Steve Showfety, the president of Koury Corp. and the long-term chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the age of 72 after a battle with brain cancer.
Showfety – who’s known as one of the very biggest movers and shakers in Guilford County over the past half-century through his work with Koury Corp. – was currently serving his 10th year in a row on the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority and his sixth year as that board’s chairman.
Much of his life was spent overseeing major Koury Corp. projects that helped give this community its identity. Two of the most iconic are the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center and Grandover Resort. The Koury Convention Center has become ground zero for economic development meetings – including the giant annual get-together for the “State of the Community” address each August.
In recent years, Showfety has been focusing on enhancing Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) and developing a major adjoining aviation megasite meant to bring a huge number of aviation related jobs into the area.
Showfety was first appointed to the Airport Authority by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners in 2009. During his time as chairman, he oversaw a major expansion of the airport’s footprint and was instrumental in promoting PTIA as a key player in the state’s aerospace industry.
The construction of a taxiway bridge over the new I-73 connector, which opened up hundreds of acres of airport property to new industry, was completed while Showfety was chairman. Not long ago, Showfety joined NC Gov. Roy Cooper, state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, Secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon and North Carolina Board of Transportation Chairman Mike Fox at the ceremony that opened the new highway and signaled the completion of the taxiway bridge.
Showfety began having dizzy spells earlier this year that were later determined to be caused by brain cancer.
Former Guilford County Commissioner Linda Shaw, who’s sat for years on the Airport Authority board with Showfety, said she was very saddened by the news and she spoke on Showfety’s many fine qualities.
“He has been a good leader and a good chairman,” Shaw said.
“And he devoted so much time to the airport,” she added. “He enjoyed it so much.”
Shaw noted also that he was a great, caring and loving man devoted to his family and he was a strong supporter of East Carolina University, which he also loved.
On the airport board, Showfety oversaw the expansion of Honda Aircraft Company, the construction of a major new hangar at HAECO Americas, and he helped welcome Spirit Airlines’ new low-cost service to Greensboro in September 2018.
He really loved promoting the annual “PTI Run on the Runway” – a 5K and 10K run that now raises more than $100,000 each year for the region’s food banks.
Showfety considered that run the airport’s community service project – which provided the airport an opportunity to partner with community volunteers to help those in need.
Airport officials said in the wake of his death that Showfety gave himself tirelessly to the community, volunteering over the years for countless organizations, but, they noted, he always spoke of his service on the Authority as one of the most satisfying of all.
Airport officials said he represented the Authority in an exemplary fashion and he will be missed greatly.