Airport_Business_November_2020 - 38

UNDER

Keila Y. Walker-Denis, MA, FPEM
As a young child growing up in Florida, Keila Walker-Denis
thought a lot about decision-makers and their role during
hurricane season. When people are told to evacuate, adhere
to curfews and go to shelters, she wondered who made the
decision, who was all involved in the process and what factors
they weighed.
During an internship with the Osceola County emergency
management department, Walker-Denis participated in an
emergency operations center activation due to tropical storm
Ernesto in 2006. Witnessing the controlled chaos of agencies,
community stakeholders and departments coming together
ignited a passion and she discovered her career path.
Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL " I'm truly a public servant at heart. At Orlando International
Airport, the emergency manager role requires me to be the
Alma Mater: University
principal liaison for external federal, state and local emergency
of Central Florida; Webster
management/emergency response support agencies, "
University
Fun fact about yourself: If I Walker-Denis said. " Knowing that I have an opportunity to
make a difference, even during the darkest hours. Whether
could get paid to eat for a living
and not gain any weight, I would. responding to emergency incidents at the airport emergency
operations center, main terminal or air operations area, it's all
Someone I look up to in
very satisfying. "
the industry: Carolyn Fennell,
As assistant director, emergency management for the Greater
Sr. Director of Public Affairs and
Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), Walker-Denis oversees
Community Relations, GOAA
the department responsible for the emergency management
My favorite thing about
at MCO and Orlando Executive Airport (ORL).
aviation is: Aviation defies
time/travel limitations and
Walker-Denis acts as GOAA's primary emergency
connects the world.
management advocate for internal and external governmental
and non-governmental emergency response organizations.

She facilitates all aspects of compliance for FAA Part 139 TriAnnual Exercises. She also serves as the point of contact and
coordinator for the National Incident Management System
(NIMS).
Walker-Denis led MCO's effort at emergency management
accreditation. She was successful in having MCO as the first
airport to be accredited in the Emergency Management
Accreditation Program.
Walker-Denis led GOAA's effort in preparations for Hurricanes
Matthew, Irma and Dorian and was instrumental with the
activation of GOAA's business continuity program after each
of storm. Her relationships with other regional emergency
management entities and the National Weather Service
gave GOAA firsthand, up to date information to ensure a
coordinated effort to cease operations and reopen operations,
were in the best interest and safety of GOAA's stakeholders.
She led community efforts, such as the Multi-Agency
Response Center (MARC), which was created to unify
community efforts and provide a one-stop resource center
for displaced U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands after Hurricane Maria.
Walker-Denis' leadership skills and poise have been used to
the fullest extent during the COVID-19 pandemic as she has
used the same tenacity with ensuring GOAA's emergency
response considers the safety and well-being of stakeholders
from the coronavirus as well.

www.AviationPros.com/21149613

Jason T. Foster
Travel in all of its forms has fascinated Jason Foster since
youth.
" I always had this fascination since I was a kid with airports
and truck stops and everything travel, whether it's by air
or road or train or however. I instantly gravitated towards
wanting to jump into this. "
He came to aviation two years ago from working as a loan
officer in home loans. An acquaintance told him about the
job posting for Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport's
(MFR) air service & economic development manager and
Foster said as he dug into what the job entailed, he was
hooked.
" It really resonated with me as something I wanted to be
Hometown: Everett, WA
doing long term, " Foster said.
Alma Mater: Central Washington University
In his first year for employment, Foster
Fun fact about yourself: I really love to go
was able to attract a flight school to MFR, a
backpacking and be in the woods, and I'm an
task he was charged with from day one, and
husband to an amazing wife and proud father to
something the airport desperately needed to
three wonderfully amusing children.
complete their aviation eco-system. Once
Someone I look up to in the industry:
fully operational, the school will be taking high
Jerry Brienza
school students through Instrument Rating by
the time they graduate.
My favorite thing about aviation is: The
people. I've never been in an industry where it
Foster has also revamped MFR's billboard
was tight knit community of just great people
and static display advertising program, helps
from all over the country and world. It's been
produce video propaganda and manages the
fantastic to get to know folks.
airport's social media. He manages software
systems that aids MFR in attracting new air

service and aviation industry and sets appointments at trade
shows to help recruit companies to the region.
" Coming to work and being around the travel and various
different aspects of what my job entails, I'm always getting to
put on a new hat each day, it feels like. I love the variation and
the diversity of the job and the industry. It's almost like going
on an adventure every day when I walk through the door, "
Foster said.
He sits on local community boards such as the Southern
Oregon Air Academy and Travel Medford, that help promote
regional aviation efforts and tourism, respectively. Foster has
created and is currently leading the regional marketing and
air service collaboration, with the goal of acquiring additional
funding for marketing MFR's region and new air service. He
has been able to garner over $50,000 of support in less than a
year to attract a new air carrier.
Foster was also the coordinator to work with Travel Medford to
design and build a new, state-of-the-art information center at
the airport and has written two successful grant applications
which awarded the airport $520,000 in total.
" It's been a fantastic ride, " Foster said of the two years and all
he's accomplished with MFR. " I've enjoyed every minute of it. "

www.AviationPros.com/21149647

38 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / NOVEMBER 2020


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Airport_Business_November_2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport_Business_November_2020

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Totally Boggus
How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Product Profile
40 Under 40
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 1
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 2
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 3
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 4
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Inside the Fence
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Industry Update
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 7
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 8
Airport_Business_November_2020 - A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Totally Boggus
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 11
Airport_Business_November_2020 - How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 13
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 14
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 15
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Product Profile
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 17
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 40 Under 40
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