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Valerie Steele named aviation director of Mid-Carolina Airport

SALISBURY — Valerie Steele has been named aviation director of Mid-Carolina Airport.

“This is a very important position for Rowan County, and we were fortunate to have a large pool of qualified candidates,” said Rowan County Manager Aaron Church. “Valerie rose to the top, and we are fortunate to have her join our team.”

Steele has more than 15 years of experience in airfield operations, emergency response, compliance, airfield and terminal renovation, and construction.

Before relocating to the Charlotte area, Steele was an airport operations officer and supervisor at Raleigh-Durham International Airport from 2004 to 2018. Steele has also worked at the Flagler County Airport and Jacksonville International Airport in Florida.

Currently, Steele is part of a research team working to develop guidebooks for solutions to security problems faced by airports, including insider threats and active-shooter situations. Both projects are part of the Program for Applied Research in Airport Security, managed by Safe Skies and funded through the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Valerie was the clear front-runner during the interview process, and she is an airport expert,” said county commissioners Chairman Greg Edds. “We trust that her experience with 15 years in airport leadership and her customer service skills will be vital for success as we continue to invest in growing the airport facilities.”

Steele said she is “thrilled” to join the Mid-Carolina Airport team.

“It will be challenging and rewarding to attract more tenants, continue to increase operations and improve the overall look of the airport facilities,” Steele said. “I am eager to build effective working relationships with county leaders, the community and airport stakeholders, including the National Guard.”

Steele will begin work at the airport on Monday. The county will host a reception at the airport for the public to meet her in November.

“Steele is well suited to meet the current challenges of the position,” said County Commissioner Craig Pierce. “She is a well-known professional in her field who will help us achieve the goals and future plans for the Airport.”

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