After a life fighting the 800-pound gorilla of Cleveland, Fred Krum retires

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It’s not easy being a neighbor and competitor to a big hub airport like Cleveland, where Continental dominates things, but Akron/Canton has done all right. Just 40 miles from Cleveland Hopkins, the little airport in the midst of the Lake Erie rust belt and Cleveland megalopolis has become a low-fare Mecca for just about every community in the region. And it’s mostly due to Fred Krum, the soft-spoken 57-year-old veteran of more than a quarter century at the helm of CAK. Krum, who started as an accountant in 1975, became the director in 1981, and helped attract AirTran and then Frontier to CAK. They were able to make it a thriving place even though Cleveland Hopkins had landed Southwest in 1992. During his tenure, Krum oversaw the expansion of the airport in a $250-million capital improvement program and gained it attention through the region. There’s even a billboard for CAK near the entrance to Hopkins.

Richard McQueen, who joined CAK in 1982, takes over the top slot, and our friend Kristie van Auken becomes the airport’s senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. Last year, Fred said he would be slowing down for health reasons, but the airport has kept posting a red-hot string of growth quarters.

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2 Responses to After a life fighting the 800-pound gorilla of Cleveland, Fred Krum retires

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