Location: Charlotte, NC
Industry: Aviation staffing
GETTING THROUGH TURBULENCE
In-Flight Crew Connections (ICC) provides staffing for owners and operators of private jets, including on-demand supplemental staffing for pilots, flight attendants, schedulers/dispatchers and aircraft maintenance technicians. “I’ve always wanted to create something myself, and I like the challenge of solving problems. I also like helping people out — and getting people jobs,” says CEO Jennifer Guthrie. She started ICC in one the worst periods for aviation — six months after 9/11. Despite this challenge, the company has grown almost every year.
QUICK TIP: “A leader must be a great listener and be able to identify when help is needed. To nurture a team, you must know their needs and struggles.”
The company’s next big roadblock came during the 2008 financial crisis. ICC’s revenue plummeted by two-thirds as many clients began to eliminate their aviation departments. Guthrie cut her office staff to just herself and a part-time bookkeeper. However, she refused to give up, instead branching out to new corporate services and private clients around the world. In 2011, the company rebounded, with revenue increasing by 416 percent. ICC now supports more than 360 aircraft based in the U.S. and internationally. “In addition to my wonderful staff of experienced professionals, I also have a great team of legal and insurance advisors who have helped me grow and assess the risks in each new venture,” says Guthrie. Next up on her flight plan: expansion into Asian markets and government contracts.