Building a Collaborative Team EP04

Restrictions due to COVID-19 hit the travel and tourism industry hard. The number one priority? Safety. I recently sat down with Tom Stoudt, the Executive Director for Lehigh Valley International Airport, to discuss how he is leading a regional airport and facing this challenge head-on. Tom, with a unique background as an aircraft mechanic who rose through the ranks into the executive suite, provides the key to his success as a leader: Collaboration. He also provides an insider look at how airports and airlines are preparing to move beyond the pandemic to provide a safe environment for workers and the public.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The art and science of engineering safety into the system.
  • The impressive team it takes to get planes off the ground in a heavy infrastructure environment.
  • Assigning deputies and the importance of not operating in isolation.
  • How Tom’s background as an aircraft mechanic serves him in problem-solving as a leader.
  • Being vigilant and focused as a leader. Preventing distraction and information overload.
  • Communicating safety and ensure proper flow of information.
  • Changing goals and shifting priorities in the face of major events (such as pandemics).
  • Building a strong and diverse team. Trusting that team and making sure to listen as their leader.

STAY TUNED: Dennis asks Tom for an insider’s perspective on what aviation and the travel industry will look like beyond COVID-19.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

You can follow what’s going on at Lehigh Valley International Airport on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also connect with Tom on LinkedIn.

Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn or email [email protected]. To learn more about Dennis and his team, visit