Strong leadership builds good workplace culture; where minimal politics and confusion exist, turnover is low among good employees, engagement and productivity are high, and results are consistently good. Learn how to lead yourself, your team, and your initiatives well, with The Aviation Collective's Leadership in Aviation Podcast.
Meet Kam Majd-Award Winning Author and Pilot
In this episode of the Leadership in Aviation Podcast, René Banglesdorf is joined by Edgar® Award-nominated Author and Pilot for 44 years, Kam Majd. His latest novel “High Wire” is a suspenseful, thrilling story of a pilot’s race against time to save the passengers aboard a plane infected with a madman’s computer virus
Kam chats with Rene about his new book, his history in aviation and his leadership in the cockpit for close to 50 years. He goes into detail about what made him write "High Wire" and why he chose a woman as the protagonist (lead).
More about Kam:
Kam Majd is an Edgar® Award nominated author of character driven, edge-of-your-seat suspense novels. He has climbed in and out of cockpits for 44 years, 35 of which have been at American Airlines, with his most recent position as a Boeing 777 captain. Born in Iran, and educated around the world in India, England, and the United States, Majd and his wife Lori now live in Southern California with their two daughters, Megan and Sydney, nearby. Learn more about Kam and his books at kammajd.com or follow him on social media at @kammajdbooks.
Enhancing Safety and Leadership in Aviation with Trish Gilbert
In this episode of the Leadership in Aviation Podcast, René Banglesdorf is joined by Trish Gilbert. Trish Gilbert serves as the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Association (IFATCA) Executive Vice President Americas.
Trish discusses several topics including her years of experience as an air traffic controller, leadership in aviaton, and airspace safety and her current role on the safety review board. She also discusses balancing innovation and safety as well as her advice for young leaders in aviation. In addition, she also talks about recently obtaining her private pilot's license and how it feels to be on the other side of the radio.
More about Trish:
Previously she served 12 years (4-terms) as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s (NATCA) Executive Vice President. During her time in that position she helped lead and oversee NATCA’s comprehensive efforts to build successful working relationships with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), the aviation industry, the AFL-CIO, and members of the U.S. Congress that resulted in excellent progress on aviation safety. Her efforts included serving on many boards and committees: the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC), the FAA/NATCA Collaborative Steering Committee, the Aero Club of Washington Board of Governors, the National Aeronautic Association Board of Directors, Director of the NATCA Charitable Foundation, the Vice Chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Air Traffic Services Committee and IFATCA's representative to the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems panel (RPASP) at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). For IFATCA she also served on IFATCA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, the Constitution and Administration Committee (CAC) and the Finance Committee (FIC). Trish served on the AFL-CIO Political Committee, Legislative/Policy Committee, and the Committee on Women Workers. She is also the former Labor Chair of the FAA National Employee Involvement Committee, which was tasked with modeling collaborative behavior, providing leadership, sharing best practices, and developing templates regarding pre-decisional involvement and cooperation.
In May 2018, at its annual Women in Aviation Scholarship luncheon, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) honored Gilbert by announcing the creation of a new permanently-endowed scholarship in her name.
In May 2020, U.S. Secretary of Transportation appointed Trish to the newly-formed Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB). Pursuant to Section 612 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the WIAAB was established to develop strategies and recommendations that would encourage women and girls to enter the field of aviation. In March 2022, the WIAAB transmitted the Report “Breaking Barriers for Women in Aviation: Flight Plan for The Future” to the FAA Administrator and the U.S. Congress.
By trade and passion Trish is an air traffic controller and worked 21 years at Houston Center (ZHU) prior to serving U.S. air traffic controllers as their EVP. At ZHU she served in many activist roles within the union including Facility Representative, Southwest Region Chair of NATCA’s National Legislative Committee and Chair of the National Legislative Committee. She also chaired NATCA’s National Organizing Committee, served as NATCA Charitable Foundation Vice President and then, the Foundation’s President.
Trish Gilbert resides in Austin, Texas with her husband John, who is a retired air traffic controller. Both adult children, Jenna and Colby, and grandsons Oliver and Jack also reside in Austin.
Finding a Richer Version of Yourself with Sarah Kalmeta
In this episode of the Leadership in Aviation Podcast, René Banglesdorf is joined by Sarah Kalmeta, aka Sarah the Pivoter and founder of Pivot Point International, a high performance consulting company that helps business professionals manage constant change so they can be calm and decisive without burning out. With 15+ years in business aviation and 13 years in Asia, Sarah has had an enriching experience leading across cultures and managing high-stress situations.
Sarah talks about her experiences counseling people to find repeating patterns in their careers and lives that are no longer serving them and uncovering the tiny pivots (one degree changes) they can make so they can start having fun instead of being in a constant burnout cycle.
More about Sarah:
Sarah Kalmeta, aka Sarah the Pivoter, is a relentless truth seeker. She promotes creativity (nonlinear thinking) through the visionary design of creative solutions to complex [social] problems as the way we interact in the world boils down to our relationship to ourselves and the things around us. With 15+ years in business aviation and 13 years in Asia, Sarah has had an enriching experience leading across cultures and managing high-stress situations.
Sarah founded Pivot Point International in 2020 in Hong Kong before moving her business to Austin, TX in 2022 and is on a mission to build and be a part of something that matters. Pivot Point is a high performance consulting company that helps business professionals manage constant change so they can be calm and decisive without burning out. Learn to handle the SHIFT coming your way with a smile; after all, SHIFTs lead to growth and new opportunities.
Known as a change and resilience wizard, Sarah wears vans onstage and loves blending science and stoicism in to her coaching and daily life. She doesn’t fit in a box and believes you don’t either. Her secret to success? Awareness, conscious action, reflection and pivoting when necessary.
Sarah is also a keynote speaker, focusing on leadership, communication and emotional regulation. From writing over a 1000 tasks in her weekly to-do lists and never being able to finish them all to achieving more than she ever dreamed possible, Sarah’s found the secret to fulfilment AND continuous improvement. Want in on the insights? Sign up for Preflight, a bi-weekly briefing to combine mindset and habits to design the ultimate trip - aka your life! https://bit.ly/VFRpreflight”
The Aviation Collective: https://theaviationcollective.com/
Embrace New Challenges to Find Your Passion
In this episode of the Leadership in Aviation Podcast, René Banglesdorf sits down with Sally Glenn-Lee, a successful aviation leader with over 50 years of experience in her career. Sally talks about her experiences working at Purdue Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Hawaii Express, Regent Air, Transtar Airlines, Branniff Airways, Thompson CSF, and JetBlue Airways, where she currently works as a Field Generalist. She discusses her career path and how she got to where she is today, the importance of embracing new challenges to help find your passion, and the keys to hiring top talent and encouraging the next generation of aviators.
Leadership Journey of a Marine One Veteran
In this episode, René Banglesdorf is joined by Steve Carroll, the Vice President of Operations with DevReady, a company that supplies contract software developers to a wide variety of cliental. Steve discusses working in the Marine Corps Presidential Helicopter and Test squadron during the terrorist attacks on September 11, the importance of supporting veterans after active duty, how to be a strong yet compassionate leader, and his extensive career journey.
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More About Steve:
Steve is currently a Vice President of Operations with DevReady, a company that supplies contract software developers to a wide variety of cliental. Prior to joining DevReady he held rolls at Wells Fargo and Honeywell in strategic initiatives and operation management. He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and holds a degree in Operations and Project Management from Southern New Hampshire University.
He joined the Marine Corps following high school and served 16 years in rotary wing aviation, retiring in September of 2015. During his time in the Marine Corps he spent 9 years assigned to HMX-1, the Presidential Helicopter and Test squadron, where he supported Presidents Bush and Obama. He was in the Marine Corps during the terrorist attacks of September 11th, involved in multiple diplomatic events, the testing of directed counter measures and numerous other forms of Presidential travel. In the Fleet Marine Corps, he deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He held a variety of billets including a flight line mechanic, enlisted aircrew, production manager, quality inspector and manager, and NATOPS evaluator for the VH-60N.
How to Manage a Diverse Company Culture to Success
In this episode of the Leadership in Aviation Podcast, René Banglesdorf, Founder and CEO of The Aviation Collective, sits down with Benoit Defforge, President of Airbus Corporate Jets.
Benoit discusses his journey in aviation, leading a diverse team from all over the world, leading by example, the importance of setting a vision with strong values, having curiosity and courage, and how to overcome obstacles to get to your desired destination.
More About Benoit:
Benoit Defforge, leads the Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) business globally – a position that he has held since 1st January 2014. In May 2007, Benoit Defforge was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Corporate Jet Centre, the Airbus outfitting Centre. In this role, from 2007 to 2013, Benoit successfully managed the creation and development of the company, delivering more than 20 VIP cabins for ACJ319/320 and a large scope of dedicated services.
In 2005, Benoit Defforge was appointed Head of Airbus A380 Electrical Systems development, responsible for boosting performance while implementing harmonized processes throughout all Airbus sites.
He started his career at Airbus in 2003, initially leading a project to improve the performance of the Airbus A330 final assembly line in Toulouse.
Prior to working for Airbus, Benoit joined in 1990 the aerospace manufacturer Labinal, which is part of the Safran group. At Labinal, Benoit Defforge started his career in general engineering and then, as an Operations Manager and was responsible for leading a variety of programs from business jets to airliners and helicopters, rising to become the General Manager of a business unit serving Airbus, helicopter and railway customers.
The Aviation Collective: https://theaviationcollective.com/
Airbus Corporate Jets: https://www.acj.airbus.com/en
More About Airbus:
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. More than 210 Airbus Corporate Jets, all derived from the world’s most modern airliner family, are in service worldwide.
Inspiring and Thought Provoking
Rene's candid interviews with real women working real jobs is inspiring and thought provoking. Listen to her first podcast and you will get to know Rene - she begins by interviewing herself, without holding back, and it sets the stage for a series of interviews that will bring you joy, encouragement, and food for thought....
Encouraging & Practical
Thank you, Rene for consistently encouraging all of your friends with practical advice to help us take the next right step on our journey!
Inspirational and Empowering
I enjoy Rene's approach to diving into the realm of women's dreams, aspirations, and careers. It brings a level of understanding and thoughtfulness to listeners to challenge their beliefs of what women can do. As a guest speaker, I think it's amazing to know that there are so many women out there who "defy the status quo" while overcoming adversity and challenges. It's an inspirational podcast series that is good for the soul.