PenFed President and CEO James Schenck has always had a passion for aviation. He started flying as a teenager and later, flew Blackhawk helicopters for the US Army. As a leader, James believes a work-life balance is critical. Check out what he does in his spare time to reach new heights.
James Schenck Talks Balance
I think it started out as a young boy. My dad convinced me at a young age of 15 not to watch TV.
He asked me what I like to do and I said, “I’ve always wanted to figure out what it would
feel like to fly.”
Went to a local airfield, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve been flying every year since pretty much.
I love the saying “wheels up.” When you’re accelerating down the runway and you bring back on the controls and you start rising, breaking friction with the ground, there’s no greater feeling.
I love going from point A to point B. It is truly refreshing to the soul to fly. Where you’re living in the moment it’s mindfulness. Whether it’s talking on the radios, controlling the aircraft, navigating, all the normal decisions I have to make on a daily basis, they’re in the background because you’re focused on the task at hand.
Today was a fun flight from Leesburg, Virginia to Lewisburg, West Virginia. I love coming out to West Virginia. I love running and hiking, and mountain air. There’s something about, you know, going to bed with mountain air and rising into a mountain sunrise. It’s absolutely beautiful and it recharges my my heart and my soul.
As the CEO of Penfed and our, you know, our employees, I think it’s so important to set the example that I want everybody to be able to reach their professional and their personal goals. In order to do that I use the expression “life is a marathon, not a sprint.”
You need time to recharge. You need time to train. I want folks to take time off to enjoy what they like to do. Everybody needs a hobby. Everybody needs time away from work and I’m a huge supporter of that. I need to lead by example
encouraging others to always enjoy the journey.