new album of the same name being released in February 2007 on Mercury Records. “Finding My Way Back Home” is the follow-up of her 2005 CMA Album of the Year, “Something Worth Leaving Behind.”

Twenty-five winners were selected from more than 100 contest entries, with performances from musicians, singers and songwriters ranging from rap to classical. Eligible contestants included Continental employees, their dependent children, spouses, domestic partners and parents. In addition to having their performances featured onboard flights, the top five winners will receive round trip tickets on Continental, and grand prize winner Goodridge, will also receive a Casio electronic keyboard.

“The talents of Continental employees go beyond the work they perform while on the job for our airline,” said Mike Bonds, Continental’s senior vice president human resources and labor relations. “This is a unique opportunity for us to help rising stars be discovered while providing quality entertainment for our passengers.”

Names of the other top five winners are Jerry York, Boeing 777 pilot based in Houston; Guy Greider, Boeing 737 pilot based in Guam; Lindsey Kelly, flight attendant based at Continental’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport; and Vincent Longo, Jr., also a flight attendant based at Newark.