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RFD's Dunn Announces Retirement, Oakley to Succeed Position

The Greater Rockford Airport Authority (GRAA) has announced that Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) Executive Director Mike Dunn has announced that he will retire at the end of the year after more than 12 years in the position.

The GRAA Board of Commissioners voted at a scheduled meeting to appoint Zack Oakley, RFD’s current Deputy Director, as the new Executive Director effective Jan. 1, 2024.

“It has been a great honor to serve the community through my work at the airport,” Dunn said. “When I first started, the growth potential at RFD was untapped and enormous. Now, it’s a top 15 cargo airport in the United States and an economic driver connecting the world’s supply chains while growing jobs right here in the region.”

From 2001 to 2011, Dunn served as a commissioner on the Board of Commissioners, with the last eight of those years serving as board chairman. Dunn was appointed Executive Director at the airport in January 2012.

“Mike Dunn’s service and work ethic is unmatched – and we as citizens are better because he advocated so tirelessly on behalf of the state, the community, and the airport,” said Paul Cicero, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “On behalf of the board, we thank him for his dedication to moving RFD forward. The airport board is looking forward to working with Zack Oakley in his position as Executive Director. The board has had a long and very positive relationship with Zack over the last six years”.

“In my 17 years at RFD, I have played a key role in shaping and delivering change. I am looking forward to continuing to grow and provide economic opportunities to the region, expanding our cargo operations and passenger destinations, operating a safe and secure airport for all our users, engaging the local community, and providing the best passenger experience possible for all travelers,” Oakley said.

Oakley is the current deputy director of planning and operations at the airport, overseeing the planning and construction of more than $150 million of air cargo infrastructure improvements. He also manages relationships, drives innovation, and works with airline stakeholders on the next phases of infrastructure improvements to continue to support air cargo growth at RFD. He is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) through the American Association of Airport Executives, which is the highest professional designation an airport professional can obtain. Only about 600 people actively hold this designation.

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