Charleston International Airport is losing another member of its top management.
Chief Financial Officer Judi Olmstead is stepping down March 25 from her $134,000-a-year job to accept a position up the coast as assistant director of airports at Myrtle Beach International.
“I had always hoped to be an assistant director and this opportunity presented itself a couple of weeks ago,” Olmstead said. “I wanted to take this next step. It’s a great opportunity for me at this time.”
Olmstead started working for Charleston County Aviation Authority, which oversees the state’s busiest airport, in 2001 as manager of accounting. She became finance director in 2009 and was upgraded to chief financial officer last year.
“She’s done a hell of a job for us,” Aviation Authority CEO Paul Campbell said. “It broke my heart when she told me she was leaving. She’s one of the people I counted on. I hate to see her leave.”
Campbell said Olmstead eventually wants to run an airport, and serving as assistant director in Myrtle Beach will give her experience.
“I believe she may be back one day,” he said.
Olmstead’s departure comes at a critical time for the Aviation Authority.
The agency begins laying out plans for next year’s spending Monday. The current year’s budget is $39.3 million. The airport’s new fiscal year begins July 1 and will represent the first full year in four years without ongoing terminal construction. The nearly $200 million redevelopment and expansion of the terminal is expected to be completed by June. Most of the public areas are expected to be finished by the end of March.
Campbell believes he will look outside for a replacement, but plans to fill the slot temporarily during budget talks.
“Because she is leaving so quickly and it’s the wrong time of year, I might bring somebody in on an interim basis to take us through May and get the budget together for next year,” Campbell said.
Olmstead is also one of the last remaining members of senior management who served under former director Sue Stevens, who resigned abruptly in 2013. Several others have left since Stevens’ resignation.
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