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20 Questions: Stephanie Chung

The president of private aviation charter company JetSuite shares her favorite things.

Illustration by Graham Smith; Franz Marc Frei/LOOK-foto/Getty Images; Getty Images/Handout/Getty Images

The daughter of an air force master sergeant, Stephanie Chung spent her childhood surrounded by planes. She’d later work more than 30 years in commercial and private aviation sales before joining, in August, charter company JetSuite as president. Chung’s task: expanding JetSuite’s national footprint as it settles into its new Dallas headquarters.

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  1. What are you reading? The Meaning Revolution by Fred Kofman and Conversational Intelligence by Judith E. Glaser.
  2. Your favorite city? Chicago in the summer. 

  3. How many days a year do you travel? Two weeks out of the month.

  4. Favorite getaway? I love Cabo. I can get there quickly from Texas, and the beaches are beautiful.

  5. Do you fly private or commercial? Given a choice, I fly commercial so that we have aircraft available for our clients.

  6. Favorite airline? I’m a frequent flyer with American. Flying commercial always reminds me how important what we do is.

  7. Other than your phone, what do you never travel without? Makeup. I like MAC for blushes and Chantecaille for foundation.

  8. Your investment philosophy? I tend to be aggressive and take chances—without being irresponsible. High risk, high reward.

  9. Best investing tip? Surround yourself with the right wealth advisors, but don’t just let them do whatever they want. You have to be engaged.

  10. Favorite movie? Remember the Titans. I love how the coach, through good leadership, pulls the opposing teams together.

  11. Favorite TV show? Will and Grace for when I want to laugh, and Homeland for when I don’t.

  12. Beer, wine or spirits? These days I’m really into blood orange margaritas, straight up.

  13. Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring. I’ve been married for 29 years.

  14. Favorite designer? St. John. Their knits travel really well.

  15. What do you drive? A Lexus ES 350 right now. I like that everything is intuitive.

  16. The biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? I’m a cancer survivor. Cancer changes you. You have to decide that you’re going to fight the disease.

  17. What keeps you up at night? Every decision I make impacts our employees and their families, and I’m mindful of that. It’s also humbling to be one of two women running a private aviation company, and the first African American woman. I want to make sure that I’m setting a great example for the women and minorities in this industry.

  18. What’s your favorite advice to give? When you’re coaching and developing people, women in particular, one of the most important things is teaching them how to say no and not feel guilty about it.

  19. Your favorite philanthropy? The nonprofit Elevation Society, partly because my daughter is the founder but also because it’s something you don’t really hear people talk about: helping lessen suicide rates among adolescents.

  20. How would you like to be remembered? I would love for my tombstone to say, “Here lies a happy soul.”

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