TAA honors employees, recount milestone year

TAA honors employees, recount milestone year
Source: (Tucson International Airport)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Visit Tucson was honored Monday, Jan. 28 by the Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors with the inaugural Building Bridges Partnership Award in recognition of its sustained partnership, collaboration, information sharing and advocacy that has helped grow air service at Tucson International Airport (TUS).

Coming off a year of successes and growth, the Board developed the idea of honoring a community partnership and TAA employees who have contributed to the organization’s achievements.

“As we learned last year, the TAA contributes $7.4 billion annually to our region’s economy and we feel it’s important to recognize and show our appreciation to those who help make that happen,” said TAA Board Chair Lisa Lovallo.

Visit Tucson’s President and CEO Brent DeRaad and Executive Vice President J. Felipe Garcia received the previously unannounced award at the TAA’s Annual Membership Meeting at the Arizona Inn.

The TAA Board gave two other awards Monday, both honoring TAA Team Members:

Matt Chandler, Application Design and System Administrator in the IT department, received the Innovative Spirit Award for his development, implementation and management of a cyber security testing and training program that has shown to be highly effective in educating TAA Team Members on how to recognize and be more aware of dangerous phishing emails.

There were so many outstanding nominations for TAA’s new Customer CARE Award, the TAA Board decided to recognize three employees: Cornelius Brown, a TAA Police officer; Kathy Myers, procurement manager; and Gilberto Rodriguez, an airfield maintenance specialist. CARE is an acronym for Courtesy, Attitude, Responsiveness and Exceed Expectations, which are the customer service standards for everyone at TAA.

Chair Lisa Lovallo and the other officers of the Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors were re-elected Monday Jan. 28 to serve a second year in their same capacities.

The TAA Annual Member Meeting held at the Arizona Inn, elected two members to join the TAA: Steven Holmes, Superintendent of Sunnyside Unified School District, and Lee D. Lambert, Chancellor of Pima Community College.

The only change on the Board is the departure of Tony Finley, who was an ex-officio director in 2018 as immediate past chair, after serving two years as Chair from 2016 to 2017.

Lovallo is Vice President and Market Manager of Cox Southern Arizona. She has been a TAA member since 2011 and became a Board member in 2014.

Other TAA Board officers re-elected for 2019 are Vice Chair Taunya Villicana, Co-founder and CEO of Affinity Wealth Management; Secretary Bruce L. Dusenberry, President of Horizon Moving Systems, Inc.; and Treasurer Katherine R. Ward, Principal of GV Strategic Advisors.

Continuing Board Directors are William R. Assenmacher, President of CAID Industries, Inc.; Rob Draper, Dealer Principal and General Manager of O’Rielly Motor Company and O’Rielly Chevrolet, Inc.; Judy Rich, President and CEO of TMC HealthCare and Tucson Medical Center, and Keri Silvyn, Partner in Lazarus, Silvyn and Bangs, P.C.

Bonnie Allin, President and CEO of the TAA, also serves on the TAA Board as an ex-officio Director.

“The TAA celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018 and it turned out to be a milestone year for accomplishments and success,” said Allin. “We owe our thanks to the Chair and Board of Directors for the leadership and support that made it possible.”

Highlighting some of the events that celebrated the TAA’s 70th anniversary in 2018, Board Chair Lisa Lovallo listed some of the year’s achievements, which included:

· A 10.3% increase to more than 3.6 million airline passengers using Tucson International Airport (TUS), putting it among the 10 busiest years in TAA’s history.

· Renovation of a partially vacant building, which was opened as the C Gates in what turned out to be a successful effort to attract ultralow-cost carriers. Allegiant Air began using the facility as of January 10 and TAA officials say other airlines have expressed an interest in using the facility.

· Welcoming ultra-low-cost carriers Frontier and Sun Country airlines, in addition to Allegiant.

“This is a tremendous vote of confidence that airlines are betting on Tucson to fill these added seats and sustain this scheduled growth,” Allin said. “I encourage you to do all you can to help Tucson meet this challenge and not squander the opportunity.

More than 3.6 million airline passengers flew through Tucson International Airport (TUS) in 2018, making it one of the 10 busiest years in the airport’s 70-year history, the Tucson Airport Authority reported at its annual meeting Monday Jan. 28.

December’s total of 330,561 was up 10.3% over December 2017. It was also the second busiest month of 2018 behind the 359,159 passengers who used the airport in March, which is traditionally the busiest month of year.

The 2018 total of 3,617,824 was 5.4% more than 2017’s total of 3,433,563.

All airlines increased their passenger totals at TUS in 2018. American Airlines continued as the airport’s busiest carrier, serving 1,368,455 passengers, a 3.3% increase over 2017. Southwest was the second busiest airline, serving 976,769 passengers.

As of year’s end, TUS was served by nine airlines – Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Sun Country, United and Via Air – flying to 22 destination airports – Atlanta, Austin, Bellingham (Vancouver), Charlotte, Chicago Midway, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston Hobby, Houston Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Provo, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.

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