Employee Spotlights

Featured stories on some of our stellar staff

Zyndrunas Rackauskas
Zyndrunas Rackauskas

Raised in Lithuania by his mother and grandmother, Zydrunas Rackauskas – who goes by Z – had a competitive spirit and a drive to see the world beyond his small country. After moving to the United States to play college basketball, Z found opportunities he never dreamed of – most recently as the General Manager of Tampa International Airport’s new P.F. Chang’s. (6/1/2017)

Lisa Assetta
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As a young, single mother of a 4-year-old daughter with only some college studies behind her and a little work experience, Lisa Assetta was on her own and desperate for a job. Now, thirty years after begging for that first secretary job, Lisa is the Senior Executive Assistant to Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano during one of the most busy, exciting and important times in the history of the Airport.   (5/20/2017)

Clayton Lackey
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Sheltair’s Tampa operations were ranked the No. 1 FBO in the U.S. in a worldwide survey by Aviation International News. “For years and years, we’ve been up there in the top 10, then we were in the top six, then number two,” said Clayton Lackey, General Manager of Sheltair TPA. “For us to finally hit No. 1 is a big deal and speaks a lot about our facility, our staff and our reputation we work hard to gain.”  (5/4/2017)

Greg Forrest
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In second grade, Greg Forrest excelled at his schoolwork, often finishing tasks and assignments well before his classmates and making straight-A’s. Now a Senior Business Analyst who conducts research and data analysis for Tampa International Airport, Greg is still constantly looking for new challenges, new ways of looking at trends and new ideas to help TPA improve and enhance the Airport for guests and passengers, as well as for employees. (4/20/2017)

Tony Parriera
Tony Parriera

The first thing Tony Parreira noticed when he arrived at Tampa International Airport six months ago was how “modern and fresh” everything looked and felt.  As the new site manager for Flagship, which provides janitorial services throughout TPA, Parreira and his team of workers were tasked one of the most important aspects of airport customer service: cleanliness. (4/6/2017)

John Mallory
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Before coming to Tampa International Airport almost five years ago, John Mallory had worked on just about every type of construction project.Now as the Director of Construction handling nearly $1 billion in expansion projects at TPA, Mallory feels like he’s reached his “dream job.”  (3/16/2017)

Kyle Doyle
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While studying finance in college, Kyle Doyle figured he’d get a job on Wall Street. Soon after graduation, though, he realized what was actually available to him were not the types of positions that he wanted to work in. Kyle is now the Group Rental Manager for Tampa International Airport’s Enterprise Holdings operations, which include Enterprise Rent a Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car.  (3/2/2017)

Wanda Dunnigan
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Growing up in Lancaster, Pa., Wanda Dunnigan dreamed of one day becoming an auto mechanic. This tomboy, now Tampa International Airport’s Manager of Employee Relations and Talent Acquisition, enjoys working in a family-type atmosphere and oversees employee relations, HR-related policies and recruiting. (2/16/2017)

John Lucht
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When it comes to airline loyalty, it’s hard to find anyone more dedicated than John Lucht. The United Airlines General Manager at Tampa International Airport has moved all over the country, bringing his wife and kids along with him to settle in different cities and roles with the airline.  (2/3/2017)

Robert Rinehart
Robert Rinehart

Growing up, Traffic Manager Robert Rinehart had his sights set on becoming a professional baseball player. The Tampa native was an ace player at Robinson High and after graduating, he tried out for the minor league Tampa Tarpons, a Cincinnati Reds farm team. “That’s when I found out how much better other players around the country were than me,” Rinehart said. “So I re-evaluated.”  (1/19/2017)

Roger Picard
Roger Picard

Lt. Roger Picard has a special way with Tampa International Airport’s most vulnerable passengers. He holds the hand of the elderly woman who has fallen on the way to catch her plane. He lets the nervous little boy, flying for his first time, ring the bell on his paramedic bicycle. (1/5/2017)

Carolyn Langdon
Carolyn Langdon

As a little girl in Cincinnati, Carolyn Langdon would sit on the steps of her dad’s basement office and listen to him talk to his Kraft Food Ingredients sales clients on the phone, handling each with impeccable customer service and problem-solving tactics. Now, Carolyn is a Senior Business Analyst in the Concessions Department for TPA. Next month, she will take a new position as a Business Administration Manager of General Aviation, a completely new field that she’s excited to explore.  (12/22/2016)

Perry Kranius
Perry Kranius

When Perry Kranias was in middle school, he and his parents moved from Chicago to the Tampa Bay area, where he helped them run family diner-style Greek restaurants for several years. After his family sold the last diner in St. Petersburg 16 years ago, he began looking for new opportunities and spotted a job posting for a concessions manager position at Tampa International Airport with HMSHost.  (12/9/2016)

Alan Stull
Alan Stull

Just about everyone who has worked or spent any time in Tampa International Airport’s terminals has encountered Guest Services Representative Alan Stull. He’s the friendly face at the Main Terminal information desks, the guy stopping to help any passenger who looks even slightly lost, the bus driver proudly giving the Airport grand tours. (11/17/2016)

Darryl Roberts
Darryl Roberts

For many people – particularly those with special needs, medical issues, or those who have not traveled for some time – the most stressful part of traveling through an airport is the security screening process. Darryl Roberts gets it. As the TSA’s Program Specialist in charge of Customer Service & Community Outreach, he represents a side of TSA that not many think of when they think of Homeland Security.  (11/3/2016)

Mike Davis
Mike Davis

Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a broken doorknob, an office move, a chipped tile or sewage backups, Mike Davis is your man for the job. As a Tampa International Airport Maintenance Worker III, Davis can fix just about anything and everything both inside and outside of the Airport. (10/20/2016)

Alison Hoefler

Those who have been around TPA for a while or worked with Southwest Airlines have most likely seen Alison Hoefler’s friendly face around the airport, or perhaps around town. As the Regional Leader in Community Affairs & Grassroots under the Communication & Outreach Department, Alison is responsible for building relationships in the state of Florida and connecting with community and civic groups for TPA’s most popular carrier. (10/6/2016)

Mark Witt
Mark Witt

Growing up on Tampa’s Davis Islands, two blocks from Peter O. Knight Airport, Mark Witt remembers watching planes take off and land and being fascinated with aviation. Now in his 20th year at TPA, Mark was recently promoted to Airport Operations Manager and has seen or worked with just about every side of the business. (9/15/2016)

Darrell Colestock
Darrell Colestock

Growing up an only child in Brandon, Darrell Colestock was never quite sure about a future career. He only knew that, like his mother, he was very outgoing and enjoyed helping people. It’s how he has been so successful and well-liked as a Tampa International Airport Police Officer during his six years at TPA. (8/19/2016)

Joe Decesare
Joe Decesare

When it comes to Tampa International Airport institutional knowledge, few have Cayman Airways Station Manager Joe DeCesare beat. He was here before many Airport employees were even born. (8/4/2016)

Aimee Pidgeon

Growing up,Operations Administration Manager Aimee Pidgeon had aspirations of becoming a journalist. As life does, it took a different route and Aimee decided to join the U.S. Army in hopes it would provide a good chance to explore other options.  An injury shortened her military journey, but led her to an unexpectedly long career in law enforcement. (7/21/2016)

Mike Vizcarrondo

Mike Vizcarrondo’s journey in the construction industry began when he started selling construction materials in his 20s. He didn’t realize that it was the beginning of an incredible career. He became respected in the field, leading him to a long, winding three-decade career that eventually landed him at TPA as a Sr. Construction Inspector. (7/7/2016)

Dan Seeley

Just a decade ago, Dan Seeley was a fresh-out-of-college intern grinding it out on his first major construction site – a job that involved signaling tower cranes, counting rebar and operating the business end of a concrete-pumping hose. Now, at age 32, he’s a Senior Project Manager on one of the largest construction jobs in Tampa International Airport’s history. (6/17/2016)

Jeff Browing

Like many new high school graduates, Jeff Browning wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do after getting his diploma at his small town school in southern New Mexico. Now a TPA Police Sergeant, he spent much of his prior career swimming among sea life in the Pacific Ocean, diving and boating for law enforcement agencies, doing tactical work on S.W.A.T. teams and now overseeing K9 units at TPA.   (6/2/2016)

Irene Pierpont

After growing up in Sparta, NJ and graduating high school with good grades, Irene Pierpont moved to Florida with her parents and decided she wanted to take it easy for a while. Now TPA’s Manager of Concessions, Irene brings several years of expertise in property management, operations and specialty leasing programs. (5/23/2016)

Pat Campbell

Growing up in Wynnewood, OK – pop. 2,500 –Maintenance Senior Manager Pat Campbell had a fun childhood, riding motorcycles and flying light aircraft with his dad using a 3,000-foot grass landing strip on the family’s pasture. (5/5/2016)

Shannon Boos

Growing up in the rural farming town of Meadville, Penn., Tampa International Airport Training Specialist Shannon Boos was passionate about two things: horses and dolphins. (4/21/2016)

Danny Valentine

For most of Danny Valentine’s young adult life, he pursued a single goal: To be the best possible journalist he could be. As the TPA Communications Manager, he is in a job created specifically to handle communications for the airport expansion projects. (4/7/2016)

Chuck Allen

As the new Maintenance Manager of Contracts, Chuck Allen oversees TPA's janitorial contracts, window cleaning contract and keys to all of the airport’s locked doors. It’s a big job that’s about to get much bigger as the Airport expands. (3/24/2016)

Joel Feldman
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Many who work at Tampa International Airport consider themselves aviation enthusiasts, drawn to the airport by their love of planes and flight.
But few are as fervently passionate – some might say obsessed – as Senior Manager of Airport Concessions Joel Feldman. (3/3/2016)

Dortresia Johnson
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If you’ve spent any time around TPA’s Main Terminal, you’ve most likely noticed Dortresia Johnson. It’s no surprise that Dor worked as a fashion model for HSN before joining the Airport as a Volunteer Ambassador three years ago and quickly being hired as a Guest Services Representative. (2/18/2016)

Rich Coudurier
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As the Authority’s Director of Planning and Design overseeing much of the historic expansion at TPA, Rich Coudurier feels a special ownership and satisfaction as he watches every steel beam erected, every yard of concrete poured and every construction milestone reached. (2/4/2016)

Nicole Reynolds
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Even before she started working at Tampa International Airport, you might have seen internal auditor Nicole Reynolds on top of the long-term parking garage with her husband, watching planes taking off and landing after having dinner in the main terminal. (1/21/2016)

Ralph Anthony
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Ralph Anthony, the Aviation Authority’s new Deputy Police Chief, was a Charlotte High School student in Punta Gorda, Florida, when he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. (1/7/2016)

Cheryl Porter
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Tampa International Airport Police Corporal Cheryl Porter has been sure of her path since she was in sixth grade. She vividly recalls the moment when a law enforcement officer visited her class on career day at West Gate Christian School in Tampa. (12/17/2015)

Daniel Duncan
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When the weather heats up in Tampa, it's Daniel Duncan's job to help keep things cool at TPA. "It's really all about customer satisfaction,” says Daniel, a senior heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician.(12/2/2015)

Connie Mundzak
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Connie Mundzak never really aspired to a career in procurement. In fact, she allows that it’s not the kind of career that anyone is likely to aspire too. But there’s enthusiasm in her voice when she starts talking about her job at  TPA, where her title is Senior Manager, Procurement for HCAA.(11/18/2015)

Janet Wood
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Janet Wood discovered exactly what kind of work she wanted to do on the day when, as a teenager, she visited a law office. Wood is the senior legal administrator for HCAA.(11/2/2015)

Al Illustrato
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Al Illustrato was a big-city kind of guy, a life-long New Yorker who was building a solid career working for the Long Island Railroad. That was more than 26 years ago. Illustrato is now the VP of Facilities and Administration for the Aviation Authority. (10/15/2015)

Adam Bouchard
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Adam Bouchard’s road to becoming an Airport Operations Manager at Tampa International Airport was somewhat unconventional and even unexpected, though now he says he feels “very blessed” to have landed here.  (10/1/2015)

Kelly Figley
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With a bubbly laugh and a curious nature, Marketing Manager Kelly Figley is one of the more recognizable faces around Tampa International Airport.  (09/17/2015)

Joanne Quinn
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Growing up in a small, blue collar town in Rhode Island, Joanne Quinn had simple dreams. Now Tampa International Airport’s Payroll Manager, Joanne is in the perfect spot.  (09/3/2015)

David Gavenda

When David Gavenda first began working at Tampa International Airport in parking management, his family and friends were surprised.  (08/18/2015)

Rick Woodward
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As one of the front-line supervisors overseeing Tampa International Airport’s elaborate in-line baggage system, Maintenance Repair Leader Rick Woodward spends a lot of time solving puzzles.  (08/6/2015)

Rob Connelly
Employee Spotlight Rob Connelly Graphic Designer

If you work or spend a lot of time at Tampa International Airport, you’ll most likely encounter the work of Graphic Designer Rob Connelly several times a day. (07/16/2015)

Tony D'Aiuto
Tony D'Aiuto

Airport Operations Center Manager Tony D’Aiuto wasn’t looking for recognition when he took a little boy’s lost stuffed tiger last month, photographed the toy having adventures throughout the airport and created a picture book to give back to the boy when he returned from Texas days later with his family. (07/01/2015)

James Hanney
Employee Spotlight - James Hanney Procurement Agent

It’s hard to imagine a time when Tampa International Airport’s soft-spoken, friendly and laid back Procurement Agent James Hanney considered himself a “tough guy.” So tough, in fact, he joined the Marine Corps after high school. (06/18/2015)

Aaron Eddings
Employee Spotlight Aaron Eddings - Customer Service Rep.

For 10 hours a day, four days a week, Aaron Eddings is the friendly face of the Airside C shuttle. (06/04/2015)

Melissa Solberg
Employee Spotlight Melissa Solberg Sustainability Manager

As a champion of green building initiatives and environmental consciousness, Melissa Solberg is the perfect fit as Tampa International Airport’s new Sustainability Manager. (05/21/2015)

Laurie Noyes
Employee Spotlight Laurie Noyes - Director of Concessions

Tampa International Airport Director of Concessions Laurie Noyes grew up just outside of Washington D.C., and was always a very focused, driven and visually creative child. She danced ballet, tap and jazz and dreamed of going into fashion merchandising, a career goal her parents fully supported. (05/07/2015)

Jackie Smith
Jackie Smith - Real Estate Department Program Coordinator

Jackie Smith has a way of making you talk. Or laugh. Or take a selfie with her.  But along with Jackie’s silly side is a serious worker who has a passion for helping others as the program coordinator for the Real Estate Department. (04/16/2015)

Norm Perry
Employee Spotlight Norm Perry - Manager of Project Management Office

A Tampa native with a curious nature, Norm Perry never really knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. Sometimes, he still doesn’t know. His winding career path, after a little trial and error, eventually led to Tampa International Airport, where he has worked for 16 years and now serves as the Manager of the Project Management Office for the IT Department. (04/02/2015)

Laura Lemon
Employee Spotlight Laura Lemon - Manager of Administration

Laura Lemon wasn’t always sure of what career path she should follow, and she tried a few before landing at TPA, where she now works as a Manager of Administration. (03/19/2015)

Kenneth Strickland
Employee Spotlight Kenneth Strickland - Manager of Research and Evaluations

As Tampa International Airport’s first Manager of Research and Evaluations, Kenneth gets to combine both his love of aviation with his love of sociology and statistics. (03/05/2015)

Michael Kamprath
Employee Spotlight Michael Kamprath Assistant General Counsel

Reserved and soft-spoken, Tampa International Airport Assistant General Counsel of Legal Affairs Michael Kamprath insists he’s simply “not very interesting.” What he forgets to mention sometimes is that he has traveled all over the world, including two stints living abroad in Australia. (02/19/2015)

Leesa Coller
Employee Spotlight Leesa Coller Lead Designer Architecture courses through Leesa Coller’s veins.  One of the lead designers in charge of Tampa International Airport’s Main Terminal expansion project, Coller was born into a family of bankers and builders.  (02/05/2015)
Simon Sanchez
Employee Spotlight Simon Sanchez Airport Construction Inspector Simon Sanchez is at home in the center of TPA’s Main Terminal surrounded by many of the projects he has helped become reality over the past 15 years. As a construction inspector, he has overseen the airport’s extensive post-9/11 security enhancements, construction of the economy parking garage, the building of the FAA radar tower, numerous runway and taxiway projects and the airport’s two previous major terminal renovations. (01/22/2015)
La Vida Starks
Risk Management Coordinator LaVida Starks In 16 years at Tampa International Airport, La Vida Starks has seen it all. As the Risk Management Coordinator, she’s often the first point person to hear about a slip-and-fall accident or a fender bender or any sort of claim handled at the airport. (01/08/2015)
Rob Bramblett
Employee Spotlight - Rob Bramblett Over the past eight years, Rob Bramblett has crisscrossed the country on one major airport construction project after another, designing and building terminals from Houston to Little Rock, and from Philadelphia to Ft. Lauderdale. But his work on Tampa International Airport’s main terminal expansion has taken him somewhere special: Home. (12/18/2014)
David Potter
Employee Spotlight - David Potter As a child, David Potter remembers going to Tampa International Airport with his mother to pick up his father who was in the military and traveled a lot. Fast forward a couple decades later, and David is now a Programmer Analyst in Information Technology Services for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. (12/04/2014)
Laura Tatem
Laura Tatem - Director of Internal Audit Many employees who work at Tampa International Airport share a lifelong passion for aviation. Director of Internal Audit, Laura Tatem, actually grew up in the midst of its history. (11/20/2014)
 Jordan Biegler
Jordan Biegler Jordan Biegler was a 12-year-old boy living in the tiny town of Coloma, Michigan, when his family took a trip to Europe to visit relatives. Several flights, graduations and jobs later - including the past two years at Tampa International Airport - the Airport Operations Manager still hasn't lost his enthusiasm for the concept of air travel. (11/05/2014)
 Jason Watkins
Employee Spotlight - Jason Watkins Jason Watkins' road to becoming Tampa International Airport's Manager of Financial Operations was, to put it mildly, a wild ride. (10/15/2014)
Vince Torres-Roa
Vince Torres-Roa As a Guest Services Manager, he's responsible for managing the front lines of TPA's stellar customer service - our Guest Services Representatives - and his enthusiasm for the airport is infectious. (10/02/2014)
Shari Kopp
As a teenager growing up in north Pinellas County, Shari Kopp loved to plan things. Today, Shari is the one responsible for planning all of the fun employee events for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. (09/18/2014)
Brenda Perez
During one of her first days on the job 15 years ago, front-office Senior Receptionist Brenda Perez received a call from someone wanting to know how much rain Tampa International Airport received from a passing thunderstorm. “Am I supposed to know this?” Brenda thought. (09/04/2014)
Merry Jo Carper
As a Tampa International Airport 14-year Traffic Specialist veteran, Merry Jo Carper has seen and heard it all. But then, that’s just the way her life has always been. (08/20/2014)
Carlos Blackwood
Carlos Blackwood enjoys being involved in every aspect of keeping Tampa International Airport and its employees out of harm’s way. As the Aviation Authority’s Risk and Safety Manager, he looks for ways to reduce potential for injury or damages. (08/07/2014)
Kevin Durkin
Kevin Durkin Tampa International Airport Police Detective Kevin Durkin loses count when he tries to tally up all of his family members who work in law enforcement. “Helping other people – that’s something that doesn’t ever get stale,” Durkin said. “And I can say that with a straight face after 35 years of doing this.” (07/10/2014)
Doyle Wiggins
Doyle Wiggins Trades Maintenance Superintendent Doyle Wiggins has been keeping TPA cool since 1989, after he left his only other full-time job he’s ever held – as a technician for a residential HVAC company – and came to work for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. (06/26/2014)
Jeff Siddle
Jeff Siddle - AVP of Planning and Development As the recently promoted Assistant Vice President of Planning and Development, Jeff oversees the construction of nearly $1 billion in Master Plan projects that are now underway, including the Consolidated Rental Car Facility, the 1.3 mile Automated People Mover and the main terminal expansion. (06/05/2014)


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