involves another 300 or so employees. While I am not directly overseeing those private employees, I have oversight of the contract and am ultimately responsible for the entire airport operation. Again, I have worked to flatten the organization by giving more authority and decision-making ability to department directors and supervisors. Weekly staff meetings provide for in-depth discussions between all senior management, including that of our private partner, as well as opportunities to identify problems and resolutions, and a way to keep the entire organization connected. On another level, I try to keep employee morale buoyed by special events throughout the year and departmental meetings.
What were the motivations for the airport’s expansion? What are some of the expected effects?
The primary motivation for the expansion is to increase our capacity through maximizing use of the existing facility for as long as we can before we have to build another terminal. In that way, it is something of a stop-gap measure, but one that should provide us with another eight to 10 years, depending on our continued growth. We are very proud of our reputation of being easy to use, a simpler alternative for today’s traveler. Toward that end, we have adopted the slogan, “Simpler, Faster, Better” from the airport’s identifier SFB. Most of the changes embodied in the expansion have been designed to safeguard that identity and the excellent service we want to continue to provide our customers. In fact, we took more than two years to plan the expansion to make sure we captured every efficiency and improvement we could, including such things as centralized screening, improved access to the airport, a playground, more bathrooms, a consolidated delivery facility, a dedicated police station, and additional gates and baggage belts. I envision the airport growing responsibly, becoming more diverse in its offerings to our passengers through the advent of additional carriers, both domestic and international, and expanding its capacity as needed in response to projected demand. Above all else, it is my hope that the essence of being simpler, faster, better is never sacrificed through lack of responsible planning and appropriate action. 42 | MAY 2019 | i4Biz.com
How do you select the boards and community efforts you’re involved in? What has your involvement taught you about the community? Most of the boards on which I have previously served have had some nexus with the airport, such as the Central Florida Zoo, Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, Seminole County Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Development Council. However, at present, I serve on the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which allows me to support an organization for which I have a great deal of respect, separate and apart from the airport. With regards to community, the airport has planned and implemented two “Flights to the North Pole” in recent years and has now partnered with Seminole State College and Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) to identify and promote aviation careers. It is very important that the airport have a voice in the community, and I believe we have achieved that.
How has your community work informed your professional work? The partnership with Seminole State and SCPS has been extremely rewarding personally and professionally, with the airport now having conducted its second annual Aerospace and Aviation Day. With more than 6,000 attendees this past January, this signature event is a proven success that we plan to build upon each year. In addition, the airport is initiating a scholarship program this year that will further amplify the importance of this initiative. As one of fewer than 40 female airport directors in the United States, seeing so many young people, many of them female, actively engaged in exploring the many career fields available in aviation is an exciting promise for the future.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? In any difficult situation, before making a decision, consider the worst thing that could possibly happen. Then ask yourself if you can live with it. If you can, then go for it. P