The Vermilion Regional Airport has a new manager starting Feb. 1.
The airport authority board on Jan. 12 approved hiring Alexandra Gale as the new airport manager.
Part-time manager Mike Vadeboncoeur resigned last month.
Gale will have a 90-day probationary period, and a starting salary of $60,000.
“We had about 40 applicants for the position from a variety of backgrounds and locations. Out of the 40, we called five in for in-person or virtual interviews and one in for a second interview,” according to board chairman Jonathan Myers.
“The board of commissioners is committed to creating access for both pilots and community members, increasing aviation opportunities for our community, and improving the facilities and services we provide as the ‘gateway to Danville.’ We felt that Alex shared that vision and would quickly begin work to make those goals a reality,” according to Myers.
Gale is excited to come on board.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity. Vermilion County is a wonderful community that is filled with potential and I know I can bring that potential to fruition through our airport. Danville has many businesses that could use our airport as an asset. I look forward to partnering with Vermilion Advantage to get their insight as well on how the airport could better serve local businesses,” according to Gale.
“The airport is a great space for the community as well. I have several new ideas on how the airport can serve the community and bring everyone together,” she stated. “I’m grateful that the board of commissioners sees the advantages of hiring someone who is young and a local resident who understands the needs and wants of this great community. I believe there is a great importance in ushering in the next generation to help move this community forward and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Gale has an associate degree from Danville Area Community College and a bachelor’s degree in air traffic management from Lewis University. Following graduation, she began her aviation career at FlightStar in Savoy as a dispatcher for the managed fleet of private jet aircraft based at Willard Airport.
While at FlightStar, Gale also was the director of recruiting where she visited local aviation schools to speak to students about the aviation industry and helped build a pool of candidates for the various roles at FlightStar.
In 2018, Gale was chosen as FlightStar’s avionics manager and lead the department during one of the busiest seasons for avionics in the aviation industry.
Gale is the incoming president of the Illinois Aviation Trades Association, an organization that works closely with state officials and government organizations to better the aviation industry in Illinois.
Gale, her husband, Brock, and their young son reside in Danville. They are active members of the hot air balloon community. Brock is a pilot, and together they previously owned two hot air balloons.