Tom Strong has been hired as the new airport manager for Jackson County. His first day on the job was Feb. 26.
Strong is a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Upon graduating from Georgia Southwestern, he joined the Navy and earned his wings as a Navy pilot. After a stint with the Navy during Operation Desert Storm, he transferred to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he spent most of his career as a pilot. In that capacity, he flew numerous weather related missions, which included gathering important hurricane and tornado information. He also flew specialty aircraft equipped for conducting missions such as oceanographic research, coastal mapping and remote sensing. Before retiring from NOAA in 2008, Strong served as both deputy director of the aircraft operation center and as chief of staff.
After retiring, Strong and his family moved to Jefferson and he went to work with Habitat for Humanity in Athens, initially as a volunteer, but was eventually brought on as staff as the construction manager leading groups of volunteers in constructing and renovating numerous homes and apartments for well-deserving families.
Strong’s role as airport manager is to manage the day-to-day operations of the county airport. Working with the county manager and county airport authority, he will pursue new revenue opportunities to attain the long-term goal of making the airport operation self-sufficient. He will also plan for and secure funding for airport improvements to foster growth and increase economic potential for the airport and county.