Top 40 Under 40: Rachel Wood

Rachel Wood may be a relative “newcomer” to the aviation industry, but her enthusiasm and eagerness to learn have been a strong component of her success. She has worked diligently with various departments and businesses within the airport to obtain an in-depth understanding of all airport functions.

When an opportunity became available at Branson Airport, Wood leapt at the chance to be a part of it. “I was excited about getting involved in helping to open the first fully privatized airport in the United States. I knew this would have a tremendous economic impact on the community I love and I was excited to get involved,” she says.

The fully privatized Branson Airport opened on May 11, 2009. It was the first non-replacement commercial service airport built in more than 40 years. Wood’s job initially was to oversee all accounting and finance processes, assist in development of all businesses, and get the airport processes ready for operation. Today, she is the deputy director of Marketing and Air Service Development and vice president of Fly Branson Travel responsible for the continued development of Branson Airport, FlyBranson Travel, Branson JetCenter, and Branson AirExpress. In less than five years, the Branson Airport has become the 200th largest commercial service airport in the country. In addition to its rapid growth, Southwest Airlines began service in March.

Wood, who has a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Missouri State University, is an active member in her hometown having served on the Board of Directors of the Branson Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, Branson Lakes Area Lodging Association, Branson Chamber District Marketing Council, Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks, and other non-profit organizations.

Her advice to others entering the field is simple: “Never let someone tell you that something isn’t possible,” she says. “A person can do anything they set their mind to if they work hard and never give up on their goals and dreams.”