Taking Off: Haley Gentry Talks About Her Leadership Journey at CLT Airport
The McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte welcomed Haley Gentry, chief executive officer of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), as the inaugural speaker of its 2024 Leaders in Action Series on Feb. 7. More than 200 people filled Ketner Auditorium to hear Gentry share insights on the dynamic world of aviation and leadership.
“Haley’s career with Charlotte Douglas International Airport is remarkable and her inspirational story is one that needs to be told,” said Will Sparks, Ph.D., Dennis Thompson Distinguished Chair & Professor of Leadership and Director of the Office of Leadership Initiatives at Queens University. “She is a thoughtful, inclusive, and results-oriented leader who has an amazing talent for listening to what people want and working collaboratively with her team to create innovative solutions.”
Appointed in June 2021 as the first woman to lead Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Gentry is also responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the Aviation Department and the Airport’s Executive Leadership Team. She oversees a staff of over 800, a $257.7 million budget for fiscal year 2024, a 2.0 million-square-foot terminal, and an airport that generated $24.6 billion yearly in economic impact pre-COVID-19. Owned and operated by the City of Charlotte, the airport welcomes more than 100,000 passengers each day.
During her time with CLT, Gentry has led the airport’s work in several areas, including CLT’s COVID-19 response. She established the Experience Recovery Team to address all COVID-related initiatives designed to instill passenger confidence in air travel and to safeguard airport employees while providing necessary services. She’s also led the Destination CLT’s Terminal Lobby Expansion project, the development of non-aeronautical revenue, the implementation and launch of CLT’s new public parking program, and an environmental assessment required by the Federal Aviation Administration for future airfield development.
“I’m proud of CLT serving as a top economic driver in North Carolina, and one of the world’s busiest airports,” said Gentry. “As someone who started as an intern at CLT, I enjoyed sharing my journey to CEO with the Queens community during the Leaders in Action Series.”
The Leaders in Action Series is an opportunity for members of the Queens community to interact and connect with dynamic business and thought leaders in Charlotte. Speakers are invited to share their personal and professional leadership experiences with the audience in an intimate setting that fosters thoughtful conversations and transformative dialogues.
Recent speakers include Steve Clifford, head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, and Di Morais, president, Consumer & Commercial Banking Products, Ally Bank.
Photos by Mert Wilkinson