Tracy Stage, has been recommended to be the new airports director in Okaloosa County.
SHALIMAR — Pending final approval from the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners, Tracy Stage should soon be able to drop the word “interim” from his title.
County Administrator John Hofstad has recommended the commission hire Stage as the county’s airports director, a position he has held on an interim basis since former director Sunil Harman resigned on Sep. 30. The board will vote on the recommendation at its regular meeting on Tuesday morning at the County Administration Building in Shalimar.
“We assembled a pretty extensive selection committee made up of staff members, aviation experts and community members,” Hofstad said. “The committee overwhelmingly supported Mr. Stage for the position.”
Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel, who serves as the liaison between the commission and the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, also served on the selection committee.
“We received more than 100 applicants,” Ketchel said. “We did phone interviews with about eight of those, and then interviewed three in person. By far, Mr. Stage had the credentials and qualifications we were looking for. He has served under four airport directors, and definitely has the experience we need.”
Stage has served as the county’s deputy director of airports since September 2006. Prior to working for the county, he was a project administrator with the Boeing Company in Fort Walton Beach for three years.
An Air Force veteran, Stage served as a non-commissioned officer in a civil engineering unit. He has a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix, and is an Accredited Airport Executive by the American Association of Airport Executives.
Stage’s promotion will become effective immediately upon approval from the commission. The position pays $104,998.40 annually.
Although Stage did not want to comment before the appointment becomes official, Ketchel said she doesn’t anticipate any opposition to his promotion.
“I have every confidence we have chosen the best candidate,” she said.
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