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Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport one step closer to naming new manager

The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Manager Search Committee didn’t have to look far to find their recommendation for the airport’s new manager.

The search committee and airport commission members met upon the completion of the candidates’ interviews Tuesday to discuss who they would recommend to the airport commission for the manger position.

With some discussion the overwhelming opinion of the search committee members was to recommend that Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission make a conditional job offer to Jeff Wig. Wig is a graduate of Brainerd High School, Central Lakes College and currently serves as the dean of Career and Technical Programs at Central Lakes College.

Wig’s potential return to the airport would bring his career full circle — as a high school and college student he worked for Airmotive Enterprises at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

Members of the search committee commented that Wig’s connection to the community would serve as an advantage to the future of the airport.

“I think this airport is poised in a place right now that we need a polished leader going forward that has connections to the community,” said Airport Commissioner Beth Pfingsten. “I think he has that and he brought that out in his interview.”

The search committee also expressed the difficulty in making the decision to choose another candidate over Interim Airport Manager, Rick Adair.

“Rick has been here and he’s done a service to us that we can never forget,” said Fire Chief Kevin Stunek. “But he said it himself that if there is somebody who is better then we need to look at them.

“I don’t know that it comes down to better or worse. I think it comes down to what (Wig) presents to the table.”

Airport Commissioner Jeff Czeczok added, “There’s isn’t one here that wouldn’t agree — we owe Rick a debt of gratitude.”

Wig’s recommendation is conditional pending psychological and criminal background check results.

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission Chair Andy Larson did not have any comment about the recommendation.

The commission will meet Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the recommendation during their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at or 855-5879.