You might think you know the elected leaders of AAAE – but how well do you really know them? You might know where they work and a little bit about their personality or hobbies. But do you know their favorite color and food or what they’d want to have on a desert island? If not, it’s time to change that.
“Beyond the Headshot” will be a recurring feature here on the AAAE Blog where airport and aviation leaders answer ten unique questions with the goal of you learning something interesting that won’t read on an official biography.
Our inaugural subject is AAAE Chair Scott Brockman, A.A.E., President and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.
1) What and where was your very first airport job?
I started my career at the Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority (operator of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport - SRQ) in Sarasota, FL on April Fool’s Day – yes, April Fool’s Day, 1985. Clearly I still get a laugh from that one!
2) When – and how – did the “aviation bug” bite you?
I fell in love with the smell of jet fuel and got the serious aviation bug easily within the first six months of joining SRQ. I am naturally a very inquisitive and a very driven person. Not long after starting at SRQ, I found myself with free time after finishing my normal work. Being a small and closely knit airport, I was allowed to venture out and help in other areas. Several of my most memorable early career work outside of finance and accounting was doing background work and postscript tracking on the landmark Alamo Off-Airport Rental Car fee case and plotting flight strips in the air traffic control tower for a noise lawsuit with our then Noise Abatement Officer, Laddie Irion (now with HNTB), to name a few.
3) What is the most personally satisfying thing about your work at your airport?
Walking the terminal and seeing the faces of families, especially ones with young kids, heading off on an adventure for vacation or off to see family. The excitement and smiles on their faces is as refreshing and rewarding as it gets. I also get great joy in seeing the accomplishments of my team and sharing in those celebrations of reinventing MEM after being de-hubbed by Delta Airlines.
4) What is your favorite airport that you have NEVER worked at during your career?
I have always loved the complex simplicity and airy beauty of Tampa International Airport. George Bean was one of the amazing aviation industry leaders that I looked up to 30+ years ago and I always thought he was very visionary.
5) What is your favorite food?
I pretty much like all foods. I am a simple “I eat to live, not live to eat” kind of guy.
6) If you were stranded on a desert island with food and survival gear but nothing else, what three items would you most want to have?
Not knowing what you include in your “survival gear” category, I would want a solar charger with cords, a satellite phone, and a means for water purification.
7) What is your favorite color?
8) Where in the world have you not been and most want to visit?
While I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to travel quite a bit, I would love to see (and walk) the Great Wall of China, observe and cage dive with great white sharks in the great barrier reef, and go on a safari in Africa.
9) What’s your ideal relaxing weekend?
Playing 18 holes of golf with family and/or friends and then enjoying my back yard grilling out and floating around the pool with my wife and kids.
10) What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is still Good to Great by James Collins. So many thought provoking ideas to both personal and business success. However, If you looked at my “library” in my Audible.com account, you would see a wide selection of interests that might be surprising to some and not so much to others. I do have to admit that I mainly like mysteries and thrillers.