Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Delaware River and Bay Authority to rename Millville Airport (KMIV) Administration Building in honor of Lewis Finch Jr.

File photo/The News
Lewis B. Finch Jr., the former director of the Millville Airport was honored by the DRBA Tuesday. They are renaming the airport's administration building in his honor.

MILLVILLE — The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) commission unanimously agreed to rename the Millville Airport Administration Building in honor of a late manager and administrator of the city’s airport.

Lewis B. Finch Jr., who died in October 2002, was honored at the DRBA commission meeting Tuesday with the airport administration building changing names to the “Lewis B. Finch Jr. Administration Building at Millville Airport.”

“As a result of his perseverance, dedication and diligence on behalf of Millville Airport, Mr. Finch took a small, fledging airport under his wing and helped it grow,” James T. Johnson Jr. read from the resolution at the DRBA meeting.

“Mr. Finch understood the advantages and vision of the partnership between the city of Millville and the DRBA concerning the management and operation of Millville Airport and he worked tirelessly behind the scenes on the federal, state and local level to make it happen,” Johnson continued.

In October 1999, Millville agreed to allow the DRBA manage and operate the Millville Airport, around the same time Finch retired from his management position at the airport that he had been in since 1974.

Following his retirement in June, he joined the DRBA as the airport’s administrator to secure millions of dollars in federal funding to upgrade the runway, taxiway and lightning infrastructure.

According to the DRBA’s resolution, Finch was an active member of the New Jersey Airport Advisory Committee and had previously been inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame for his work at the city’s airport.

City officials were pleased to hear the good news.

“I had hoped they’d do that a while ago, and I’m really glad they have,” said Commissioner Jim Quinn, director of public affairs. “This was his life, and (Finch) did so much to bring in millions of dollars for the airport. It was his passion.”

Quinn was elected to the commission under parks and recreation in 1997, just two years before Finch retired.

“He was so much a part of Millville in every way,” Quinn said. “Even down to the little league, which I took over when he retired. He was just very active in this community.”

Regarding the funds he brought in for the airport, Quinn said Finch did it by building strong relationships with federal and state officials.

“He had relationships where he could just pick up the phone and make a call, and immediately the elected officials would help him in any way they could,” Quinn said.

Quinn added that he was pleased to see a building named after someone involved in the community.

“When you look in Millville, we have Waltman and Corson parks, both named after prominent people, and Bacon and Wood schools and the Jim Hurley Industrial Park, but not much more than that,” Quinn said. “Vineland names their schools after prominent people in their community, and I’d like to see more of that in Millville. I don’t think we do enough of that.

“It’s just wonderful to hear the naming of the administration building after Lew Finch,” Quinn added.

Finch attended Millville public schools and graduated from the high school in 1945. Following his graduation, studied business and law management through LaSalle in 1948 and 1949, before joining the U.S. Army as a technician in Company A, Third Regiment, and served in World War II.

Finch was a member of the American Legion as well as the Millville Board of Education, and was the youngest member serving at the age of 24.

Finch was also a member of the Millville Exchange Club and the Millville Zoning Board, Democratic Organization and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Committee, as well as a charter member of the Millville Little League baseball league.

He was also a husband, father to four sons, a grandfather and a great-grandfather.

No comments:

Post a Comment