JASPER COUNTY — New Jasper County Airport Manager Emily Hackler has only been working for the county for a short time.
Still, she’s seen firsthand the continued support county residents have for the airport.
“A lot of people stopped by on Ray’s last day and it showed me what kind of impact he has had,” Hackler said. “I have been able to meet a lot of people and it’s a pretty awesome feeling to have that much support in a place that I have never been before.”
Ray Seif resigned to become a manager at the Augusta Municipal Airport in Augusta, Kansas. Seif grew up in Kansas.
Hackler grew up in Kokomo and was previously working at the Gary-Chicago International Airport. She worked in operations and was a firefighter there.
While she was at Gary, nine months, she didn’t get a lot of opportunities to make decisions.
“I saw the opportunity here and I’m really excited about it,” Hackler said. “I have good ideas, but I want to get acclimated first before I start dishing them all out.”
Hackler began her career in aviation at Indiana State University, majoring in professional flight. She earned her license, but she was ready for something different and changed her major to aviation management with a minor in business administration.
After graduating, Hackler looked for airport operation jobs and started working at Gary-Chicago International.
“It was a really good opportunity at the time because it gave me the experience that I needed to come to Jasper County, but it just wasn’t for me in the long run,” Hackler said.
As the airport manager, Hackler oversees the finances and operations of the airport. She inspects the airfield and manages the hangers and tenants.
Since she started working at Jasper County, she has made an effort to meet with the pilots.
Airport operations allow Hackler to meet with others and hopefully encourage the next generation interested in aviation.
“I wish I had always had a program about the management side of things. It’s not very clear about what kind of opportunities are out there,” Hackler said. “I would like to support the next generation and let people know that aviation is for everyone.”
Hackler would also like to focus on women in aviation, aviation careers fairs and continue the fly-ins.
Hackler is the first female airport manager Jasper County has employed. She hopes to move to Jasper County by April.