Chris Schmidt is a highly accomplished senior business executive with extensive experience in governmental, transportation and media industries. During his more than 35 year career, Mr. Schmidt has served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as Chief of Staff to the Orange County, Fla., Mayor, as news director and general manager at three television stations, and as the head of operations at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Mr Schmidt has a proven ability to successfully manage revenue, expenses and staff in challenging, fluid environments. He has successfully established working relationships with senior business and community executives as well as government leaders at the federal, state and local levels.
While at TSA, Mr. Schmidt developed collaborative approaches and provided management expertise to develop strong partnerships with industry stakeholders and helped create the strategic vision and develop implementation plans for risk-based security (including TSA Pre✓™). While at Orlando International Airport, Mr. Schmidt refocused the Aviation Authority’s operations to become more business-oriented and entrepreneurial. In addition, he developed a community-based plan for growing revenue that increased concession sales, established passenger service programs including the highly acclaimed Resort Transportation program. As a result, the airport routinely receives high scores in national and international “passenger satisfaction” studies. Mr. Schmidt also led negotiations for new on-airport rental car agreements, resulting in revenue increase of $20 million, and led economic development efforts on behalf of the airport that secured both Air Tran’s headquarters, operations center and flight safety development, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.