LONG BEACH, CA. – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, today announced Brian Ryks, as the recipient of its 2023 Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award. As executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), Ryks oversees one of the largest airport systems in North America that includes Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and six general aviation airports in Minnesota. The award was announced during the 2023 ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Long Beach, CA, and is the highest honor given by ACI-NA to an active airport CEO/Director.
“Over the course of his decades-long career in the airport industry, Brian Ryks has continually established himself as a dynamic and respected leader,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Because of Brian’s diligent efforts, the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s system of airports has grown into one of the most efficient and best rated airport organizations in North America. We are thrilled to recognize his many contributions to the MSP region and the greater airport industry with our 2023 Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award.”
“I’m honored to receive this incredible recognition on behalf of the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the talented people on my team in Minnesota,” said Ryks. “I’m thankful for the many stakeholders and employees I’ve served who have supported a commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer service that builds community and global connections, drives economic growth, and fosters greater understanding of an airport’s purpose within the community.”
For more than 37 years, Ryks has served and thrived at every level within the aviation industry. His track record of airport management spans from the development of a new major hub in Denver, CO, to managing airports in Aberdeen, SD; St. Cloud, MN; Duluth, MN; Grand Rapids, MI; and Minneapolis, MN.
Ryks has led the MAC since 2016. Ryks’ leadership and vision have been integral for conceptualizing programs such as MAC’s 2023-2027 Enterprise Strategic Plan, which sets the MAC’s future organizational goals in motion to ensure continued growth despite the altered COVID landscape. Ryks has led transformations in sustainability and consumer-focus, utilizing the insights of experts and demographic data that allow for holistic improvements to the airport experience. These strategic efforts have proven successful, as MSP has received the Best Airport in North America Award – through the Airports Council International (ACI) global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program – for six out of the past seven years.
Launched in 2016 by ACI-NA’s Human Resources Committee, the ACI-NA Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award recognizes the extraordinary leadership of an airport CEO/Director who best exemplifies nine core competencies: people practice expertise, relationship management, consultation, leadership and navigation, communication, global and cultural effectiveness, ethical practice, critical evaluation, and business acumen.