​Greetings MAA members,

Well, well, well!! Who would have thought we would be in the throes of a worldwide pandemic as I write what was supposed to have been my “big send-off.” You guys didn’t have to unleash COVID-19 on the world to get me to stay, you could have just asked (LOL). In all seriousness, I hope that everyone is adjusting to this new way of doing business, at least for the time being. By the time you read this, I hope that we are seeing the light at the end of the COVID tunnel and have verified that it is not an approaching train. What an interesting and fulfilling couple of years it has been for me personally and professionally; taking on a new role and new challenges as Airport Director at the Greenville Mid-Delta Airport, handing over command of the Cleveland Civil Air Patrol, fulfilling my obligations as President of this Association. It has indeed been a full two years. To the members of the Mississippi Airports Association, I am forever grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to be your President for the past two years. I hope that I have served you well and that I have earned your respect and trust.

By the time you read this, you will have probably learned that due to the Coronavirus impact throughout our state, we have decided to cancel the 2020 MAA Conference. It is not a decision that we entered into without thought and discussion among the Board members, but we felt that it would be a prudent step to help ensure the health and safety of our members, vendors and guests who grace us with their presence annually. We expect to get back on track in 2021, and we will share more information with the members as we get those plans in place. We also made the decision to keep all current officers and board members in place until such time as we can convene a general membership meeting. Thank you to all who were willing to continue to serve in their posts.

I want to take this time to recognize and honor those of our members who have retired or are soon retiring. Although they may not be with us daily in an operational capacity, we will hold them near and dear to our hearts always. It is a blessing to be able to reach such a milestone in a career, and we applaud all of our retirees for hanging in there until the job was done. You give the rest of us hope!

Lastly, a huge thank you to our own Executive Director Kathy Kenne and her wonderful assistant and sister Kirsten Shaw, along with our legal advisor Jeff Wagner, for the great work that they continue to do for our Association. We are a better and stronger association because of your tireless efforts on our behalf, and I love you all! To our incoming President (hopefully) Carol Snapp, I pray God’s blessings on you as you lead our Association into the next great chapter. Let’s just go ahead and print t-shirts that say, “MAA survived COVID-19,” and we can all wear them when we install you as President! Until next time, “Blue Skies and Tail Winds!”

Sam Washington
Mississippi Airports Association