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Entrepreneur Speaker Author Aviation Consultant Oboist

A bootstrapping entrepreneur who turned down an appearance on Shark Tank and instead grew her business to 20 million a year in revenue, with no previous business experience

Five Time Inc. 500 List Founder and CEO

A highly-experienced aviator with 25 years in all facets of the aviation industry who helps buyers make informed choices in a tight preowned jet market, as founder of “The Jet Agent”

Author of “The Insider’s Guide to Buying and Selling Jets”

An accomplished freelance oboist and founder of a nonprofit symphony orchestra


I was an oboist and music educator when I decided to take flying lessons as a hobby.  I became a commercial pilot-turned-accidental entrepreneur to grow a five-time Inc. 500 company, and one of the 50 fastest-growing, women-owned businesses globally, in a traditionally-male dominated industry.

With only 5% of the nation’s pilots being women, and an even smaller percentage of women who have been promoted to a cockpit leadership role, built an aviation business or led one as CEO, it was a lonely journey with many naysayers who said I could not succeed.  But I did.

My story has lessons for anyone who has ever felt that the cards were stacked against you from the beginning, for anyone that needs help with learning how to bounce back after failure, or for those that know they have the ability to accomplish something great, but are “stuck”.

After exiting my businesses, I enjoy helping others on similar journeys by sharing the lessons that I learned along the way that made a difference in my success.  In addition, I am in high demand as a jet aircraft broker and acquisition consultant, specializing in assisting buyers who are new to jet ownership or need high-touch assistance with starting up operations.

Denise Wilson
Enterprising Woman of the Year

Denise Wilson

I have enjoyed several exciting career fields – first as a professional freelance oboist and music teacher.  Many of my students went on to become accomplished professional musicians in their own right.  

My second career was as a flight instructor then professional pilot.  I was an airline captain, piloted numerous different private jets, Chief Pilot and Check Airman, helping numerous other pilots get their start in aviation and advocating for more women to consider aviation as a career.

My third career was as an entrepreneur. I founded Desert Jet in 2007 and led the company as CEO through high growth periods. In fact, I started three Desert Jet entities; a jet aircraft management and charter company, a jet maintenance company, and lastly an aircraft ground handling company. While CEO of Desert Jet, I accomplished the following;


Fox Business Denise Wilson
Growing a Business but Maintaining Your Values
Forbes Denise Wilson
Top 40 Tips from Award-Winning Entrepreneurs
CNBC Denise Wilson
Trading Gut for Best Practice in Business Expansion
Fox Business Denise Wilson
Three Women Entrepreneurs - How I Did It
USA Today Denise Wilson
When is a Private Jet Worth the Splurge?
USA Today Denise Wilson
First Trip on a Private Jet
Is This High-Flying Business Recession-Proof?
Private Jet Etiquette
Business Jet Traveler Denise Wilson
Buying and Flying Your Own Jet

Contact Me

Contact Me

Private Aviation