Coos County Airport District Board of Commissioners
The Coos County Airport District is a Special District in the State of Oregon that owns and operates the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. There are 619 landside and airside acres along with 33 commercial facilities inside the airport and business park boundaries. The district is governed by a five-member board of commissioners elected by Coos County voters. Commissioners serve four-year terms. Positions #1, #3, and #5 will be elected in 2023. Positions #2 and #4 in 2025.
Mike Collins (Position #5) is the current Chairman of the Coos County Airport District. He was elected to the Board in 2019. He was born and raised in Kansas and moved to Coos County in 1994. Since 2001, he has owned and operated O’Neill’s Overhead Doors in Oregon and purchased his second garage door business in Olympia, Washington, in 2006. Mike has been involved with the community as part of the Home Builders Association of Southwestern Oregon. He has always been a proud supporter of schools and local charities. He owns a small farm in Coos County raising cattle.
Chairman Collins understands the value of having strong community connections, skilled employees, and excellent customer service. His goal to ensure that the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport is making its best efforts toward providing air service to the community is what prompted him to serve on the Board.
During his time on the board, he and the other board members have overseen the development of over $12M in Airport infrastructure and improvements that have increased the safety and reliability of the Airport.
Chairman Collins has proven industry experience in business management, construction, and public relations. Those qualities have made him a strong leader in his position as Chairman on the Coos County Airport District Board.
Joe Benetti (Position #2) serves as the Vice-Chairman on the CCAD Board of Commissioners. He is a retired restauranteur but continues to serve in a variety of volunteer positions. He is currently the Mayor of Coos Bay, a director on the Oregon Pacific Bank Board, member of Coos County Urban Renewal, Coos County Tourism Advisory Committee, and Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board.
Vice-chairman Benetti’s interest in continuing to serve is to give back to the community that has given him so much. He continues to focus on enhancing the air service of the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, while also promoting economic growth and development in the region.
Dr. Jason Bell (Position #3) is a local orthopedic surgeon practicing on the south coast. While attending school at UC Davis and the University of California-Irvine, he served as an Orthopedic Surgeon under a USAF Health Professional Scholarship. This allowed him to experience and learn under a variety of medical disciplines. He completed his residency and then became an Orthopedic Surgeon for the United States Air Force.
After completing his military service, Commissioner Bell settled on the local area because of its close-knit community and rural lifestyle. He enjoys being outdoors, hiking, running, and flying with his family in the family plane from the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. It is this that guided him to seek a position on the CCAD Airport Board of Commissioners. His professional education has afforded him the skills of finding unlikely solutions to issues he may encounter.
Caddy McKeown (Position #1) is a lifelong resident of Coos Bay and is the newest member of CCAD. She sees the airport as an integral part of our complex transportation system on the South Coast that serves us well and has a bright future as our communities change and grow.
Commissioner McKeown is a former legislator, having served in the Oregon House of Representatives for 8 years, and classifies herself as a “transportation geek” which is one of the reasons she stepped up to serve the Coos County Airport District. During her time in the legislature, she co-chaired the Joint Transportation Committee, along with seats on the Agriculture and Natural Resources, Higher Education and Workforce Development, and Economic Development committees. She was also chosen to represent the legislature on the Infrastructure Finance Authority.
Commissioner McKeown served 9 years as an Oregon International Port of Coos Bay Commissioner and is a former member of the Coos Bay School Board. Caddy and Jeff have two grown children and now live happily with a house full of dogs.
Dr. Brent Pahls (Position #4) grew up on the south coast, living in the small town of Coquille. It was always his aspiration to return to his home and practice dentistry with his father who has also served the area practicing dentistry. After graduating from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry he did just that. He has returned to his home where he currently serves the community through his dental practice and in other ways.
Commissioner Pahls considers volunteering to be a highlight for not only his career, but for the area. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and piloting his own plane. Because of his experience, being involved and continuing to expand commercial air and general aviation services at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport is important to not only the district itself, but to the community at large.
Special Districts are a form of local government created by a local community to meet specific needs when and where inadequate revenue bases and competing taxes make it difficult for cities and counties to provide the services that citizens want. The Coos County Airport District (CCAD) was formed to provide airport services including commercial passenger air service when other local jurisdictions were unable to financially do so. There are currently 1000 special districts in the State of Oregon that represent 34 different types, such as fire, parks and recreation, water, and others. CCAD is the only Airport Special District in the state, and is a member of the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO). For more information, visit the SDAO website.