The city of Billings announced the new director of Aviation and Transit on Thursday. The press release says the current director, Kevin Ploehn, is retiring after 33 years of employment. His last day will be January 3, 2023.

Jeff Roach, an Accredited Member of the American Association of Airport Executives (A.A.E.), starts the position on January 16. Roach has over 30 years of experience in transportation, aviation, and airport management. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Alaska, and his master’s in management from Webster University. Roach also earned his Strategic Studies from the US Air Force Air University.

Roach is familiar with cold weather, working as the Airport Manager for the Fairbanks International Airport. Most recently, he was the Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for John C. Tune Airport. Roach said he is excited to be a part of the team for Billings MET Transit and the Billings Logan International Airport.

“Billings’ airport and transit system are poised to go to the next level, and I look forward to being part of that dynamic development,” Roach said. “I am anxious to share my aviation and transit experience to serve Billings’ transportation needs.”

Finding Ploehn’s replacement with experience in management of Transit and Aviation was no easy task. Billings called ASK Consulting and Executive Search to find the best candidates for this unique position. The City of Billings Administrator, Chris Kukulski, says finding Roach came at a perfect time. “As we await the arrival of four electric buses and the airport terminal expansion project moves forward, Jeff will be at the forefront of some major projects,” Kukulski said.

The city is excited about this transition and wishes Kevin Ploehn all the best in retirement, and looks forward to Roach’s new role.