FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2015
PHOENIX — Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today announced the first three recipients of the inaugural ACI-NA Finance Professional of the Year Award. The awards were announced during an awards gala dinner at the first-ever ACI-NA Business of Airports Conference in Phoenix, which was attended by more than 500 commercial management, human resource, and finance representatives from the North American airport industry.
“Airports have a solid record of success because of the financial prudence and strategic decision making by dedicated finance professionals like those we honor tonight,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Overseeing every aspect of an airport’s financial strategy, especially as airports are required to do more with less because of an outdated locally set Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) user fee, dramatic cuts to the Airport Improvement Program, and increasing pressure on the Canadian Airport Improvement Fee, requires talented, forward thinking, and creative individuals to help their communities realize the economic benefits of a modern and competitive airport.”
Large Hub Finance Professional of the Year: Steve Busch, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
With more than 30 years of experience with Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Stephen Busch is known for his reputation of integrity, honesty, trust and accountability. He continues to manage a wide variety of airport initiatives, including changes to the airports rates and charges model, airline lease negotiations, and maintaining the airport’s costs per enplanement, and many redevelopment and expansion programs.
Medium Hub Finance Professional of the Year: John Weerdenburg, Ottawa International Airport
John Weerdenburg has maintained strong and enduring commitment to accounting and financial issues in the airport industry both in Canada and around the world. He has been involved in resolving several issues with and on behalf of airports, including Transport Canada rates and charges, risk management, and reciprocal property insurance agreements. He has also been very involved in ACI-NA’s Finance Steering Committee and the ACI World Economics Committee, while maintaining his duties and responsibilities of CFO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.
Small Hub Finance Professional of the Year: Bill O’Reilly, Albany International Airport
Bill O’Reilly has demonstrated leadership in finance at the Albany County Airport Authority since assuming the responsibility of Airport Chief Financial Officer in September of 2008. September 2008 began a critical time at the Airport with declining enplanements and cargo operations and ensuing airline consolidation. He was integral in developing and implementing strategies to stabilize and improve the airport finances which Standard & Poors Rating Agencies noted in their 2014 ratings analysis as “Management’s demonstrated ability to maintain margins, despite activity levels.” O’Reilly has also contributed to leadership strategy to promote the airport’s market by assisting in the design of a collation lead by the leading business organization to generate and collect pledges of financial and in-kind donations of community support necessary to obtain a Small Community Air Service Development Grant for an airline revenue guarantee for new airport service and has worked collaboratively with airport consultants on air service development.