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Embry-Riddle Renames College of Business to Honor Family of Philanthropist David B. O’Maley

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the global leader in aviation and aerospace education, today announced plans to rename its Florida-based College of Business to honor the family of Trustee, philanthropist and former insurance industry executive David B. O’Maley.

With a generous gift from David and Karen O’Maley, Embry-Riddle expects to elevate its College of Business – already widely regarded as offering the best aviation business administration program in the world – to even greater heights, said University President P. Barry Butler.

“This is a key moment for business education at Embry-Riddle,” Butler said. “The O’Maley family’s generosity and vision will further propel our mission to create forward-looking aviation business programs that produce industry leaders and drive innovation.”

O’Maley, whose decades of business leadership and innovative thinking transformed the insurance industry, intends for his gift to create leaders by placing a special emphasis on faculty development within the college, and by supporting scholarships for students.

“I was inspired by President Butler’s ambitious plans for the University and its College of Business at the Daytona Beach Campus,” O’Maley said. “My wife Karen and I aspire to ensure that Embry-Riddle faculty have the resources they need to lead and inspire the next wave of young aviation business leaders, innovators and experts.”

A nationally prominent insurance executive until his retirement in 2010, O’Maley served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ohio National Financial Services, a leading provider of competitive individual life and annuity products with more than 40,000 distributors nationwide. Under his leadership, Ohio National grew from $4.1 billion in assets under management in 1993, to more than $27.0 billion in 2010. He was elected Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his significant leadership accomplishments, which were transformational to the company.

While O’Maley chose insurance as his vocation, his roots in aviation run deep.

An active pilot, he holds both an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and an airframe and powerplant mechanic’s license. In 2003, he and his family founded the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, Ohio. The museum is dedicated to honoring America’s rich military aviation history and features one of the world’s largest collections of flyable World War II aircraft. In 2018, O’Maley was named president of the Embraer Jet Operators Association, after serving six years as a board member.

The current gift to fund faculty development is not the O’Maley family’s first to Embry-Riddle. In 2013, they established the O'Maley Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students at the college.

Introducing The David B. O’Maley College of Business

In recognition of O’Maley’s service and contributions, the college will be renamed as The David B. O’Maley College of Business. It will be the first college to be named at Embry-Riddle.

“David has been instrumental in the advancement of our college,” said Dr. Mike Williams, dean of the College of Business. “As a business leader, he understands better than most the power of a good investment. The investments he’s made in Embry-Riddle will advance our educational portfolio and the aviation industry for decades to come.”

The soon-to-be-named David B. O’Maley College of Business, established in 2003 and with a history dating to 1966, offers a variety of academic degree programs, from the bachelor’s to the Ph.D. level. “Our state-of-the-art curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of business with an aviation twist,” Dean Williams said.

Students “are getting not just the textbook knowledge, but also the practice of knowledge that’s going on in industry,” added Dr. Norbert J. Zarb, chair of the Department of Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Information Sciences.

Alumni have described their experiences as key to their success:

  • “I can’t imagine another university that could have prepared me better for the career I have today at one of the largest aircraft manufacturers around the world.”

    –Jason Alvarez, procurement agent and supplier integration leader in Supplier Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

  • “Coming to Embry-Riddle was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. All the experiences and opportunities that the school has provided to me, I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else. For anyone who has a passion for aviation and wants to get into the business side of it, this is the perfect place for it … from the faculty to the students to the internships and the experiences, everything was what I’d hoped for and more.”

    –Adam Kuebler, senior manager, Pacific Network Planning, United Airlines

  • “We looked at demand curves on specific [airline] routes, we looked at the different regulatory frameworks that airlines operate under, but the great thing is that all of this was on an international scale, and for aviation, that’s essential. The personal interaction with professors at Embry-Riddle is really what makes it special. You can go to a professor during office hours, or if you feel like you can engage them in class.”

    –Nick Bartolotta, director, long-term network planning, United Airlines

Plans for an official renaming ceremony will be announced soon.




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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at