Airport Authority announces new vice president of Legal and Authority Affairs

Former assistant general counsel promoted as predecessor retires

News Releases
Jul 18

DETROIT (July 18, 2016) The Wayne County Airport Authority, which operates Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run airports, has promoted Brian J. Sadek to serve as vice president, Legal and Authority Affairs, effective July 1, 2016. This move comes after the retirement of Emily Neuberger who served as senior vice president and general counsel for more than 12 years. Sadek joined WCAA in 2012 as assistant general counsel and has played a key role in helping the Authority reach its goals.

Sadek was instrumental in developing small business contracting procedures that resulted in more than $18.5 million in new contracts for local small businesses and more than tripled the number of certified small business enterprises hired by the Airport Authority. He has served as legal lead for the renegotiation of the management agreement with the operator of Detroit Metro Airport’s on-site hotel and the related issuance of the Airport Authority’s $705 million Series 2016A-G Bonds. Also, Sadek was selected to head an interdepartmental leadership team that created a food donation program. Thousands of pounds of excess food generated at the airport has been donated to food insecure individuals and families as a result of the program.

“Brian sets high standards for himself and performs exceptionally,” said Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “I’m pleased to welcome him to the senior leadership team. Also, I’m grateful to Emily. She built a strong foundation for our Legal and Authority Governance Division, which will benefit the Authority for many years to come.”

“I am honored to take on this new role and continue helping the Authority to thrive,” said Sadek. “I have the support of an extremely talented team that handles everything from government relations to legal affairs. I couldn’t ask for better colleagues. I always tell people who have moved away, like I once did, that our region is full of great opportunities and I am thankful to the Airport Authority for providing me with this one.”

Prior to working for WCAA, Sadek worked at a large Chicago law firm in its Public Finance and Municipal Law practice and served as deputy general counsel for the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority. While at the RTA, he provided legal counsel to the RTA and its Board of Directors in a practice that included contracting, litigation, intellectual property, employment and labor law.

Sadek’s commitment to helping his community dates back decades. He proudly served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, earning an honorable discharge in 2005. He volunteered his time as inaugural chair of the Southeastern Michigan Regional Transit Authority’s Citizens Advisory Committee and is currently a Detroit Young Professionals board member.

Sadek received his Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law, earning inclusion on the Public Service Honor Roll for public and community service conducted during law school years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and is a candidate for a Master of Liberal Arts in Management at Harvard University. Recently, Sadek was selected for the Leadership Detroit Class XXXVIII. He resides in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood with his wife, Tifani.

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