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    Pace Cooper elected chairman of Airport Authority Board
    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    MEMPHIS, TN – Pace Cooper, president and chief executive of Cooper Hotels, has been selected as the next chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA). Cooper, the fifth executive to hold the chairman's title in the Airport Authority's history, was elected by board members at their May 21 meeting.

    Cooper was one of two candidates recommended by the MSCAA board’s nominating committee. The committee also recommended J.W. Gibson II, CEO of Gibson Companies.

    “I am humbled to be elected chairman and I care deeply about this Airport. I appreciate all the support and encouragement I’ve received from community leaders, fellow board members and airport staff. We will work hard every day on growing our air service in small steps, but if we achieve enough baby steps, the result will be a monumental leap forward. We have a great leadership team and I’m confident that goods days are ahead for the Memphis Airport.”

    Commissioners also selected Jim Keras, president of Jim Keras Automotive Group in Memphis, as vice chairman (succeeding Cooper) and Pamela Z. Cleary, executive vice president and partner for Community Capital LLC, as secretary.

    “We look forward to Chairman Cooper’s leadership as we continue to reinvent the Memphis International Airport,” said Scott Brockman, President and CEO of MSCAA. “His success in the business community speaks for itself, and his commitment to this region and knowledge of the aviation industry will serve him well in this role.”

    Cooper succeeds outgoing chairman Jack Sammons, who left the chairman’s role to serve as Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s chief administrative officer. Sammons had served on the board since 2010. Cooper joined the board in 2013 after being nominated by Wharton. He will serve in his new capacity as chairman until December 2016, when the current chairman’s term ends.

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