18:30 PM

Aviation Authority Hires Vice President of Finance

September 23, 2011

Internal Reorganization Strategy Now in Place

TAMPA -- Today Aviation Authority CEO, Joe Lopano, announced the last addition to his core leadership team: Koni Cassini will serve as Vice President of Finance, Administration and Procurement. In addition, Elita McMillon has been promoted from Manager to Director of Ethics, Compliance, and Diversity and will assume responsibility for the Minority and Disadvantaged Business section reporting to Cassini. 

Cassini will start her new position on October 3, 2011. Cassini will be responsible for Finance, Administration, Procurement and Human Resources. Reporting to Cassini will also be Ann Davis, Director of Finance, Sharon Weaver, Director of Administration, George Williams, Director of Human Resources and Ed Haines, Director of Procurement. 

“It feels terrific to have my senior staff in place and the organization aligned behind our priorities,” Lopano, said. “We are energized and ready to make great things happen for this airport and this community.” 

Concurrent with these new appointments, Lopano reorganized executive responsibilities to better allocate resources and achieve key authority initiatives, including marketing and business development, increased revenues and customer service. This internal strategy was anticipated in the recently approved budget. 

Under the new structure, Chris Minner, VP of Marketing, has been given additional responsibilities that include Advertising, Community Affairs, Airline Affairs and Real Estate. Brenda Geoghagan, Director of Community Affairs, and Diane Pryor Vercelli, Director of Airline Real Estate, will report directly to Chris.

Damian Brooke, VP of Business Planning and IT, will assume new responsibilities for revenue generating strategies and will have Bhavesh Patel, Director of Concessions, reporting to him. Brooks will oversee all Food, Beverage, Retail, Advertising and Rental Car Revenues, Business Planning and IT. 

Former St. Petersburg Times reporter Janet Zink will fill the role of Director of Communications. She will report directly to Lopano. 

Gigi Rechel will round out the team and remain a Vice President and General Counsel. Most recently, Rechel has assisted in realignment of the leadership team, including significant efforts in the food, beverage and retail strategy and the new rental car company agreements. She will now focus on strategic legal issues and continue to serve as an advisor to the CEO and the Board of Directors.