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Real Career Girls: René Banglesdorf Pushes Career Girls to Take Flight

Posted on the 17 July 2014 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl
Real Career Girls: René Banglesdorf Pushes Career Girls to Take Flight

As much as Amelia Earhart have raised the banner for women in flight, aviation is still quite a testosterone ruled industry. Meeting a woman who works in the flight business is still a jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring experience. When women conquer the challenges of such a male dominated industry,  they really turn out to be truly noteworthy people because in order to succeed they not only have to put in the hard work, they also have to turn up the confidence and chutzpah.

René Banglesdorf, CEO and Co-Founder of Charlie Bravo Aviation is one Real Career Girl to really look up to. Read on to learn more about the amazing story of this entrepreneurial icon!

What exactly do you do?

I own (and run) a company that buys and sells private jets and helicopters.

Charlie Bravo Aviation CEO and co-founder René Banglesdorf

How did this path open up to you?

I started out doing marketing for a similar company where my husband worked. We decided to go out on our own in 2008 and started Charlie Bravo Aviation. As our kids grew up and I learned more and more of the business, I fell in love with aviation and the job and took on the CEO role.

What is your advice to career women out there who want to ROCK in 2014?

“DO NOT undervalue yourself. Don’t underestimate what you bring to the table as a woman or a businessperson. Women have certain nurturing, multitasking and customer-service oriented skills that are totally foreign to men. Don’t bury those. Use them to your advantage.”

How does a woman like you manage everything with a husband and children? Do you have a routine or trick to keep balance?

Curt and Rene Banglesdorf 2

Curt and Rene Banglesdorf partners in love and business!

I have different challenges than many women because I work with both my husband—and now my college-graduate son. My challenge is to escape from work when I am at home. Sometimes this means pushing my husband out the door to play golf both weekend days. And believe me, I don’t care if it’s 40 degrees and raining. We need the space.

Who is your role model? Famous or not?

There are a lot of people that I look up to, some famous, some not. Who doesn’t admire what Oprah has built and Sheryl Sandberg has written in Lean In? However the most influential women in my life are those who know me best, who tell me to get out there because they see more in me than I see in myself, who don’t let me off the hook in taking chances, and who selflessly cheer my successes. I try to do the same for them and others.

Rene office

Confidence boost: I love an outfit that screams that I am professional yet still my own person. For me that usually is a dress and boots—knee high boots or cowboy boots, depending on my geographical location.

Tell me about what it is like to run the entire company as a woman?

It’s hard. Much harder than I ever thought it would be. And the hard part is working with employees, each one with a different personality, different needs, and different motivators and sometimes the carryover from their personal life that crosses the office threshold. I don’t think this challenge is any different for women or men, except that women may tend to take things more personally…


Did networking play a large part in developing your company? Can you explain your strategy for networking?

Networking plays a huge part in our company. We are in a small enough industry that most of our business comes by word of mouth, and reputation is everything. I use networking events to my advantage. I am a tall redhead in an industry of 90+ percent men. I stand out, and I tend to get more opportunities to meet people. I just have to be ready with intelligent and thoughtful conversation when I get the chance to introduce my company. Networking is best when you have something to offer that surprises someone.

Do you have a personal mantra or motto you live by?

Not really. I try to treat others with the respect that I would like. But I have to confess that pushy telemarketers and egotistical attorneys bring out the worst in me…

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

I went to Ohio University to study journalism. It doesn’t seem related to selling jets, but I find that my question-asking skills and my love of “something different every day” really tie into my current job. And of course, writing well is a skill I recommend to every student or professional who asks. It’s really a lost art.

Tell us about your first job after college. Was it what you expected?

Right after college, I was a mom. I had big dreams of being a hotshot reporter, but even though I later worked for several magazines, my initial career aspirations have never come to pass. I worked off and on while my kids were growing up, kept up my computer skills, and took opportunities to volunteer and give to my community.

“I’d love to see a lot more women in the workplace making a difference and blazing a new path. It’s never too late to start something great!”


One tough career girl!

What has been the toughest part about growing your company?

The toughest thing about growing a company is not giving up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve faced an unfamiliar obstacle and wanted to quit. When you’re the boss, the motivation to continue has to come from within – that’s sometimes hard to summon.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to run their own business?

Probably the best advice I can give is to find other professionals and/or business owners to hang out with. The most helpful guidance I’ve received has been from someone else who has walked a mile in the same type of heels.

What career advice would you give to women who are just starting out after university?

Whether a woman is just starting a career, changing careers or taking the award for the top of her field, I find that those who are most genuine go the farthest and are respected the most. Be yourself.

How did you know this was the path for you?

I didn’t really know this was the path for me until I was working hard at it and realized that I loved what I was doing. Sometimes you just take what is placed in front of you and make the most of it. How do you know unless you try?

A lot of women quit even before they begin, discouraged by the challenges that lay ahead of them. René encourages women to keep dreaming and keep going, all while staying gorgeous in your best heels (or boots, in her case!)

René is a woman that has proven that no dream is too far out of reach, and that loving what you do can help you reach incredible heights. 

Loved René’s story as much as we did? Tweet us or comment below! You can also visit their website to check out their cool jets and choppers at or tweet them at @charlieaviation

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