The Al Conklin and Bill de Decker Business Aviation Management Scholarship is an annual program established in 2007 by Conklin & de Decker in coordination with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to benefit students pursuing careers in aviation management. The award honors the memory of Al Conklin, a U.S Air Force veteran and business aviation leader for more than 60 years, and Bill de Decker, who remains dedicated to business aviation education and active with JSSI as Chairman Emeritus, Conklin & de Decker.
Each recipient is selected on the merit of their passion for aviation, leadership qualities, and vision. This year, we congratulate Katie MacKay as the recipient of the award, announced at NBAA-BACE. Katie, aviation enthusiast and mother of two young kids, has served the Air Force for over 17 years – specialized in airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance – and currently studies aviation management at Liberty University.
“I fell in love with aviation as a young girl,” says Katie. “It all began in my grandfather’s garage, where I watched him build his own plane (yellow Piper Cub). He would sometimes take me and my cousins flying; ever since my first flight, I knew I wanted to spend my life and career in aviation. Now, my children point to the sky and consider every plane they see my office. I am excited to share my love for aviation with them, like my grandfather inspired me.”
“I am very impressed with Katie and touched by her story. It is an honor to support students like Katie through this award, with such passion for our industry and great values,” says Bill de Decker, Chairman Emeritus, Conklin & de Decker.