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Airport Authority Board Members

Brad Galbraith

Chair

Appointed By:  City of Asheville
Term Expires:  June 2026
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Brad.Galbraith@flyavl.com

Brad Galbraith is Vice President – Community Development of Biltmore Farms, a 120+ year community development firm in Asheville, NC.  Before acquiring more than 30 years of experience in real estate development and marketing, Brad earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has held numerous volunteer and leadership roles within the local community, including serving as the past President of the Asheville Board of Realtors, serving on the City of Asheville’s Downtown Commission, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition.

Britt Lovin

Vice-Chair

Appointed by: Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board
Term Expires: June 2025
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Britt.Lovin@flyavl.com

Britt Lovin is VP/GM of Andy Oxy CO., Inc, an industrial gas/welding supply company based in Asheville, NC.  Mr. Lovin is a graduate of Appalachian State University, BSBA-Finance.  Before joining Andy Oxy, Mr. Lovin served in the U. S. Army as an Armor Officer.  He is a licensed pilot.  He has served on various boards in Buncombe County and in his professional field.

Gene Bell

Member

Appointed By:  Buncombe County
Term Expires:  June 2026
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Gene.Bell@flyavl.com

Gene Bell is a graduate of Xavier University with a degree in Business Management.  Gene worked for IBM for 25 years and also operated his own construction company.  After working for the Charlotte Housing Authority as the Director of Technical Services, Gene joined the Asheville Housing Authority as Director of Maintenance and Construction in 1994.  In 2005, Gene became CEO of the Housing Authority until retiring in 2019.  Gene is a recipient of the North Carolina Order of the Longleaf Pine Award and has been active in the community by serving on numerous organizations in the Asheville area.

 

Nathan Kennedy

Member

Appointed By:  Henderson County
Term Expires:  June 2026
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Nathan.Kennedy@flyavl.com

Nathan Kennedy is a vice-president and commercial banker with Truist Financial.  Nathan started his career in banking in 2001 with BB&T after graduating from Appalachian State University with a BSBA in Finance & Banking.  He is a native of Western North Carolina and currently resides in Henderson County where he and his wife are raising four children.  He has served on the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development since 2007, serving as chair for two separate terms.  He is currently a trustee for Blue Ridge Community College, treasurer for Hendersonville Country Club, and volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County and Asheville Trailblazers as a basketball coach.  

Susan Russo Klein

Member

Appointed by: City of Asheville
Term Expires: June 2023
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Susan.Klein@flyavl.com

Susan Russo Klein is a graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College, BA, cum laude, 1992, and Southwestern University School of Law, JD, 1995. Susan has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years. She is active in the community, serving in her church, volunteering with Pisgah Legal Services, and participating in the North Carolina Bar Association’s Call 4All. She has served on numerous boards in the Asheville area.

Laura Leatherwood

Member

Appointed by: Henderson County
Term Expires: June 2027
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Laura.Leatherwood@flyavl.com

Prior to being named president at Blue Ridge Community College, Laura Leatherwood served for 17 years in various roles at Haywood Community College. Dr. Leatherwood holds a doctorate degree in university and community college leadership, a master’s degree in human resource development, and a bachelor’s degree in business law, all from Western Carolina University.

Leatherwood has spent the last twenty-three years in community college education. She was appointed President of Blue Ridge Community College in 2017, leading three campuses with 11,000 students in Henderson and Transylvania Counties. 

Dr. Leatherwood spends a lot of her time working on behalf of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Henderson County Partnership for Health, myFutureNC Postsecondary Attainment Initiative, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, UNC Health Pardee, WNC Communities Board of Directors, and many other nonprofit agencies.

Carl H. Ricker, Jr.

Member

Appointed By:  Buncombe County
Term Expires:  June 2024
Address: 61 Terminal Drive, Suite 1, Fletcher, NC  28732

Carl.Ricker@flyavl.com

Carl H. Ricker Jr., Chairman and founder of Azalea Management a real estate development company involved in the southeast and five western states.  Board member and member of the Horatio Alger Association inducted 2009, Co-founder and past Chairman of Genesys Electrical, past board member of First Union Bank, past board member of Highstreet Bank, past Chairman Executive board Capital Bank, past member of the North Carolina Building commission (2 terms), past member of the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation Aviation Division (2 terms).