President & CEO
Worldwide Jet Charter, Inc.
Location: Maricopa County, AZ
Andrew Kaufman was flying planes at age 16, before he learned to drive a car. It makes sense, then, that he would go on to serve as President and CEO of Worldwide Jet Charter, Inc.
Running a charter plane business requires more than just a passion for flying, though. Kaufman showed a knack for business at a young age too, selling his old toys through newspaper ads and starting several businesses as a college student. He worked for the California governor’s office, the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce and was later a flight instructor and regional airline pilot before launching his own private flying service.
Eventually, he joined Worldwide Jet, first as a line captain and then as chief pilot. He got his MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management, helping to propel him into his current leadership role at the company.
Under Kaufman’s leadership, Worldwide Jet has grown from four aircrafts to 14 and increased sales from $17 million to $90 million. The company is an industry leader in luxury private air travel. On a daily basis, it flies world leaders, entertainers, athletes and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
“By focusing on the development of our team members, at all levels, we will continue to grow as an organization in effectiveness, efficiency and maturity,” Kaufman said. “Investing my time in my leadership and management team to provide them the skills and resources needed to excel will impact the entire organization and continue to solidify our place as an industry leader.”
Worldwide Jet is working with other industry leaders to set a new standard in flight training and standard operating procedures. “We are reimagining the passenger experience by focusing on the development of our people, understanding that giving our people the tools and resources to think differently and take ownership of the company improves attitude, behavior, performance, and in the end, the best experience for every one of our customers,” Kaufman’s staff said.
Kaufman has made the team at Worldwide Jet a priority and worked to improve the company’s annual attrition rate, which has dropped to 8% compared to roughly 30% at other, similar companies.
“Having good people around you to bounce ideas off of, advise you, sometimes just let you talk out loud, is more valuable than anything,” Kaufman said. “Your people are the value of your organization.”
Outside the workplace, Kaufman is on the board of directors for Goodwill of Arizona. He assisted his sister in launching her own business and counts being an uncle to his niece and nephews Maxine, Leo and Otis as his greatest achievement and joy.
Andrew has two dogs, an Australian Shepard, Sophia, and an Alaskan Malamute, Milo.