New leadership taking over at regional airport

WILLIAMSTOWN -With the new year will come a changing of the guard at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

Terry Moore will retire as manager and Jeff McDougle will succeed him.

“I’m still going to be a shadow warrior for the airport,” said Moore, who will officially leave the position Jan. 8. “I will be working with Jeff in the background and sitting on the board.”

McDougle, 57, was named Moore’s replacement in October following four years serving on both the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority, the marketing arm of the airport, and the managing arm in the Wood County Airport Authority.

“Essentially, Jeff and I have basically reversed rolls – he is at the desk and I am a board member,” Moore said. “It has been a comfortable transition.”

Moore was chosen to fill McDougle’s empty seat on the Wood County board by the Wood County Commission with McDougle’s approval.

“Terry being on the board was something that I wanted,” said McDougle, who has been working with Moore for the past two months in an effort to learn the day-to-day operations of the facility. “We have a very good working relationship and I didn’t want to lose his knowledge base.”

McDougle – who joined both airport boards in 2009 when he moved back to the area following years of living in the Chicago area working for transportation corporations – was chosen for the management position by his fellow Wood County Airport Authority members Bill Richardson, John Pfalzgraf and Tim Flinn. McDougle removed himself from discussions regarding the job when Moore announced his retirement plans in August 2012 and Wood County Commission representative Wayne Dunn is not a voting member of the authority.

McDougle was chosen for the manager position partly because of his previous job experience in top positions with three major airlines. For eight years, he worked for United Airlines before he spent four years with Northwest Airlines and moved on to be the vice president of finance and treasurer for U.S. Airways for six years.

Moore has been praised by McDougle and other board members for keeping the airport going through the last seven years when there was no money or commercial flights coming into the facility and helping to bring it to the position of roughly 700 commercial passengers per month it now sees.

“I chose to join the board because we have always been a very close team,” Moore said. “We were able to keep the place running and didn’t have to let anyone go, which was difficult.”

McDougle said he has no idea how Moore managed to keep the airport going during his tenure.

“How Terry did this the last seven years on a shoestring budget, I will never know,” McDougle added. “For me, working with him in the office has been a whole learning experience – sitting on the board I had an idea but really didn’t know exactly what was going on.”

Moore said that while the focus of his tenure in the management office was to keep the airport open by cutting little things not necessary to operations and streamlining expenses, McDougle’s tenure will be far different.

“Jeff needs to go out and work on infrastructure where as my focus was pinching pennies,” Moore said.

McDougle added to this and said he plans to look at not only what needs to be fixed within the airport’s buildings and facilities but also what can be done to help the business grow.

“I want to help grow the airport to build the Mid-Ohio Valley because the airport is so important to attracting businesses into the community,” McDougle said. “I want to make things better for the airport and the community.”