Press Release

Jim McKinney Named Aviation Indiana's Person of the Year Share

Nov 22, 2022  |  Web Administrator

Mar­i­on Board of Avi­a­tion Com­mis­sion­ers Pres­i­dent Jim McK­in­ney has been named Per­son of the Year” by Avi­a­tion Indi­ana. The hon­or was pub­lished on their web­site (‑2/):

Jim start­ed on their Mar­i­on Board of Avi­a­tion Com­mis­sion in 1983 and con­tin­ues to serve as Pres­i­dent of the Board. He has been instru­men­tal in the air­port receiv­ing $20 mil­lion in grants. Jim has retired from edu­ca­tion as a school administrator/​principal but has uti­lized his teach­ing skills to advance avi­a­tion. He worked as a Con­sor­tium Admin­is­tra­tor for the Indi­ana Depart­ment of Work­force Devel­op­ment lead­ing local school cor­po­ra­tions in the imple­ment of STEM pro­grams (Tech Prep); found­ed the Sci­ence and Aero­space Foun­da­tion that has become a bridge for assist­ing young peo­ple to reach for the sky, toward careers in avi­a­tion; cham­pi­oned efforts for voca­tion­al pro­gram­ming in avi­a­tion through the Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools, and as a result, avi­a­tion class­es are now being taught. He is the force behind The Avi­a­tion Acad­e­my, which is a part­ner­ship between Mar­i­on Region­al Career Cen­ter, the Mar­i­on Munic­i­pal Air­port, Air Mar­i­on, the City of Mar­i­on, and the Sci­ence and Aero­space Foun­da­tion that he found­ed. Stu­dents can par­tic­i­pate in a two-year pro­gram, in either avi­a­tion flight oper­a­tions or avi­a­tion mechan­ics, with both pro­grams being host­ed at the Mar­i­on Munic­i­pal Air­port. Jim was instru­men­tal in the efforts with Indi­ana Wes­leyan Uni­ver­si­ty devel­op­ment of under­grad­u­ate avi­a­tion pro­grams, in part­ner­ship with local flight schools. He takes every advan­tage to pro­mote com­mu­ni­ty air­ports on the radio and oth­er media out­lets and has brought nation­al atten­tion to the region, with pro­grams that bring eco­nom­ic ben­e­fit as well. He has been a Leader for the Annu­al Fly-in and Pan­cake Break­fast, which ben­e­fits var­i­ous char­i­ties around Grant Co. He has aid­ed in bring­ing an Air Ambu­lance Ser­vice to the Air­port, which now serves the cit­i­zens in Grant Coun­ty, and the sur­round­ing region. Jim also pro­vid­ed lead­er­ship in host­ing the Unit­ed States World Aer­o­bat­ic Team, in 2018, with the Mar­i­on Air­port being a Train­ing Camp loca­tion for Team USA. Efforts such as these helped the Mar­i­on Air­port to be the recip­i­ent of the Avi­a­tion Indi­ana, 2015 Air­port of the Year Award. With this dis­tin­guished career, and con­sid­er­ing such ser­vice to the com­mu­ni­ty and region, the City of Mar­i­on recent­ly renamed the Air­port to McK­in­ney Field, in 2020, by action of the City Council.”

McK­in­ney said he was sur­prised and hum­bled by the award. Out of all the great peo­ple in Indi­ana involved in avi­a­tion, it is an extreme hon­or to be award­ed. I con­sid­er it an hon­or not just for Jim McK­in­ney,’ but for Mar­i­on, Indi­ana, and the Mar­i­on Munic­i­pal Airport.”

McK­in­ney has also been named Cham­pi­on of the Month” (Oct. 2016) by the City of Mar­i­on upon May­or Jess Alumbaugh’s first year in office.

jim mckinney 2016

McK­in­ney may be reached for addi­tion­al com­ment or more infor­ma­tion at 765.517.1176.

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