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"Gainesville airport hires interim chief as new CEO"
Friday, April 27, 2007
Gainesville airport hires interim chief as new CEO
BY NATHAN CRABBE
The Gainesville (FL) Sun
As the Gainesville Regional Airport welcomes its new CEO, the man who left
the position is getting a lucrative going-away gift.
The airport's governing authority unanimously voted Thursday to officially
hire Allan Penksa as airport CEO. Penksa had been running the airport in an
"It's nice to have a little stability so we can put together the rest of the
management team," Penksa said.
The authority also gave a $12,285 bonus to former CEO Rick Crider. Board
member W.E. "Mac" McEachern objected to awarding the bonus to Crider, who
left for a consulting firm that during his term had done $2.9 million of
business with the airport.
McEachern said the authority had no obligation to reward Crider with a
"These are public funds even though we sometimes think they belong to us,"
Crider could have received up to a $20,250 bonus based on authority members'
evaluations of his performance. If the scores of Crider's performance fell
below a certain level, he wouldn't have been awarded a bonus at all.
The scores ended up being just a fraction of a percentage point above that
threshold. Authority member Joe Dunlap said Crider's performance earned the
bonus under the terms of the contract. "We made a good-faith contract," he
Penksa, who served as deputy executive under Crider, will now take the CEO
job. Board chairman Peter Johnson will negotiate with Penksa on a contract,
which will be brought back to the full authority for approval.
Penksa has been with the airport since April 2003, initially serving as
director of facilities and maintenance. Before coming to Gainesville, he
served as director of a small airport in western Pennsylvania.
Penksa said being officially hired doesn't mean much of a change, as he's
been running the airport for the past few months. He said the biggest
difference will be being able to hire someone for his old job and other
"I can start interviewing folks to share a little bit of the workload," he
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