What is a YoPro?
When the inaugural NBAA Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro) Council tasked us with defining a “YoPro,” it seemed to be a simple matter. After all, it’s right there in the title – we’re young professionals in business aviation. Pretty straightforward, right? And any further questions are answered in the group’s formal description:
A “YoPro” is a young professional employed in any capacity within the business aviation industry. While most are under the age of 40, NBAA YoPro also welcomes those over 40 who are new to the industry. No matter what age or occupation, YoPros share a dedication to improving their own skills, forming valuable connections with peers and contributing to the betterment of business aviation.
As we began to write this, however, we realized that by focusing on the “what” we were losing sight of the “why.” Yes, we’re young professionals in business aviation. But why are we the Young Professionals in Business Aviation? At its core, what does YoPro represent, and what does it offer to our peers throughout the industry?
To move forward, one must often look back. We each thought back to our initial days in business aviation and tried to remember what it felt like entering this remarkable, and at times remarkably imposing, industry.
Chris recalled an exciting but often surreal transition from flying combat MEDEVAC missions in Operation Enduring Freedom to brokering high-stakes aircraft deals worth millions of dollars. Tiffany thought back to the beginning of her 17 years in the industry, when as a newcomer she was responsible for critical client service at an FBO in her hometown of Denver. No matter how much success we each had, there were times when it felt like we were the only people starting our careers in a world where everyone was firmly established.
We wouldn’t trade those early experiences, no matter how overwhelming they occasionally seemed, for anything. The challenges faced and lessons learned made us the aviation professionals we are today.
But while difficult circumstances will always be part of an industry as complex and fast-moving as ours, the feeling that you’re alone in building your career doesn’t have to be.
In every corner of every facet of our industry, young professionals are performing the essential duties that allow business aviation to thrive. From captains to schedulers, lawyers to brokers, maintenance technicians to fuel suppliers, the next generation of talent across the country is already taking the reins.
A YoPro is a future leader carving out their place in this industry. A YoPro is the newcomer who sees that she has peers in the exact same position all across the country, and a veteran who knows exactly who to ask for advice on taking the next step in his career.
It’s a living, breathing network of people with unique individual stories and dreams, but who share a unified desire to advance their careers through collaboration. Together, we’re building bonds that will strengthen us today and bolster our industry tomorrow.
We’re proud of the work YoPro has done thus far in bringing the next generation of business aviation leaders together, and excited to see where it goes from here. On behalf of the YoPro Council, we’d like to thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm. Great things await – we hope you’ll join us on the journey.