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Gary Airport Authority Brings in New Chair

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By: Lakeshore Staff

January 13, 2014 — During its first meeting of the new year, the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board welcomed a new Chairman, Gubernatorial appointee Stephen Mays, and announced more changes coming to the Airport in 2015.

A local businessman and community leader, Stephen Mays, has served as a State Farm agent for more than 25 years. Mays also serves as president of the Gary Chapter of the NAACP. In 2014, he was awarded the Governor’s Award for Achievement in Business and was nominated for the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award given by the Gary Frontiers Service Club. Mays has a degree in regional planning and a master’s degree in public administration from Ball State University. He has served on the boards of the Urban League Club of Northwest Indiana, the Gary Historical and Cultural Society, and the Gary Boys and Girls Club.

“I look forward to working with the board, staff and private partners to help realize the potential of the Gary/Chicago International Airport,” says Mays. “Critical to its success is the completion of the runway expansion project and that will be a top priority for me as Chairman of the Board.”

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson supported May’s appointment.

“The Airport is a critical asset for all of Northwest Indiana and the State of Indiana as a whole,” says Freeman-Wilson. “I am eager to collaborate with Mr. Mays on ways to continue to improve and grow the Airport.”

The board also announced Denise Dillard as Vice-Chair and Alesia Pritchett as Secretary.

Celebrating one year since the Airport signed a public-private partnership (P3) with AFCO/AvPorts, Interim Airport Director BR Lane announced that she will transition into a new role as Deputy Mayor of Gary. Lane will split her time between the Airport and the City and will continue to manage the P3 contract as Special Administrator for the Authority. The transition will result in a savings of $148,886 in salary and benefit costs.

“B.R. went to the Airport to manage the P3 process and reinvigorate momentum to complete the runway expansion project,” says Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “Now that AvPorts is fully operational, she successfully led the team in the railroad relocation project, and the overall runway expansion project is on schedule, BR has the opportunity to assist with other critical issues at the City.”

The runway expansion project is on schedule to be completed this summer and will allow for greater air service at the Airport.

Finally, the Authority board voted to transition to a monthly meeting schedule for 2015.

Source: Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority

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