Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lincoln Airport (KLNK), Nebraska: Director to retire

John Wood
For only the second time in the past 30 years, the Lincoln Airport will be looking for a new chief.
Airport Executive Director John Wood announced at Thursday's Airport Authority board meeting that he plans to retire at the end of the year.

Wood, who has been at the helm of the airport since September 1996, is 65 and will turn 66 this year.

"It is just time," he said.

Wood said he and his wife have some things they want to do while they are both still healthy and active. One of those things involves moving to Santa Fe, N.M., once he retires.

However, Wood said he has grandchildren in Papillion, so he and his wife will still spend significant time in Nebraska after retirement.

Wood was the director of operations at Eppley Airfield in Omaha when he was chosen from among more than 80 candidates to succeed Wayne Andersen, who had been airport director since 1983.

Before landing in Omaha, where he spent eight years, Wood was the director of the airport in Cheyenne, Wyo., and before that he held the same post at the airport in Winslow, Ariz.

Before going into airport management, Wood, a native of Houston, spent eight years as a Marine Corps pilot.

To find Wood's successor, the Airport Authority is turning to a consulting firm that specializes in recruiting high-ranking officials for non-hub airports.

The board on Thursday approved a contract with ADK Executive Search of Atlantic Beach, Fla. The firm will be paid about $33,000 plus expenses.

According to ADK's website, it has worked to find airport managers or directors for airports in many cities similar in size to Lincoln, including Providence, R.I., Reno, Nev., Spokane, Wash., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Ga.

Doug Kuelpman, president of ADK, said the entire process of recruiting candidates, interviewing and vetting them, hiring someone and then giving that person time to move to Lincoln could take up to six months.

Wood said that there would likely be some overlap between him and the new director, but if someone is hired by summer or early fall, he likely will retire earlier.

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