Wichita, KS, December 31, 2010 — The Wichita Aero Club will move its first monthly luncheon of 2011 from its traditional site at the Wichita Airport Hilton to the campus of the new National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) at 4004 North Webb Road, at the north end of Wichita’s Colonel James Jabara Airport on Tuesday, January 18. The luncheon will also begin 15 minutes earlier than usual, at 11:45 AM, in order to accommodate a panel discussion featuring the new president of NCAT, Dr. Tony Kinkel, Wichita State University President Dr. Don Beggs, and National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) Executive Director Dr. John Tomblin. The buffet style luncheon will be served in the Commons area of the NCAT Student Center and will be followed by the panel in the adjacent lecture hall. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased over the Internet using Pay Pal at www.WichitaAeroClub.org or by calling 316-641-5962.
NCAT opened this fall and offers 37 certifications and degrees in state-of-the art space. It features 21 classrooms and 25 labs to provide hands-on, real-world training for up to 1,500 students. The 230,000 square foot facility offers cutting-edge technology in customized training for companies and traditional technical training for students along with a unique partnership between training and research. It is a partnership between Wichita’s original equipment manufacturers and suppliers, Sedgwick County, Wichita, the State of Kansas, NIAR and Wichita Area Technical College. Sedgwick County is the funding partner for the center, working closely with industry leaders and other public partners.
Dr. Tony Kinkel will begin his tenure as the president of NCAT on January 3, 2011. The WAC Luncheon will be one of his first official functions as the new chief executive. Since 2007 he has served as the president of Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prior to that he was Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, Arkansas. The new NCAT CEO also previously served as executive director for the Maryland Association of Community Colleges in Annapolis and was dean of General Education at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, Minnesota. He served in the Minnesota State Senate from 1999 – 2000 and was vice-chair of the Senate’s Higher Education Division. In addition, he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1986-1998 and was appointed by the Speaker to chair the Higher Education Finance Division.
Kinkel received his bachelor’s degree in Teaching Social Studies from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Dr Kinkel did his Master’s work at Bemidji State University and was awarded an Ed.D in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota where he was a member of the member of the Leadership Academy program.
The Wichita Aero Club was founded in October of 2008 and hosted its first monthly luncheon in December. The organization was established to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding. It currently lists more than 60 corporate and approximately 200 individual members on its rolls.