Next Airport Authority leader may make history
When the new leader of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority is named next month, it may mark a first for the board that dates from the outset of World War II.
Gloria Whisenhunt of Winston-Salem, a longtime Republican Forsyth County commissioner and member of many boards for businesses and agencies in the Triad, could become the first woman to chair the Airport Authority since its founding in 1942. Whisenhunt told The High Point Enterprise that she’s interested in becoming chairwoman to succeed Henry Isaacson, who is leaving the governing board of Piedmont Triad International Airport after 15 years of service.
A vote among the seven members of the Airport Authority to appoint a new leader of the board will take place at the next meeting April 22. Isaacson’s term expires next month, and he will be replaced by Republican Guilford Commissioner Linda Shaw of Greensboro. Shaw was appointed unanimously to the Airport Authority earlier this month by her fellow members of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
Whisenhunt said that she’s spoken to other members of the Airport Authority, told them about her interest in becoming chairwoman and asked for their support.
Whisenhunt, who has served as vice chairwoman of the Airport Authority for the past year, said she would continue the current direction and initiatives at PTIA under Executive Director Kevin Baker.
“I think the authority and the staff under Kevin’s leadership has been extremely successful. I think the authority should just continue to support Kevin and his staff and encourage them to keep up the good work,” she said.
With Isaacson’s departure, Whisenhunt now is the longest-serving current member of the authority, having been on the board for the past nine years.
On Tuesday afternoon, Isaacson presided at his last Airport Authority session since his term expires before the April board meeting. He’s served as chairman for the past 11 years.
Isaacson, an attorney and civic leader from Greensboro, received a standing ovation in the board room after giving his parting remarks and thanking the staff, his fellow Airport Authority members and volunteers serving PTIA for their service.
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Who makes up the Airport Authority?
The seven-member Piedmont Triad Airport Authority is the appointed board that oversees the operation of Piedmont Triad International Airport. The members are named by four governmental bodies. Three members are appointed by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, while one each is selected by the High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem city councils and the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.