One of the best parts of our community at Business Workspaces is getting to know our members. We enjoy being able to learn more about what everyone does not just on a professional level, but on a personal one as well. We recently had the chance to learn more about Leonard Johnson and his business and we hope you enjoy getting to learn more about Leonard as well – Take a look!
Tell us about your company and what you do?
I have a company called Leverage Aero with my business partner Logan Wright. Logan is our highly skilled and qualified Chief Pilot and instructor. He also handles the flight operations while I handle the business operations. Leverage Aero is a limited liability company that does primary flight training in what is called “light sport aircraft.” We also lease and manage aircraft if someone wants to be part of our US Air Club membership. Members can come to the Sacramento area, and if they want to pick up a plane and fly it somewhere like Napa or Mendocino, they can rent the aircraft from us.
How did you get started in your industry?
Since I was little, I have been into aviation because my father was a private pilot as well as a pilot in the Air Force. I have a few uncles who are also pilots in the Air Force: one of them being an original Tuskegee Airman. You could say aviation is very rich in my family.
When I was in high school, my father had an airplane that was like a third car, so when we would take trips and go long distances, we would just hop in the airplane! Aviation has always been a huge part of my life. I now have the opportunity to do something with it, and not only enjoy for myself, but share it with other people.
What is something about your business that most people do not know?
We operate out of a smaller airport, Watts-Woodland Airport in Woodland, California. That airport is the second oldest, privately owned, continuous use airport in the United States. It was founded in 1919, just a few years after the Wright brothers invented the first airplane. Also, instead of training in the traditional 150s and 172s, our training aircraft are called light sport aircraft. They are made in Slovenia by a company called Pipistrel. The word pipistrel is an adoption of “Pipistrello” which is the Italian word for “bat.”
What advice do you have for others interested in getting into your line of work?
Having a business is one thing, but it’s the small details that make the business successful. The advice I would give is make sure you have all the items you need to keep your business in order. There is a lot of leg work upfront. Having the idea is the easy part.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In the next five years, we plan to build out our fleet to hopefully have about four or five airplanes. There is still such a heavy demand for flight training, and we are ready to grow our business and meet the demand.
Tell us about yourself?
On top of my current company, I also work for Oracle (for a second time). The tech industry crashed a few years back that caused a few of their positions to go away for a bit so I ended up working for Apple as a Senior Technical Advisor for about 11 years, and now I am back at Oracle as a Technical Analyst. I am a web developer for their websites and work with data that the company uses both internally and externally. We take all the technical information and make it understandable and legible to our outside customers who may need to know specifications, but not all the tiny details. We essentially clean up all the information and make it easier to understand.
Other than work, what are you passionate about?
Besides flying, I am passionate about cars, motorcycles, and traveling. I am also involved with the Tuskegee Airmen National Organization where I am the president of one of the local chapters. We hold meetings at the McClellan Aerospace Museum, which I am also a board member for. I manage to stay busy with the chapter business and traveling around for different museum business as well.
I love the outdoors, hiking, camping, and kayaking. I also love to spend a lot of time with my kids. They are all older now, but I love spending time with them and my grandkids as much as possible.
What makes you feel energized about your business?
The fact that I can get out of an office setting and be able to get into an airplane. I really enjoy flying over the valley, the mountains, and to the coast. It is a way to relax and do something that I truly enjoy without having to think about too much else.
Do you have a daily habit that helps you be more successful?
Every day in business, there will always be tasks that need completed. Whether it is the mundane/routine tasks, or larger/more tedious tasks, there is always something to do. I always try to make sure that I accomplish something, no matter the size of the task. I wake up and remind myself every morning that there could be something critical to building my company and moving it in a more positive direction.
Why did you choose Business Workspaces and how has working here helped your business?
Business Workspaces goes back to one of the critical pieces of being successful. I think most individuals want to know that a company has an established location. People can have offices in their home, but that may not always be the most professional option. The space here gives me the opportunity to have a legitimate location that I can use for my business.
There is space, equipment, staffing, and everything else that a business needs for our customers to come and visit. In my case, I have my corporate headquarters here, but I also have my office at the airport where we do our flight operations out of. The space here is critical to my business because that is what my business is built upon. I can always change airports, but I never plan to get rid of this space to conduct very critical components of the business.
If you would like to learn more about Leonard and his company, feel free to visit his Website.