president and creative director, at Greteman Group, a marketing
communications agency based in Wichita, the Air Capital.
Together We Fly Higher
that it’s the times you most don’t want to leave the
office that you reap the greatest reward?
That happened to me last week. I
left a long list of to-dos behind and headed to southeast Florida with colleague
Ashley Bowen Cook. I’m glad I did.
We spent a packed day at the
record-breaking NBAA Regional Forum at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on
January 24. More than 2,700 people checked out the sold-out exhibit in the
Atlantic Aviation hangar and the 30-plus aircraft on the static display.
Advocate for Aviation
NBAA CEO Ed Bolen kicked
things off with a look at the promising year ahead and the need to keep fighting
ATC privatization. He asked the aviation community to stay engaged by using
resources like the website
which makes it easy to contact members of Congress.
“Business aviation is important
to our nation’s fabric,” Bolen said. “It’s important to our infrastructure, it’s
important to our economy and we’re very proud to be a part of it.”
NBAA CEO Ed Bolen
NBAA regional forums let
you see what’s new, strengthen industry connections and talk about
key issues - from carbon-neutral growth to workforce development.
Advancing the Industry by Expanding
We headed south to Boca Raton for
the inaugural General Aviation Women’s Leadership Forum on January 25. This
rousing one-day forum was put on by the International Aviation Women's
Association (IAWA). Its goal: to help attract, retain and promote women in
aviation as a way to make the industry itself bigger and better.
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie
welcomed the 100-plus women and men gathered at the Privaira Aviation-sponsored
event. She set a positive, high-energy vibe that grew throughout the day.
IAWA VP of Communications René
Banglesdorf (and CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation) says companies are more
profitable when they have diversity in decision-making and leadership. This
inaugural forum was designed to revitalize interest in aviation – and avoid
workforce shortages, especially for pilots and mechanics.
Wisdom From Those Who Have Been There
I felt honored to be part of a
panel with executives from Embraer Executive Jets, Flexjet and Aero & Marine Tax
Professionals. We talked about the next generation of emotional intelligence and
how it affects marketing communications, customer service and employee
I spoke about external
communications and all the opportunities now available to advance or tarnish
your personal brand. Think blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo
and LinkedIn. Each of these channels serves a unique purpose and delivers a
unique storytelling platform. Whether long-form, 140 characters or image-based,
each gives you a stage to spread your ideas.
When developing your content
strategy be true to your personality and personal brand. Deliver a point of view
and thought leadership to advance your company or your opinion. Be consistent
and relevant to your target audience. Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint.
Build your tribe delivering curated content that inspires and connects. In
social media, Seth Godin says you get what you deserve. Treat your customers
right and they will say good things and sing your praises. Be generous on
social, like and share, engage in conversations and always remember it is called
social for a reason.
From War Refugee to STEM Trailblazer
Dreams Soar founder Shaesta Waiz
inspires women to dream big and achieve more - especially in the field of
aviation. Waiz was born in a refugee camp during the Soviet-Afghan war and
emigrated to California with her parents and five sisters in 1987. She became
the first Afghan native to receive her civilian pilot's license. Waiz completed
a round-the-world solo flight in a single-engine Beech Bonanza A36. Her copilot:
a 60-gallon fuel tank. She completed her circumnavigation at Daytona Beach,
Florida, site of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she earned both
bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As only the eighth woman to cross the Atlantic
solo, Waiz says success is never achieved solo. She’s focusing her considerable
energy now in enlightening children about careers in aviation and the fields of
science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. There’s a reason we
leapt to our feet to give Waiz a standing ovation. She’s making a profound
Our Small, Connected, Beautiful World
Private aviation saves lives, and
several speakers hit home that undisputed fact.
Last fall our agency
sponsored an award for female documentarians in the Tallgrass Film
Festival. The winning film, Stumped, told the story of Will
Lautzenheiser, who had to have both his arms and legs amputated. One
of the forum speakers was pilot Jodie Krisiak, who flies for The New
England Donor Services. Her organization flew the arms for
Lautzenheiser’s transplant surgery. I know aviation makes
differences in ways large and small, but making this connection
reinforced for me how aviation is always there. Helping miracles
is life,” Krisiak said. Her job means her own life gets constantly
interrupted. She might be sitting down to a holiday meal, when the
call comes in that a organ needs transported. Now. And she’s off.
Her company has transported 203 organs, including 61 lungs, 56
hearts, 48 kidneys, 36 livers and 2 pancreas. Nothing’s sweeter than
being able to tell someone, “Your heart is on the way.”
Jodie Krisiak (left)
with Sonia Greteman
Robin Eissler shared stories
empathizing the value of humanitarian missions. She founded the Sky Hope
Disaster Relief Program for those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
It’s part of
Patient Airlift Services (PALS), which arranges free medical and
humanitarian flights. PALS’ network of volunteer pilots and aircraft provide
this service without compensation. Eissler said, “We find a plane and make it
IAWA President Alina Nassar spoke
about the organization and its mission to cultivate and advance women leaders in
the aviation and aerospace industries. The forum’s robust panel discussions and
Q&As revealed an engaged group. I believe IAWA is on to something big.
Keynote speaker Lt. Col.
Christine Mau has quite the story. This retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and
current Lockheed Martin F-35 flight instructor became the world’s first female
F-35 pilot. At the time, in the entire Air Force there were only 86 other
pilots, all men, certified to fly the F-35. Did she face resistance? You bet.
But she learned early on that persevering is the key to success. That and
ignoring those who try to block your path.
“The plane doesn’t know or care
about your gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need your support.
You just have to perform,” she said. It’s a job seemingly designed for Lt. Col.
Mau, who said, “There’s nothing more rewarding than dropping bombs on bad guys.”
Lt. Col. Mau flew the Air Force’s
first all-female combat sortie in 2011, an operation against insurgents in
Afghanistan. The flight was given the call sign “Dudette 07.” She starred in the
To Normal: Women of War Come Home.” It tells the story of women
in Iraq and Afghanistan combat missions. Talking after the presentation, Ashley
Bowen Cook, a young mother, asked Lt. Col. Mau if overseeing 1,000 soldiers had
made it any easier to parent her two daughters. Lt. Col. Mau laughed and
admitted it had not. Regardless, this woman’s an inspiration.
We support the growing numbers of
women in aviation and applaud IAWA for its first-ever General Aviation Women's
Leadership Forum. We count on more to follow.
Panels and discussions
ranged from humanitarian efforts and STEM advocacy to behavioral
intelligence and workplace courage at the IAWA General Aviation
Women's Leadership Forum.
IAWA panelists Jullie
Alston, Aero & Marine Tax Professionals; Joanne Barbera, Barbera &
Watkins, LLC; Megan Wolf, Flexjet; Sonia Greteman, Greteman Group;
and Emily Weber, Embraer Executive Jets.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 1st February
2018 | Issue #449