Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci Joins Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Board of Trustees

Aviation veteran enlisted to cultivate the future generation of aviation and aerospace talent

Cleveland, Ohio, April 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in private aviation, announced that its Chairman, Kenn Ricci, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aviation business, aerospace, engineering and STEM-related degree programs. Ricci’s appointment was effective on March 29, 2024.

“It is vital to the growth of the aviation industry that we continue to attract, coach and retain young talent. In fact, that is one of the many reasons I felt it vital to develop the Flexjet Innovation and Career Center at Embry-Riddle in 2017 and why I am so eager to play a role in the education of young aviators as a member of the Embry-Riddle board,” Ricci said. “Our companies – which employ 5,000 currently – and the overall aviation industry continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. Sustaining that growth would not be possible without a pipeline of young talent that is well educated and inspired.” 

With a distinguished career spanning more than four decades, Ricci brings a wealth of aviation industry expertise to Embry-Riddle. He is the founder and principal of Directional Aviation Capital, a firm that owns and invests in a wide range of aviation-focused businesses including Flexjet and its affiliates, FXAIR, a private jet charter company and Sentient Jet, a jet card provider, SimCom Aviation Training which provides professional simulator training and REVA, an air ambulance company. An accomplished pilot in his own right, Ricci’s aviation business interests also include maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, aircraft engineering, aircraft brokerage, aircraft management and aviation sustainability initiatives.

“Kenn is second-to-none when it comes to deep understanding of the aviation business and a successful track record in the industry,” said Mori Hosseini, chairman of the Embry‑Riddle Board of Trustees. “He will not only be an outstanding board member but he shares our mission of molding the next generation of talent in aviation and aerospace.”

Embry‑Riddle President P. Barry Butler, Ph.D., added: “Trustee Ricci is a pillar of the aviation industry. His unique leadership skills, business acumen, passion and vision will be incredible assets, and I look forward to working with him.”

About Kenn Ricci
Ricci began his aviation career as an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet at the University of Notre Dame. In 1981, he purchased his first company, Corporate Wings, which provides aircraft management and supporting charter operations. In the ensuing years, Ricci established and built up his numerous aviation businesses that now generate more than $4 billion in revenue, employ more than 5,000 people and have operations across North America and Europe In 2016, he was honored with the Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award from the Living Legends of Aviation organization. Today that award bears his name. Just three years later, the organization honored Ricci as a Living Legend of Aviation.

Ricci’s entrepreneurial acumen has spilled into his philanthropic endeavors, which includes Able Flight, a flight and aviation career training program that provides people with disabilities a way to challenge themselves by pursuing the experience. His philanthropy also extends to higher education.

Ricci spearheaded the development of the Flexjet Innovation and Career Center at Embry-Riddle, a facility that houses Flexjet-sponsored internships, offers research and conference space for students and introduces students to career opportunities in the rapidly growing business aviation sector.

In 2018, Ricci was named one of Town & Country Magazine’s Top 50 Philanthropists for his outstanding support of higher education, including his creation of a groundbreaking giving structure named the Philanthropic Succession Partnership that led to the donation of $100 million to the University of Notre Dame – the largest unrestricted gift in the university’s history.
Ricci also serves on the University of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees and the Smithsonian National Board of The Smithsonian Institution.

About Flexjet
Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in private aviation, first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing and is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 25 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4AIR Bronze Sustainable Rating and is certified at Stage 2 with IS-BAO. Red Label by Flexjet, a market differentiator, which features an ultra-modern fleet, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are nearly 50 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350/3500, the Gulfstream G450 and G650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Praetor 600 and the Gulfstream G650. Flexjet’s helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned, operated and maintained Sikorsky S-76 helicopters which boast 55,000 hours of safe flying certified by Wyvern and ARG/US and serving locations throughout the northeastern United States, United Kingdom, and southern Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Instagram @FlexjetInc.


Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci Joins Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Board of Trustees