The Eye on the Sky: Rosemary Vassiliadis

Clark County director of aviation

Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

ACHIEVEMENTS: After serving for 16 years as deputy director, Vassiliadis slid over to the captain’s chair in June. She’s the 11th aviation boss since what was then McCarran Field was established in 1948, and the first woman to hold the post.

HER CHALLENGE: After an unprecedented period of growth at McCarran International Airport—which included the construction of Terminal 3 during the heart of the recession—Vassiliadis’ focus shifts to evaluating the airport’s internal operations. “For years, we were building, building, building, making sure we were always ahead of the growth curve,” she says. “Now we’re taking a step back and looking at the operations: Do we have our precious resources in the right areas?”

ON THE ROAD: The one significant construction project on the horizon involves the repaving of the longest of McCarran’s four runways—at nearly 15,000 feet, it’s the second-longest strip of landing space in the country. The project will be completed in two phases over the next two years.

FLYING HIGH: Vassiliadis was bitten by the aviation bug when she landed at McCarran after several years as Clark County’s director of finance. “I grew up in a time when you wore your Sunday best on the plane. And coming here, with the airport being the gateway to Southern Nevada—that was very meaningful to me. I wanted to be part of that and make it better.”

TWO OF A KIND: Vassiliadis’ husband, Billy, is CEO of R&R Partners, the firm that has the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s advertising contract. So who has the more stressful job? “You know, heck, I have 1,400 employees; he has 300. It’s me!”

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