I would like to introduce you to the new President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, Daren Griffen.
Here’s the short story:
Daren, his wife, and three kids will be in Reno and join the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority family on August 3, 2020.
Daren comes to the RTAA with a wide array of aviation experience. He has worked for the Port of Portland since 2004 and has served as the airport’s Director of Operations, as well as their General Aviation Manager. From 2000 to 2004, he was the State Airports Manager for the Oregon Department of Aviation. He also worked as the Deputy Director of Yuma International Airport in Arizona. Griffin served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1990. He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.
Here’s a longer story:
You’ll notice that Mr. Griffen has a strong background in GA airports. I used to fly thru Hillsboro and Troutdale when the weather was bad over the Cascades to get back and forth from Ft. Lewis to Yakima Firing Center. Both airports are part of the Port of Portland system where Daren is coming from, and he had these airports under his purview as Director of Airport Operations. He was also the State Airports Manager for the Oregon Department of Aviation for 4 years. Oregon owns and operates the GA airports there (28 of them now, I think), so Mr. Griffen had oversight of pretty complicated GA operations and maintenance activity. I am anxious to learn about his experiences with that kind of system and see how we might glean some ideas or lessons. As a footnote, it turns out that Daren and I were stationed at Ft. Lewis at the same time in the late 80’s…did not know one another, though. I’m certain that when he gets to know our tenant family here, he’ll be impressed with all the things that you do.
As you can imagine, moving the family into a new community overlaid with all the issues surrounding COVID, Mr. Griffen will have a LOT of work in front of him. He already got to visit Stead once during his recruitment process, but I need to work with him to get some real visits organized so he can meet everyone and get to know the businesses here. It will be a challenge, but if you are planning any events or activities (such as we can in this environment), let me know so I can try and get it on his calendar. I know, not likely in the current environment, but perhaps Stead Users and EAA would be willing to set up a Zoom meeting later in August or September that we could get Daren into; plus, I hope to have a construction update for everyone in the next couple of weeks!
Yesterday, the staff held their virtual farewell for Marily Mora via Zoom. Marily has done much for our airport here at Stead; she has created conditions for us to excel and build a great GA airport. She has worked for Stead when it was easy and fun, as well as when it was challenging and heartbreaking. We are darn lucky that way! It would be great for you to say “thanks” to her, in your own way, for all she has done for us. You can drop her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and wish her well.
So, I know we are all excited to connect with Daren Griffin and show off our airplanes and businesses. I’ll keep you in the loop about things as we move thru this transition. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, ideas, or activities that we can put on the table for him. And, as always, please share this with folks who may not be on my distribution list.
Reno-Stead Airport (RTS)
Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority