MARS Executive Director to Step Down

Billie Reed

A major leadership transition is occurring as Virginia begins to ramp up spending on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport:

The man leading Virginia’s charge into space is eyeing retirement, a management change that comes as the state prepares to invest millions of dollars to create the nation’s premiere spaceport.

Billie M. Reed has overseen nearly all aspects of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport since Virginia lawmakers decided to build the facility 17 years ago. Last month, he notified the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority board of directors that he plans to step down as its executive director.

“It’s hard to say when. But let’s face it, I’m well past retirement,” said Reed, who is in his late 60s…

J. Jack Kennedy, a former state lawmaker who serves on the board, said in an email that he anticipates Reed will retire in late 2012. He expects the board will retain Reed as a consultant….

Kennedy, who credits Reed for the spaceport’s development, called him the “father of modern commercial space in Virginia.” His pending departure comes as the authority readies for significant growth.

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