AAAE Announces Senior Staff Retirements

The following information was released by the American Association of Airport Executives:

Four veteran senior staff members of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) announced their retirements in the coming months under an "early opportunity plan" created by the association to reward selected senior staff members with long term service tenures at the association. All four will serve as consultants to the association after retirement so that the AAAE staff and membership continue to benefit from their deep institutional knowledge and wisdom.

The four staff members are: Joan Lowden, Senior VP, Communications, retiring May 31, 2013; Pat Osborne, Senior VP, Information Services, retiring June 30, 2013; Jim Johnson, A.A.E., Executive Director, Airport Services, retiring September 30, 2013; and, Tyra Harpster, Senior VP, Finance and Administration, retiring January 1, 2014.

AAAE CEO Chip Barclay said, "The organization's gratitude and admiration could not possibly be higher for these four senior team members. They have each played a critical role in AAAE's growth and building our culture of excellence in member service. They deserve the opportunity to put their own schedules and next-career plans first, and we are grateful for their agreement to continue to consult with the organization and share their enormous knowledge and understanding of AAAE. This change in the association's leadership is only possible due to the deep bench strength on AAAE staff. We are fortunate to have another generation of talented and experienced staff members who are ready for new leadership opportunities following in these big footsteps. AAAE's 'develop and promote from within' staff culture is the enabler of this move."

Barclay, who earlier this year announced his own retirement for December 1, 2013, continued saying:

"Joan Lowden joined AAAE as publisher and editor of the then-brand new Airport Magazine over two decades ago. In her career she has made all our publications world-class, developed AAAE television production, computer-based training and managed many of our marketing services. She is an extraordinary executive who can play any position on the field. AAAE would not be what it is today without the dedication and service of Joan Lowden.

"Pat Osborne joined AAAE when we owned four small servers and has led a team that has built a unique information technology group in the association world. AAAE is a leader in networking airport information, video, biometric, biographic, security and training storage services unmatched among associations and which compete against much larger businesses. AAAE would not be what it is today without the dedication and service of Pat Osborne.

"Jim Johnson joined the AAAE staff after having served as Chair of the association which makes him unique among both staff and volunteer leaders. Jim has led the way in connecting airports with AAAE's training services and our success in those areas would not have been possible without Jim's tremendous airport management knowledge and credibility. Jim enjoys the deep admiration of his peers in the industry as both an exceptional airport executive and AAAE team member. AAAE would not be what it is today without the dedication and service of Jim Johnson.

"Tyra Harpster started at AAAE as an accounting clerk and grew to CFO and CAO as the association managed to grow from one of the financially smallest associations in Washington to one of the largest in the country. Handling the financial and administrative complexities that were thrown at AAAE over the past several decades required exceptional dedication, attention to detail and great people skills. AAAE would not be what it is today without the dedication and service of Tyra Harpster.

"I want to thank these extraordinary individuals on behalf of all our AAAE members and volunteer leaders. You have each been wonderful colleagues as well as high performance executives and we wish you all the best in future endeavors and the time for yourselves that you have so richly earned."

Copyright 2013 States News Service