Millie Hernandez-Becker, president and CEO of Skyqueen Enterprises, did not fall apart when her husband, David Becker, founder of charter-airline Westchester Air — which Hernandez-Becker managed with him at the time — died in a plane crash in 1994. Nor did she shy away from airplanes, as might have been expected, given the manner of his death.
“Industry people thought that when David died, I’d run home to bake cookies,” says Hernandez-Becker. “But I sat in the CEO chair the following week.”
The petite Pound Ridge resident credits her parents, who emigrated from Puerto Rico, with her resilience and her success. “My mother was a ‘tiger mom,’ and my father, who owned five bodegas, taught me the meaning of equity,” she says “They’re my role models and heroes.”
After selling Westchester Air in 2005, Hernandez-Becker founded her aviation-consulting firm, Skyqueen, whose moniker comes from a nickname given to her by a pilot at Westchester Air. But the tireless entrepreneur is not all business.
“When Millie’s son John was diagnosed with autism,” says her longtime friend Holly Oliphant, “she became a torchbearer for the Bedford autism community.”