Women Leading Travel & Hospitality has named Wheels Up’s Chief Legal Officer Laura Heltebran to its annual list of Top Women In Travel & Hospitality.
It’s the second year in a row the New York-based private aviation provider has been represented. Last year, Chief Growth Officer Stephanie Chung made the list.
Other honorees included Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California; Rochelle Cameron, CEO of City of Philadelphia – Division of Aviation; Shannon Knapp, President and CEO of The Leading Hotels of the World; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, and Tracie Winbigler, CFO at Amtrak.
Heltebran joined Wheels Up last year from Hilton Hotels.
Speaking of her journey, Heltebran recalls, “When I was a freshly minted attorney in the ’90s, the tools and programs available to young professionals today didn’t exist, especially for a young female working in the tech space. Initially, I learned by observation. I took note of leadership styles and attributes that I liked and worked on incorporating them into my own brand of leadership.”
She adds, “I’ve been privileged to work with some of the best world-class HR organizations and have benefitted from programs designed to optimize leadership team functionality. Some individuals may dislike these exercises, but I find them to be amazing opportunities to increase self-awareness and better understand those around me. Communication is the foundation of any high-functioning leadership team, and receiving a 360-degree perspective on how my communication style best interacts with others has been a gift.”
Looking towards 2022, Heltebran says, “Professionally, I look forward to having time to focus on continuing to build out the legal function and to help the company navigate its first full calendar year as a public company. I think the next big professional goal is to be selected to serve on a public company board of directors. There’s no better preparation than the front row seat I’ve had standing up our public company board and governance, and it has been a pleasure to work closely with the fantastic board of directors we have at Wheels Up.”
Last week, Wheels Up entered an agreement to buy U.K.-based charter broker Air Partner. Yesterday, it revised terms for new Core members of its private aviation membership, indicating she may be in for another busy year.