As the massive JFK Airport redevelopment project ramps up, Vantage Airport Group, which will lead the $2.1 billion development of Terminal 6 slated to break ground later this year, announced that Folasade Olanipekun-Lewis has joined its corporate leadership team as vice president, operating and community partnerships.
In her newly created role, Olanipekun-Lewis, who is known as Sade, will lead the development and implementation of all community and organizational partnerships in support of Vantage’s airport and infrastructure development projects.
“It’s an exciting time to join Vantage, and I look forward to contributing positively to our airport and infrastructure projects by leading local and diversity outreach to create projects that truly reflect and represent their communities,” Olanipekun-Lewis said.
Reporting to Vantage Chief Operating Officer Stewart Steeves, who most recently led LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Olanipekun-Lewis will take a proactive approach to engage local minority- and women-owned business enterprises at every level of Vantage’s project.
These activities include building strong relationships with key stakeholders to drive local employment; educational and training opportunities; cultural partnerships; and contractual service arrangements to deliver successful project outcomes for all parties, to meet and exceed specific and defined participation goals.
“We are delighted to welcome Sade to the Vantage team,” Steeves said. “Her strong working knowledge of both the airline and airport industries will serve our team well as we seek to deepen and grow the relationships – with airlines, local businesses, government stakeholders, educational institutions and community groups – that are critical to anchoring our projects in the communities they serve.”
He added that Olanipekun-Lewis brings deep and varied experience in airline and airport management, infrastructure and finance to her new role on Vantage’s executive team.
Most recently, she served as regional director of government and airport affairs for American Airlines, directing and coordinating all political, governmental and community strategies to support the airline’s local and national business goals.
“At each of Vantage’s 30-plus airport projects over the past 27 years, we have seen the value of local community engagement and partnership to create best-in-class airport projects that deliver balanced outcomes for communities and stakeholders, from airport owners and airlines to employees, travelers and local businesses,” Vantage Airport Group CEO George Casey said. “Sade is uniquely qualified to lead and grow our community engagement and partnership efforts, and we are thrilled she is part of the team.”