Dominique Youakim

Dominique Youakim of Charleston, Ill., is the owner and operator of Aerinova Aerial LLC, an aerial application business located in Mattoon, Ill. He also owns a helicopter tour business in St. Louis and Branson, Mo., and is an authorized Robinson helicopter dealer. His wife, Shannon, is an airline pilot and they have two children, a son and daughter, Aiden and Aubrey.
 
Before finding his niche as an aerial applicator, Dominique worked in corporate America as a vice president of operations for a manufacturing plant. He worked for the manufacturer from 1995 to 2005. During that same period, he earned his commercial pilot certificate. Ready for a less travel-intensive career, Dominique gave up his corporate job for the opportunity to become an agricultural pilot in 2005. His mentor, Rick Reed of Reed’s Fly-on Farming, hired him as a full-time pilot that year. In 2013, Dominique purchased Reed’s Mattoon-based operation, which
now operates under the name Aerinova Aerial LLC.
 
In 2006, Dominique completed the NAAA/Syngenta Leadership Training Program, which develops new leaders and advocates for the agricultural aviation industry. He served as secretary/treasurer of the Illinois Agricultural Aviation Association in 2007–2008. He joined NAAA’s board of directors as the Illinois AAA’s state representative in 2009. From 2012 to 2016, Dominique chaired NAAA’s bylaws committee. In 2016, he served as the association’s vice president and was elected president for 2017.