The City of Winter Haven is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Alex Vacha as General Manager of the Winter Haven Regional Airport. Mr. Vacha begins his new position Monday, February 12, 2018. Mr. Vacha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Science degree in Aviation Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Mr. Vacha’s most recent position was Airport Manager at the Lake Wales Municipal Airport where he worked since April, 2016. He was responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the operations, construction and maintenance of the Lake Wales Airport facilities. Additionally, Mr. Vacha recommended and developed airport policies and procedures and ensured operating rules maximized safety.
Mr. Vacha currently works with the Polk County Economic Development Council and Polk County Global Trade Alliance to help negotiate and recruit new businesses to Polk County.
Mr. Vacha has been a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve since 2011, and is currently a MEDEVAC Officer, employing the use of medical aircraft, personnel, and equipment as part of an Army Task Force. In this position, Mr. Vacha uses his skills as a Black Hawk Pilot-In-Command to execute tactical, operational, and strategic air medical evacuation within a theater of operations. While serving in the Army, Mr. Vacha received the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service and the Sikorsky Rescue award for performing lifesaving rescue flights.
In addition to managing the Winter Haven Regional Airport, Mr. Vacha’s top objective is to become more engaged as a community leader in Winter Haven. Investing time in the community and presenting information about the airport, and about aviation, will be priority.
Merle Bishop, Director of the City’s Growth Management Department that oversees airport functions, is pleased to welcome Mr. Vacha, commenting, “I’m looking forward to having Alex as part of the City’s leadership team and applying this knowledge and passion for aviation to the Winter Haven Airport. His skills will be a tremendous asset and he will help the Airport continue to succeed and prosper by providing valuable aviation service and being an integral part of the City.”