July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
From time to time Quest Group features our clients in our blog so you can get to know them a little better. This quarter’s focus is on Mike Hainsey, executive director of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR). GTR is located amid Columbus, Starkville and West Point and serves northeast Mississippi.
A retired U.S. Air Force pilot and former Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mike has been at GTR Airport since 2003. He is accredited by the American Association of Airport Executives.
Mike’s interest in aviation was fostered by his father, a jet mechanic, who worked on NASA’s Apollo and Space Shuttle programs at Cape Canaveral. Upon high school graduation, Mike enrolled in the U.S. Air Force Academy and then began his 20 year career with the Air Force.
After retirement from the military, his career eventually brought him to GTR Airport, where he has led with a focus on service.
“Regional airports provide global airline access to communities with the ease and comfort that you can’t get at the larger airports,” says Mike. “Personalized service in all areas is a must for our passengers. We are an integral part of the community, not just another business here.”
The Golden Triangle community has benefitted from his long term vision. For example, a large part of the reason Columbus Air Force Base (the city’s largest employer) survived the most recent Base Realignment and Closure process was because of the support facilities built at GTR – a new tower, a new ramp to park the Air Force jets and a runway extension so fighters could take off and land. Currently, the Base’s main runway is closed for resurfacing, so a number of their sorties are being flown out of GTR.
His foresight has helped the economic development of the area as well.
“Our part in economic development is two-fold: to recruit new aviation industries and to provide worldwide access for other industries coming to the Golden Triangle,” states Mike.
He continues, “Our growth at the airport must come in advance of the needs. I can’t wait until a need arises to start, because it won’t happen for several years due to funding and construction.”
Not only does Mike believe in the airport’s role in community development, but he lends his personal leadership as well. He serves on the boards of the Columbus, Starkville and West Point economic development entities as well as the newly formed Golden Triangle Development LINK. He is past chairman of the Mississippi Intermodal Council and past president of the Mississippi Airports Association and has served as Director of Search and Rescue for the State of Mississippi Civil Air Patrol. In 2008, he was named the FAA Southern Region Commercial Service Airport Manager of the Year.
Mike and wife, Brenda, have been married 34 years. In his free time he enjoys just what you think he might – flying and doing charitable work. He is the co-founder of Dreams on Wings, an organization that gives critically ill children an opportunity to experience the thrill of flying. He is also involved in Catch a Dream and continues to use the skills he honed in the Air Force to assist the community through the Civil Air Patrol.
We at Quest Group think very highly of Mike. He is a man of integrity with a commitment to service. We are proud to have him as a client.