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Million Air CEO Cites Importance Of Aviation Before Business Council

From left, Joseph McCoy, region manager of commercial lending at People’s United Bank; Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett; Business Council President and CEO Marsha Gordon; Million Air President/CEO Roger Woolsey and BCW Chairman Anthony Justic.
From left, Joseph McCoy, region manager of commercial lending at People’s United Bank; Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett; Business Council President and CEO Marsha Gordon; Million Air President/CEO Roger Woolsey and BCW Chairman Anthony Justic. Photo Credit: Provided/Business Council of Westchester

RYE BROOK, N.Y. – The chief executive officer of Million Air wowed guests of the Business Council of Westchester at its Leadership Conversation Series on Tuesday.

Roger Woolsey, president and CEO of Million Air -- which has operations at Westchester County Airport -- talked about the importance of private airlines for businesses and the local economy.

"Private jets are a force multiplier in the economy," Woolsey said. said. “An airport is the most important piece of concrete in a community."

In an hour-long conversation with Business Council President and CEO Marsha Gordon, Woolsey recounted how his aviation career took off.

At the age 19, Woolsey launched a company called Prestige Touring that catered to flying rock and roll bands on music tours including Billy Joel, Sting, Grateful Dead, Stevie Nicks, U2, Peter Frampton, Reba, Garth Brooks and Elton John. Today, Woolsey's company has facilities on four continents.

On Monday, Westchester County's Board of Legislators approved two local laws that clear the path for Woolsey's company to make a nearly $70 million expansion of facilities at Westchester County Airport as reported here.

Under a new 30-year lease with Houston-based Million Air, the county granted its expansion on 22 acres in Harrison.

The expansion project includes a new terminal, expanded hangar and ramp facility.

Woolsey said Million Air’s investment in the County Airport will not only enhance the airport’s ability to compete with other regional corporate airports but will also create high-paying jobs in the county. Asked why he chose to locate in Westchester instead of airports in New Jersey or Connecticut he replied, “I like New Jersey. I like Connecticut. But I like New York better.”

Gordon said, "What a joy it was to have such fascinating and charismatic speaker for our first Conversation Series sponsored by People’s United Bank. Roger Woolsey’s inspiring story of business success really captivated our audience. It was a wonderful program."

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