Posted on October 4, 2021
Editor’s note: This story originally ran on Aug. 3, 2014. It is being republished in celebration with the port authority’s 25th anniversary.
HEATH — Rick Platt, president and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, answered some serious questions about the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center campus and some fun questions about himself.
The Port Authority owns and manages the campus, a former Air Force Base facility redeveloped for aerospace and defense operations.
The Port Authority is the fourth largest in Ohio and largest self-sustaining port authority in the state.
Platt, a Massillon native and Miami University graduate, has been in his Port Authority job since 2002. He lives in Newark.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. “The versatility. No day is the same. That’s what I like. I’m not doing the same thing every day. I’m also not doing one thing at a time.”
Q. What are you most proud of about this campus?
A. “It’s still here. A lot of people predicted doom and gloom years ago (after Newark Air Force Base closed). The fact we’re still operating defies conventional wisdom.”
Q. What has been the biggest challenge in leading this organization?
A. “There’s just a lot of diverse points of view we try to satisfy. It’s really balancing a lot of competing interests.”
Q. What would you like people to know about this campus that they may not know?
A. “It was really high-tech before high-tech was high-tech. There are careers here for people to stay in Licking County in a STEM and technology career. The short answer is manufacturing is alive. We’re living proof here, manufacturing is alive.”
Q. What is Licking County’s biggest selling point?
A. “It’s the strength of our workforce.”
Q. What is the biggest improvement needed in Licking County?
A. “I don’t think you ever stop trying to build your manufacturing base. There’s always going to be things happen you don’t control. You need to maintain manufacturing so you have a stronger future, economically.”
On the lighter side …
Q. What is your favorite movie?
A. “The Godfather”
Q. What is your favorite television show of all-time?
Q. Who is you favorite musician or entertainer?
A. Bruce Springsteen
Q. What is your favorite sport or activity to participate in?
A. Walking out at Blackhand Gorge with my kids.
Q. What is your favorite baseball team?
A. Cleveland Indians.
Q. What is you favorite pro football team?
A. Pittsburgh Steelers
Q. Who is the person you most admire in your life?
A. My dad
Q. Who is the celebrity you most admire?
A. Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General (now governor)
Q. Where is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah Mountains National Park, Va.
Q. If you could be in any other job or field, what would it be?
A. Baseball general manager
Q. What was your favorite class in high school?
Q. What was your least favorite class in high school?