CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Just a few weeks into her new role as Airport Director and CEO at West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston, Dominique Ranieri is settling in and ready for upcoming challenges.
The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, the body that oversees CRW, held its monthly board meeting Wednesday which marked the first regularly scheduled board meeting with Ranieri as director. Ranieri, previously the assistant director and COO, was named to her current position during a Sept. 6 special board meeting.
Ranieri said she has spent the month of September putting together short and long-term goals for the airport and listening to her staff’s input. She told MetroNews that she hopes to have an extensive list of goals and plans to present them to the board by the end of the year.
“Being in this position, I have spent a lot of time talking with department heads as to what they would like to see as well as what they need in their positions. We look forward to continuing on the momentum,” she said to MetroNews.
Ranieri, who is the first female in the airport director position in the airport’s 75-year history, served as assistant director for three years. She has worked at CRW for five years. Earlier this year, Ranieri became a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives, a designation signifying diverse knowledge of the primary functions of airport operations.
She said as the assistant director most of the day-to-day operations came to her and it still does now. She said a difference between positions includes more outreach as director.
“Whether that is working with our board members, with our state legislators, local representatives, and county commission, as well as our other airports we assistant in the state, I get to turn to that a little more in this role,” Ranieri said.
During her first full week as director, there were no passengers because of a full runway shutdown as part of CRW’s runway rehabilitation project. She said when the first plane landed following the shutdown, she ‘breathed a massive sigh of relief’ and was able to look ahead.
She added it was unfortunate because the people, including her co-workers, airline passengers, and local officials, are why she has enjoyed being at CRW.
“I get to see so many people, whether it is their first time visiting the state, our regular business travelers, or family members coming back to West Virginia that haven’t been here for a long time. There’s nothing better than watching the reunifications happen right outside the TSA checkpoint,” Ranieri said.
Ranieri is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida but has lived in West Virginia for the past decade. Before landing at CRW, Ranieri practiced law in Charleston. She received her law degree from the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia.
Ranieri replaced Nick Keller who submitted a letter of resignation at the beginning of September.