Private Aviation Can Take You Anywhere: Brad Stewart’s Journey to XOJET

August 3, 2017  |  XOJET, XOJET Profiles

XOJET CEO Brad Stewart

Five years ago, on a visit to his hometown of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Brad Stewart drove with his wife Brady out to Flying Cloud Airport so she could glimpse an important chapter from her husband’s past.

Stewart was employed during his college years by the Executive Aviation FBO at Flying Cloud, fueling planes and assisting customers, meanwhile taking flying lessons and working toward the pilot’s license he’d eventually earn. The Citation, King Air, and other aircraft he saw fly in and out were inspiring machines serving diverse needs, including air ambulance runs.

“I got the chance to fly on some of those missions,” recalls Stewart, whose career path would take him into business consulting and private-equity positions, experience that helped prep him for his current role as Chairman & CEO of XOJET. “The fleets were impressive to me, and the work they did felt important.”

Born on the 4th of July: Q&A with Brad Stewart, XOJET’s New CEO

Aviation was a theme in Brad Stewart’s life even before he was born: His parents met on a charter jet flight—he was a professional hockey player, she was a flight attendant. When Stewart’s father retired from hockey, the family settled first in Cleveland—where Stewart was born on the U.S. bicentennial, July 4, 1976—and then in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where Stewart grew up. He took his first flying lessons at the age of 19 and has been an aviation enthusiast ever since.

Stewart pursued a successful career in management consulting and private…

Q&A with Eric Shiner, Warhol Museum Director & Curator of “American Focus” at the 2013 Armory Show

March 5, 2013  |  XOJET Profiles

As curator of the “American Focus” section at The Armory Show this month, Eric Shiner has been handed the nearly impossible task of capturing contemporary American art in a few thousand square feet. Just as calm and cheerful and insightful as he was when we interviewed him in December about his role as director of The Andy Warhol Museum, Eric kindly walked us through the four months leading up to his selection of the 30 artists and 17 galleries participating in “American Focus.”

XOJET: What was your reaction when you were…

Q&A with Noah Horowitz, Executive Director of the Armory Show

February 26, 2013  |  XOJET Profiles

As executive director of The Armory Show, one of the most important art events in New York, Noah Horowitz has a daunting challenge before him: balancing the creative and commercial, the conceptual and accessible, and the show’s place as both an art world institution and a New York City institution. No small task, but just days before the Armory Show begins, Noah couldn’t have been more gracious as he discussed with XOJET his first full year overseeing one of the largest and most revered contemporary art fairs.

XOJET: What is the…

Q&A with George Whitesides, CEO and President of Virgin Galactic

February 26, 2013  |  XOJET Profiles

All things considered, it’s not surprising that George Whitesides is president and CEO of Virgin Galactic. Earlier in his career, he served as vice president of marketing for private space-tourism company Zero Gravity before becoming executive director at the National Space Society—and then NASA’s chief of staff.  And when Virgin Galactic was launched in 2004, Whitesides immediately contacted Virgin headquarters to tell them he wanted to buy a ticket—making him one of their first customers. Today, in addition to leading Virgin Galactic, he’s also a fellow at the U.K.’s Royal…

Increasing Your Value, Personally and Professionally: New Book Explains How

January 21, 2013  |  XOJET Profiles

From the first page, which opens with a truly unforgettable in-flight safety lesson that’s so darkly humorous, it’s downright pitch (“You might want to consider which one has the most potential!”), it’s clear that Admired by XOJET friend Mark C. Thompson is not your standard how-to-succeed-in-business book.

For those not familiar with his work, Thompson, the very definition of a self-made man, rose to become Charles Schwab’s communications chief and co-founder of the Schwab Foundation, as well as a highly successful venture capitalist and Tony-nominated Broadway producer along the way. He now…

Q&A with Matthew Wilson, Founder of Soutirage Wine Merchants

January 8, 2013  |  XOJET Profiles

If you didn’t know about the wine merchant Soutirage, it would be easy to make the mistake of asking Founder Matt Wilson to share his list of the best wines of 2012. After all, “Best Of” lists are the high-holiday rule, not the exception. Then again, Soutirage is the exception to just about every standard marketing rule in its belief that wine is simply too personal an experience to be summarized in catch-all lists. So instead of a Best of 2012 list from this rapidly growing Napa Valley-based luxury wine…

Q&A with Eric Shiner, Director, The Andy Warhol Museum

December 6, 2012  |  XOJET Profiles

After graduating in 1994 from the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in art history and Japanese, Eric Shiner began a one-year internship at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh the week it opened its doors. He went on to become an expert in contemporary Chinese and Japanese art, and in 2008, he received a phone call from the then-director of The Warhol, asking him if he would like to become the Milton Fine Curator of Art. Shiner accepted the offer and returned to his hometown. He became director…

Q&A with Todd Okerstrom, Director Of Personal Shopping, Bergdorf Goodman

November 28, 2012  |  XOJET Profiles

Todd Okerstrom has been on the front lines of luxury retail for 30 years, 25 of which he spent with the Neiman Marcus Group and the past eight years with Bergdorf Goodman. Today, as Director of Personal Shopping, Okerstrom and his staff routinely field calls and emails from clients traveling in the likes of Monte Carlo or the Maldives, or flipping through Vogue on their yacht. And when his client wants that dress on page 68 or texts him a picture of a pair of shoes seen on a street…

Q&A with R. Adam Smith, CEO and Chairman of V&M (Vintage and Modern)

November 20, 2012  |  XOJET Profiles

With his 20 years of experience in investment banking and private investing—he had tenures at Lehman Brothers, Caxton-Iseman Capital and Castle Harlan before founding Circle Peak Capital in 2002—you can be sure that R. Adam Smith knows about business travel. Yet that’s not reason why the XOJET Blog wanted to speak with him. Smith is the CEO of V&M (Vintage and Modern), a company that has not only found its niche in the highly competitive field of rare collectibles and art, but has also quickly become the favorite online retail…