The Fort Smith Regional Airport Commission is closer to naming a replacement for former Director John Parker, who announced his retirement last November and officially stepped away from the position on March 31.
Utilizing the Florida-based search firm ADK Executive Search, the airport’s seven commissioners have received five recommendations, including Michael Griffin, interim director. Other candidates hail from Louisiana, New York, Missouri, and Nebraska.
The airport commission was scheduled to meet Monday morning for candidate interviews. The commission nor airport staff has said when they expect to make a decision.
Talk Business & Politics has summarized the biographical information on each candidate.
F. JASON DEVILLIER
F. Jason Devillier is the Iberia Parish Airport Authority Director in New Iberia, La., and has served in the role since April 2008. Previous experience includes 10 years as the deputy director of Aviation at neighboring Lafayette Regional Airport. He took on his first position in aviation as an airport operations supervisor at Louis Armstrong/New Orleans International Airport in November 1991. He earned a four-year degree in air transportation from the University of Louisiana-Monroe in May 1990, and has achieved a number of FAA-accredited certifications throughout his career.
D. AUSTIN FUTCH
Austin Futch is the manager of aeronautical operations at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, and has also worked as an assistant supervisor in chief operations at the facility. The airport is part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has employed Futch since February 2009 when he began as an assistant manager in airport duty at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Prior to his tenure with the Authority, Futch was an airport operations specialist at Shreveport Regional Airport in Louisiana. He has completed coursework for a master’s degree in airport management from New York’s Vaughn College of Aeronautics. His undergraduate work was performed at Louisiana Tech University, where he graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in aviation management and professional aviation. The latter degree earned him the distinction of being an FAA-certified commercial pilot.
SHAWN MICHAEL SCHROEDER
After 11 years, Shawn Michael Schroeder left his position as assistant director of aviation at Springfield-Branson National Airport in October 2016. The reason for doing so was not given. While Schroeder’s resume lists simply “assistant director of aviation” as the title held, the FlySpringfield website now shows Dave Schaumburg as assistant director of aviation – operations and maintenance and Kristy Bork as assistant director of operations – finance. Prior to his time at Springfield-Branson, Schroeder was the assistant director of aviation at Valley International Airport in Cameron County, Texas. His first role in aviation was at the Midland International Airport in Midland, Tx., where he served as airport operations supervisor from May 1990-April 1997. Schroeder holds a masters in public affairs from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He completed undergraduate work in June 1989 at California State University in Los Angeles.
Michael Griffin took over as the interim airport director at Fort Smith Regional following Parker’s departure. Prior to accepting the role, he served as the airport’s director of operations from January 2011 and as a special projects assistant from January 2007. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., in 2006; is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE); is currently enrolled in the AAAE Accredited Airport Executive Program; and expects to attain AAE designation before the end of the year.
Resume information for Robert McNally was not provided, but he did fill out the same five-question questionnaire as the other four candidates and serves as the deputy director of operations at the Lincoln Airport Authority (LNK), though it is not clear how long he has held the position. McNally said he frequently collaborates with the FAA, TSA, and the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics, to name a few. He also helped to implement four airport master plans — two from the ground up — which is relevant to Fort Smith Regional’s goal of developing a master plan to accommodate future growth. He also has around 20 years of experience in the oversight of aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) operations. Fort Smith Regional plans to begin construction of a new ARFF facility soon.
Link here for a PDF document containing resumes and each candidate’s answers to the questionnaires.