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Airport officials prepare for manager interview

The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission and Manager Search Committee on Wednesday brainstormed over questions they’ll ask airport manager candidates in the next week.

The airport officials met in the airport conference room at the airport.

The five candidates are Interim Airport Manager Rick Adair; John Coon, who works at an Anderson, Ind., airport; Anthony Dudas, airport operations officer at Sloulin Field International Airport in Williston, N.D.; Brian Madsen, airport manager at Skyharbor in Duluth and Jeff Wig, an administrator at Central Lakes College.

“We’re optimistic,” Andy Larson, chair of the airport commission said when asked if he was pleased with the field of applicants.

The commissioners and search committee members selected and went over the wording of questions for the candidates. Interviews are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday and 1 p.m. Tuesday in the airport conference room.

Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom an airport commissioner who formerly was a radio journalist advised the panels to keep their questions concise.

“The shorter the question, the more straightforward, the better your answers will be.”

One question was eliminated because Adair had seen the question.

Members of the search committee are Airport Commissioners Beth Pfingsten, Andy Larson and Jeff Czeczok and Manager Search Committee members Howard Pihlaja, Crow Wing County Chief Deputy Debi Backdahl and Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek.

The search committee is expected to recommend its choice of candidates to the full airport commission.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860