Building a Brighter Future through Autoimmune Disease Research

All Nippon Airways (ANA) believes in building a brighter future – even when it means taking chances like flying a new aircraft or investing in medical research at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI).

For example, ANA was the first airline to fly Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet and make it a mainstay of its fleet. It was risky because it was an entirely new plane, but it paid off: Now ANA takes pride that it helped make the Dreamliner a global success.

“That’s our philosophy – we take on big challenges when we see a chance for great benefits,” says Gary Weiss, an ANA vice president who manages its Seattle office.

This explains why the company is an avid supporter of BRI’s quest to cure autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

“We know it could take years, but we believe BRI’s research will help transform treatment for millions of people who suffer from these diseases,” Gary says. “Our confidence comes partly from BRI’s association with Virginia Mason – we see the amazing things that Virginia Mason does to help people right now, and we know that BRI shares that commitment to improving people’s lives.”

For the past six years, ANA has been a key sponsor of the Boeing Classic golf tournament, which benefits BRI. ANA sponsors the tournament’s “Dreamliner Lounge,” a luxurious hospitality tent where visitors watch action on the 18th hole while enjoying food and beverages from the renowned steakhouse, El Gaucho. Lounge visitors also try other perks, like taking photos in a photo booth and sitting in business class seats from ANA’s wide-body international aircraft.

“We love creating the lounge because it introduces people to the service they’d get on an ANA flight,” Gary says. “But the real satisfaction comes from knowing that we’re supporting science that could create a brighter future for people worldwide.”


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