JIA Director Steps Down after 2 Years; Family Ties Main Reason for Resignation, but Bewley Said There Were Some Differences with Upper Management

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Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS

Jacksonville International Airport's director has resigned in order to return to the West Coast, from where she came to the First Coast two years ago, sparking organizational changes within the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

Danette Bewley handed in her resignation and left at the end of last week, using up vacation days before her official last day at the end of the month.

Although Bewley, who has had some differences with Airport Authority management, admitted the resignation might seem abrupt and said it was a decision she had been considering for some time.

"My heart is really on the West Coast," said Bewley, whose fiance lives there. "We've been doing the bi-coastal thing for two years. Over the holidays we decided enough was enough."

Bewley came to Jacksonville in December 2003 after 14 years with San Diego International Airport, where she held a variety of jobs, including managing terminal operations and helping attract British Airways and JetBlue to the airport.

During her tenure leading Jacksonville International Airport, there have been some disagreements about management style between Bewley and authority leadership, with executives at the authority suggesting changes in how she managed employees.

Although family ties were the main reason for her resignation, Bewley said, she added that she "wouldn't deny" there were differences with upper management.

"The family pull is strong," she said. "If I'm enjoying what I'm doing, I can keep the balance between what I do and being away from my family. When the balance shifts, that becomes precarious."

The Aviation Authority has made no official announcement about Bewley's resignation, with most employees finding out through an e-mail she sent throughout the organization. …