Tucson, Ariz. (Jan. 28, 2013)-Lisa H. Israel assumed chairmanship of the Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) at its annual meeting today. In addition, the membership elected two new board members and eight new TAA members.
A member of TAA since 2005, Israel was elected to the board of directors in 2008. She is president and CEO of La Posada, a-not-for-profit, nationally accredited retirement community and community services organization located in Green Valley.
A University of Arizona graduate with a master's in public administration, Israel began her service at La Posada when it opened in 1987 and assumed her current role in 2004. She is also a member of the La Posada board of trustees. Her professional association roles have included board positions with the Aging Services of Arizona, LeadingAge, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and Caring Communities, Inc.
In addition to Israel's role with TAA, she serves the community by working with the Advisory board for the University of Arizona College of Nursing and the Charles & Gertrude Gordon Foundation.
The Authority's newly elected members are Archibald Brown, Jr., retired; Vance Falbaum of RBC Wealth Management; Ann Weaver Hart of the University of Arizona; Larry Lang of Diversified Design and Construction, Inc.; Wendell Long of Pascua Yaqui Gaming Enterprise; Phillip Swaim of Swaim Associates, Ltd.; Kathy Ward of Town of Sahuarita; and Ellen Wheeler of the Morris K. Udall Foundation.
Continuing on the board this year are Edwin L. Biggers, chairman-elect; Steven R. Cole, secretary; Steven D. Fell, treasurer; Tony Finley, assistant secretary; Gregory A. Pivirotto, assistant treasurer; and Michael F. Hannley, director. The two new directors are Francine L. Katz and James H. Moore, Jr.
Thomas A. Zlaket, outgoing TAA chairman, addressed the membership with a welcome to new members who joined in 2012 and an acknowledgement of the board members who served this past year. He urged all members to be active and remain informed on TAA's aviation and economic development initiatives. Zlaket discussed the role Tucson International Airport (TIA) and Ryan Airfield play in the growth and prosperity of our region's economy.
TAA President/CEO Bonnie Allin thanked Zlaket for his work as chairman and his service since joining the Authority in 2003. She noted he is leaving the Board after serving two three-year terms and expressed appreciation for his contributions.
Allin provided updates on upcoming airport system projects and a look at industry conditions. She discussed the challenges TAA faces regarding air service development at TIA. Shifts in airline business models are increasingly translating to capacity reductions at airports serving small- and medium-sized cities like Tucson, she said.
"In the past year, new strategies have been conceived to help us confront these new market realities," Allin said.
She urged continued collaboration from community and business partners in order to demonstrate our region's ability to support existing and expanded air service.
"Standing together as a united community is the only way to ensure the continued air service that drives tourism and business growth for southern Arizona," she said.
After giving a brief update on 2012's major projects, such as completion of the 20-year residential sound insulation program, Allin turned to plans for the future. The TIA Master Plan Update, which will be finalized later this year, will have a major impact on the community's growth over the next 20 years, she said.
The update's project recommendations are expected to bring tens of millions of dollars into the Tucson area through direct investment and jobs, she said. The projects will also strengthen the economy by building up the region's largest employment center and maximizing multi-modal access, Allin said.
Allin noted that TIA's financial impact was quantified this past year through an economic impact study conducted by the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management. The study concluded TIA contributes $3.2 billion annually and supports nearly 35,000 local jobs through direct, indirect and induced effects.