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New CEO selected for Reno-Tahoe International Airport

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The Reno-Tahoe International Airport and Reno-Stead Airport have a new chief executive officer. The selection of candidate Daren Griffin of Portland, Oregon, was announced earlier this week by the Chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.

“Following a four month national search, the RTAA selected Griffin, the current Director of the PDXNext Program at the Port of Portland, as the finalist for this important position in our community,” said Chairman Carol Chaplin.

The RTAA Board of Trustees has during its meetings noted among Griffin’s qualifying strengths “a breadth of experience through tenures with U.S. Army” and experience with both small and large airports—as well as his time with the Portland Airport, which “is highly regarded across the industry” and the “recipient of numerous ‘best airport’ recognitions.”

Griffin will be taking over for retiring CEO Marily Mora, who’s spent 20 years with the airport—including seven in her current position. Mora announced her retirement last fall and, according to an RTAA statement, “will leave her position when the new CEO is in place.”

The release also noted that during Mora’s tenure as CEO, the airport “experienced 57 consecutive months of passenger growth and added popular flights to New York and Guadalajara as she led the airport’s complete recovery from the recession.”

Contract negotiations with Griffin have yet to be completed—but, when he takes over, he’ll be preparing to lead the airport through a period of time that could prove as difficult as the Great Recession as the region and the nation work to recover from economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the region’s larger events—like Burning Man, which last year saw 20,000 people fly into Reno—have been cancelled.

In March, as lockdown measures went into full effect, the RTAA announced that business was down 90 percent. By May, that number had reportedly climbed to 95 percent.

Earlier this month, the airport announced its $80,000 “We Move You, Safely” campaign with safety measures for both employees and passengers, including hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass barriers between agents and customers, 1,000 social distancing decals and an electrostatic cleaning machine.

Jeri Chadwell
Jeri Chadwellhttp://thisisreno.com
Jeri Chadwell came to Reno from rural Nevada in 2004 to study anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, she returned to the university for a master’s degree in journalism. She is the former associate and news editor of the Reno News & Review and is a recipient of first-place Nevada Press Association awards for investigative and business reporting. Jeri is passionate about Nevada’s history, politics and communities.

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