Wayne County Airport Authority selects former leader to serve as interim CEO

WCAA Board appoints Genelle Allen, Esq.

News Releases
Jan 11

DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2018) – Today, the Wayne County Airport Authority Board voted unanimously to appoint Genelle Allen, Esq. to serve as Interim CEO as the Board implements a transition plan to replace WCAA’s current CEO, Joseph R. Nardone. In her new role, Allen will lead the Airport Authority, the independent governmental entity tasked with management and operation of Detroit Metropolitan (DTW) and Willow Run (YIP) airports, until the Board selects a longer-term replacement for Nardone.

“Genelle is a well-respected leader in our state, especially within the Airport Authority,” said Wayne County Airport Authority Board Chair Michael Garavaglia. “We are pleased she accepted the Board’s request to return to WCAA. Her extensive knowledge about our industry, combined with her leadership, legal and procurement experience, will help the Airport Authority continue to be a key contributor to Michigan’s economy as we finalize transition plans for longer-term leadership.”

While serving as the Interim CEO, Allen will be on an unpaid-leave of absence from her role as Chief Operating Officer for Wayne County.

Allen’s diverse background includes nearly 15 years with Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run airports. She advanced through the ranks, starting as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the Airport Authority’s predecessor in 1997. Allen went on to become Senior Vice President of Procurement and Strategy Management, Executive Vice President, Interim CEO, and Deputy CEO.

“I look forward to working with the Board and my former colleagues and newer members of the WCAA team during this transition,” said Allen. “Together, we will ensure we’re providing a world-class passenger experience, investing in our employees, operating safe and secure airports, and maintaining a competitive cost structure, while creating opportunities for job growth in our state.”

Allen is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, who has held various leadership positions in the public and private sectors. She has served as primary in-house legal counsel for Cleveland Hopkins and Burke Lakefront Airports, as well as the City of Cleveland’s Interim Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity. She also served in the City of Detroit’s Law Department as a Supervisory Corporation Counsel in the Municipal Law division. She has also worked in the private sector as the Vice President of Federal and General Business with Jacobsen

Daniels Associates, an aviation consulting firm. Early in her career she worked as a civil rights attorney with Somers Schwartz and as an advocate for persons with developmental disabilities.

Nardone will step down on Jan. 15. In December, Nardone announced he accepted a position as President and CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. Allen will begin serving in her new role Jan. 16, as the Board takes steps to implement a transition plan.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 34 million passengers in 2016 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs. With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 non-stop destinations on four continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America. DTW is operated by Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility. The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations. Visit www.metroairport.com for more information.


Erica Donerson
Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Erica Donerson
Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Wayne County Airport Authority
Lisa Gass
Media Relations Manager
Wayne County Airport Authority