Amin Khoury, MBA’89, is the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award at Northeastern University. The award honors entrepreneurs who demonstrate a commitment to giving back to Northeastern, make impactful innovations and have moved the needle in their industry.
Khoury always wanted to build his own business, and he further developed his entrepreneurial spirit and drive at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, where he completed the Executive MBA Program.
Before enrolling at D’Amore-McKim, Khoury pursued his passion for medical research and instrumentation, establishing a successful venture in the medical products and services business. By the time he was 29, the venture garnered support from heavy-hitters in the industry, and by age 34, he decided to sell and move on to a new challenge.
Combining Michael Porter’s approach to the analysis of strategy and competition and Professor Dan McCarthy’s research and teachings, Khoury decided to enter the aircraft cabin interior industry. “The aircraft cabin interior industry was highly fragmented. One company was manufacturing coach class seats, another first class seats, another lavatories, and another overhead lighting, another aircraft ovens, still another producing aircraft refrigeration equipment and others producing passenger oxygen equipment,” said Khoury.
Khoury saw an opportunity to become a global supplier of a vast range of airline cabin interior equipment and founded B/E Aerospace in 1987. He went on to split the manufacturing and services segments into two separate public companies in 2014, and sold the manufacturing segment to Rockwell Collins in 2017 for $8.6 billion. He remains head of the service business, now named KLX Inc., which generates almost $2 billion in annual revenue.
Although there are often many obstacles on the path to success, Khoury remained steadfast in his vision by surrounding himself with a community of experts and problem-solvers. This is something he still appreciates about Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem today.
“Northeastern students are smart, ambitious and aggressive, said Khoury” They’re driven not only by the desire to succeed, but also by the fear of failure, which is a tremendous motivator.” Khoury said.
Khoury and his wife launched the Amin J. and Julie E. Khoury Endowed Scholarship Fund for undergraduate students pursuing entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on technology.
“Julie and I have an affection for Northeastern, and an affinity for the students here,” he said. “We appreciate their desire to be successful. It truly means a great deal to receive this recognition.”
Khoury will be honored on November 14, 2017 at 6:15 p.m. in the Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex.