2023 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Thomas Strohecker

Dec. 19, 2023
Thomas Strohecker, Assistant Superintendent of Airport Facilities Management with the City of Tallahassee at Tallahassee International Airport

With a background in banking and finance, Thomas Strohecker embarked on a journey that led him to discover his true passion for aviation while serving in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as an F-18 aircraft mechanic. He embraced the complexities of aircraft maintenance, becoming certified to ensure F/A-18 aircraft were safe for flight, an achievement that required years of dedicated study and practical experience.

"My time in the US Marine Corps was instrumental in igniting my passion for aviation," Strohecker said. "I realized the importance of every detail in aircraft maintenance, a mindset that I carry with me to this day."

After completing his service in the USMC, Strohecker explored various career paths, including work in the communications field as a contractor for the US Navy. His journey also included academic pursuits, culminating in a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.

In October 2021, Strohecker rejoined the aviation sector as the Assistant Superintendent of Airport Facilities Management at Tallahassee International Airport (TLH). In this role, he has played a pivotal part in leading a division of over 20 employees and managing an annual operating budget exceeding $3.3 million. His pursuit of excellence and commitment to safety have been hallmarks of his contributions to TLH.

One of his notable achievements at TLH was his innovative approach to revamping the airport's terrazzo floor maintenance program. Strohecker and his team ensured that more than 43,000 square feet of terrazzo flooring were not only properly maintained but also reflected TLH's high aesthetic standards. This initiative not only enhanced the airport's visual appeal but also resulted in substantial cost savings, exceeding $70,000 annually, by utilizing in-house staff for floor care duties.

Additionally, Strohecker identified and coordinated essential terminal roof repairs, covering over 35,000 square feet, through a warranty claim process. This strategic move saved the airport a significant sum, amounting to over $200,000 in roof repair expenses. These accomplishments underscore his ability to identify necessary improvements and drive cost-effective solutions.

Reflecting his dedication to continuous growth and professional development, Strohecker completed the year-long New Public Servant Initiative professional development program with the City of Tallahassee. He is currently enrolled in the American Association of Airport Executives' Certified Member accreditation program.

In early 2023, he was selected to serve as the Acting Division Manager for over two months. His positive impact on the aviation industry is further exemplified by his active involvement in mentoring the next generation of aviation leaders through the Tallahassee Future Leader Academy's summer youth employment program.

"I believe in the concepts of continuous improvement and learning," Strohecker said. "I love learning new things and strive to instill this love of learning in those that I work alongside. I also focus on mentoring the next generation of airport maintenance personnel to continuously raise their levels of knowledge and standards of professionalism while keeping a sharp focus on safety and customer service."