Ex-Officio Director - John Bales
Director of Aviation
Spirit of St. Louis Airport
John was born into aviation as his father was a WWII veteran and Captain for Ozark Airlines. On his sixteenth birthday John soloed at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport and set out to be an airline pilot. He enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and after two years felt he wanted something more and transferred to Florida State University to study economics.
After graduating he began working at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport as an Airport Operations Specialist. His next position was with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority serving as Airport Operations Manager. In 1994, he accepted the Assistant Director of Aviation position at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. In 2005, he served as the Acting Director of Aviation while his predecessor served as Interim Director at Lambert-St. Louis International. Finally, in 2007, he accepted his current position and became only the second Director of Aviation for St. Louis County. In 2011, John was honored to receive the National Air Transportation Association Airport Partnership Award, given annually to one airport executive in the Country for fostering relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators. In 2012, he was honored to receive James G. Byrnes Excellence in Aviation Award for outstanding contributions to the aviation community.
In addition to serving as the Director of Aviation for St. Louis County and as an Airport Commissioner at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport John is also active in other areas of the community. He is the current Missouri State Representative for the Great Lakes Chapter of American Association of Airport Executives, President of the Spirit of St. Louis Air show and STEM Expo, Member of the State Aviation Advisory Committee, Board Member Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, Founding Board Member for the Greater St. Louis Aviation Education Foundation and was a former President of both the Missouri Airport Managers Association and the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association. Additionally, John coaches youth athletics to mentor the leaders of tomorrow.