Friday, June 07, 2013

Five make airport manager short list

Published: June 6, 2013

By Michael D. Bates
Hernando Today

BROOKSVILLE - And then there were five.

The county's human resources team has whittled down 33 applications for the soon-to-be-vacant airport manager position and phone interviews with the final five will begin Friday, said Director of Administrative Services Cheryl Marsden.

The ultimate decision will be up to Business Development Manager Mike McHugh, who plans to consult with County Administrator Len Sossamon during the hiring process.

All five candidates stressed in their resumes they are huge supporters of working together with economic development officials to bring in jobs and expand the local tax base.

Given the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport's position as an economic engine, a background in economic development is key in the hiring process, McHugh said.

"The airport is an enterprise, it's got some entrepreneurial facets and (the candidate) must be able to look at its strengths and apply them to the market to unlock its potential," said McHugh, who hopes to schedule in-person interviews in about a week.

McHugh said the airport derives about 70 percent of its revenue from industrial activities.

Don Silvernell announced in April he will retire as manager and move to Boise, Idaho, to be closer to his 7-month-old granddaughter.

Silvernell, whose last day is July 1, said he hopes to work with his successor before departing.

He said he is leaving at a time when the airport and its various activities are in a strong financial position.

"The airport's got a good reputation," Silvernell said.

The airport is located on 2,400 acres and includes the RailPark, Corporate Airpark, AirPark Northeast and the Industrial Park proper.

There are about 150 airport tenants who employ some 3,000 people, McHugh said.

The airport manager position was advertised with a pay range of $65,748 to $105,995.

Silvernell makes $78,624 annually.

Here is a look at the five finalists for the position of airport manager:

Kevin Daugherty: Currently the manager of Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland - a post he's held since 2007 - Daugherty said in his application packet he will work closely with the city of Brooksville and Hernando County's Economic Development team to bring businesses to the airport.

"This generates revenue opportunities and strengthens the airport as a self-sustaining entity, as well as supporting the local tax base," Daugherty wrote.

Thomas Frungillo: The executive director of the Bradford Regional Airport Authority in Pennsylvania since 1998, Frungillo says he is a "highly organized, innovative and motivated professional" who has a proven ability to "engage and develop strong relationships with key airport contacts, governmental officials and community members."

Frungillo included a newspaper article showing how he was involved in helping drive economic development at his airport.

Gary Hudson: The airport manager of Chester County-G.O Carlson Airport in Pennsylvania since 2004, Hudson said he handles all daily operations, safety, security and administration duties. He is liaison between airport administration, local airline personnel, airport tenants, the public and federal, state and local agencies.

He also developed and implemented his airport's first-ever policy-and-procedures manual.

Nickolis Landgraff: During his eight years as airport manager for the DeLand Municipal Airport & Business Park in Florida, Landgraff said he has helped grow revenue from $800,000 to $1.4 million.

His airport has a business park with 2,500- plus employees on 1,600 acres.

"We had a total economic activity of $271 million during our last Florida Department of Transportation assessment and are continuing to grow," Landgraff wrote.

Paul Phillips:
Currently an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University, Phillips had been director of general aviation for the Tampa International Airport from 2005 to 2012.

He left TIA and managed the Tampa Executive, Peter O. Knight and Plant City airports.

Phillips said his strong communication and management skills will benefit Hernando County because it has given him a "tremendous amount of experience dealing with elected and appointed boards, lease negotiations, tenant relations, economic development and job creation and community interaction.


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