Zack Oakley is Executive Director of Chicago Rockford Intl Airport

Oakley has been working at the airport since 2006

Zack Oakley takes charge as Executive Director of Rockford Intl Airport
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The Greater Rockford Airport Authority (GRAA) announced that Zachary (Zack) Oakley is the new Executive Director of the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) w.e.f. January 1.

“Zack’s leadership as the Deputy Director was instrumental in the growth, partnerships, and innovation we’ve seen at RFD," says Paul Cicero, Chairman, GRAA Board of Commissions. "Zack’s new role as Executive Director puts RFD on a continued path of success, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this promotion."

As Deputy Director of Planning and Operations at the airport, Oakley oversaw the planning and construction of more than $150 million in air cargo infrastructure improvements, says an official release.

Oakley has worked full time with the airport since 2006, starting as an operations and facilities specialist before he was promoted to a supervisor, then operations manager, and then to his previous role as deputy director in 2017, the release added.

In 2023, RFD was ranked as the 13th largest air cargo hub for landed weight by the FAA, surpassing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) airport. It marked the fourth consecutive year for RFD to see an increase in its rankings.

“In my 18 years at RFD, I have played a key role in shaping and delivering change," says Oakley. "I am looking forward to continuing to grow and provide economic opportunities to the region, expanding our cargo operations and passenger destinations, operating a safe and secure airport for all our users, engaging the local community, and providing the best passenger experience possible for all travellers. RFD will continue its growth trajectory focused on expansion and more innovation and sustainability in both passenger and cargo operations. I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity, and I look forward to the future.."

Other staff promotions and hirings announced include:

* Tracey Halbrader has been promoted as Finance Director

* Isaac Mendoza has been promoted as Operations Manager

* Matt Zinke has been promoted as Facilities and Maintenance Manager

* Mike Peranich has been hired as Director of Operations and Maintenance

* Josh VanBriesen has been promoted as Assistant Maintenance and Facilities Manager

* Chris Fisher has been promoted as Maintenance Supervisor; and

* Nick Allen-Stewart has been promoted as Operations Supervisor

These staff members, along with Michelle Cassaro, Deputy Director of Finance and Administration, Jeff Polsean, Economic Development Manager and Kathy Bruggeman, Executive Assistant, are members of RFD’s leadership team and will continue to support Zack in his new role, the release added.

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