Airport director brings to new job experience in aviation and economics

Angela Padalecki
Angela Padalecki

The newly hired executive director of the Grand Junction Regional Airport will bring to her duties experience in aviation and economics.

Angela Padalecki is scheduled to start Jan. 8. She was selected over two other finalists by the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority board of directors.

Padalecki will succeed Kip Turner, who resigned in June to become director of aviation at the Eagle County Regional Airport.

“I am honored and excited to lead the Grand  Junction Regional Airport and work with stakeholders to maximize the value of the airport to the community,” Padalecki said. “It is an exciting time for the Grand Valley and the Grand Junction Regional Airport. The economy is improving, passenger traffic is on the rise and infrastructure improvements are under way. The airport has strong leadership and vision from the board and incredible dedication from its employees.”

Padalecki has worked as director of airline affairs at Denver International Airport and previously served as a senior advisor to the chief financial officer at the airport and decision support senior analyst.

In addition, Padalecki was a member of the founding team of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an economist with Bureau of Economic Analysis and worked with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colorado State University and master’s degrees in economics and finance from the University of Colorado Denver.

Rick Taggart, chairman of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority board of directors, said Padalecki was selected for her background and problem-solving abilities. “Angela’s background in economics and aviation made her the ideal candidate to lead the airport in its future development.”

Padalecki was among 50 applicants and three finalists for the executive director position in a search conducted by ADK Consulting & Executive Search. The other finalists were David Bird, executive director of the DuPage Airport Authority, and Donald DeGraw, director of airports for the Monroe County Airports.

Taggart said the roles of the director and airport are important. “The airport is a critical economic engine for our region. It’s the largest airport serving Western Colorado and plays a major role in Grand Junction’s business and tourism industries.”