API In the News

In The News

JETNET iQ Pulse March 2021 - Sheryl Barden "Keeping it Classy" - aviation professionalismSheryl Barden, one of our industry’s most acknowledged experts on all things people, is featured in the March 2021 issue of JETNET iQ Pulse. In it, she share insights on the ever-evolving world of the business aviation workplace. As organizations grapple with the most effective means to engage and re-engage with their people – whether they are working remotely or not – Sheryl’s observations on professionalism are timely, classy, and handson practical. Read the original article on Page 3 of the JETNET iQ Pulse newsletter
diversity, equity and inclusion - nbaa logoCompanies intent on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) may face challenges to implementing those plans. An NBAA GO Flight Operations Conference session offered perspectives from industry leaders, including API's Jennifer Pickerel. They discussed, among other things how it is often the case that “actions speak louder than words” when evaluating DEI initiatives. See original article

smooth skies ahead - sheryl barden - plane advantage - chief executive magazine 2021Are there smooth skies ahead? The pandemic created promising new contours for the corporate-aviation market that should continue well into 2021. But the post-virus recovery will test whether industry dynamics have changed for good—or are just one-year wrinkles.

“People still have travel needs they want to meet, and they’re not comfortable with airlines,” says Elis Olsson, director of operations for Martinair, an aircraft-management outfit in Richmond, Virginia. “But the days of having hundreds of private jets lining up at Teterboro Airport [for general aviation, in New Jersey] and no ramps to park them—will that come back?” Here are looks at several of the major dynamics for private aviation in 2021: • Expanding customer base. Virus effects on airlines have brought new corporate customers to the private-aviation fold. “Use of business jets is being pushed lower down into organizations,” says Sheryl Barden, head of Aviation Personnel International. “We’re seeing more engineers going from one plant to another to help with retooling, for example.” Read the full article on the Chief Executive website.

aviation week podcast logo - did the pandemic solve the pilot shortage?Did The Pandemic Solve The Pilot Shortage? What Lies Ahead For Business Aviation?

Before the pandemic, demand for professional pilots was intense and the long-term outlook predicted severe shortages. The pandemic and decrease in air travel has led to widespread pilot layoffs and furloughs. Did COVID-19 suddenly solve the pilot shortage problem? What lies ahead for business aviation once the pandemic subsides? Will the shortage return? Aviation Week's Molly McMillin talks with API's Sheryl Barden about the business aviation pilot shortage in this podcast.     Download the podcast and/or read the transcript
NBAA Business Aviation Insider Cover Jan/Feb 2021 - boomerang workersWhile the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily eased concerns of a personnel shortage, the business aviation industry needs to continue its focus on workforce development and retention in anticipation of not only full recovery from COVID, but continued growth. Former employees are one often overlooked – or even scoffed at – workforce pipeline. “Boomerang workers” are those who left an organization but want to return. Should companies even consider former employees for open positions? Experts say “yes..." Two top aviation recruiting and staffing experts providing some guidance on how to handle possible rehiring of former employees. “A carte blanche policy never to hire back a former employee is a short-sighted perspective,” said Jennifer Pickerel, vice president of Aviation Personnel International. “This is especially true in aviation, where employees tend to be highly skilled in unique fields. You’re omitting a potentially significant pool of talent prospects.” However, there are times when rehiring isn’t appropriate. For example, in cases of an employee who was terminated for cause. In other situations, the individual might be very talented, but a bad personality fit for an organization. Read the original article about boomerang workers, published in the Jan/Feb issue of NBAA's Business Aviation Insider.
business aviation insider talent shortage

What happened? Is the pilot shortage over?

What a difference a year – and a global pandemic – can make. It wasn’t long ago that many business aircraft operators were scrambling to find qualified candidates in the face of an ongoing personnel shortage. However, among the many changes wrought by COVID-19 has been a near-complete reversal of the employment market, with dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants – many of them furloughed airline pilots – seeking to fill each open business aviation job. “Of 182 resumes on my desk right now, 60 are from airline pilots,” said the chief pilot for a Fortune 250 company based in the western U.S. “And of those 60 applicants, I’ve got 27 different airlines represented.” Jennifer Pickerel, vice president of industry recruiting and consulting firm Aviation Personnel International, has seen a similar rush of applicants looking for placement. “Prior to this crisis, we might have seen a retired airline pilot who wanted to register with our services maybe three or four times a year; now, I would say 30% of our applicants are airline pilots.” See full NBAA Business Aviation Insider article

Skies Magazine logoKriya Shortt, senior vice-president of parts and programs at Textron Aviation and member of the FAA Women in Aviation advisory board, recently hosted a conversation with female industry leaders at the 2020 NBAA-VBACE. The discussion centred around the importance of supporting and retaining women in the workforce, and how companies can address the challenges women face.

The panel included Gail Grimmett, chief experience officer at Wheels Up; Sheryl Barden, president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International; Rene Banglesdorf, CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation; Lindsey Dreiling, executive director of aviation strategy at Kansas State University (KSU); and Emelie Knobloch, talent management representative, K-12 programs at Textron Aviation.

Why we need more women in aviation

Shortt opened the panel with a look at how world events have impacted the working woman, referencing a survey released by McKinsey and Company, which offers “insight into just how significant the impact of COVID-19 has been on women. According to their research, one in four women in corporate America are contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce altogether,” said Shortt. For female mentors who have built their careers advocating for more women in aviation, this is cause for concern. “Across the broad spectrum, we are going to see a number of women pulled out of the workplace because of this situation,” added Grimmett. “[As well], not being able to walk that balance between being a mom, and providing for their family, and also being a professional.” Charlie Bravo Aviation’s Banglesdorf said she sees a similar pattern. Still, she is inspired by the “female innovator” trend seen in the business aviation community. “I’m really hopeful that as women leave the corporate workforce, they begin starting their own businesses, defining their own workspace and their own ability to manage their schedule,” she said. “We’ve been seeing a trend upward in female entrepreneurship for probably the last 10 or 12 years, and I think this is really going to spur that on.” While an unscheduled pause may be unavoidable, the panel unanimously agreed that this industry’s passion will persevere. “It’s a time for deep reflection,” said Dreiling. “[Women] may be leaving one area, but will show up in another area where they’re finding their passion.” Not all women want to be the pioneers or trailblazers — an honour that can also be seen as a burden. “I’ve long felt that it can’t just be women advocating for women,” said Shortt. “We need our male allies as well . . . to ease the burden.” While there’s a need for female pilots and engineers, there is also a need for female administrators and marketing specialists. It’s “an entire industry,” said Barden. In the past, a task’s importance had often outweighed the needs of the person completing it. The panel agreed that 2020 has taught us the importance of the “human factor” – creating workspaces and expectations that serve all. There’s a need for female administrators, marketing specialists, and HR professionals – not just pilots and engineers. It’s “an entire industry,” said Barden. “It’s easy to think of the obvious . . . the pilots and the mechanics and aerospace engineers who are all very valuable, but as we know, it’s an entire industry.” Mentors, both male and female, have a significant impact on the types of careers we choose. Going forward, to understand the shortage of women in aviation, success lies in the stories of those who have found their way. How can we build off of them? Learn from them, and utilize them to inspire? The solution is multifaceted. “If we could just find this silver bullet, we would have done it by now,” said Shortt. “But it is complex. It may take different practices and different language, and how we’ve done things before will not get us where we want to go. Sometimes it’s as simple as reframing the conversation. “How do we create this sense of belonging, inclusiveness? What language are we using? Is it inclusive to women? Is it not? We really have to take a critical look at the history of aviation. . . . We love our history, but it wasn’t that inclusive of women. Can we reframe some of those practices? . . . Reframe some of that language to get us where we want to go — not where we’ve been?” It’s about correcting the past with eyes steadily focused on the future, finding your voice and advocating for female co-workers. “Take yourself out of your comfort zone,” added Barden, “and if you have a mentor, you don’t just want to hear what you’re doing right. You want to hear what you need to do for the next step.”   Read the "women in aviation" original article

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Press Releases

Aviation Personnel International Launches Virtual Aviation Outplacement Program

aviation outplacement program - aviation personnel international - jennifer pickerel

SAN FRANCISCO – August 19, 2020 – Corporate flight department closures and layoffs are never easy. And navigating the post COVID-19 job market has never been more challenging. That’s why […]

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Jennifer Pickerel Promoted to Vice President at Aviation Personnel International

Jennifer PIckerel Aviation Personnel International

SAN FRANCISCO – June 29, 2020 – Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International, the longest-running business aviation recruitment firm, today announced the promotion of Jennifer Pickerel from […]

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Aviation Personnel International Expands Team, Announces Promotions

Jennifer Pickerel Jenny Showalter Debbi Laux Aviation Personnel

SAN FRANCISCO, September 25, 2019 – Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (API), today announced the promotions of Jennifer Pickerel to Director, Client and Candidate Services, and […]

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API’s CEO Sheryl Barden Appointed to NBAA Board of Directors

Sheryl Barden Joins NBAA Associate Member Advisory Council

LAS VEGAS – October 11, 2017 – Today Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (apiaviation.com), was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Business Aviation […]

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Jenny Showalter Joins Aviation Personnel International as Manager, Candidate Services

Jenny Showalter Aviation Personnel Manager, Candidate Services

SAN FRANCISCO – January 19, 2017 – Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (apiaviation.com), today announced the addition of Jenny Showalter as the company’s Manager, Candidate Services. […]

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