As Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, Luxivair SBD’s manager Wendy Bechtel shares the story of her own journey in support of the many people still fighting this disease. A 10-year “breast cancer warrior,” Bechtel feels that several of the characteristics essential to her survival are the same traits that keep the FBO running like a well-oiled machine that continually “wows” customers.
During the nine months she underwent chemotherapy and radiation, Bechtel kept a positive outlook. “You have a choice,” she says. “You can be sad and mope, or you can be a fighter. My daughter was young back then—and I showed her what a tough woman looked like.”
Her team at Luxivair is imbued with the same attitude. “If a customer comes in who is clearly having a hard day, they won’t stay grumpy for long, not with the entire staff smiling and saying hello, baking them cookies, and generally uplifting their spirits.”
Growing up in a large family on a dairy farm, Bechtel credits her father for teaching her the value of hard work. “He didn’t give us days off. We got dirty, and the girls were expected to work as hard as the boys.”
That same mindset kept her going while she battled breast cancer and now helps her go above and beyond at the FBO. “There’s nothing I ask my team to do that I won’t do myself. When we’re at maximum capacity, I have no problem going out there and filling up a truck, receiving a fuel load, driving customers around, or loading baggage into a Gulfstream.”
When Bechtel, a 29-year veteran of the aviation industry, thinks back to what ignited her love for her current role, she recalls a moment early in her career. As a passenger on a charter flight, she was able to experience herself what amazing customer service felt like for the first time. “We got five-star treatment from the moment we deplaned—the FBO knew who I was, what car I needed, and all the services the plane would be getting. I just loved the atmosphere.” It was the beginning of a life-long dedication to offering stellar service—a desire to help others which only grew stronger after her cancer diagnosis.
A supportive team is essential to surviving cancer, and the same is true of a great FBO. “I couldn’t be a great manager without a great team. I depend on them and we always have each other’s backs. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they have really gone the distance to support me. The entire team came together by wearing pink vests, pink gloves, or pink pins. We’re like a big family—and we make our customers feel like they’re members of it.”