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"Editorial: Right leader can polish airport's apple"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 07:14:23 -0500
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Editorial: Right leader can polish airport's apple
The Oshkosh (WI) Northwestern
Wittman Regional Airport needs a polished, nationally-plugged-in director
who is as good at lauding its current tenants' success stories as he or she
is at landing new, entrepreneurial, commercial and industrial business along
its massive runways.
That's not too much to ask for this globally-renown airport with
There is an opportunity right now to hire a dynamic leader for Wittman, with
the retirement of the most recent director.
It sounds like Winnebago County's list of candidates is short, a selection
pending. Let's hope the airport gets the pilot it and the residents of
Oshkosh and the New North deserve.
Airport Director Ruth Elliot, previously Wittman's long-time administrative
assistant, retired from the top post, having served since 2003 more as a
kind, fair airport peacemaker and placeholder than producer.
Elliot's run as director follows that of Duncan Henderson in the 1990s.
Henderson endured the atrophy and extinction of commercial airline service
while trying to manage the airport's many business personalities.
With the right leader able to better market the airport and build community
support for it Wittman can truly be the model for a small-to-midsized
American general aviation, business and industrial airport makeover.
The global attention it receives at least once a year is there. So, new
growth at Wittman is sure to get notice.
The new director needs to:
Be on top of national and international aviation-business trends, able to
simultaneously see new business leads and market the general-aviation
capitol that is Wittman Regional Airport to new interests.
Circulate in the Oshkosh and Fox Valley communities more, better telling the
story of and potential at Wittman now that it's crystal clear the airport's
niche is business - general aviation, commercial and industrial, not airline
Actively seek and lock partnerships blending strained local, state and
federal funding with private investment - the recipe just about every
successful public operation is following if it's going to prosper in the
Granted, Winnebago County doesn't have gobs of cash to help wave in a new
airport director. But Wittman's profile and potential are too important to
allow a mediocre, unenthused person fly into the job under the radar.
Final Thought: Winnebago County can't waste a great opportunity. It needs to
hire a dynamic, energetic and business-savvy director for Wittman Regional
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
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