FORT MITCHELL, Ky. — A leader in the aviation industry with 30 years’ of experience and expertise, Candace S. McGraw has taken the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) to new heights. Now, the Northern Kentucky Young Professionals Next Generation Leader Awards (NGLAs) is recognizing her legendary achievements.
Taking place 3-4 p.m. Thursday, July 16, the 2020 NGLAs is a virtual celebration that salutes and applauds young professionals under the age of 40 for significant professional accomplishments, demonstrated leadership and community impact. McGraw is the winner of this year’s NKYP Legend Award, which is presented to a community leader that has continued to inspire leadership and career success among young professionals throughout their career.
McGraw’s list of achievements as CEO of CVG is impressive and impactful. Recognition includes Skytrax naming the airport the second best in the world serving between five to 10 million passengers and the “Best Regional Airport in North America” for seven times in the last nine years.
In addition, McGraw’s leadership oversaw the completion of a 2050 Master Plan study to ensure CVG’s future prosperity given its current status as the seventh largest cargo operation in North America. CVG is home to the Amazon Air cargo hub (a $1.5 billion facility currently under construction), as well as serving as DHL’s North American superhub, the company’s second largest global operation.
In addition, McGraw is the immediate past chair of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), a trade association representing 400-plus airports in the U.S. and Canada. She is the treasurer of the World Board of Airports Council International and in 2019 was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve on the federal NextGen Advisory Committee. Most recently in 2020, Secretary Elaine Chao named her to another federal board: the Women in Aviation Advisory Board. Locally, McGraw’s service includes an appointment to the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board and a seat on Fifth Third Bank’s Advisory Board.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, McGraw holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University.
Ross Emerson, 2019-20 NKYP chair and manager, CPA with VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm, said McGraw’s recognition follows her service of as the head behind “incredible” change at CVG.
“Changes like introducing low-cost carriers and fostering the growth of DHL and securing the Amazon development deal have built up our region to make it a competitive place to work and play in a global environment,” said Emerson. “In doing this, Candace is helping our community attract and retain young talent to our area, which will pay dividends for the Tri-State for years to come. She has been a tremendous partner for NKYP and the NKY Chamber, and we offer our sincere congratulations to Candace on this award for her tireless efforts in making the Tri-State area a truly wonderful place to build a career.”