Polls Open to Select 2012 Steering Group

This summer the Marketing and Communication Steering Group adopted a new Participation Plan for the ACI-NA Marketing and Communications Committee. The Steering Group updated this Plan with a two-fold goal: Increase the representation of Canadian airports and provide transparency in the Steering Group selection process.

Effective in January, the Steering Group will consist of 20 airports members – 15 from U.S. airports and 5 from Canadian airports. There will continue to be three Associate members.

The new Plan reserves for the entire Committee the right to select the Steering Group members with beginning with an open call for candidates and concluding with a ballot.  This is your ballot.

Under the Plan, there are five seats available on the 2012 Steering Group.

Last month, the Nominations Committee reviewed the credentials of 16 candidates – 15 U.S. airport representatives for the 4 U.S. seats and 1 Canadian representative for the new Canadian seat.

The Nominations Committee closely reviewed each candidate’s responses to the nomination form in addition the group also considered airport size, airport location and the industry niche of each candidate. In an assessment of the current Steering Group as well as the candidates, it was determined we were under-represented in both customer service and media relations. The group looked at those candidates from those sectors. We were also had gaps in the South and the Midwest and in small or medium airports.

In general, members of the Nominations Committee found all the candidates were well qualified. In some cases, they acknowledged that some candidates have worked hard in the working groups and should soon be considered for future vacancies. In the end, the decision boiled down to getting a diversified industry sector niche on the Steering Group.

The Steering Group when it met in San Diego ratified the work of the Nominations Committee and voted to submit this ballot to the membership.

Those appearing on the ballot:


  • Chair for 2012: Lucinda Harshman, Pittsburgh
  • Vice Chair for 2012: Cheryl Brown, San Diego 

Airport Representatives:

  • Brian Belcher , Charleston (all 3 niches)
  • Roxanne D Butler, Houston (media relations)
  • Todd Payne, Cleveland (all 3 niches)
  • Julie Rodriguez, Phoenix (media relations)
  • Carol Hutchins,  Edmonton (air service) [Canadian seat]

The Plan also directs that space be provided for write-in candidates. The candidates who receive the majority of the votes cast will be seated in January.

The deadline for submitting the ballot is Nov. 16. Each committee member is limited to one ballot.

Go to the Ballot: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MarCommBallot


The Candidates for Airport Representative

Five seats – 4 for U.S. airports and 1 Canadian representative

(Listed in alphabetical order)


Candidates for the U.S. seats

Brian Belcher           

Charleston Yeager     

Director of Marketing & Air Service Development   

I have worked in the aviation industry, specifically at Yeager Airport, for over 31 years. I have been in my current position as Director of Marketing & Air Service Development for 16 years. I have experience in the broadest spectrum of airport management and the aviation industry.

I have attended every Marketing and Communications Conference, and every Jumpstart Meeting since the inception of both which has helped me develop a better understanding of the Committee and their goals. I have presented at the Marketing & Communications Conference (SAV) I have also presented at the 2011 AAAE National Air Service Conference. I know and have networked and worked with many members of the committee.

My ultimate goal is to work with other committee members to advance programs of the committee and to continue to improve the ACI Marketing and Communications programs for all airports to take advantage of.                   


Roxanne D.  Butler   

Houston Airports System       

Deputy Assistant Director of Public Relations and Communications          

As a former news reporter in Florida and Indiana, I stopped being a journalist when I was moved by the story I covered about a Midwest airport that failed to get enough signatures for a bond drive to rebuild crumbling runways. I became the first community affairs manager for FWA and served there eight years as the top cheerleader as we rebuild the airport and terminal. I served as the national spokesperson for ATA Airlines during the bankruptcy and spent a lot of time at the 30 airports the airline served.  As hope faded for a future at the airline, I was fortunate Continental recruited me to work in corporate communications and I moved to Texas.  In 2008, my career landed me as the Deputy Assistant Director of Public Relations & Communications for Hobby Airport, Bush Airports, and Ellington Airport. To enhance the customer experience, I launched Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for Houston Airports. Recently, I directed the redesign our web site and mobile capabilities for Smartphones. I am currently leading the rebranding of our three airports.     

I have fond memories of my early involved with ACI-NA Marketing & Communications Committee in the 90s as I pioneered a new department at FWA. As a one-person department performing media relations, community affairs and air service development, I attended numerous ACI-NA Marketing & Communications committee meetings. There was a gap in my committee involvement since I did not stay connected during the time I worked for airlines, but I became active again as soon as I joined Houston Airports. It's been rewarding to reconnect with many friends at airports across the nation. Over recent years, I've participated in media relations working group meetings while attending conferences. I was heavily involved with the ACI-NA CEO Forum held in Houston by serving as media relations and communications support staff to assist ACI leadership in 2010. I created a video interview of President Greg highlighting key issues that we posted on our YouTube.

As a former news reporter, my talent to deal with media relations in difficult situations is proven.  I enjoy mentoring others and feel that I have a great deal to share as a result of my more than 20 years as an aviation communications professional.  I took flight training in my 20s because I was the only woman in a leadership role at the airport in FWA and that was required to demonstrate that I was willing to become aware of all aspects of the airport so I could tell the public and media about the value the airport provides.  In Houston, I provide communications and media strategy leadership for two commercial airports. I love airports and want to assist in the success of this industry.


Todd F. Payne 

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport        

Chief, Marketing & Air Service Development          

I joined the Cleveland Airport System, 4 years, 8 months ago, leading the Marketing & Air Service Development Division which includes a focus on air and cargo service development, advertising, public relations, business/stakeholder coordination, media relations, communications, online strategy, customer service, community relations and art programs for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport.  I have over 25 years of experience in travel industry marketing including with 4 airlines (Piedmont, USAir, VIASA and Hawaiian) and with destination/hospitality entities including in the recruitment of air service.

I previously worked with the committee in a planning role as host of the 2011 Marketing and Communications Conference and Jumpstart.  Having attended numerous ACI-NA events over the years and having the privilege to host an ACI-NA event in 2011, I am anxious for the opportunity to join and contribute to the Marketing and Communications Committee.

My initial objective is to contribute to an already talented industry focused team to best discern proactive strategy for airport marketing innovation and communications.  I believe that together we can continue to deploy strongly tangible initiatives that will further shape the perception and direction of airports, provide training for our colleagues and create a pathway through our challenging economic climate.  Further, I would like to see the link between airports of all sizes and their communities be significantly strengthened especially in the business and economic development sector.              


Julie Rodriguez

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport      

Public Information Manager 

I worked as a television producer and reporter in Phoenix, Arizona for 16 years. I have served Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Public Information/Media Relations for the past nine years.

I have had the opportunity to moderate panels and make presentations at several ACI Media Relations and Marketing Conferences, beginning in 2004. I have presented on topics such as crisis communication use of social media. I interact regularly with other members of the Marketing and Communications Committee, sharing information and ideas.        

The ability to share ideas and best practices with colleagues from around the country is extremely valuable. While attending ACI conferences, I have learned a great deal from other airport public information/marketing professionals. After participating in numerous ACI events, I feel that I can provide important feedback on what has been most helpful to me. I would also welcome the opportunity to share new ideas and to help bring in some of our colleagues from airports that haven't participated as much in past years.  


For the Canadian seat:


Carol Hutchins

Edmonton International Airport          

Director, Route Development

I have been with YEG for 4.5 years, previous to that I was with Air Canada for 10 years in sales & marketing (passenger, corporate and leisure departments).  Prior to that I spent over 5 years in retail & wholesale travel sector.     I am currently vice-chair of the CAC Air Policy committee, and I am working on the integration of the committee into the ACI-NA organization.  Since she joined YEG, I have attended and contributed to all the ACI-NA Marcomm conferences and Data seminars.     

I am very excited about the integration of Canadian Airports into the ACI-NA organization.  I bring a wealth of knowledge of Canadian aviation content and support.