The newest woman leading the way at MIA
Airport’s leadership team now includes five female executives
With the appointment of Denise Ridge as MIA’s Assistant Director for Operations in August 2022, five women are now among the 13 top executives responsible for running one of the world’s busiest international airports and the fastest-growing U.S. airport in airline seat capacity since 2019.
In her new role, Ridge is responsible for overseeing the Terminal, Landside, and Airside divisions at MIA and the County’s four general aviation airports – a workforce of more than 450 Miami-Dade Aviation Department employees. Her areas of responsibility include a four-runway airfield - the 9th busiest in the world in 2021 - and seven million square feet of terminal space. Ridge also works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to manage the airport’s 11 security checkpoints and three federal inspection facilities, which welcome the second-largest number of international passengers among all U.S. airports.
What I like most about working at MIA and in aviation overall is that no day is like the last one; you are learning and experiencing new challenges each day. What makes me proud to be a woman in aviation is the community we share among each other. I have had the opportunity to work for other women in aviation who knocked down doors to better the industry. We used to see very few women in the cockpit and now we are witnessing graduating cadet classes full of future women pilots. It makes me want to continue to lead today and excited for the future of aviation.
Before joining MIA’s leadership team, Ridge served as Deputy Director of Customer Service at Boston Logan Airport from 2019 to 2022. Previously, she held various management positions with American Airlines, starting as a Customer Service Manager at the airline’s hubs in San Francisco and Dallas before advancing to similar positions in Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Her last position with American Airlines was as General Manager at Detroit Metro Airport. Denise is a University of Massachusetts graduate with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
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