Hotel management executive Pace Cooper will succeed Jack Sammons as chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority.
Cooper, president and CEO of Cooper Hotels, won the seat over fellow board member J.W. Gibson by a vote of five to one.
Sammons lefts the board in April to assume a position as city chief administrative officer under Mayor A C Wharton.
Cooper is a third-generation leader in his family's' hotel company. He's a graduate of Columbia College in New York City and holds an master's in business administration from Harvard Business School. Cooper Hotels manages 21 hotels in seven states, including the DoubleTree by Hilton on Sanderlin in Memphis.
“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," said Cooper in a media release. "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.”
Jim Keras, president of Jim Keras Automotive Group in Memphis, will succeed Cooper as vice chairman, and Pamela Z. Cleary, executive vice president and partner for Community Capital LLC, will serve as secretary.