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Airport Director Accepts Position With Aerospace Center For Excellence

LAKELAND, FL (February 14, 2022) | Gene Conrad, Director of Lakeland Linder International Airport has accepted the position of President/CEO of the Aerospace Center for Excellence effective March 7, 2022.  Conrad stated in a letter to the City Manager that he accepted the position after significant reflection of his 12 years with the City of Lakeland.

Conrad said, “I am very passionate about aviation and one of the reasons I originally accepted the position as Airport Director was because of the existence of Sun n Fun at the airport; this opportunity is a natural next step for me professionally. We have been very fortunate to accomplish some incredible things at the airport during my tenure because of the tremendous support that my team and I have received from the City Manager’s Office and the Lakeland City Commission.”

He added, “I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me by the City of Lakeland and I wish the airport team and all the wonderful tenants at the airport nothing but great success going forward.  I also appreciate our partners like the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation that invested tens of millions of dollars into Lakeland Linder International Airport over the years. This investment helped us create a hub of activity in attracting the NOAA Hurricane Hunters and the Amazon Cargo Facility.”

City Manager Shawn Sherrouse said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Gene Conrad, though it’s difficult for the City of Lakeland to lose such a dedicated public servant. He has been an excellent Director at the airport and under his leadership we have accomplished some incredible things.  People may not realize but the airport is its own economic engine providing thousands of jobs and we are at 100% occupancy for all City facilities at the airport. That was not the case a few years ago and a lot of the growth at the airport is a direct correlation to Gene’s leadership. In fact, during Gene’s tenure over $450 million has been invested at the airport and our economic impact to the region has grown from $167 million in 2010 to over $1 billion today. We totally understand that this is a great opportunity for Gene, and I wish him the best of luck in his new position.”

Gene Conrad was hired on January 19, 2010 and makes $173,510 as the Director of Lakeland Linder International Airport.


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third-largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.