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Mon, Feb 14, 2022

Breaking News: Sun ‘n Fun Names New Leadership

Long-Time KLAL Airport Manager/EAA Member, Gene Conrad, To Lead

We've had to sit on this one for a while, but as of 0800 Monday morning, we're allowed to tell you that despite an uncharacteristically short period of time for an Executive Search of this kind, the Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo is naming current Lakeland Airport manager, Gene Conrad, to succeed John 'Lites' Leenhouts... who is going to be a TOUGH act to follow.

Late last year, Leenhouts announced his intention to retire and the Exec Search got underway in earnest... but while a massive number of qualifications had to be researched and met, Gene is a local. Geographically, Conrad is simply going to go to work on the other side of the airport. And... while John “Lites” Leenhouts will retire from the President/CEO role, he will continue to be an active advocate for both ACE and SNF.

As Conrad prepares to take the reins, we note that he is an avid EAA member, Oshkosh volunteer, and has enthusiastically built up the Lakeland Airport business community, over the course of more than a decade, to unexpected levels, including the positioning of a major Prime Air hub on the field. He has been earning kudos from far and wide... including from ANN, and his selection looks to be an inspired one. 

We'll have more info shortly, but suffice it to say that we were, at first, worried when Lites announced his intention to retire, but are feeling a sense of relief upon hearing of Conrad's selection... its going to be a fun transition.

FMI: www.flysnf.org

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