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May 11th, 2009back

Franke appointed to Harlingen airport board

Richard Franke, owner of Franke Inc. Realtors located on South Padre Island, has been appointed by Mayor Chris Boswell to serve a five year term on the Harlingen Airport Board.

Franke is a lifelong resident of the Rio Grande Valley and an active member of the South Padre Island business community. He serves as chairman of the board for the First National Bank of South Padre Island and currently serves as president of the South Padre Island Economic Development Corp. The SPI EDC is involved in various Island Projects including: beach re-nourishment, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and the second Causeway to South Padre Island.

I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to serve on this vitally important board, said Franke. Air transportation in and out of the Valley is critical to the economic growth of our area. I am particularly sensitive to its importance to the future of South Padre Islands tourism-based economy. I hope to be able to work closely with the other board members to improve and expand our air service.

Franke joined the United States Air Force in 1968. After graduating from pilot training, Franke was assigned to Strategic Air Command, and flew a KC135, or the military air refueling version of the Boeing 707.

After being discharged from the Air Force in 1973, Franke moved back to the Valley and joined his father and brother in the family real estate business on South Padre Island. The business handles brokerage, leasing and development of real estate. One of the companys current development projects is The Shores of South Padre Island, a 250-acre Master Planned upscale, multi use Real Estate Development on South Padre Island.

Harlingen mayor Chris Boswell said of Frankes appointment, "Richard's business ability and judgment combined with his insight into the future development of South Padre Island will make him an invaluable asset to our Airport board. We welcome regional participation in the Airport's governance since we are a regional airport poised for growth."

The Harlingen Airport Board sets long-range policies and strategies for Valley International Airport, the regions largest passenger and air cargo facility.

Valley International Airport serves over 800,000 passengers a year and is the home to Southwest Airlines, Continental Express, Sun Country Airlines, DHL, Federal Express, UPS, BAX Global and UPS Supply Chain Solutions.