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Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Three Finalists for Aviation General Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Post Date:08/23/2010
Three candidates hail from Indianapolis, Tampa and Detroit

Mayor Kasim Reed today announced the three finalists for the position of Aviation General Manager at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

In June, Mayor Reed asked Carol Tomé, Chief Financial Officer of Home Depot Inc., to lead an independent search committee and partner with Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm, to identify and vet qualified candidates from across the nation.

Ms. Tomé presented Mayor Reed with the names of five recommended candidates on Aug. 6, 2010. After receiving the search committee’s recommendations, Mayor Reed and Peter Aman, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta, interviewed each of the five candidates last week.

After a thorough review of their credentials, Mayor Reed has narrowed the slate of five candidates to three finalists. In alphabetical order by last name, they are:

  • John D. Clark III, Executive Director and CEO of Indianapolis Airport Authority
  • Louis Miller, Former Executive Director and CEO of Tampa International Airport
  • Lester Robinson, Former Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Willow Run Airport

“I am committed to selecting an Aviation General Manager at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport who will be dedicated to maintaining its dominance as the world’s busiest airport,” said Mayor Reed. “My administration is working on several major projects to improve the airport, such as enhancing safety and security measures, growing international cargo operations and completing the construction of the International Terminal.”

“I deeply appreciate Carol Tomé and the search committee, as well as Heidrick & Struggles, for conducting a thorough, independent review of the candidates on behalf of the City of Atlanta,” Mayor Reed added. “This is yet another example of how business leaders can partner with the City to bring talent to Atlanta. I am impressed with all three finalists and expect to soon name the best candidate to lead Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.”

The nine-member search committee led by Tomé included Darryl Harmon of Wells Fargo; retired Coca-Cola Co. executive Carl Ware; Ben Myers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Carter USA President Scott Taylor; William Clement of Atlanta Life Financial Group; John Spiegel, formerly of SunTrust Bank; Taylor Glover of Turner Enterprises; and Turner Broadcasting Vice-President Loretta Walker.

“At Mayor Reed's request, our committee embarked upon an exhaustive search and focused on the leadership of the top 20 airports in America,” Tomé said. “Mayor Reed asked us to deliver a slate of five diverse candidates and we delivered. We were unanimous in our recommendation and are thrilled with his choice of the final three.”

Neil Collins of Heidrick & Struggles said the search firm diligently and thoroughly targeted the very best airport general managers and worked seamlessly with a committed and thoughtful search committee.

“The search committee in short order has delivered a qualified and motivated shortlist of the highest caliber to Mayor Reed,” Collins said. “The three finalists are highly experienced and seasoned airport leaders with demonstrable track records of operational excellence and working collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders. Each candidate brings significant leadership to take on the opportunities and challenges of running the world's busiest airport.”

The Aviation General Manager position demands a strategic thinker and effective communicator who provides leadership and vision in managing the day-to-day activities of the world’s busiest airport. The primary responsibilities include developing and implementing a strategic plan to further the goals of Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta, while ensuring the airport’s continued success as the region’s leading economic generator, spawning $32.5 billion in direct business revenue.

The general manager also is tasked with ensuring efficient operations and maintaining safe and secure passenger accommodations, while delivering world-class customer service for almost 90 million travelers annually. In addition, the Aviation General Manager oversees Hartsfield-Jackson’s $6 billion-plus Capital Improvement Program, including the new $1.4 billion International Terminal, expected to open in 2012.

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John D. Clark III

Clark has 25 years of experience in aviation. Since 2009, he has served as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Indianapolis Airport Authority, where he is responsible for the overall management and development of six airports in multiple counties and the second largest FedEx operation in the world.

Prior to joining the Indianapolis Airport Authority, Clark served from 2001 to 2009 as the Executive Director and CEO of Jacksonville Aviation Authority, where he managed and developed Jacksonville’s Airport System, which includes Jacksonville International Airport (JIA), Craig and Herlong Airports, and Cecil Field. He was instrumental in the development and ongoing implementation of a $230 million terminal expansion project for JIA, which handles over six million passengers and 140 million pounds of cargo annually. Clark also played a key role in overseeing the project to transform Cecil Field from a military facility to Jacksonville’s fourth civilian airport.

During Clark’s tenure at Jacksonville Aviation Authority from 1995 to 2009, he held various other positions, including Vice President and Deputy Director of Aviation. Prior to Jacksonville, he worked as the City of Detroit’s Airport Director and held management positions with airports in Sacramento and Fresno, California.

Clark received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Administration from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University.

Louis Miller

Miller, who recently resigned from his position as Executive Director and CEO of Tampa International Airport, has more than 34 years of aviation experience.

From 1996 to March 2010, he oversaw, managed and developed Tampa’s International Airport system, which included three general aviation airports: Peter O. Knight, Plant City and Vandenberg Airports. During his tenure at Tampa International, he oversaw $1.1 billion in capital improvements, recruited competitive airline services to achieve average domestic airfares and doubled passengers to nearly 20 million a year, before the recent recession dropped 2009’s total to more than 17 million.

Prior to Tampa, Miller held several positions with the Salt Lake City Department of Aviation from 1976 to 1996, serving as the Chief Accountant, Deputy Director of Finance and Administration and Executive Director, respectively.

Miller holds an accounting degree from the University of Utah’s Stevens-Henager Business College.

Lester Robinson

Robinson served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and Willow Run Airport from 2002-2010.

During his tenure, he oversaw the opening of two new terminals and its sixth runway, propelling DTW to its current position as number one in airport satisfaction among large airports in North America, according to JD Power and Associates.

As Chief Executive Officer, Robinson focused on running an efficient and convenient airport, while keeping costs as low as possible for airlines. He added 11,000 parking spaces and increased airport concession revenues by 388 percent during the course of his tenure. In 2006, Robinson was named “Best Airport Director of the Year” by Revenue News for airports serving more than five million passengers.

As the first African-American to be named Director of Wayne County Airports, Robinson arrived at the airport with more than 25 years of experience as an accountant and financial manager for government, banking and financial service organizations, serving as President and CEO of First Independence Corporation as well as Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff for the Office of the Wayne County Executive. In the early 1990’s, Robinson also served for two years as Deputy Director of Airports for Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Robinson received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University.

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