Executive Leadership Team

Below, meet the executive leadership team for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority.

Michael Landguth, A.A.E., AIrport Director

Michael Landguth, A.A.E.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael Landguth is RDU’s President and Chief Executive Officer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, Landguth is responsible for overall staffing, budgeting, strategic planning and operations at RDU.

Prior to joining RDU, he served as chief executive officer and president of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority after also holding the position of director of airport operations within the organization. Landguth holds both bachelor and master degrees in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Chuck McFall, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

Chuck McFall

Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

Chuck McFall is the Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. Chuck oversees all revenue-generating functions including business development, property management, land development, and parking activities; he also oversees all information technology services activities and provides leadership for strategic planning initiatives.

McFall previously worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority. McFall has a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University, a M.A. in Applied Organizational Behavior from Tusculum College and an Executive Certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

William “Bill” Sandifer, A.A.E., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

William “Bill” Sandifer, A.A.E.

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Bill Sandifer is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He oversees all aspects of facility planning, maintenance and design as well as the airport’s operations, police, fire-rescue and ground transportation departments.

He brings 27 years of comprehensive airport management and consulting experience to the Airport Authority. Most recently, he was the senior vice president and national aviation director at Reynolds, Smith and Hills.

Sandifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Eastern Michigan University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University.

Donna Sylver

Donna Sylver

Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer

Donna Sylver is RDU’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for planning, organizing, implementing, and directing the fiscal control, business development, business management and administrative activities of the Airport Authority.

Donna brings more than 20 years of diverse financial services experience and is a Certified Public Accountant, as well as a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

She holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, a B.S. in Accounting from North Carolina Wesleyan College and a Project Management certification from American Management Association. She is a member of Financial Executives International, American Woman’s Society of CPAs, Financial Women International, the National Association of Female Executives, the American Institute of CPAs and the North Carolina Association of CPAs.

John Connell

John Connell

Vice President of Operational Asset Management

John Connell is the Vice President of Operational Asset Management. He is responsible for organizing and directing the maintenance of RDU Airport facilities, infrastructure, and the operation of airport systems. John brings over 19 years’ experience in engineering, construction and facility maintenance at civil and military airports.  He previously worked as Vice President of Engineering for the Charleston County Aviation Authority (Charleston, S.C.). He holds a M.S in Civil Engineering at Clemson University and a MBA from the University of South Carolina.

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Paul Hetzel

Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Paul Hetzel is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer, responsible for providing leadership to the Airport Authority’s information systems, including technology strategies, business systems, airport systems and infrastructure.

Hetzel joined the Airport Authority in 2014 and brings more than 25 years of professional experience from various industries including healthcare and broadcast. He holds a B.S. Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

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Ron Jewett

Vice President of Facility Asset Management

Ron Jewett is the Vice President of Facility Asset Management overseeing Facilities Engineering, Buildings and Building Systems, and GIS. Jewett joined the Airport Authority in 2001, and has served as project manager for numerous airfield renovation projects and a variety of building improvements. Jewett is a member of the N.C. Airports Association and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Ron holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Clemson University.

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Duane Legan

Vice President of Airport Operations

Duane Legan is the Vice President of Airport Operations and oversees airport operations, aviation security, RDU’s Emergency Operations Center, airport communications, police, Fire-Rescue and ground transportation activities.

Legan joined the Airport Authority in 2008. Previously, Legan was Vice President of Information Services at Marine Federal Credit Union and is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. Legan has a B.S. in Supervision and Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and a M.S. in Computer Information Systems Management from Boston University.

Kristie VanAuken

Kristie VanAuken

Vice President Communications and Community Affairs

Kristie VanAuken is the Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs, and leads airport communications, social media, government affairs, community engagement, guest services and air service development.

VanAuken is the newest member of the leadership team, joining RDU in August 2016. Previously, Kristie was senior vice president and chief marketing/ communications officer at Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio, where she helped build award winning communication, marketing, branding and social media programs. Follow Kristie on Twitter @KristieRDU.

VanAuken has a B.A. in Political Science from Austin College and a M.A. in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.

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Erin Locklear

General Counsel

Erin Locklear is the General Counsel, providing legal oversight and coordination for a wide range of issues that affect the Airport Authority. She also oversees the Small Business Office.

Locklear earned an A.B. in Sociology from Princeton University. She also received a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

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Cleon Umphrey

Director and Chief Human Resources Officer

Cleon Umphrey is the Director and Chief Human Resources Officer and is responsible for the airport’s human resource functions including recruitment, compliance, payroll, benefits, wellness program, safety and talent management. He holds a B.S. Degree in Industrial Technology from East Carolina University.