Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday announced the appointment of 18 members to the state’s Aviation Development Task Force.
Created through an executive order issued by McCrory in May, the task force is charged with submitting recommendations to the secretary of transportation for the enhancement of the state’s aviation programs.
According to the governor’s office, the aviation industry is directly responsible for over 100,000 jobs in North Carolina, with a $25 billion annual impact on the state’s economy.
Members appointed to the task force are:
• John Lennon (New Hanover County) – Lennon is managing partner for Oceancrest Advisory Services. He is chair of the aviation committee on the North Carolina Board of Transportation. Lennon will serve as chairman of the Aviation Development Task Force.
• Michael Landguth (Wake County) – Landguth is president and CEO of Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Prior to joining RDU, he served as CEO and president of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority.
• Dan Danieley (Alamance County) – Danieley is executive director of the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport. He is also vice president of the N.C. Airports Association.
• John Taws (Moore County) – Taws is president of Fletcher Industries, Inc., a company that provides manufacturing solutions for special application textiles. He is a member of the Moore County Partners in Progress board of directors.
• Robin Hayes (Cabarrus County) – Hayes is a businessman and former congressman who represented North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District from 1999 to 2009. Hayes owns a hosiery mill in Mount Pleasant.
• James Kalbach (Chowan County) – Kalbach is the Northeastern Regional Airport Commission chairman. Previously, he worked for Whitener Capital Management and several peanut production companies throughout the Southeast.
• Larry Ford (Clay County) – Ford is an attorney whose practice concentrates on estate and Medicaid planning and related legal matters on behalf of clients and charitable organizations throughout Western North Carolina. He currently serves as chairman and board member of the Clay County Travel & Tourism Authority.
• Jim Bailey (Carteret County) – Bailey is a real estate developer in Carteret County. He is the principal and founder of Old Seaports Development, LLC, Bailey Shore Development, LLC, and Oceanfront Resort Development, LLC.
• W. Ashley Smith Jr. (Lenoir County) – Smith is president/CEO of Jet Logistics Inc. He is the incoming chairman of the National Business Aviation Association’s Domestic Operations committee.
• Steve Bright (New Hanover County) – Bright is co-owner and co-founder of Talbert & Bright Engineering Planning Consultants, which works on aviation engineering projects.
• Julie Wilsey (Brunswick County) – Wilsey is deputy airport director of Wilmington International Airport and was recently named the airport’s next director.
• Gary Lowder (Stanly County) – Lowder is chairman of Stanly County’s airport authority and has served on the authority for over 15 years.
• Bill Whiteheart (Forsyth County) – Whiteheart is the owner of Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising Company Inc., and is a Forsyth County Commissioner. He also serves as the National Association of Counties vice-chairman of the Airport Sub-Committee, as chairman of the Airport Commission in Forsyth County and is on the board of trustees for the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation.
• Russell Barringer Jr. (Durham County) – Barringer is chairman and CEO of Dealers Supply Company. He is a private instrument-related pilot and aircraft owner. Barringer was appointed to the N.C. Aeronautics Council by former governor Jim Martin.
• Kevin Baker (Guilford County) – Baker is executive director of the Piedmont Triad International Airport. Prior to being named executive director, Baker served as the assistant director to PTI.
• Kenneth Walker (Mecklenburg County) – Walker is retired from Driven Brands, Inc. He served on the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Oversight Committee.
• Louis Ridley Jr. (Mecklenburg County) – Ridley works for the Federal Aviation Administration in the FAA Headquarters Performance-Based Navigation Office. Prior to this, Ridley served as an air traffic control specialist for the FAA.
• Tony Tata (Wake County) – Tata, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, is secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation.