YOW’s Kealey Named 2023 Ted Bushelman Legacy Award for Creativity and Excellence Recipient

ATLANTA, GA — Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) today announced Krista Kealey, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs for the Ottawa International Airport Authority, as the 2023 recipient of the Ted Bushelman Legacy Award for Creativity and Excellence. The Bushelman Award recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of airport marketing, communications, and customer experience professionals. The award was presented to Kealey during the 2023 ACI-NA Marketing and Communications Conference in Atlanta, GA.

“Krista Kealey’s leadership and contribution to the airport communications, marketing, and customer experience profession will have a lasting impact,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “Whether serving as a mentor to colleagues across North America or providing counsel on the industry’s response to and recovery from the pandemic, Krista is always willing to share key insights with integrity, credibility, authority, and poise.  We congratulate her on this achievement and look forward to her continued contribution to our industry.”

As Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for the Ottawa International Airport Authority, Kealey serves as the Authority’s official spokesperson. She also leads a highly effective team to develop and implement all external communications, media relations, social media, crisis communications, issues management, community and stakeholder engagement, and more.

Kealey has been heavily involved in ACI-NA activities since she joined the industry. She served on the ACI-NA Marketing, Communications, Customer Experience (MarComCX) Committee Steering Group for several terms, serving as chair in 2018.  During COVID-19, Kealey served as one of two MarComCX representatives on ACI-NA’s Airport Industry Recovery Advisory Panel (AIRAP) taskforce for COVID-19. AIRAP brought representatives from every committee convened by ACI-NA to identify risks, challenges, opportunities and a roadmap to recovery.

Kealey has led her team to create several ACI award-winning marketing and communications campaigns, including a Junior Plane Spotter program and a social media campaign to name a new YOW canine recruit.

The Ted Bushelman Legacy Award for Creativity and Excellence is named for its first recipient, Ted Bushelman, who served as Senior Director of Communications at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport for 40 years.

The award is presented each year to an individual nominated and selected by his or her peers in the airport industry. This special award recognizes the values, accomplishments and creativity of airport marketing, communications, and customer experience professionals who also share those talents and contribute to the legacy of professionalism experienced throughout our meetings and programs.

In addition, the individual who is selected must have a record of demonstrating his or her skills, expertise, and professionalism in some or all of the following areas:

  • Promotes the professionalism of the marketing, communications, and customer experience disciplines within the airport industry;
  • Has a history of generating and embracing new ideas to promote and support his or her airport’s programs and services;
  • Actively shares his or her knowledge and experience with other marketing, communications, and customer experience professionals within the airport industry;
  • Participates in the ACI-NA Marketing, Communications, and Customer Experience Committee and attends its programs; and
  • Promotes the importance, and advances the understanding, of airports and aviation within the broader community.

Past Bushelman Award Winners

2008 – Ted Bushelman, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
2009 – Michael Conway, Detroit Metropolitan Airport
2010 – Jerry Staples, Halifax International Airport
2011 – Tara Hamilton, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
2012 – Patricia Rowe, Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport
2013 – Not awarded
2014 – Lucinda Harshman, Pittsburgh International Airport
2015 – Carolyn Fennell, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
2016 – Dickie Davis, Miami International Airport
2017 – Not awarded
2018 – Not awarded
2019 – Brad Martin, Boston Logan International Airport
2020 – Karen Ellis, San Antonio Airport System
2021 – Myrna White, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2022 – John Albrecht, Oakland International Airport
2023 – Krista Kealey, Ottawa International Airport



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 www.airportscouncil.org.