MICHELLE SCHVABENITZ

CO-FOUNDER, CFO

EDUCATION

Kent State University
B.S., Public Health, Clinical Trials Research
Honors: Cum Laude

Community College of Aurora
A.S., Applied Science

Emily Griffith Technical College
Certified Phlebotomist

Michelle Schvabenitz FlightCog

MY STORY

My name is Michelle Schvabenitz and I am a Denver, Colorado native. My mother and father were refugee immigrants that migrated to Denver, Colorado from Vietnam in the 1980s during the Vietnam war. I am the first-generation Asian-American to have been born in my family. Even though I was born in America, I did not learn many of the American traditions until I met my husband, Nicholas. I grew up in a very traditional Asian household. I am fluent in both Cantonese and English, and I also know quite a bit of Vietnamese.

At a young age, I always enjoyed science and the study of the human body. As I got older, I was compelled to go into the medical field. My lifelong goal was to become a Physicians' Assistant. But in 2013, I met my soon-to-be husband, Nicholas. When Nick and I met, he was at the end of his journey in the United States Air Force. He often told me how much he enjoyed aviation and how we wanted to progress in his career as a pilot. I gave Nick what he needed: the push to keep going. Since meeting Nick. I have lived in many different parts of the country. I found supporting Nick to be very gratifying in my own life, which altered my life goals and the vision that I had for myself when I was younger.

Before I met Nick, I was originally studying Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver. But sometimes the nature of being married to a pilot, especially before the pilot shortage, meant moving around a lot. I've had quite the scenic adventure over the years, having lived in so many places. So, I realized that continuing my education at UCD just wasn't practical. So I chose to transfer to Kent State University, in Ohio, as they had a remote program that would allow me to continue to study Public Health. Over the years I found less and less enjoyment in the career field that I originally believed would make me happy. After I graduated, I worked as an intern at the University of Pittsburgh thinking that this would re-ignite my passion. But it didn't. I did not find the work fulfilling. I found it mundane and without passion. I didn't believe in what I was doing. Eventually, I finished my internship at Pitt and never looked back.

I found working together with Nick at FlightCog to be very fulfilling. The company would never have been possible without my support and I find that to be very gratifying. Watching the evolution of this company from what it was, when it was founded in 2014, to what it has become today, has been quite an adventure. Even though I do not have a background in aviation, the skills I have acquired over the years have been incredibly helpful from a business operations perspective. On a regular day at FlightCog, I find myself working in many more disciplines than I ever thought possible when I was seeking a career in Public Health. I truly wear many different hats from analytical decision-making to financial accounting, to human factors, and then typical day-to-day office management duties. One of my favorite things about working at FlightCog is the ability to work closely with our two "CogDogs," Olive and Layla.