CABAA Educational Foundation

CABAA’s vision for the future success of our industry is to develop and attract the best and brightest talent to careers in business aviation. We are dedicated to leading and innovating in this effort.

The CABAA Educational Foundation was formed as an IRS 501c3 entity, led by a volunteer Board of Directors, to raise, manage and appropriate funds to programs in support of this vision. The Foundation’s funding comes through event sponsorships as well as generous donations from member companies, individuals and other stakeholders.


President - Carl Robst, JMT LLC

Carl has three decades of accomplishments in management, flight operations, maintenance, safety and instruction. Excel at building and leading high performance teams, analyzing business needs and implementing strategic initiatives to meet company goals. Commended leader in developing and implementing successful strategies for increased and safe productivity. Recognized for managing complex projects and meeting deadlines with a unique ability to anticipate and resolve problems before they develop. Served as Chairman of CABAA and the Board of Directors for Lifeline Pilots. Background in: Strategic Planning; Employee Development; Research ; Safety ; Project Management ; Operations Management Leadership Specialties: Auditing, IS-BAO, ARGUS, government liaison, customer interactions, employee development.

Treasurer - Brian Zankowski, Abbott Laboratories

Brian is a pilot on the Gulfstream 550/650 for Abbott Laboratories where he has worked since 2016. He received his Bachelors in Aviation Management/ Economics in 2010 and a Masters in Finance in 2015 from Lewis University. In 2013 he was awarded the CABAA/FlightSafety King Air Flight Training Award and upgraded to captain at Blatti Aviation, a family charter company where he flew for hire from 2010 to 2016. In 2014 he became a member of the CABAA Scholarship Committee and served as chair from 2016 to 2018. He advocates for business aviation as a rewarding and fulfilling career path and really enjoys mentoring others in their careers.

Secretary - Julie Marrella

Julie has had a successful career in the travel industry and business aviation fields, not only selling airplanes, chauffeured car and travel management services, but also aircraft charter – allowing passengers to maximize their time with the best possible experience, while reducing exposure to risk. Over the years, she has worked for companies such as Executive Jet Management, Cessna, and Jet Aviation. In January of 2023, she moved from serving as the Director of Air Charter Sales for Revv Aviation to the role of Director of FBO Services and Fuel Sales. In this role she worked with flight departments from around the country, growing the fuel sales business at all seven full-service Revv Aviation locations, helping operators leverage efficiencies in fuel purchases.

Julie earned her Finance degree with a specialization in International Capital Markets from DePaul University and her CCTE designation (Certification in Corporate Travel Execution) through Cornell University and the Global Business Travel Association. She is an advocate for education, specifically in the travel and aviation arenas and serves on the Board of the Chicago Business Travel Association (CABAA) Education Foundation.

For fun, Julie serves as a Kansas City Barbecue Society competition BBQ judge.

Compliance - Laura Heft, Marsh

Laura Heft is a client advisor based in Marsh’s Chicago office serving aviation clients nationwide. Laura helps her clients make informed decisions by providing timely strategic planning, market, contract, and risk analysis, and coverage, claims, and regulatory/compliance guidance, nationally and internationally. She efficiently manages, coordinates, and services risk programs for aviation clients with diverse, complex needs, and she is committed to advocating to maximize her clients’ experience, to leveraging Marsh resources for her clients, and to exceeding her clients’ expectations.

Prior to joining Marsh in May, 2019, Laura zealously defended clients as a civil defense litigator in private practice, specializing in aviation and insurance cases. She has successfully and efficiently resolved disputes and guided her clients’ business decisions to prevent future conflicts. As a pilot and an aviation attorney, Laura has devoted her career to her passion for aviation. She has developed creative solutions for her aviation clients that reduce costs, enhance value, and increase client control.

Education includes LLM in Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.

JD, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, IN.

BA in International Relations and French, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA.

Affiliations include Experimental Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Aviation Insurance Association and Chicago Area Business Aviation Association

Board Member - Mark Jackson, Boeing Executive Flight Operations

Mark is the director for Boeing’s Executive Flight Operations, an operation that supports over 6,000 flight hours annually to over 200 airports worldwide. He received an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technologies from Southern Illinois University, a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University, and a Masters in Business Administration through Southern Illinois University. He is a rated airplane mechanic, as well as, multi-engine fixed wing/rotor wing pilot. Mark began his career in 1988 as an Army Aviator flying multiple types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. His civilian aviation career began by overhauling aircraft propellers, then transitioned to Great Lakes Helicopter as a pilot/mechanic supporting Part 135 flight/maintenance operations and helicopter rebuilds. He was deployed in 1996 for Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia) and upon his return, he joined Sears, Roebuck, and Company as a corporate pilot. Since 2011 with Boeing, Mark pilots' BBJs and Bombardier Challengers. In addition to his Board of Directors duties, he also serves as a liaison with the Education Foundation and works closely with the Scholarship Committee.

Board Member - Alex Kwiatkowski

Alex is a pilot for Jen-Air, LLC where he has worked since 2022. He attended Lewis University,

earning his Bachelors of Science in Aviation Flight Management with minors in Business

Administration and Aircraft Dispatch. Alex is a previous recipient of CABAA scholarships, having

been awarded the General Financial Scholarship in 2014 and the FlightSafety Professional Flight

Training Award in 2015. Alex flew for BankNote Aviation Corp. from 2016-2022.

In 2017 he became a member of the CABAA Scholarship Committee and served as chair from 2019 to

2022. CABAA has been an integral component of Alex’s experience in business aviation, and he

is passionate about promoting and sharing the same opportunities that helped shape his


© CABAA 2017 - 2024, Chicago Area Business Aviation Association