Updated Jan. 23
Ann Richart, manager of Martha’s Vineyard Airport, is leaving.
In a press release issued Tuesday, Richart said she is leaving at the end of her three-year contract, May 5. She is moving to the West Coast to be closer to her elderly mother and family, she said.
“I’m really pleased and proud with what I’ve done at the airport during my time here, and I’m looking forward to what’s next,” Richart told The Times.
Richart took over management of the airport during a turbulent time. She is credited with leading the airport’s $11 million construction of a rescue and firefighting building — the airport’s first major development project in 20 years.
The airport is also in the process of rebuilding one of its runways, an $11 million project.
“Ann was effective from the day she arrived in bringing a professional and positive attitude to the airport,” Bob Rosenbaum, the airport commission’s chairman, said. “Several of the employees commented to me a month after Ann arrived that for the first time in years, they looked forward to coming to work. It is important to keep the situation in perspective, given some of the current issues that are in the news now, that the airport is in an infinitely better place today than it was three years ago. I wish her well.”
Richart has been in airport administration for more than 30 years, so her next job will likely be in the same field, she said.
Richart was Ann Crook when she was hired in 2016. She was previously the airport manager at Klamath Falls Airport in Oregon, and director of Oregon Department of Aviation, prior to her arrival in the Island. Prior to her arrival, the airport was involved in lawsuits, had staff turnover, and was involved in an FAA investigation. In recent months, the airport has been dealing with contamination found in a neighborhood south of Martha’s Vineyard Airport. The contamination was likely caused by firefighting foam used at the airport.
Airport commissioners will advertise for her replacement.
“I wanted to give them plenty of time to work on recruitment, so there’s no lapse at the airport,” she said.
Updated to include comments from Richart. -Ed.