List of Aspen airport director candidates culled to three | AspenTimes.com

List of Aspen airport director candidates culled to three

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

The search for a new aviation director for the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is down to three candidates who will be interviewed Thursday and Friday, a statement from the county said Monday.

The finalists are:

• Brian Grefe, the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport's assistant director of aviation.

• Roy Williams, former director of the New Orleans and Salt Lake City airports.

• John Kinney, director of emergency management at Los Angeles International Airport.

The statement issued by Pitkin County government doesn't say much about each finalist, but they will be made available to the public during a "meet-and-greet" event set for Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the airport terminal's restaurant.

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Grefe has held his position in Aspen since 2012. He previously served as operations director for the Duluth Airport Authority, in Minnesota, according to the county. He could not be reached for comment on Monday.

According to news reports, Williams served in the New Orleans airport post for five years, including the tumultuous months following Hurricane Katrina's arrival in late August 2005. He left New Orleans for Salt Lake City in the spring of 2006, but was fired just five months into the job by then-Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. At the time, a spokesman for Williams blamed the termination on differing philosophies between the two men about how to handle certain airport issues, an article in the Deseret News said.

Prior to his current position, Kinney, a licensed pilot, served as national director of aviation management and operational services for the aviation consulting firm of Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc., according to a 2012 Los Angeles World Airports statement. He also formerly served as deputy manager of aviation at Denver International Airport, where he oversaw airport operations, emergency management, and public safety and security.

Before Denver, Kinney served in the Transportation Security Administration as federal security director in Montana and as deputy federal security director in Chicago. His background also includes 10 years as airport director at the municipal airport in Scottsdale, Arizona, and nearly five years as assistant manager at Long Beach Municipal Airport in California.

The three men were culled from a total of 12 applicants who underwent a screening process by ADK Consulting & Executive Search, a Florida company specializing in searches for airport executives.

The finalists will be interviewed privately on Thursday and Friday by three separate panels, each consisting of five to seven people. One panel is made up of people with knowledge of airport operations. Another consists of airport tenants.

A "community panel" will include the city managers of Aspen and Snowmass Village municipal governments, Steve Barwick and Clint Kinney, respectively; two Pitkin County commissioners, Steve Child and George Newman; and representatives of Aspen Skiing Co. and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

Thursday's public event is intended to introduce the candidates to the community and take feedback from the public before the final decision on a new airport director is made, the statement said.

Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock could not be reached for comment on Monday, but in a prepared statement, he said Thursday's event will offer "a great opportunity for the community to meet the candidates and give us feedback before we fill one of the top jobs" in county government.

Peacock will consider input from the three panels in making the final hiring decision. The salary range for the airport's aviation director is $120,000 to $136,000 annually.

"Our next airport director will have his work cut out for him," Peacock said in the statement. "As the community already knows, we are in the final stages of an Air Service Study looking at the future of commercial air service in our community and we'll be undertaking two environmental assessments in the near future that will look at runway and airport terminal improvements."

Jim Elwood resigned as the county airport's director in September after 13 years in the position. He is now director of the Jackson Hole Airport in Jackson, Wyoming.

andre@aspentimes.com