There will be plenty to do over the next year, as Rick McQueen steers toward retirement as president and chief executive director at Akron-Canton Airport. One of those tasks will be helping the person selected as his replacement.

GREEN  Although he's announced retirement plans, Rick McQueen isn't done working as president and chief executive officer at Akron-Canton Airport.

Later this year he hopes see ground broken for several new gates, the last of 10 projects in CAK 2018. He also expects to spend time helping the next CEO transition to the job.

"I will always bleed airport blue," McQueen said, referring to the color used in the Akron-Canton Airport's logo.

Deciding to retire hasn't been an easy decision, but the Akron-Canton staff is a close-knit team that cares about the airport and has made it a success, McQueen said. "I could do none of this by myself," he said.

McQueen, 58, joined Akron-Canton's staff as an accountant in 1982. "It's home to me," he said. He climbed the ranks and served as assistant airport director before taking the helm after Fred Krum retired as director.

He's seen and directed plenty of changes over the past 35 years. The CAK 2018 projects — $118 million of capital improvements — started in 2008 as McQueen moved into the lead role. The projects include extending a runway, improving the entrance road and parking lots, new facilities for rescue and fire fighting equipment, and numerous improvements and renovations to the terminal.

When McQueen joined the airport staff, Krum had been director for two years. McQueen said he had the good fortune to spent 26 years working with Krum, who is credited with sparking the string of changes that have transformed the facility. Krum set a course and direction that McQueen followed, making tweaks to adjust with changes in the commercial airline industry.

Because of several factors, the biggest being airline consolidation, Akron-Canton has seen passenger use numbers fall over the past few years. McQueen believes the trend will bottom out and cited the decision by United Airlines to add service to Houston as a sign the situation is changing. McQueen said he hopes the airport's next CEO will be able to lead the facility to the next level.

The airport's eight-member board, which is appointed by officials in Stark and Summit counties, plans a nationwide search. McQueen anticipates someone will be hired before the year ends. He hopes to help the next CEO get to know the operation and the community. "I'm committed to making sure we can have a smooth transition," he said.

Peoples Services adds N. Carolina facility

The recent acquisition of B&M Storage and Distribution has allowed Peoples Services to expand its operations in North Carolina.

Peoples Services added the operation, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., in December. Peoples already had facilities in the Charlotte area.

Adding B&M enhances Peoples Services' footprint in the southeastern United States, and improves service levels and flexibility to B&M customers. The operation had 90,000 square feet of warehouse space and 60,000 square feet of freezer space, along with several acres of property.

Canton-based Peoples Services has 37 facilities in six states, and operates more that 6.5 million square feet of contract and public warehouse space. The company offers a range of specialized material handling and storage services, including packaging, inventory management, brokerage services and transportation. Many of the company's facilities have rail access.

Founded in 1914 as Peoples Cartage, the company is family owned with Doug Sibila, chief executive officer, the third generation to lead the operation. Peoples Services ranks among the country's 100 largest third-party warehouse logistics companies.

Ameridial tabs president

Partho Chourdhury began serving as president of Ameridial on Jan. 1.

Ameridial chairman and founder Jim McGeorge announced the appointment.

Chourdhury founded Customer Advisors, which was integrated into Ameridial in 2005. Chourdhury has worked in several positions for the company, which was founded in 1987. Chourdhury holds a master's degree in business administration degree and worked for several companies before launching Custom Advisors.

Ameridial is a call center that specializes in healthcare, retail and nonprofit projects. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Ohio, North Carolina and Maine.

Waikem chairs auto group

David Waikem, of the Waikem Auto Family, will serve as chairman of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association this year.

Waikem moves into the post in place of Robert Morris, of Morris Buick GMC Cadillac in North Olmsted, who held the position last year. Morris now will serve as chairman of the 2018 Cleveland Auto Show.

The GCADA represents more that 250 franchised motor vehicle dealerships in 21 Northeast Ohio counties.

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