Rely on smart people to do their jobs well.
Rebecca Posoli-Cilli is the president and COO of Freestream Aircraft USA Ltd. Freestream is an aircraft brokerage that completes aspects including acquisitions, marketing, sales, design services, imports and exports, and maintenance review.
Rebecca has over 20 years of experience in corporate aviation. She is a graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she earned a degree in Business Administration. Rebecca is honored to be named to the school’s advisory board and continues her effort to supply the school with a yearly scholarship. Her passion for the aviation industry began through internships with the Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Southern Marine Aviation.
In 1992, Rebecca Posoli-Cilli began working as the director of research at Omni International Jet Trading, a large aircraft brokerage. During her term, Rebecca directly supported over 100 transactions.
Rebecca Posoli-Cilli founded Freestream Aircraft USA Ltd. in 2007, headquartered in Teterboro, New Jersey. The company has become a powerful force in the industry, executing over 25 transactions per year with a team fluent in several different languages.
Rebecca is a member of the National Aircraft Finance Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and the American Society of Appraisers. She is also a strong supporter of professional women organizations, including the International Aviation Women’s Association, Women in Aviation, and Women United in Philanthropy.
Rebecca was recently named the President of Turbine Asset Holdings Group, LLC and an advisory board member of VREF Aircraft Value Reference.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The definition of “free stream” is the air far upstream of an aerodynamic body, before the body has a chance to deflect, slow down or compress the air. That’s probably a little bit more technical than you wanted. We have branded Freestream Aircraft into the third largest brokerage firm, and only global company, in the world.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My schedule for the week is usually planned out by Sunday evening. This helps me keep my professional and personal life on track. We have a short family meeting on Sunday to review expectations and conflicts.
At 5 a.m., I mill through overnight emails from Asia and determine any action items
By 5:15, the dog and kitchen have my attention. At 5:30, I try very hard to stretch, meditate, and/or get my heart rate up for 45 minutes daily. I joined a personal training club. Someone shows up to the house Monday Through Friday and basically tells me what to do.
At 7 a.m., I start a 40-minute school run. When I’m not traveling, I really like to bring the kids to school myself.
From 7:45-8:30 I answer calls, join conference calls, and check in with the London office.
By the time 9:15 rolls around, office staff have already cleaned my inbox of junk mail and flagged important messages. My day is made up of reviewing contracts with aviation attorneys and looking over discrepancies from overnight inspections.
I detest business lunches or surprise visits. Being located in Teterboro means a lot of traffic. As much as I enjoy seeing aviation friends, I’m already easily distracted by the aircraft outside my window. I like to keep the call flow going.
We are pretty big team. There are always a few of us traveling to look at aircrafts, show aircrafts, or meet with a client.
Before 2 p.m., I have already made some type of contact with every team member. Every day I must speak with Connie, Jeremy, Alireza, and Jeanne-Marie. They are the smartest people in our business.
Between 7-8:30 p.m., I take a break from work to focus on the kids.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We watch how other market brand themselves and advertise their products. As a group, we discuss what aspects attract us to certain advertisements and why.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The ability to lease the entire flight department. The accounting makes sense and CFOs enjoy the benefits of budgeting the company’s large expense. Corporate flight departments could benefit from more standard operations. The NBAA does an amazing job helping these leaders get the training they need to run large flight departments; however, with limited time, department heads cannot easily attend such seminars.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I keep a pretty strict routine when not traveling. By keeping a specific schedule, clients, team members, and staff know when to reach me. This schedule is set in stone by Sunday evening.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Live abroad and perhaps experience more vacation time. Most important, rely on smart people to do their jobs well. Take a step more and watch.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The wealthier people are the less concerned they are with safety. They’re generally still fixated on the cheapest way to fly.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I make a chart that I call “columns of wealth”. By continually updating the columns to determine where the company makes the money from, who gave us the leads and introductions, and what type of transactions were completed, I can determine where to further spend my time and efforts.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Every quarter, we make notes on the target market and target clientele to go after. By writing these notes, it helps us focus on the weeks ahead.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Ten years ago, three of us tried to work as a team on one listing. It didn’t work. Actually, it failed terribly, and we lost the client altogether. We were so excited to win the business we forgot to dole out specific tasks and assign them to each other. We could have asked our respective staff support to organize us, but we hadn’t even done that.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An App for all car-related cleaning, oil changes, etc. someone can pick up the car and deal with it. These tasks kill my focus.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased a cheap set of sunglasses and phone charger for my desk. These are items that are usually being lent out. Sometimes it takes a while to get them back!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I negotiate packages for goods and services in bulk. When I need to tip people, pay for tutors etc., I use the app “Venmo”. It’s much easier than carrying cash or writing checks.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Unshakable” by Tony Robbins. He has a way of getting to the core of true values and it’s always uplifting.
What is your favorite quote?
Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
- A strict schedule helps to keep organized and reachable
- Watching the markets and discussing as a team allows us to execute ideas
- Business lunches and networking events are a waste of valuable time
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.