Four new managers have joined the staff at the Charleston County Aviation Authority and a fifth person has been promoted.
John A. Connell has been promoted to Deputy Director of Engineering and Planning. He replaces Jim Fann who retired at the end of June
Connell joined the Aviation Authority in 2010 as the Director of Engineering and Facilities. In his new role, he will oversee the engineering, operations, maintenance and special projects departments. Connell has private and public sector engineering experience and was a civil engineer in the U.S. Air Force. A licensed professional engineer in South Carolina since 1999, Connell is a graduate of Clarkson University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University and a master of business administration from the University of South Carolina.
The new staff members are:
Kim McLendon, Manager of Information Systems
Jim Peacher, Manager of Airport Security
Pam Murphy, Manager of Procurement
Charlene Gunnells, Manager of Corporate Communications
McLendon joined the Aviation Authority in December 2012. She manages all information and telecommunications technology at the three Authority airports: Charleston International, Charleston Executive Airport (JZI) on Johns Island and Mount Pleasant Regional Airport (LRO). Previously McLendon was a senior network applications professional for DataSpring Inc., a South Carolina-based technology consulting firm. She has more than 30 years’ experience in information technology and as a business owner in the fields of accounting, taxes, computer hardware and software programming. McLendon is a graduate of Davidson (N.C.) College where she earned an economics degree.
A graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in business management, Peacher was a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent for more than 27 years during which he established and supervised the first DEA Task Force in the South Carolina. Peacher previously worked for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Charleston International Airport as the assistant federal security director for law enforcement and at the National Law Enforcement Corrections and Technology Center as program manager with oversight for a port security initiative (Operation Seahawk) and the radiological/nuclear detection system at the Port of Charleston.
Murphy joined the Aviation Authority in May after 10 years managing large scale, company wide acquisitions, contracts and projects for Nordstrom, Inc., in Seattle, Wash. Prior to that, Murphy was the corporate purchasing manager for FlightSafety Boeing (Boeing’s first joint venture company) in Seattle. She also worked as a senior procurement agent for Boeing responsible for Information Technology contracts, projects and supplier relationships.
A graduate of Long Beach City College in Long Beach, Calif., where she earned a business management degree, Murphy has more than 30 years’ experience in procurement, contract development, project management, strategic planning, and leading, managing and training staff.
Gunnells came to the Aviation Authority in June from The Citadel, where she spent 12 ½ years managing media relations for the military college in Charleston. Prior to that, she worked as a newspaper journalist in Illinois and South Carolina, including The Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette and The Post and Courier in Charleston. In her new role with the Aviation Authority, she will be responsible for a variety of media, community and public relations activities, internal and external communications as well as social media.
Gunnells is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She earned her master’s in education from The Citadel.
Chartered in 1970 by the state of South Carolina, the Charleston County Aviation Authority is responsible for managing, operating and developing all public airports in the Charleston County Airport District, including Charleston International, Charleston Executive Airport (JZI) on Johns Island and Mount Pleasant Regional Airport (LRO).