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Chicago Area Business Aviation Association Awards New Scholarship

Nov. 13, 2013

A $4,000 scholarship focused on air traffic control (ATC) was awarded for the first time this year by the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association (CABAA), in memory of a long-time member.

Michael IndelliLewis University senior Michael Indelli was presented the inaugural Ken Johnson Memorial ATC Scholarship. Indelli is working toward a degree in ATC management at Lewis University. He interned last summer at Chicago Executive Airport.

“It’s good to know that I’m representing [Mr. Johnson] and CABAA,” he said.

The new award brings to more than $60,000 the amount of scholarship money presented annually by CABAA to help young people enter the aviation industry.

Ken JohnsonJohnson was an air traffic controller at Chicago Center who passed away unexpectedly in March. He had long been a popular presenter at the CABAA’s yearly mentoring sessions for aviation students at Lewis University.

“Everybody loved Ken,” said Pam Kavanaugh, chair of CABAA’s Scholarship and Mentoring Committee. “He always wore a Hawaiian-style Tommy Bahama shirt when he went to talk to the students, and when he showed up, they clustered around him like he was a rock star.”

CABAA has worked with Lewis University students for more than 10 years, enabling association members in various business aviation specialties to pass along their real-world experience to the aviation students. In addition to the new scholarship, CABAA this year awarded 11 previously established scholarships. Nine of those went to Lewis University aviation students.

“CABAA is a very proactive regional business aviation association, maintaining a great resource for their members, but also encouraging kids to enter aviation,” said Bob Quinn, NBAA’s Midwest regional representative. “They are an example of how a regional association can work synergistically with aviation stakeholders to provide guidance and encouragement for young people to consider aviation careers.”