The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority has a brand new chairman.

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the board that oversees Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) voted to make former Vice Chairman Jim White the new chairman. White, a civic and business leader in High Point who’s the president of White Funding, Inc., replaces the late Koury Corp. President Steve Showfety as the leader of the airport oversight board. Showfety, who had served as the authority’s chairman for over half a decade, died tragically in October of last year.

Ever since Showfety fell ill in mid-2019, White has been running the Airport Authority meetings and fulfilling many of the duties normally handled by the chairman – and there’s been a broad consensus among White’s fellow members that he’s done a very good job.

Airport Authority Member Bill Bencini, a former mayor of High Point, said recently that he couldn’t remember anyone from High Point being chairman of the authority and he said he thought the time was right for that to happen. Bencini also said White seemed like the “natural choice” to lead the board since he’s been doing an excellent job in recent months while serving as vice-chair.

White, a member of the High Point Community Foundation Board of Trustees, is very active in promoting economic development in High Point and Guilford County, and he is considered a good fit in that regard since PTIA is a major component in the county’s economic development plans: For years, PTIA has been in the process of establishing a giant aviation megasite and the airport has already been successful in drawing a growing number of aviation-related businesses to the area over the last two decades.

The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority is a seven-member Board made up of appointments by local governments in the area.