Ventura Air Services, Inc.

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Nick Tarascio

Location: Rye Brook, NY
Founded: 1968
Industry: Propane (energy)
Generations: 3


Ventura Air Services, Inc.

Nick Tarascio

FOUNDING PRINCIPLES: Over the last 30 years, Venture Air Services, Inc. has evolved from a small flight school to a diverse private aviation company. Part of the reason this change has been so successful, says CEO Nick Tarascio, is that the company spent time defining its core values. The family identified supporting one another as a key part of those values, but also built a structure that is blind to familial relationships.

Fun Fact: “We perform hundreds of organ transplant flights each year.”

ONBOARDING FAMILY: Tarascio says developing a clear policy for bringing new family members into the company hasn’t been an issue. The second generation, which now runs the company, grew up fixing airplanes and being a part of the business, so the transition was natural. One important thing Tarascio does consider when it comes to hiring family is that it is important to choose the best candidate for the job, not necessarily the one with the right last name.

CULTURAL VALUES: “We believe building a great company is not an accident,” says Tarascio. Ventura Air’s six core values help define its culture: Support one another, have fun, speak up, care deeply, do your best and embrace feedback. In addition, the company follows the Rockefeller Habits methodology as a framework for culture, roles and strategy.

LASTING LEGACY: “More than anything, I want our business and family to be a tangible example of the pursuit of passion,” Tarascio says. In 1982, when Tarascio’s father founded Ventura Air, he was following his dream, despite the fact that the aviation industry can be a challenging one. “The greatest achievement I could imagine is being able to provide an opportunity for people like my dad to have a great life doing meaningful work,” adds Tarascio.