New airport manager starts soon
The new manager of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport will take over the position on May 2. Steve Wright comes to Brainerd from the General Mitchell International Airport near Milwaukee, Wis., where he is the airport properties manager. After a ...
The new manager of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport will take over the position on May 2.
Steve Wright comes to Brainerd from the General Mitchell International Airport near Milwaukee, Wis., where he is the airport properties manager.
After a round of interviews with three finalists on April 1, the Airport Commission approved a conditional offer of employment to Wright, which he has accepted. The offer is contingent upon successful completion of pre-employment physical, drug and background examinations.
Wright's starting annualized salary will be $80,000 with a starting wage of $6,666 per month, which is 91 percent of the top wage for the position. The salary range for the position is $75,000-$87,800. Other benefits of Wright's employment agreement include:
• Health insurance, as offered to all other employees, which includes medical, dental and vision coverage options.
• Sick leave, as offered to all other employees, accrued at the rate of 8 hours per month.
• Cafeteria plan, as offered to all other employees. Airport Commission Chair Andy Larson said "cafeteria plan" is an older term for a flex benefits program like a health savings account.
• Vacation: starting at three weeks following first year of employment.
• Minnesota State Retirement Program, same as provided to all other employees.
As part of Wright's employment, there will also be a six month probationary period, as well as:
• Commitment to conduct periodic, minimally annually, performance reviews and written documentation of same.
• A salary adjusted to cost of living each year.
• Merit increases within the salary range of the position to coincide with performance reviews.
The airport will pay for Wright's memberships in the professional organizations American Association of Airport Executives and Minnesota Council of Airports. The airport will also provide funding for professional development through attendance of one national and one state conference each year. Additional requests will be considered based on need and funding availability.
The airport will provide relocation assistance of up to $4,000, based on three competitive bids for moving services, or $2,000, if Wright moves himself.
This position is classified as a full-time exempt which is not eligible for overtime compensation.
Jeff Wig, who had been airport manager since January of 2013, tendered his resignation as manager in December of 2015. His last day as manager was Feb. 14. He took a position as vice president working in the area of economic and business development for the Initiative Foundation.
The Airport Commission in early January met with Bob O'Brien, a longtime airport manager who came recommended by the airport's engineer, Paul Strege, and Kim Kenville, a University of North Dakota professor in charge of the school's aviation management program. A week later, the commission approved a contract with O'Brien to serve as interim manager, as well as conduct a search for a permanent manager.
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