Charlie Bravo Aviation congratulates our CEO and Co-Founder René Banglesdorf on her appointment to the USDOT Women in Aviation Advisory Board.

The objective of the Women in Aviation Advisory Board (PDF) is to develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to explore opportunities for encouraging and supporting female students and aviators to pursue a career in aviation, with the objective of promoting organizations and programs that are providing education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women for positions in the aviation industry.

René recently sat down with Leslie Sanchez, entrepreneur, author, award-winning political commentator and former director of a White House Initiative on Hispanic Education, to discuss her new appointment. We are excited to share their conversation with you here:

Leslie: Hi, I’m Leslie Sanchez, and I’m very excited to be here with René Banglesdorf who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Charlie Bravo Aviation and a great Texan. René, it’s really exciting to see you. 

René: Leslie, it’s so wonderful to see you. Thank you so much for interviewing the women of the board for IAWA’s 2020 General Aviation Leadership Forum.

Leslie: Any chance to meet pioneers in aviation. I’ve been a long-time fan, and it’s been a great opportunity to meet some of the dynamic women on the board. But how did you come to aviation? It’s not the most natural thing that a lot of women think about, but to see you and how you shine in this industry, how did you do it?

René: You know, that’s kind of a funny story, because so many women fall in love with aviation as a child, have an experience with it, often times with their dad. In fact, that’s how my daughter got involved in aviation. But my story is that my husband needed someone to do marketing for an aviation company that he worked for, and I had a journalism and marketing background. He dragged me in, and I don’t think there’s anybody that could drag me out – I fell in love.

Leslie: Tell us what you do on a day-to-day basis. What are some of those challenges that you meet?

René: You know our company buys and sells private aircraft all over the world. We’ve done that in 43 different countries, so I’ve gotten to meet people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds and industries. On a day-to-day basis, I connect all the pieces, the maintenance pieces, the ownership pieces, the financing pieces, and pull together aircraft ownership for people. 

Leslie: How did you learn to develop the skills it would take to not only be at the top of your industry as a business leader but to learn an industry that maybe there were not a lot of role models when you were starting?

René: I learned a lot by failing. It’s amazing what you learn when you fall down, and you pull yourself back up again. You learn that there’s more in you than you thought was inside of you, and you find strength that you didn’t know that was there. I learned by failing and by teaching myself. But honestly, I wish that I had the foresight to seek business coaching or mentors earlier in my career. I think that I could have succeed faster and maybe helped more people along the way.

Leslie: Which is interesting think, you have a daughter now who is a pilot and has her pilot’s license, definitely continuing in the family. Is there any other advice that you would give your younger self, individuals like your daughter who are thinking of a career in aviation?

René: I think the most important thing is for us to be true to ourselves. This was really underscored by my daughter, because I spent a lot of time early in my career trying to fit in, maybe even trying to be one of the guys. What Brooke told me recently is, “Mom, the thing that is most inspirational about you, is that you are in a male-dominated field, but you are still 100% female. You wear dresses, you act like a woman, you talk like a woman. You are true to who you are.” That is the most valuable thing that I can tell women at any stage in an aviation career is be yourself. People want to know you.

Leslie: I’m so glad to know you René. Thanks so much for your time.

René: Thanks Leslie.

You can watch René’s interview and meet the other board members by attending IAWA’s free 2020 General Aviation Leadership Forum on Thursday, June 25th.

Congratulations again René! We are grateful for your fierce leadership.