Tommy Sowers is a true renaissance man with an incredible resume. He is an entrepreneur, academic, politician and a decorated Military officer with an 11-year career in the Army, having achieved the rank of Major. He has taught at West Point, the University of Missouri and Duke. He also served as the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Tommy is currently the President of flyExclusive, which is the fastest growing private jet charter in the United States, located in Kinston, North Carolina. Tommy and I discuss the future of private aviation and how COVID-19 has impacted the demand for private jet ownership. Tommy also talks about cofounding GoldenKey, a venture backed firm which disrupted the buying and selling of homes. The company raised $3.7 million in funding and was sold in 2018.
Tommy graduated first in his class at the Special Forces Qualification Course, and we talk about how his military training and time as a Green Beret prepared him for diverse leadership challenges. Tommy completed his undergraduate from Duke University and earned his MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics.
This episode has a lot of great insights on leadership, dealing with adversity and adapting to different work environments and situations. Also … if you have dreams and aspirations about flying private or owning a jet, you’ll want to tune in.
(1:47) Duke basketball & being a seven-foot Army Ranger.
(4:45) Private jet travel and sales during the COVID era.
(14:14) Investment trends in the private aviation industry.
(20:56) Adding innovative technical jobs in North Carolina.
(26:15) The economics of jet ownership. Does it make financial sense?
(29:00) Becoming an entrepreneur, founding GoldenKey and raising venture capital.
(35:54) University education and teaching styles.
(41:40) Special Forces mindset to help with career and life transitions.
(49:35) Veteran career transition advice.
(53:33) Rapid fire questions.