Top 40 Under 40: Steven Hennigan

Steven Hennigan grew up in a family of lawyers and doctors where chasing after an aviation career was a stretch of the imagination. However, his father nurtured his interest in aviation by bringing him to see planes or to visit air shows.

Today Hennigan has more than 16 years of aviation experience and serves as the assistant general manager for Operations at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, Tex.

At IAH, his responsibilities include management of the airside, landside and ground transportation operations. Prior to joining the Houston Airport System, Hennigan worked in airport operations at Denver International Airport.

Hennigan’s background includes having worked in operations for both FedEx Express and United Airlines. In the airport environment, he has worked in security, operations, and emergency management. This diverse background helped him gain extensive experience in process development and procedural implementation.

Hennigan received a Bachelor’s degree in aviation business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.While in Denver, he worked with the Embry-Riddle Alumni office to start the Rocky Mountain Alumni Association, which he lead until passing the helm on to capable hands when he relocated to Houston. He is also an active mentor for high school and college students interested in aviation.

As an A.A.A.E. member, he has received the Airport Certified Employee (ACE) designation for both Operations and Security. He also has a commercial pilot: airplane single and multiple engine land certificate.Additionally, Hennigan has extensive emergency management training including the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Certificate, and Incident Command certification through the Center for Domestic Preparedness.

His advice to industry newcomers is: “Don’t be afraid to move. I went out and sought new challenges and moved to new locations in order to continually gain knowledge.” And don’t give up the fight. “Keep plugging along; it’s not an easy industry to crack—everybody knows everybody in this industry. But if you keep at it someone will eventually give you a break.”

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