Serve God, Serve People

I’ve been asked numerous times why I decided to start an aviation company based solely on acquiring aircraft. At the very core of this question is an embedded question: “Why would you do that? Why would you pass up the profit from selling aircraft?”

To understand my motivation in ignoring the obvious opportunities to sell as well as acquire aircraft, you’d have to understand a little bit more about me. I love to serve. It is true that if you do a good job of selling an aircraft for someone you have “served” them, but it isn’t the same as helping someone buy an airplane, and I have found it far less rewarding.

The majority of my career in aviation was as an aircraft broker, engaged in selling and brokering airplanes. I’m really good at it. This is where I learned to “buy” airplanes. I made a considerable amount of money doing it, but I never truly felt like I was offering a service that was superior to others in the industry. I didn’t feel the satisfaction of protecting the client. The sales side of the business is relatively straightforward and there are many, many aircraft brokers and dealers that do an excellent job of representing clients in the sale of their aircraft. Though financially rewarding, I never felt like I was the best listing agent in the industry. I seldom had the opportunity to protect a client from a bad deal. In fact… maybe just once, but that is a story for another day!

My desire to be a “buyer’s rep” was sparked in 2011, when the opportunity to complete an acquisition project presented itself. That crisp December day, I accompanied our client to demo an airplane. It is a day I will always remember. It was the first time an aircraft buyer said, “Chip, what do you think I should do?” That statement made an impact on me because no one had ever cared what I thought. I was always the “broker” who was in the deal to make money—more enemy than friend. I liked being a friend to the buyer. I liked having the buyer’s best interest at heart. I liked serving the buyer and helping him make the right decision. That was six years ago, and though in the previous years I had been involved in purchasing many airplanes either for inventory or to flip to a buyer, that was the first time I had had the opportunity to purchase an airplane with a motivation other than profit. It was great, and I’m proud to say that all of these years later the gentleman who planted that desire to work for buyers is both a friend and a client of Jet Acquisitions.

The success and joy of building Jet Acquisitions has far exceeded anything I could have ever dreamed of! We have been blessed with awesome clients. We do an exceptional job of serving our clients, and I give all of the glory for our success to God. There really is no other explanation for what we’ve been able to accomplish. The flexibility that owning our own company has given us has been an added blessing. My wife Amy works in the business with me, and we both have time to serve others at our church and through outreach. We get to serve God and serve others.

As we considered how, and really “if” to publicly bring our faith into our business, we explored making a “statement of faith” on our website, but I have grown very cautious of businesses who use their faith to attract clients. We were very moved by the actions and kindness of one of our recent clients and later found out that they were in fact a Christian-based company and expressed their beliefs in a subtle and proper way on their “who we are” page. The reality is that from my first conversation with David and Rick I knew they were great people. Their actions spoke much louder than their words.

I do believe that about actions, and I will quickly admit that there are days when my actions don’t meet my own expectations, much less the example set by Christ. I’m a work in progress.

It is my deep desire that my actions speak far louder than the four little words that brought you to this blog. It’s not a statement, it’s not a slogan… it’s reality. Those four words are at the core of everything we do. Serve God, Serve People. When Jesus was asked “what is the greatest commandment?” He responded in Matthew 22:37 with “You shall love ADONAI your God with all of your heart” and then in verse 39 He follows it up with “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” It’s from this passage of scripture that we are admonished to serve God and people. If you love someone you will serve them. I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve my wife Amy, our children, my church and community, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to humbly serve our clients.


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