Board of Directors

Dan Mikkelsen MBA, ATP, CFII

Founder and CEO

Mr. Mikkelsen is the founder of Giving Kids Wings Flight Academy (GKWFA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit that offers ground and flight training to high school students, as well as consulting to local high schools to help them launch aviation programs. He is an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) and Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument (CFII). He has professional teaching credentials in Career Technical Education and in Social Studies, is an NCLB highly-qualified educator, and has earned a CLAD certificate to teach English Language Learners. He has 12 years of experience teaching social studies and aviation at the secondary level in the Los Angeles area.

Mr. Mikkelsen was inspired to teach in the LA area in order to provide students with a stable educational environment where they could be equipped with the intellectual assets necessary to break free from cycles of poverty and violence. He completed an integrated Bachelors of Arts degree with concentrations in History, Business/Economics, and Political Science as well as a teaching credential program at Wheaton College in Illinois.

In May of 2013, he graduated with an MBA from Loyola Marymount University.  He earned his CFI Certificate in December of 2013, his CFII in February of 2014, and the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate in November of 2017. He currently flies for a regional airline and resides in Torrance, CA.

Steve Jefferson, Ph.D. Treasurer

Steve Jefferson, Ph.D.


Steve Jefferson earned a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership Degree and an administrative credential from the University of La Verne and recently earned a Masters in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California. Prior to this he graduated with a Masters of Science in Special Education from National University. In 1983, he completed a B.A. in Liberal Studies from the University of San Diego. In the intervening time, he has worked as a Research Analyst on a special education research team for the Los Angeles Unified Charity District. He has also served as a Special Education Teacher and Department Chair for Centennial High Charity in Compton, California.

For the past 13 years, Mr. Jefferson has served as a Teacher/Resource Specialist and Coordinator of the Special Education Department of Jefferson High Charity in Los Angeles, California. He currently resides in Placentia, California.

Carl Kirnbauer, J.D.

Mr Carl Kirnbauer, J.D., is an attorney at law and real estate broker-educator in the state of California. He was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A.), University of Illinois (M.S.), and the University of West Los Angeles (J.D.). Mr. Kirnbauer has taught real estate and business courses at Cerritos, El Camino, and Los Angeles Harbor colleges, both in-residence and on-line instruction. Carl liberally dedicates his talent and energies to pro bono legal services to the poor, several professional and real estate education projects, and is the Long-term President of the Long Beach Marina Boat Owner’s Association. He is currently the General Counsel for PTSD Clinics, a non-profit in the stage of fundraising to provide therapy for PTSD vets and their families. His community service also includes a sailing program for inner-city youth from Long Beach’s Poly High School.

C. Daniel Prather, Ph.D., A.A.E., CAM


Serving as Assistant Director of Operations at Tampa International Airport (TPA) from 1998 to 2006, and Associate Professor of Aerospace at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) from 2006 to 2012, Dr. C. Daniel Prather, A.A.E., CAM, has been serving as professor and founding chair of the Department of Aviation Science at California Baptist University (CBU) since July 2012. In this position, Dr. Prather has been responsible for developing curriculum and recruiting students and faculty to the nation’s newest collegiate aviation program.

Currently serving as President of the University Aviation Association (UAA), Dr. Prather is also active in the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). Dr. Prather is an Accredited Airport Executive through AAAE, a Certified Aviation Manager through the NBAA, and an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also an active aviation industry consultant, often busy on projects with the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, a Master of Public Administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation degree from Delta State University.

In addition to this textbook, Dr. Prather is author of General Aviation Marketing and Management: Operating, Marketing and Managing an FBO. He is also the designated Airport Certified Employee (ACE) —Operations trainer for AAAE, and a leadership trainer for NBAA and the Helicopter Association International (HAI).

Not counting his one year as a flight coordinator intern at FedEx Express while in college, or flight training he undertook while in high school, Dr. Prather entered the aviation industry in 1996 and has never looked back. Visit Dr. Prather at