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How will Patrick Wilson be replaced?

Hank Hayes • Sep 27, 2018 at 8:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Airport Authority commissioners voted Thursday to hire an executive search firm to help them replace exiting Executive Director Patrick Wilson.

It’s the same firm that found Wilson his next job as president of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.

ADK Consulting and Executive Search, a firm that specializes in serving the aviation industry, was chosen to lead the hiring process.

Linda Frankl, ADK senior project manager, told commissioners she expects to develop 30 to 40 candidates over a timeline of three to three and a half months and then whittle the field down to no more than 20 competitors.

When asked about the strength of the airport executive job market, Frankl responded: “It’s strong but it’s a specialized field. … Our goal is to bring you a variety and diversified candidate pool.”

Airport Authority Commissioners Dan Mahoney of Johnson City, Parker Smith of Kingsport, Mitch Meredith of Washington County and Bill Sorah of Bristol, Tenn., will comprise the search committee. Airport Authority Chairman Jon Smith of Johnson City will serve as an ex-officio member.

Wilson’s last day on the job is scheduled to be November 2.

Wilson has held the executive director position for 13 years and was previously deputy executive director for eight years. Prior to his work at Tri-Cities Airport, Wilson served as the operations manager for the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.

During Wilson’s tenure at Tri-Cities, he led the recruitment effort for Allegiant Air, the transition from the Airport Commission to an Airport Authority, extensive terminal improvements and upgrades, and the major regional economic development partnership of Aerospace Park.

He left in 2013 for a position at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but returned to Tri-Cities Airport.

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