Profile: Successful Entrepreneur Joins Breast Cancer Battle
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Wheels Up is a membership-based private aviation enterprise founded by Kenny Dichter, a successful entrepreneur. Recognizing the suffering that so many families experience due to breast cancer, Dichter is using a clever campaign to bring more money to the cause.
Dichter explains, “As we all know, breast cancer affects one in eight women in America and that unfortunately means it touches all of us. Statistically, we all know someone’s mother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin or friend who will be diagnosed.”
Wheels Up has launched a program around a pink plane from the Wheels Up fleet to serve as the centerpiece of the campaign to raise funds to fight breast cancer. The program is in partnership with Textron Aviation along with the NFL, Avon and Estée Lauder.
The Wheels Up Pink Plane is the first-ever pink Beechcraft King Air 350i. Proceeds benefit the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai in New York City. Photo courtesy of Wheels Up.
“In October 2015, we debuted the first-ever pink Beechcraft King Air 350i as a flying symbol of breast cancer awareness, along with a Fly-A-Thon, our fundraising effort, inviting members and the general public to donate to the cause,” Dichter continued. “The Pink Plane will remain in the Wheels Up fleet indefinitely to continue to raise ‘air-wareness’ all year long among our members, employees, and anyone who sees it; it’s something to see on the tarmac for sure!”
It is notable that Dichter himself appreciates the role of social media in advancing the social cause. “We also sent Wheels Up pink hats and shirts to all of our members and ambassadors and implemented a social media campaign on the Wheels Up Facebook and Instagram pages along with a hashtag to get the word out. So far, J.J. Watt, ESPN GameDay and many of our members have featured the Pink Plane on their social media accounts which helps to spread awareness of the Pink Plane and breast cancer.”
“We partnered with Dr. Elisa Port and Dr. Eva Dubin at the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, a cutting-edge institution that delivers that highest level of care and serves women of all socio-economic backgrounds, regardless of their ability to pay. Through our fundraising efforts, we are supporting research, patient screenings, and daily care to women from all over the world who seek out Dubin’s expertise and innovative model.”
On Thursday, February 11, 2016 at noon Eastern, Dichter will join me here for a live discussion about the Wheels Up effort to fight breast cancer. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Wheels Up:
Wheels Up is a revolutionary membership-based private aviation company that significantly reduces the upfront costs to fly privately, while providing unparalleled flexibility, service and safety. Created and led by renowned entrepreneur Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up operates with a 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year culture, offering guaranteed availability to its private fleet of new Beechcraft King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS aircraft to individual, family and corporate members. With the cutting-edge Wheels Up mobile app, members can seamlessly book flights, manage their accounts and participate in ride-share opportunities. Members also have access to Wheels Down, a program featuring exclusive events and experiences, unique partner benefits and a full-service luxury concierge.
Kenny Dichter, courtesy of Wheels Up
Kenny Dichter is Founder and CEO of Wheels Up, the revolutionary membership‐based private aviation company that minimizes the upfront investment needed to fly privately. A lifelong entrepreneur, Dichter has built numerous successful companies, including his first aviation company, Marquis Jet, which he sold to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway for $4 billion in 2010. Since his youth, he has been known for being a trend spotter and trendsetter and always has his eye on early-stage businesses where he sees potential for hyper growth. Among other ventures, he has an active role and has invested in Juice Press, a Manhattan‐based, multi‐location, grab‐and‐go organic, raw food and juice company; and in 2010, co-founded Tequila Avion, an ultra-premium brand that is now distributed by Pernod Ricard. Dichter co‐founded Action America, along with AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, to unite and activate Americans everywhere to turn the events of 9/11 into positive action. He chairs the Council of Advocates at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital for Dr. Ken Davis, Mount Sinai’s Chairman and CEO, and sits on the Board of the Jack Martin Fund, which currently works with the hospital’s cutting‐edge pediatric oncology department. Dichter is also a major supporter of his alma mater, University of Wisconsin‐Madison.
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