Human Resources and Travel & Tourism

Ford airport hires president and CEO

August 23, 2019
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Torrance Richardson
Torrance Richardson. Courtesy Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Gerald R. Ford International Airport has a new leader.

Torrance Richardson was hired as president and CEO, the airport announced today.

In his new role, to start in September, Richardson will be responsible for planning, organizing, directing and controlling all functions and activities of the airport.

Working with a team of about 110 people, Richardson will develop and implement a strategic vision for Ford Airport, including long-term plans for future development, infrastructure improvement, passenger growth and more.

Richardson brings leadership experience from multiple Midwest airports, most recently from a role as EVP and COO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Rickenbacker International Airport and Bolton Field.

During his tenure in Columbus, passenger traffic grew 33% to more than 8.4 million passengers, while freight increased 91% to more than 300 million pounds.

“He brings a tremendous depth and breadth of aviation leadership and management from his tenure at airports throughout the Midwest to our team in Grand Rapids,” said Dan Koorndyk, board chair of the Ford Airport Authority.

The Airport Authority Board particularly valued Richardson’s passion for aviation, his demonstrated expertise in business development and financial management, and his strong focus on both customer service and talent development.

Prior to his move to Columbus, Richardson spent eight years as executive director of airports for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority in Indiana. He also previously served as airport executive director of the Rapid City Regional Airport in South Dakota, along with other roles in aviation at the Dubuque Regional Airport in Iowa.

Richardson is an Accredited Airport Executive and is chair of the American Association of Airport Executives. He has served on the AAAE policy review committee and is a past president of the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.

He also has held leadership positions with the Airports Council International-North America and is the past president of the Ohio Aviation Association.

Richardson has a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from the University of Dubuque.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport

The Ford Airport served more than 3.26 million passengers in 2018, and more than 9,000 travelers pass through each day. The airport offers nonstop service to 27 destinations, with more than 140 daily nonstop flights.

The Ford Airport generates more than $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan and employs more than 2,000 people.

GRR New CEO Press Conference from SaboPR on Vimeo.

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