Westside Eagle-Observer

Branch named airport’s chief operating officer


HIGHFILL — Northwest Arkansas National Airport has a new chief operating officer, but it’s a familiar face.

Andrew Branch has been appointed to the position, according to a news release Friday. Branch replaces Kelly Johnson, whose last day was Wednesday. She was the airport director when the airport opened and was appointed the chief operating officer in 2018 when Aaron Burkes came on as CEO.

Branch joined XNA in April 2019 as the chief business developmen­t officer after working for the state in a variety of roles, including chief financial officer for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, vice president of housing at the Arkansas Developmen­t Finance Authority, and the director of finance with the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Prior to attending law school, Branch worked as an accountant, project manager and account manager with Caterpilla­r Global Mining. Branch has a bachelor of science in accounting from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas; a master of business administra­tion degree from Texas A&M University in College Station; and a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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