Sometimes, all it takes is one experience to change the trajectory of your whole life. For Tyger Greene, that moment was her trip to the Bahamas when she was just a teenager that opened up her world to travel. She knew then that she wanted to be someone in the aerial space and boy oh boy did she become that someone. Tyger went from being a well-rounded Flight Attendant to being a Senior Account Executive for Dominion Charter, Ltd., which is one of the only black owned and operated private jet companies in the world. At Dominion Charter, Tyger prides herself in providing every member with first class quality service from the land to the air. In our interview, Tyger talks about her journey through the aviation business, defying all odds when it comes to being an African American woman in this business as well as how she plans on elevating the stratospheric experience as the Jet Expert.
How did you get your start in aviation?
My lifelong love affair with airplanes and aviation began at the age of 13. It was my first flight. From the moment I stepped on board, I was certain I wanted to see the world and I was going to do it from 30,000 feet as a flight attendant. With a degree in Journalism and two weeks after graduation, I became a news reporter. My dream job would have to wait. It was 15 years later when, finally, I earned my wings. After 18 years as a flight attendant at a major airline, my transformation into private aviation felt right; it felt comfortable and became a natural transition. Five years ago I joined Dominion Charter, Ltd. as an Account Executive to provide expert aircraft charters and sales. Aviation is a passion industry. It’s an industry that people get into because they are passionate about flying.
You are a Senior Account Executive for Dominion Charter which is a Black owned private jet company. Tell us more about this exclusive yet peculiar business.
Flying private is a world shrouded in mystery. It’s not just about flying in luxury and style with a private jet; it’s about a state of mind and the efficiencies from wheels up to wheels down.
For most, flying is a chore – something that just must be done. But it doesn’t have to be a tiresome activity. Let’s use Houston to New Orleans for a lunch meeting and returning the same day as an example. For a commercial flight, a client leaves home around 5 a.m. to catch a 7:30 a.m. flight, having checked in and made it through security. The flight lands around 9:15 a.m. Client picks up rental car, drive to meeting roughly 45 minutes away. The meeting lasts for 1 ½ hours. Client then gets in rental car, go back to the airport,, return the car and wait for the next flight out. Next flight doesn’t leave until 6:00 p.m. Flight is delayed and leaves at 7:00 p.m., land at 8:15 p.m., and client arrives home around 10:30 p.m. Privately, client leaves home at 10:00 a.m., drive a short distance to Hobby Airport where the jet is waiting. Client parks car, shows ID and walks onto the jet. The jet lands at the smaller airport, where the meeting is being held. After meeting, client immediately flies back home and can probably pick up the kids from school at 3 p.m. and still feels refreshed.
What is it like being a part of such an anomaly in the aviation industry because most private jet companies are not owned and/or operated by people of color?
Let me be clear. I love working for Dominion. We are 100% black owned and operated. We’re proud of whom we are as a company and we’re not defined by our organizational structure. We are defined by our symbol of excellence. In fact, many consumers seek out labels on businesses, services and products before making spending decisions. Fair trade, organic, women-owned, and made in America – the list is long. Most of us wear invisible labels on our chests. If we’re lucky, the ones bestowed upon us feel comfortably correct and we never chafe against their limitations. I am familiar with the argument that a black-owned label may appear to some as limiting. I firmly disagree. There is no such thing as cornering yourself with a black label. I see it as an opportunity to recognize excellence. We are a luxury brand, are as good, if not better, than any other label that’s out there and that’s our goal.
The life of private jetsetter is definitely a luxurious one. What are some perks that come with being a Dominion Charter member?
Oh the perks!
- One Call…One Cost. Your quote is your cost. Your call is your quote. True transparency and no surprise billing on the back end. The beauty of our Flight-On-Demand ™ Advantage; point-to-point travel with no complicated contracts and no commitments.
- Argus Certified Jets - Dominion does the unthinkable in our industry by chartering only aircraft and pilots that have been Argus gold or platinum certified. Clients fly assured the team and equipment exceeds the most rigorous flight-worthy standards.
- Purchase & Lease – We partner with our clients to deliver the right aircraft or yacht, on time and on budget. We use our exclusive checklist system to simplify the process and make it the best and most exciting purchase of a client’s life!
- Our Premiere Connection™ Flight Card Service is second to none. Fly anytime and anywhere you please, with any number of our available private travel packages. Our uniquely designed flight card allows you to purchase flight hours and get you daily access to your fleet, no blackout dates, no expiration dates, simultaneous aircraft on your account, gourmet meals, chauffeured ground transportation, and 24/7 concierge. Additionally, there’s our new ‘Simply Flight’ card, offering our signature Premiere Connection™ card with only flight hours. Clients can choose either a light jet, which seats 5-6 passengers, a mid-size jet, which seats 7 people comfortably, a super-mid aircraft, which seats 8 to 9 passengers and can go across country or a large cabin or heavy aircraft, which can seat up to 15 passengers and go transatlantic.
You like to be referred to as the go to Jet Expert. What does that title entail?
When I first started in this business, most nights I wouldn’t go to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. I was burning the midnight oil. I did this for months. I was on a mission and sleep was not a priority. I wanted to be as educated as I could possibly be. I studied the industry and aircraft specifications daily. It was going to take a great depth of expert knowledge to succeed. It’s a “boy’s game”. I knew I would have to work twice as hard as a woman to be taken seriously. And, I knew that in order to command the same amount of respect as my male colleagues, I needed to prove that I knew what I was doing. I was worth being taken seriously. I’ve never lied to a client and I won’t. My clients like my honesty and trust me. I’m patient. I listen, listen, and listen. I build relationships. Moreover, I have a great deal of self-confidence and I’ve gained a wonderful mentor in my boss, CEO, C. Edward Moten.
If any, what are some of the challenges that you face being a black woman in a white male dominated market?
Being a woman, of any color, is a powerful business when done correctly. Actually, I have not found the challenges to be that difficult. There will be many challenges throughout one’s career, especially in a largely white male-dominated industry, but I never forget my own power even when I have to constantly prove myself. We now have a new generation of people entering the industry that grew up with a sense of equality and the realization that women can often outsmart the guys. Besides, I know self-love. I’ve become more aware of myself and the work I do. I want to do more to motivate and encourage other black women to go out there and do their own shit on their own terms
What skills do you believe have contributed the most to your success?
I attribute my success to three listening and relationship building skills: sincerity, ethics and asking. The key to sharing and selling a product or service is to ask questions and listen quietly and carefully to the answers. Most people try too hard to convince people to buy instead of discovering what the client really wants, needs and desires from us. It’s not about your needs but about listening without an agenda. I never try to talk someone into something, but rather listen to what they want. I ask questions that will assist them in making a wise buying decision. That’s how you build a win-win relationship. Doing what is right for everyone involved is the ethical thing to do. We are not in the convincing business; we are in the sharing business. Sometimes, we are so excited to share everything we know about what we’re offering that we forget it is about our potential client’s expectations. What is important to you may not be important to them.
What advice can you give to someone looking to level up and cater their business to more high profile clients?
Many of our clients are of extreme wealth or they’re corporate executives. I can’t give names, but can tell you their walks of life — hedge fund investors, professional sport team owners, real estate magnates, and entrepreneurs (venture capital, technology, biopharmaceutical). We have some celebrities on television and in film, as well as authors and athletes. My advice: Be friendly, not friends. You’re building a business, not a posse. What you want as an account executive is to have a roster of clients who value and rely on you. Secondly, lower your expectations and never over promise. Managing your clients’ expectations can be tough. It’s so easy to tell them what they want to hear. But the good clients, the clients you want will know when you’re telling them the truth and will learn to value your honesty and reliability. Also, don’t ask for the spotlight. It’s tempting to ask famous clients to promote you or your business, especially when they are happy with what you’re doing. It’s not nearly as valuable, business wise, as doing good work and earning a client’s trust and referral. Lastly, avoid gossip. Keep your mouth shut and do good work. While you may want to post their picture on your Instagram page, or brag about who you’re working with and what you are doing, don’t. Most celebrities and athletes value discretion as much as quality work.
Tell us Tyger, what’s next for Dominion Charter and you; the Jet Expert?
It’s exciting times for Dominion and her clients. I love talking about all the fabulous goodness that’s going on at Dominion. One of our aspirations is to see more women flying private. We soon will launch an advertising campaign aimed at women in business, women that travel frequently and women that love travel excursions with their BFF’s or sorors. The goal is to see more women travel and enjoy the moments of great time management. For me, I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. My position at Dominion has contributed to helping me evolve, grow and become more of the woman I desire to be in the world. This sassy brown girl from Miami is confident I will do what it takes to create the life I deserve. I pinky swear!For more on Tyger, be sure to follow her on Instagram and if you want to indulge in a private jet experience with Tyger as your Jet Expert, visit www.dominioncharterltd.com.