Airport Board Announces New Director

2013-09-13 17:17:45


After a short stint as interim director of the Yuma International Airport, Gladys Wiggins has been selected for the position permanently.

Her selection was announced Friday by the Yuma County Airport Authority after conducting a nationwide search to find a replacement for Craig Williams, who retired effective Aug. 26 as the director after seven years at the helm of the airport.

“This is a very positive appointment,” said Pat Walz, a member of the authority. “She’s someone from inside and everyone respects. She’s knowledgeable and passionate. And she is a good community asset. I think that will be good for the airport.”

Wiggins joined the airport in 2009 as the director of operations and since served in various capacities, most recently as deputy airport director. In that position, she was responsible for reinforcing the airport’s relationships with the FAA and Arizona Department of Transportation, writing grants for infrastructure improvements and providing construction oversight for the airport’s various projects.

Wiggins, who has a mechanical engineering degree from the California Maritime Academy, previously worked for five years as a civil engineer with Nicklaus Engineering Inc. She is currently completing work for a master’s of business administration degree and will graduate in October. She is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

“I have worked hard for many years toward this day and am extremely excited about Yuma County’s future in aviation,” she said. “The airport board and staff have put a lot of time over the past six years to build and promote Yuma’s aviation assets in an effort to support testing and research in our region. We will continue focusing on our customer’s needs as well as building great relationships with our general aviation community. I will continue our relationships with our community agencies and partnerships with MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Yuma, Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma County and the city of Yuma.”

Authority President Rob Ingold concluded: “She is well respected within the aviation industry and we trust that she will continue foraging ahead with the airport’s plans to solidify Yuma’s aviation future.”

An active member of the community, Wiggins provides mentorship and guidance to local high school and college students students, promoting the aerospace industry and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). She also coaches and officiates basketball and volunteers taking photographs for the Yuma Pop Warner Youth Football League.

Wiggins and her husband, retired Marine Staff Sgt. Cassell Wiggins, have three boys. Yuma residents for 11 years, they are making the community their permanent home.

“It’s a wonderful community,” Wiggins said. “It’s just the right place to raise a family.”