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August 23rd 2019 | Written By Press Release | Share

Airport Authority Board Selects Experienced Executive as New GRR CEO

Airport Authority Board Selects Experienced Executive as New GRR CEO

Torrance Richardson Brings Nearly Three Decades of Airport Management Expertise to GRR

Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 23, 2019 – The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Board today announced that experienced airport executive Torrance Richardson, A.A.E, will lead Ford Airport as its new President and CEO.

Richardson brings broad leadership expertise from multiple Midwest airports, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees three airports in Central Ohio. 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.

In his new role, Richardson will be responsible for planning, organizing, directing and controlling all functions and activities of the airport system operated by the Authority at Michigan’s second busiest airport. Working with a team of approximately 110, Richardson will develop and implement a strategic vision for GRR, including long-term plans for future development, infrastructure improvement, passenger growth and other initiatives.

“We are delighted to welcome Tory as the new President and CEO of the Ford Airport,” said Board Chairman Dan Koorndyk. “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.

“We evaluated a number of exceptionally strong candidates from around the country for this position. The Airport Authority Board particularly valued Tory’s passion for aviation, his demonstrated expertise in business development and financial management, and his strong focus on both customer service and talent development.

“Tory has led numerous functions, from HR and operations to government affairs and strategy, and has a proven track record of successfully guiding organizations through significant change. He’s joining the Ford Airport at an exciting time in our history, and we look forward to welcoming him to West Michigan.”

Richardson spent the past seven years of his career in leadership positions of increasing authority at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which manages John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Rickenbacker International Airport and Bolton Field.

“I’m honored to join the professional team at Ford Airport,” Richardson said. “Together, we’ll focus on creating even stronger partnerships between the Airport and the community so we fully leverage economic and development opportunities during this exciting time of growth.”

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 extensive experience and positions in aviation at the Dubuque Regional Airport in Iowa.

Richardson is an Accredited Airport Executive, or A.A.E., and 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 has also held leadership positions with the Airports Council International-North America and is also the past president of the Ohio Aviation Association. Richardson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation management from the University of Dubuque.

Richardson and his wife, Lisa, have three teenagers: Zach, Logan and Kyra.

About GFIA

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The Airport served over 3.2 million passengers in 2018 and more than 7,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 27 major market destinations with more than 120 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. GFIA generates over $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan and employs more than 2,000 people. For more information on GFIA, visit or follow the airport on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @FlyGRFord.

Topics: Press Release, Airport Authority