Airport Authority Succession Planning Yields New Director of Public Affairs

News Releases
May 02

DETROIT (May 2, 2016) –The Airport Authority that operates Detroit Metropolitan (DTW) and Willow Run (YIP) airports has named Brian Lassaline as its new Director of Public Affairs. The move follows last month’s retirement of longtime Airport Authority principal spokesperson, Michael Conway, the 33-year veteran voice of the airports.

Lassaline has progressively ascended through the ranks at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, previously working within the airport’s Business Development and Concessions department, and most recently serving as the Airport Authority’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs.

“The Authority makes succession planning a priority,” said CEO Thomas Naughton. “We knew this was coming and made the appropriate personnel moves in advance. Brian has been a valued member of our leadership team, and brings a wealth of talent and experience to the position.”

As Director of Public Affairs, Lassaline will oversee the management of public information, media relations, customer service including the Airport Authority’s Ambassador program, internal communications, commercial filming and photography and other related operations.

“Our airports are helping drive the economic rebirth of our region, and shape the impressions left on millions of visitors to our area; I can’t imagine working anywhere else,” said Lassaline. “Michael Conway has been an extraordinary teacher and mentor. More than 20 years ago, Michael gave me – a young aviation student - the opportunity to learn about airports as a Public Affairs intern. This is one of the most rewarding and dynamic industries to be involved in, and our Airport Authority management team works extremely hard at fostering career development opportunities for our employees. We have a fantastic organization, which was made even stronger earlier this year, when we welcomed a seasoned media relations professional, Erica Donerson, to our team. My goal is to ensure our team continues to embrace the honest, accurate, and timely communication values Michael lived and taught our team, and share the enthusiasm we have for our airports with our customers, employees and community.”

Prior to his career at the Airport Authority, Lassaline worked in the customer service departments for several airlines including British Airways, US Airways Express, and a former Northwest Airlines commuter carrier. He graduated from Western Michigan University, with a degree in Aviation Management and Environmental Studies. Lassaline sits on the Marketing and Communications Steering Committee for Airport’s Council International – North America (ACI- NA), and is currently Co-Chair of its Media Relations Working Group.

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