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Airport general manager honored by Atlanta Tribune

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Ben DeCosta, aviation general manager for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, was one of three men recently selected by Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, for its 2009 Men of the Year awards.

The other two business leaders selected were Curley Dossman, Jr., president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, and Donald Perry, vice-president of public relations for Chick-fil-A.

DeCosta took on the role of aviation general manager in 1998.

"I feel great, and I am very proud of the recognition and very grateful for being chosen with the two other men," DeCosta said during the 2009 Men of the Year reception in midtown Atlanta last week. "It means a very great deal to me, and my family."

The magazine recognized DeCosta for his work in the aviation industry and for his contributions to the community. The award was presented at a reception April 23.

"He's very ambitious, and very humble," said Katrice L. Mines, editor of Atlanta Tribune. "He's not just out there for himself ... sometimes people go about their work more earnestly, because their work will benefit other people."

Mines said DeCosta has contributed to the city by creating jobs, managing the airport through Delta Air Lines' bankruptcy, and by moving forward with the Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., International Terminal, among other accomplishments.

"In addition to being an astute business man, he's very conscientious in the airport's role as [a] good corporate citizen," said Myrna White, director of public affairs for Hartsfield-Jackson.

Mines said the nomination forms for the award were posted in either December 2008, or January 2009, on the magazine's web site. Fifty nominees were chosen by the general readership.

"We look at their biographies, and the types of successes they've had, and the contributions to the Georgia community," said Mines. "We usually look for people that have excelled professionally to the top of their industry."

DeCosta said the award represents more than his efforts.

"It's a recognition of all of the hundreds of staff members at the airport," he said. "This recognition is as much theirs as it is mine."