It’s down to the final four to replace Larry Dale as president and CEO of the Sanford Airport Authority (SAA).

A search committee met yesterday to choose four finalists to recommend to the SAA board of directors.

The finalists include two candidates with experience at some of the busiest airports in the U.S., including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, one from the 34th busiest airport and one who currently works for the Sanford Airport Authority.

The finalists include:

  • Tommy Bibb – Bibb is the director of properties at Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, where he has spent his 26-year aviation career. His other positions at the Nashville airport include landside parking coordinator, director of facilities maintenance and director of operations. The Nashville airport is the 34th busiest in the U.S., with some 11 million passengers in 2014, which is 5 times more than the passenger traffic at Orlando Sanford International Airport. (Bibb Resume)
  • Diane Crews – Crews is the vice president of finance and administration for the Sanford Airport Authority, a position she has held since 2014. Crews was vice president of administration at the Saford airport for 13 years before moving into her current position. Prior to joining the airport authority she worked for the city of Sanford for 11 years as a customer service representative, administrative assistant and city commission liaison. (Crews Resume)
  • Sunil Harman – Harman is the director of airports at Okaloosa County, Florida, and has also served as the aviation director for the city of Tallahassee. Prior to that Mr. Harmon spent 20 years in aviation planning management in New York City, Miami and San Diego. While in Miami, Harman developed and managed Miami International Airport’s $6.8 billion modernization, as well as developing plans for the airport’s $1.4 billion intermodal center. (Harman Resume)
  • Robert W. Kennedy – Kennedy is the vice president of Aviation Strategies International, a consulting company based in Montreal, Canada. Prior to that, he spent 15 years at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in various roles, including route development, marketing and operations. Kennedy served as the interim general manager and deputy general of the Atlanta airport from 2010 to 2011. (Kennedy Resume)

Dale announced in March that he is retiring Sept. 30, after 14 years at the Sanford airport. At the time of his announcement, former Airport Authority board member Whitey Eckstein made a motion to promote Crews, who has worked with Dale at the airport, into the presidents position.

However the airport authority voted to create a search committee and hire ADK Consulting & Executive Search of Jacksonville, to help with the process.

The job attracted 45 candidates from 16 states. That number was culled to 16 semi-finalists after ADK eliminated those candidates that did not meet the criteria established by the airport authority. The consultant then called references and checked backgrounds to further reduce the field to nine candidates.

The search committee met yesterday to review video recorded interviews of each of the nine candidates to narrow the field to the final four.

On Aug. 4, the search committee will formally recommend the four candidates be interviewed by each airport authority member.

The authority will meet on August 11 to make a final decision on the airports new president and CEO.

“I encourage the public to come to each of these mettings and provide their input,” said Frank Ioppolo, chairman of the SAA Board of Directors.

– By Dan Ping

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