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New Yeager Airport director named as Sayre retires

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After more than 12 years with Yeager Airport, Terry Sayre has retired from his position as airport director.

Sayre announced his retirement on Wednesday in front of the airport’s board before the board approved Nick Keller as new airport director. Keller had previously been assistant airport director.

Terry Sayre

“I can’t say enough about the board, the people that have worked for me,” Sayre said to the media. “Everybody is super up here, I appreciate all of them. I couldn’t’ have asked for a better staff.

“Nick is a young guy and has a ton of energy, dedication, and duty. He’s an excellent manager.”

Sayre will be leaving the airport on Dec. 31 but Keller takes over the position immediately. James Mason and Dominique Ranieri will be working as assistant directors.

On July 22, 2015, Sayre was voted in as airport director from an assistant director position and has since then changed the entire complexion of the airport. He said he has been most proud of leaving the airport in a better place.

He noted major construction projects completed under his watch such as the solar project which was completed on Wednesday, the 5-end runway rebuild, the General Aviation roadway, and the deal with Marshall University for a School of Aviation.

Sayre was presented with a Distinguished West Virginian award by Gov. Jim Justice’s office in front of the board on Wednesday.

Keller, who has been an assistant director under Sayre since August 2015, said he has learned a lot from his leadership.

Nick Keller

“I have learned how to be a great leader, also how to be a mentor to others,” Keller said. “If anybody is successful in business, you need a mentor and have to have a team.”

Keller began working at Yeager Airport as an Intern and Special Assistant to the Airport Director in May 2005. He began working for the Airport full-time in May 2007 after graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Supervision.

Keller went on to earn a master’s degree from Purdue University in Aviation Management, calling the position he earned on Wednesday the perfect one for him.

He said he has some goals laid out for the future of the airport.

“Make sure the airport is financially stable but also to help the economy,” Keller said. “How can we use the airport to be an economic engine for Kanawha County and to bring more jobs in here?”

As for Sayre, who began a distinguished law enforcement career in Charleston in 1972 before getting to the airport in May 2007, he said it’s family time.

“My grandson has already had two tee-ball games in Florida. I have to go down there and check that out because I am a baseball fanatic. My son is down there with his wife too.”

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