STAY AGILE & THINK BIG: Sean Fowler, Owner of J&S Aviation

Fine Art by Michelle Micalizzi
(All Rights Reserved)

My muse this week is Sean Fowler. Sean owns J&S Aviation.


Sean and I used to belong to BNI Business Leaders of North Scottsdale, where he was one of the founding members of the group. BNI was one of the tools he put in place to grow his business during, quite frankly, the worst time to be in the aviation industry in the history of aviation. I liked Sean right away when I met him. He has a nobility about him that is unusual for a man his age. Yes, he is a successful young man who has that wonderful combination of humility and confidence that so many of the Fearless 13 have, which are two qualities that I admire very much in a person.

Last January, Sean took me up for a plane ride in one of his Merlin Aircrafts. It was a fantastic experience to sit in the co-pilot seat of a smaller plane like I did that day. First class will never feel special to me again! You just can’t beat flying like this with a stick! And, if you are ever looking to buy or sell a plane, Sean is your man!

Sean was originally one of the Fearless 13 for the 2015 show but he had a conflict and was unable to make the show that night. We decided to include him in this show and we hope (and don’t hope as the case may be) that he does not get booked to take one of his clients somewhere wonderful that weekend!

The three biggest things that impress me the most about Sean are:

  1. Aviation is in his blood.
  2. He is a hungry, confident young man who is completely dedicated to success.
  3. He thinks unabashedly BIG. End of story!

In a nutshell….

Sean is one of the best pilots in the world flying the Merlin planes that he flies. He is on the top of his game flying out of Scottsdale, which is one of the busiest smaller airports in the country and the future is only up for him.


Sean Fowler took a few minutes out to answer the five Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Questions.


1. Be Relentlessly Determined

Sean is on a mission. He is determined to soar to extremely high heights not just in his planes but, with his business. He talks about being a 30 million dollar company and I believe hat he will get there.

2. Stay Agile – Know when to Stay Small

Sean started his business at a time when it did not seem like a good idea to be starting an aviation company. It literally was the worst quarter in aviation history when he decided to venture out on his own away from a family aviation business and pursue his dreams. The irony of starting a company at that time is that he was able to outlast the big boys because of his smallness, which enabled him to be more responsive and flexible so he could change course as needed because he was not turning around the Titantic, he was just adjusting his catamaran sails. Timing sometimes seems to be wrong but it can be everything when it is right. What seemed like the wrong time to start to some was exactly the right time for Sean to start.

3. Relationships are Key

Sean builds very close and endearing relationships. I have experienced this in our BNI and by witnessing him with his close friends in that community. I have also watched him with some of his customers. When you are talking to Sean, he slows down and you feel like you are the only person in the room. He takes time to tell you how he is feeling and he listens to what you have to say. He considers what you are saying. He is not just rushing to get up in the air. He is very patient and he loves life. He loves to fly. I mean – REALLY loves to fly. I love the feeling I get when I meet a person who is living their dream and LOVING what they do. I feel so lucky that I got a chance to see the smile on Sean’s face when he is flying. It is simply fantastic. We also share the love of motorcycles and I look forward to riding with Sean one day soon!

4. Don’t Fear a Learning Curve

Sean is not afraid to toss himself into unfamiliar territory. He knows that all he has to do is get the right people around him and they will help him to navigate where he has never been before. Pilots have this quality about them. They are by nature fearless and they know that directions work. They have faith. I have no doubt that Sean will build airplane financing as part of his business with the same fearlessness he approached starting his aviation business during the industry’s worst economy ever.

5. Possibility Rules – Know When to Think BIG

Sean was raised by his Mom and Dad to think big in a big industry. We share this in common and several other of the Fearless 13 also share this lucky fact. We have parents, and in particular father’s, who taught us that anything is possible and that thinking BIG was not only a good thing but the only way to think. Coincidentally, my father was also an airplane machinist and a Merlin expert. One of the things Sean talks about is that BIG is also broad and open ended. One has to think that way when BIG to them means creating a 10, 20, 30 million dollar company.

Thank you so much Sean for taking the time out to be one of the Fearless 13! I look forward to seeing you again at the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Art Opening on May 14th at the Walter Gallery from 7-10PM.

Note from the Artist


 This painting is based on a shot I took of Sean as he was about to take me into the air that awesome day in January. The hands in the painting are his and the collage elements are his Merlin plane. Sean is not only in control of the plane but also his destiny. Sean and I share the love of riding motorcycles. When you are riding a motorcycle you are actually part of the world, you are not passively observing it like you are in a car. Similarly, when you are flying a smaller plane, you are in the sky, you are not just flying over the earth to your destination. That is the thing that I recall feeling the most that day. I was just amazed at how IN the sky we were and how close the world felt. The world becomes part of the plane and you are part of it! When you are in a big commercial plane, you can close the window shade and let the world go by beneath you while you try to catch a couple z’s on your way to your destination. When you are in a Merlin plane with Sean, you are very aware of the awesome experience of flying and also very aware that Sean is expertly in control of the plane. Riding with Sean is not just travel, it is an experience. What a fantastic ride it was that day! I am going to enjoy very much watching this young man continue to soar to amazing heights with his company!

The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business!

Press Viewing (by invitation only): Friday, May 13 6-8PM
Opening: Saturday, May 14th 7-10PM
Conversation with the Artist: Saturday, May 21 7-9PM
Closing Reception: Thursday, June 9th 6-9PM

10% Proceeds donated to the Arizona Consortium of the Arts

 Walter Art Gallery
6425 East Thomas Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85257




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