Vanecek Takes Gavel as ACI-NA Chair

September 28, 2016


MONTREAL – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) announced today that William (Bill) Vanecek, Director of Aviation at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, assumed the chair position for organization’s Board of Directors from outgoing Chair Maureen Riley, Executive Director of Salt Lake City Department of Airports. The change in leadership happened during a special reception on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at the ACI-NA/World Annual Conference and World Annual General Assembly in Montréal.

“As the world grows more competitive, North American airports must work together to affect positive change,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Over the last year, Maureen’s leadership was essential as we advanced airport priorities through effective collaboration, both within the aviation industry and with non-aviation partners. We appreciate her dedication to the airport industry.”

“North American airports are leaders in the global aviation system, and we are at risk of falling behind,” Burke said. “Bill brings the determination necessary to find solutions that ensure airports can keep up with the demands placed on them by their local communities.  We look forward to continuing our work for the airport industry under Bill’s leadership.”

“ACI-NA has an ability to bring together the industry to find common sense solutions to challenges we face as airport operators,” said Vanecek. “As the next chair of ACI-NA, I am looking forward to working alongside airport leaders to advance important airport priorities in Washington and Ottawa.”

Vanececk has served as the Director of Aviation for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority since 1998, overseeing the business and operations at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport. He previously served as the vice president of finance for Simmons Airlines.

Candace McGraw, CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, moved into the Vice Chair position and Riley will now serve as the Immediate Past Chair. Rob Wigington, President and CEO of Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, was elected chair of the U.S. Policy Council.

New members were also announced to the 2016 ACI-NA World Business Partners/Associates Board of Directors during at the conference, including Derry Benton, Executive Vice President Business Development at HMSHost, Robert Chicas, Director of Aviation and Transportation at HOK, and Enrique M. Melendez, Vice President, Business Development at Leidos.

Other leadership announcements include the election of Lew Bleiweis, Executive Director of The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority, Joyce Carter, President and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority, Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, and Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton Regional Airport Authority to the ACI World Governing Board. McGraw and Brian Ryks, CEO of Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission were elected as regional advisors to the ACI World Governing Board.

A complete list of the ACI-NA Board of Directors and leadership is available on the ACI-NA website.


About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at