Okay, I made it through my first blog – and now I’m on to my second. Admittedly reluctant to enter the blogging world, I realize it’s a prefect forum for me to share some thoughts and reflections that I wouldn’t otherwise take the time to do. And maybe I should save this topic for Thanksgiving…but I don’t won’t to wait that long to express my gratitude for a variety of things – and to a variety of people.
First, 2021 is Paragon Flight’s 15th anniversary year. Not a silver anniversary (25) or a gold anniversary (50) …but I have a hunch that we’ll hit those too. These 15 years have been pretty darn incredible. From two team members, two planes and a small 8-foot x 8-foot office on Page Field in 2006, to almost 40 team members, facilities totaling nearly 27,000 sq feet, advanced simulators and plans to purchase an additional 45–50 planes, tripling our current fleet, we’ve really taken off. (I hate aviation puns, but still find myself using them on occasion.)
Add in 27 customer service awards through the years, and it seems that those who train with us would agree we’ve put in some hard work and lived up to our commitment to being good humans, earning our aviation cred these past 15 years. To each and every one of you, thank you for trusting us and allowing us to share such a great experience with you. It means the world to us.
I’m also excited and appreciative that Paragon Flight Training just made it on GrowFL’s Companies to Watch list. 50 second-stage companies, out of more than 600 nominations, made it. I salute the other honorees and, as a kid who grew up in often chilly Michigan, am grateful to now make my home and my livelihood with my family in the Sunshine State (while still very much enjoying my occasional trips back to Michigan!)
And there would certainly be no 15th anniversary without the outstanding staff and leadership team of Paragon Flight Training. I want to call out Jeffrey for his patience and ability to see the good in everything and every situation; Brynn for her unwavering professionalism and sincere desire to see our students succeed; Jules for her huge heart and reminding us all what it means to be a great human; Teddy for his long hours and dedication to keeping our aircraft safe; our founder Kevin for his mentorship and vision; and my wonderful wife Sarah for keeping the entire ship on course and bringing joy and balance to my life both personally and professionally. Finally, I want to personally thank all of our instructors over the years that have embraced our values and made our student’s dreams of flight come. You truly are boots on the ground and the face of Paragon and I’m proud to have been part of your aviation careers.
‘The View from Here’ is an occasional blog series written by Chris Schoensee, President of Paragon Flight Training.