Yolan J. DePhillips grew up in the Bronx. Upon completion of primary school, she attended New York University and majored in accounting. To defray tuition costs Yolan modeled while attending NYU.
She worked as an accountant in private industry, but the monotony of debits and credits were not fulfilling her goals and expectations. Friends in the airline industry encouraged her to consider employment in that exciting field of endeavor. Yolan followed their advice and began her tenure with El Al Israel Airlines. The choice was excellent and her long career, of over forty years, was brilliant, distinguished and gratifying. She started on the bottom as a traffic agent and worked her way up to a top-level management position – El Al Israel Airlines Assistant Manager Ground Operations USA.
She was one of the first women to break the glass ceiling in a “male” dominated environment. In addition, it should be noted that she became active in many JFK Airport community actives, such as:
An active member of KAAMCO (Kennedy Airport Airlines Management Council Organization), she chaired many committees including the Lost and Found, International and Government Liaison, Arrangement Committee (organizing KAAMCO Conventions and Dinner Dances). She was Treasurer/Secretary, then Vice President and finally became the first woman President of KAAMCO in 1991. She was also co-chairman of KIATA, an organization representing the airlines of the IAB with the Port Authority. In 1997, Yolan was honored as Women of the Year by the Our Lady of the Skies Chapel. In 2005, she was honored by the Boy Scout Queens Council receiving the Salute to Leadership Award. In 2009 – 2010 she served as the Our Lady of the Skies Catholic Guild President.
Upon retiring from El Al, Yolan felt she could still contribute to her beloved profession as Executive Director for TFAC (Terminal Four Airline Consortium), an organization representing the airlines in the JFK IAT. She had been one of the founding members of the group.
Yolan is survived by her husband Al, Two sons Al and Michael, daughters in law Catherine and Catherine and three grandchildren, Sean, Michaela, and AJ.
The candidate for the Yolan J DePhillips Scholarship should possess characteristics such as dedication, motivation, ethics, loyalty, sincerity, and determination.