The chairman and vice chairman of the Kenton County Airport Board resigned Friday, a news release said.
Jim Huff, chair, and Larry Savage, vice chair, and board member Mark Arnzen submitted their resignations to Kenton County Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus. Those resignations are effective immediately.
Arlinghaus, as the county's top elected leader, appoints the voting members of the board at CVG Airport which is owned by Kenton County. The board has been under scrutiny in recent months and Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen is examining its financial practices and the board's leadership has been criticized for travel expenses and the use of taxpayer dollars for post-meeting alcohol.
After accepting the resignations, Arlinghaus announced that he is appointing Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III and Kathy F. Collins to succeed Huff and Savage as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, and Chad Summe to replace Arnzen on the airport board.
“Jim Huff and Larry Savage have been long time members of the airport board, being first appointed to the board by former Judge-Executive Ralph Drees, and I had the honor of appointing Mark Arnzen to the board in 2012,” Arlinghaus said in a news release.
“Under their leadership, the airport has made great strides, including attracting two new low-cost carriers, overseeing a $100 million expansion of the DHL hub, growing the number of passengers at airport by 59,000 last year, and much, much more. I am sorry to see these dedicated leaders leave the board but I wish them well.”
Huff and Savage issued a joint statement. "When former Kenton County Judge-Executive Ralph Drees appointed both of us to the Kenton County Airport Board, we accepted the appointment because we thought we could make a positive impact on the board and in our community. Both of us brought years of business experience and leadership to the board and we have used that experience to make our airport and our region stronger. Therefore, in keeping with our original commitment to the Greater Cincinnati
Community we have submitted today a joint letter of resignation to Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus and asked that our resignation take effect immediately. It is our hope that our resignations will enable CVG to address the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."
Arnzen also issued a statement. "During my time as a voting member of the Kenton County Airport Board, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with Jim Huff and Larry Savage. I wish to support Jim and Larry in the reasons for their resignation at this time. Both Jim and Larry have devoted significant time, without pay, to the betterment of our airport. Their decision to move on will be a loss to both the airport and the community."
“Under their leadership, the airport has made great strides, including attracting two new low-cost carriers, overseeing a $100 million expansion of the DHL hub, growing the number of passengers at airport by 59,000 last year, and much, much more," Arlinghaus said. "I am sorry to see these dedicated leaders leave the board but I wish them well.”
Robinson, a lawyer with more than 40 years experience, previously served on the Kenton County Airport Board from 1998 to 2006, including two years as chairman of the board (2004-2006) during the administration of former Judge-Executive Drees.
Collins, a senior private banker at Fifth Third Bank, currently serves on the Kenton County Airport Board Advisory Committee. Summe is the Director of Strategic Accounts for Coupons.com, a digital, social, and mobile marketing firm with offices in Mason, Ohio.
Arlinghaus said the appointment of Robinson, Collins, and Summe accomplishes two objectives he has for the airport board. “These appointments fulfill two of my primary goals: all three new appointees work in Cincinnati businesses, which assures that the Cincinnati business community will have a stronger voice on the airport board, and the appointment of Kathy brings more diversity to the airport board.”
Robinson, a partner in the Cincinnati-based law firm of Frost Brown Todd, LLC, is the member-in-charge of the firm’s Northern Kentucky office and maintains an office in firm’s Cincinnati headquarters.
“Bill Robinson is a proven leader in our community with extensive expertise in airport operations and economic development on both sides of the Ohio River,” Arlinghaus said. Robinson has served as chairman of the Cincinnati USA Partnership for Economic Development in Cincinnati and he is a co-founder of the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation serving for the past 27 years on the Tri-ED Board as treasurer and executive committee member, Arlinghaus stated.
“Kathy Collins and Chad Summe are Kenton County residents who are respected in both the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky business communities,” Arlinghaus said. “Their business backgrounds and expertise will help bring new ideas and new energy to the board.”
Robinson -- who is a past president (2011-2012) of the American Bar Association, the world’s largest voluntary professional organization with almost 400,000 members and a staff of 900 with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C. -- said he was honored to accept the appointment and serve as the board’s new chairman.
“When Judge Arlinghaus called on me to take on this responsibility, I immediately accepted his appointment with enthusiasm,” Robinson said. “Judge Arlinghaus has done a superb job leading Kenton County forward during his tenure as judge-executive and I am honored that he has chosen me to serve as a member of his leadership team.”
“I look forward to working closely with Kathy Collins as vice chair, with Chad Summe, and the other distinguished members of the airport board, many of whom are long time friends with whom I have worked on other community initiatives over the years. I look forward to working with them again to move our airport forward for the benefit of our regional community.”
Collins, a Villa Hills resident who has been in the banking business for 30 years, said she was “honored” to serve as a voting member of the airport board. “I look forward to working with the board to continue the positive momentum of supporting this critical community asset by growing the air-service options for business and leisure passengers in the Greater Cincinnati region,” she said.
Summe, who lives in Fort Mitchell, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy and his Master’s in Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
He started his career in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Force as a nuclear engineer on board the USS Topeka (SSN 754), then spent more than five years at Procter & Gamble as a marketing executive for Pampers, the company’s largest global brand.
“I am honored that Judge Arlinghaus has asked me to serve as a voting member of the Kenton County Airport Board,” Summe said. “Knowing the significance of the airport to local companies, I’m excited to contribute my business and marketing backgrounds to assist the board in taking the critical next steps to further enhance our airport as a thriving asset for the Greater Cincinnati area.”