Top 40 Under 40: Nathaniel “Nathan” Polsgrove

Dec. 3, 2014


Nathaniel “Nathan” Polsgrove is currently serving as a Special Projects Manager for the San Antonio Airport System (SAAS) in San Antonio, Texas.  Mr. Polsgrove has been with the SAAS for eight years and has been in his current position for the past four years.  As a Special Projects Manager, Nathan is responsible for the development and oversight of most of the SAAS’s strategic planning and organizational development processes.  Additionally, Mr. Polsgrove is responsible for the management and oversight of a variety of projects related to operational and emergency management at the San Antonio International Airport.  
Nathan began his career in airport management in 2005 at the Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport in Williamsburg, Kentucky where he served as Airport Manager for a year prior to accepting a position at the SAAS as an Airport Operations Supervisor.  From January 2010 until January 2011, Mr. Polsgrove served as the Interim Airport Operations Manager for San Antonio International Airport prior to assuming his current responsibilities.
Nathan received a B.S. in Aviation from Eastern Kentucky University in 2005 and a M.B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010.  While completing his undergraduate studies, Mr. Polsgrove completed two airport internships.  His first internship was in 2003 with the Marketing Division of the Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky.  His second internship was in 2004 with the Operations Division of the Dayton International Airport in Dayton, OH. 
Mr. Polsgrove is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and an Airport Certified Employee (ACE) – Operations with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Nathan has also earned his International Airport Professional (IAP) certification through the Airport Council International (ACI) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 
Nathan is married to his wife of nine years, Rebecca, and has two children; Savannah (4 years old) and Charlotte (1 year old).

Top 40 Under 40 Questions

1) Why did you select aviation as a career?  I have just always had a love for aviation.  I probably got that from my dad as he loves aviation.

2) What advice from a mentor helped you the most in your career?  Steven J. Parker, who use to be the Deputy Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Aviation, once told me "Don't ever let technology isolate you."  The message he was trying to convey is that with all the technology that we have avaliable to help us communicate we sometimes don't do enough face-to-face communication with people and face-to-face communication is so important for building good relationships.  And in the end, building good relationships with people, in my opinion, is the biggest key to being successful.

3) What is the biggest challenge you see facing aviation today?  Infrastructure funding is the biggest challenge in my opinion.  As construction costs rise and additional capacity demands are placed on the air transportation system, funding must increase portionally to ensure that infrastructure can meet demand.

4) What advice would you give to others in the industry?  Work hard, always tell the truth, challenge yourself, and treat other people with compassion and respect.

5) What are three things we don’t know about you?  I'm assuming this question is focused on my personal life so that is how I am going to answer it.  If you need work related stuff just let me know and I can send you some other answers.  Here are my three.  I'm an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan.  I grew up in Kentucky and have been watching the team as long as I remember.  I'm a Christian and my wife and I teach a 2nd grade sunday school class at our church.  Even though I'm 31, I still love playing video games.