President and CEO
Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority
Torrance “Tory” Richardson, A.A.E. is the Gerald R. Ford International Airport’s president and CEO, overseeing all functions and activities of Michigan’s second-busiest airport. He is also responsible for developing and implementing the Ford Airport’s strategic vision, including long-term plans for future development, infrastructure improvement, guest growth and other initiatives.
Successful in guiding airports through significant change and boosting regions’ economic vitality, Tory is leading the Authority’s Project Elevate, a revolutionary expansion of the Airport to accommodate passenger growth that includes adding nonstop international commercial flights. He has managed numerous airport functions during his long aviation career, from HR and operations to government affairs and strategy. He started out as an airport maintenance worker doing lighting, airfield, asphalt and concrete repairs.
Prior to joining the Ford Airport in 2019, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which oversees three airports in central Ohio: John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Rickenbacker International Airport and Bolton Field. During his tenure, passenger traffic grew 33% to more than 8.4 million travelers while freight increased 91% to more than 300 million pounds. He previously served as the Columbus Regional Airport Authority’s chief strategy officer and vice president of human resources, government affairs and strategy. Before that, he was executive director of airports for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, which includes Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field Airport. He also was executive director and operations director at Rapid City Regional Airport and an operations specialist and maintenance worker at Dubuque Regional Airport in Iowa.
Tory is past Chair of the American Association of Airport Executives and is past President of the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives. He also has held leadership positions with the Airports Council International-North America and is past President of the Ohio Aviation Association. He has a bachelor of science degree in aviation management from the University of Dubuque.