GREEN, OH (September 22, 2008) – After thirty-two years of dedicated service, airport director Frederick J. Krum has announced his retirement effective September 30, 2008. “Fred provided decades of steady, confident leadership at Akron-Canton Airport,” said board President Beth Houseman. “We will be forever grateful for his dedication, vision and service to the aviation industry in our region.”
Fred began his distinguished career at Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) in 1975 as the airport accountant and was quickly promoted to assistant director by then director Jack Doyle. After Doyle’s retirement, Fred was promoted to the director’s seat in 1981 and has served in that capacity ever since. During his tenure, Fred managed more than $250 million in capital improvements, helped passenger figures quadruple, attracted Piedmont Airlines, AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines (driving air fares down in the region), acquired hundreds of acres of additional land and kept airport operating costs low. His efforts helped position the airport for continued success and strategic importance in Northeastern Ohio.
Because of his strong leadership, Krum won numerous achievement awards including the Sales & Marketing Executives of Akron’s Executive of the Year award in 2002. Additionally in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Fred was recognized among Inside Business Magazine’s Power 100 (a listing of the most influential leaders in Northeast Ohio). He also received the 2006 President’s Award from the Akron/Summit County Convention and Visitors Bureau for his career-long impact on tourism and hospitality in the region.
During his career, Fred was also a tireless community leader serving on the boards of the North Canton Schools, Wayne Savings Bank, Mercy Medical Center, the Greater Akron Chamber, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Stark Development Board and the Ohio Commercial Airport Consortium. Fred also loved coaching the multiple sports teams on which his children participated when they were young.
In retirement, Fred and his wife Diane will enjoy spending time with their family, including two grandchildren and traveling to Florida (non-stop aboard AirTran Airways to Ft. Myers, one of many routes he helped secure) during the long Ohio winter.
To be certain that the airport remains healthy, viable and vibrant moving forward, the Akron-Canton Airport Board of Trustees agreed unanimously to accept Krum’s resignation and then immediately promote long-serving assistant director Richard B. McQueen to lead the airport team for the future. “We have great confidence in Rick’s ability to take the airport to the next level,” added Houseman. “Rick’s work has been exemplary for more than 26 years, and we have come to trust his good judgment and shrewd financial management. Plus, the board has seen his leadership skills flourish, and we feel united in support of his promotion to the top job at the airport.” McQueen’s promotion to president and CEO will be effective October 1, 2008.
Rick began his career at the airport as airport accountant in 1982. He was promoted to controller, then assistant director of finance and administration and then held the position of assistant airport director, the number two position in the organization. Rick’s core responsibilities up until now have include managing finances, accounting, contracts, and government funding; personnel hiring and employee benefit programs and capital project administration, including the $24 million concourse replacement and $80 million in airfield upgrades (part of the STAR Capital Improvement Plan completed in 2006). Additionally, he helped launch the new CAK 2018 Capital Improvement Program, the ten-year, $110 million plan that includes a 600 ft. runway extension. Other projects include a customs and border patrol facility and an extended upper-level concourse.
“I am thrilled and honored to be selected to lead the Akron-Canton Airport,” said McQueen. “It has been a privilege to work, learn and grow under Fred’s strong leadership, and I am devoted to keeping our airport strong, stable and successful. I am eager to continue the transformation of our airfield through the implementation of our CAK 2018 plan while maintaining our low-cost operating model and excellent customer experience.”
Under Rick’s leadership the airport received the Excellence in Engineering award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio; the FAA’s Great Lakes Region Safety Award and the American Society of Professional Engineer’s Excellence in Engineering Award.
Rick graduated from Walsh College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting and Finance and now serves on the Walsh University Advisory Board. Prior to his employment at the airport, Rick worked for Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young). He enjoys running, cheering on his sons at various sporting events and spending time with his family.
Also promoted by the board of trustees, Kristie VanAuken will assume the newly-created position of senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for the airport. “For more than a decade, Kristie’s high energy, enthusiasm and strong strategic management skills have helped the airport grow and thrive,” Houseman continued. “Because of her work, the airport is considered an industry leader and innovator. The board agrees that her skills perfectly compliment the strong leadership and financial prowess that Rick brings to the team.”
Kristie joined the airport staff in 1996. Her responsibilities include all airport marketing, branding, air service development initiatives, communications and community relations. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and a Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University.
In addition to her airport duties, VanAuken serves on the Board of Directors of the Akron AAA, the Executive Marketing Forum, the Cleveland+ Regional Marketing Alliance and the Walsh University Business Advisory Council. Additionally, she co-chairs the stewardship and communication committees at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron. Kristie is a Leadership Akron graduate, a member of the Akron/Canton chapter of the American Marketing Association, a member of Sales and Marketing Executives International of Akron and a member the Public Relations Society of America, Akron/ Canton Chapter.
Prior to joining the airport, VanAuken worked for the Greater Akron Chamber and the State of Michigan, International Affairs division. She was honored as a 2008 Distinguished Sales and Marketing professional by Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland and was selected as one of 30 for the Future, recognizing today’s young leaders in Northeastern Ohio in 2007. Additionally Crain’s Cleveland Business included her in their 40 under 40 list of upcoming executives in Northeast Ohio in 2005. Sales and Marketing Executives of Akron selected Kristie as a distinguished sales and marketing professional in 2002.