Local News

Teresa Damiano stepping down at RDU after influential career

Posted May 25, 2016 4:04 p.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2016 5:52 p.m. EDT

— For many visitors, Raleigh-Durham International Airport is their first taste of the Triangle, and there's one woman who's responsible for much of what a visitor experiences when they step off the plane.

RDU Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Teresa Damiano is retiring this week after 29 years of service at the airport.

Damiano was named the airport’s first public affairs representative in 1987 and later became RDU’s chief airline recruiter in 1994.

She is credited with helping service flights to London, San Francisco and dozens of other cities as the Triangle continued to grow.

“It was a good opportunity to have an impact on the community through the development of the airport,” Damiano said. “It was a great opportunity to be an advocate not just for the airport but for the community, and play matchmaker.”

Damiano also recruited airlines such as Southwest and JetBlue to RDU, and her colleagues say she helped improve the airport’s customer service and public art programs.

“Everywhere you look in this terminal, there's a little bit of legacy to Teresa and what she's meant to this region,” said RDU spokesman, Andrew Sawyer.

In her final weeks on the job, Damiano traveled to Paris from Raleigh as Delta launched its new direct service.

Damiano said it’s time to step down and enjoy the airport as a passenger and look back at her role in the airport’s success.

“[I’m] very proud of what we all worked together as a team to build, and that’s just very satisfying,” she said.

Airport officials said RDU is projected to grow through 2040.

Public workshops will be held on June 1 at the Wake County Commons Building, and June 2 at the Durham Armory, with focus on alternatives for future developments of runways, terminals, roadways, parking and support facilities.