Members of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport board unanimously approved the contract for Parker McClellan at their Wednesday meeting. McClellan will become ECP's Executive Director on April 5.
The board selected McClellan, who has served as Deputy Executive Director for three years, during an emergency meeting two weeks ago – the day after John Wheat resigned from the top job. Wheat is headed to Sacramento, California to become Director of Airports.
At the conclusion of Wednesday's meeting, the board honored Wheat for his accomplishments since coming to ECP. Chairman John Pilcher, III presented Wheat with an airplane propeller as a parting gift.
Wheat said his two years at ECP were challenging but rewarding and McClellan will take the controls of an airport that's in much better shape than the one he took over in 2011. "I think we accomplished everything we set out to get accomplished," said Wheat. "The community has a great asset here and it's definitely poised for growth into the future and continued success."
Wheat said he's most proud of bringing financial stability to the airport and resolving its long-running environmental issues.
McClellan has more than 25 years experience in aviation management and previously served as senior director of airports for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. He will be paid an annual salary of $135,000 to lead Northwest Florida Beaches International.