Max H. Della Pia was born and raised in Manistee, Michigan, until he left for the U.S. Air Force Academy. Max’s parents served in World War II. His dad was a paratrooper and a signal corpsman. His mom was a medical technician in the Women’s Army Air Corps.
Max and his wife Nancy, of 33 years, have three adult children: Maira, a mechanical engineer in Troy, NY; John, a U.S. Air Force Captain and KC-135 pilot assigned to the UK; and Alex, lives and works on a farm in Candor, NY. Max and Nancy moved 10 times during his career. They have lived in New York since 1999, and moved to Owego to work for Lockheed Martin, in 2008.
Max retired as a Colonel from the US Air Force. Upon retirement, the Governor of New York approved his brevet promotion to Brigadier General in the NY Air National Guard. He flew all over the world, first as C-130 tactical airlift pilot, instructor and flight examiner and eventually pilot and commander of the “Ski Birds,” LC-130 aircraft, throughout Antarctica and to the South Pole for over six years.
Max held a Top Secret, security clearance while working for the Air Force in several capacities, serving in the first Gulf War (Desert Shield), Haiti (Restore Democracy), and in Afghanistan, and while working for Lockheed Martin, in Business Development.
Max was assigned to the U.S. Senate, Washington, DC for 18 months as Special Advisor to the Commander of the Air Force Reserve Command (12 months, as a Brookings Fellow on the personal staff of the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and six months as an Air Force Senate Liaison Officer working for the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
While attending graduate school at the National Defense University, Max studied US/China relations, and was selected to travel to China as part of a diplomatic, military-to-military exchange between the U.S. and China.