Meet OAA's Treasurer!

August 16, 2018

An accounting background, a love for aviation, and a love for public service give us one of OAA’s Officers. Meet Mr. Gary R. Folden!  Gary has served on the OAA Board of Directors for the last three years. He serves as both the OAA’s Treasurer and OAA’s Political Action Committee Treasurer as well. From Jefferson County Airport, he travels to all parts of the state supporting OAA and its mission. Read more about what the OAA means to Jefferson County Airport and what the OAA means to Gary personally.

What does the Ohio Aviation Association mean to your airport?

The Jefferson County Airport, located in eastern Ohio, is a small general aviation facility with limited financial resources and a mostly part-time staff. The OAA is a crucial tool in assisting with the development and management of the airport. Our Airport Authority Board relies heavily on the information that is disseminated by the OAA. The organization keeps us informed of current trends in aviation as well as providing vital updates from the FAA and ODOT Aviation Office. We have attended the annual conferences for many years to gather recent news and learn about developments in the industry. The resources available on the OAA website has been extremely useful and reduced the time and effort it takes to build a policy or create a document.

However, we consider the most vital role of the OAA is to work with the Ohio Legislature to improve the aviation environment in the State. The OAA can be considered a partner with the ODOT Aviation Office and has successfully worked to increase funding to airports through the State budget. The Jefferson County Airport has been the recipient of the State’s five (5%) matching funds for much-needed rehabilitation projects at the airport. Without the funding, the projects could have been jeopardized. Our board continues to rely heavily on the OAA to promote the need for aviation in our county and throughout the State.

What does the Ohio Aviation Association mean to you?

I have served as the secretary-treasurer of the Jefferson County Regional Airport Authority for 22 years and at various times during that period, I was the acting manager while assisting in the search for a new manager for the airport. Even though my position is part-time, I have been heavily involved in the operations of the airport. The OAA has been an important part of my personal development in understanding and coping with the administrative side of aviation. The Airport Authority Board has assigned to me the administrative duties associated with interactions with the FAA, ODOT Aviation Office, the Jefferson County Commissioners (our sponsors), and our engineering consultants. My experience has taught me to turn to the OAA for help when I run into difficulties with any of these areas. If the resources on the website can’t give me guidance, the vast knowledge of the members of the organization is at my disposal. In every instance, I was offered great support when I needed help and guidance. I consider the OAA to be one of the tools that helps me further develop my abilities.

Do you have any advice for someone who is new to airports in Ohio?

The best advice I can give is to become a member of the OAA, attend its functions, and volunteer to serve on its committees and at its annual conference. I currently serve on the OAA Board of Directors and I am the organization’s treasurer. This has been a very rewarding venture for me. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the board, executive director, and members of the OAA will go beyond the norm to help a fellow aviation professional succeed. They are a dedicated, hard-working group of individuals and will welcome you with open arms.


Have you been interested in helping the OAA Board of Directors? Click HERE for more information about our Board and how you can help!

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