Washington Airport Management Association 

Open Letter from WAMA President Rich Mueller

Dear Friends,

What an absolute privilege it is to address you from the WAMA president’s seat! There is no other society of professionals I would rather see, break bread with, learn from or be corrected by (and it does happen) than fellow members of the Washington Airport Management Association. As an airport professional, learning about WAMA, and immediately joining, will always be one of the highlights of my career. My goal is to keep it that way for others, those who are new to airports, as well as those who have been a part of the industry and have not yet had the pleasure of being members.

Here are a few tenuously connected thoughts I would like to share as we begin 2021:

I accepted the nomination as president in hopes of giving back to the organization what will amount to merely a token of all the good it has done me over the years. This is a debt I will never fully repay. Being a member of the board has been deeply enjoyable. I learn from my peers every time we meet, just as we all do at the bigger events like airport tours and the annual conference. With the help of others in leadership, I have been able to serve in multiple capacities and have been enriched by the experience. To my fellow board members and officers, past and present, thank you for your kindness and encouragement. You guys are fantastic!

If I can be a functioning member of the leadership team, so can you, and you may be even better at it. I am a slow learner, fairly introverted, and picked up most of my airport education at the school of hard knocks. However, it is always easier to stretch yourself and risk making mistakes if you are surrounded by friends you trust. You will find this atmosphere if you become part of a WAMA committee or the WAMA board.

Lastly, I must say It always takes me by surprise just how much influence we seem to carry in our communities, whether we be airport management, staff, engineers, planners, those in public safety and public relations, pilots, or providers of goods and services within the aviation economy. As we push forward in 2021, people are looking for signs of hope, signs of goodwill. This is where our unsought influence can be used to good effect. Regardless of how viruses, politicians, markets, organizations or individuals behave, we can choose to demonstrate a positive, enterprising view of 2021. I am not talking about blind optimism here; I am talking about seeing the best in people and making the best of situations. While using our skills and talents, we can demonstrate that we believe we can make things better: better projects, better partnerships, better friendships, better environments in which to thrive. I know you can do this. I have seen it. I have seen it in your careful craftsmanship, in your patient assistance to others, in your encouragement, in your friendly countenance, in your helping hands. Your intentional acts in 2021 towards others will help make their 2021 a better year, and the result will be a better year for you, too.

Thank you for your membership, thank you for your time, and thank you for improving the world around you.

Rich Mueller


I don’t think anyone is too sad to see the year 2020 drift behind us.  We look forward to 2021 with hopes that life will be closer to the normal we used to know, and with that, plans are in place to hold our Annual WAMA Conference and airport tours.  The Annual Conference at Alderbrook Resort has been moved to October 4-6 with an airport tour of Bremerton Airport on Sunday, Oct. 3rd

Skagit Airport has stepped forward offering a tour in May, although a specific date has not yet been set.  We are also looking for a volunteer airport to tour sometime in August, so if you would like to volunteer your airport, contact Tim Mensonides tmensonides@auburnwa.gov .

Flexibility, adjustment, and creativity are the words for 2020 and we have to thank our WAMA Board and committee chairs for dealing with the sudden change of plans and restrictions that dictated a course deviation in our Annual Conference, airport tours, in-person meetings, and budget adjustments.  President Adam Phelps did a fantastic job of organizing the Annual Business Meeting, with over 70 of our members attending virtually.  Conference Committee Chair Samantha Peterson was diligent in making arrangements and negotiating contracts with both Alderbrook for 2021 and Sun Mountain Lodge for 2022.  Treasurer Sara Young worked magic keeping our organization solvent with diminished revenues. Our committee chairs were busy presenting scholarships, awards, and keeping us updated on the latest legislative issues.  If you would like to take part in one of these committees, contact our new 2021 President Rich Mueller, and he will be glad to direct you to any of the seven committees:  Conference, Finance, Airports, Legislative, Scholarships, Human Resources, and Membership.

We thank the entire board and committee chairs for the outstanding job this past year as we welcome our new Board of Directors.  We are all here to support and help one another, so always feel free to reach out to any one of us.

Sandra Engstrom, our long-time webmaster, has decided after over 20 years to retire.  She has been the glue that holds us together.  We will miss her, but we wish her well as she says good-bye.

Another piece of “glue” that holds WAMA together is Kandace Harvey.  After years of managing the bookkeeping for this organization, she was planning to cut back on her involvement.  WAMA researched bookkeeping firms to fill the role, but found the costs prohibitive. Kandace and her staff at Harvey Field stepped forward, offering to continue with the voluntary services.  It is with deepest gratitude that WAMA thanks Kandace Harvey and her staff at Harvey Field for offering to continue on with the bookkeeping.

It has been ten years since WAMA has had an increase in dues.  With increasing costs of operation, we now find it necessary to raise the membership fees.  The 2021 invoices will indicate an increase of 10% with additional management members going from $50 to $75, and associate membership moving from $100 to $150.  Contact Sara Young if you have questions.  A letter detailing the increases can be found here.

WAMA continues to offer many benefits and ways for members to support and connect with one another.  Here are just some of the features WAMA offers:

If you would like to help support WAMA and let everyone know about your company or airport, we encourage you to purchase a banner ad or place your logo in Waypoints or the newsletter.  To do this online, go to Washington Airport Management Association - Sponsorship/Pledge (wama.us) .

The Washington Airport Management Association for many years has used the Snohomish address at Harvey Field as its mailing address.  As the organization moves forward, we also have moved the mailing address.  WAMA’s new mailing address is:   

Washington Airport Management Association

                                                             P. O. Box 5755

                                                             Pasco, WA  99302

Here’s wishing you a wonderful year in 2021 and looking forward to getting together with our co-workers.  Stay well.

Marjy Leggett


Upcoming Events

May 08, 2023 • Davenport Grand Hotel, Spokane, WA

News & Activities

Airport Management Q&A (click here)

Washington State Aviation Alliance (WSAA): Visit their website at http://www.wsaa.aero
WAMA Member Airports - Click to Enlarge

Washington State Airport Restaurants

(click here to download)

Warren Hendrickson has compiled an informal list of Washington State/PNW Airport Restaurant List (updated 2020) which includes additional pages for nearby Oregon (both east and west of the Cascades) and Idaho airports. This list is not complete and we ask that if you have suggestions or recommendations for restaurants at or serving your airport, please feel free to send your suggestions or recommendations to Warren Hendrickson, at: wbhendrickson@comcast.net.  He will continue to update the list as time allows. The list is primarily intended for use by pilots as they fly around the area. Perhaps providing everyone with an additional reason to visit your airport!

© 2001 - 2022, Washington Airport Management Association | P.O. Box 5755 | Pasco, WA 99302 |
Washington Airport Management Association is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software