Shirley Barber James Helps Lead America’s Airports


(L to R) Mark Reis, Managing Director, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Immediate Past Chair, ACI-NA Board of Directors; Shirley B. James, Commissioner, Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport and Immediate Past Chair, ACI-NA Commissioners Committee; Kevin Burke, President and CEO, ACI-NA.
(L to R) Mark Reis, Managing Director, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Immediate Past Chair, ACI-NA Board of Directors; Shirley B. James, Commissioner, Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport and Immediate Past Chair, ACI-NA Commissioners Committee; Kevin Burke, President and CEO, ACI-NA.

Beginning in September 2015, Shirley Barber James of Savannah will represent America’s Airport Commissioners on the Board of Directors of the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA). She will also begin a second term as a member of the ACI-NA United States Policy Board. From September 2013 to September 2014, James served as Chair of the ACI-NA Commissioners Committee.

ACI-NA represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. The mission of ACI-NA is to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of commercial airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities. ACI-NA is one of the five worldwide regions of Airport Council International (ACI), the association of the world’s commercial service airports. Approximately 380 aviation related businesses are also members of ACI-NA. More than 95 percent of the domestic, and virtually all of the international airline passengers and air cargo in North America, are enplaned by ACI-NA member airports.

The purpose of the Commissioners Committee of ACI-NA is to promote discussion and establish policy positions in support of aviation, and to provide training and educational opportunities for Commissioners so that they will be more knowledgeable in the areas of airport management and operations and the aviation industry. The Commissioners Committee also supports and manages a Scholarship Program that awards scholarships annually to students enrolled in accredited bachelors and masters programs who are pursuing degrees in airport management and/or airport operations throughout

North America.

James has been a Commissioner of the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport, Savannah, GA, since 2005, and has been active with the ACI-NA Commissioners Committee since 2006. She has held various offices on its Executive Committee and also chaired the Commissioners Committee Scholarship Program.

James is Publisher and owner of The Savannah Tribune, one of the nation’s oldest newspapers owned by African-Americans. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who retired after 32 years with Savannah State University where she served in administration and student affairs. James is serving her 14th term as coordinator of the annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival presented by the City of Savannah and Savannah State University, and is the sole proprietor of Educational Testing Preparation Services of Savannah as well as a partner with Lasting Impressions, LLC, an event planning business.

A native of Georgetown, SC, she received the B.A. degree from Spelman College (1968), and the Ed.M. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (1970). She has been a board member of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (Visit Savannah), Hodge Memorial Day Care Board of Managers (President Emeritus), Savannah Country Day School Board of Trustees, United Way of the Coastal Empire, Ronald McDonald House, the Voluntary Action Center and SAFE Shelter.

James has received numerous awards and citation for her community service, including the Savannah Black Heritage Festival Honoree for 2014; a 1997 national recipient of the prestigious Athena Award and the 2007 recipient of the Helen V. Head Small Business Advocate of the Year Award, both presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce; the 100 Black Men of Savannah Lifetime Achievement Award; the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation James Simms Public Service Award; the Consortium of Doctors’ Humanitarian of the Year Award; Mu Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Citizen of the Year Award; and the Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mozella Collier Volunteer Service Award; and an AWWIN (A Working Woman in Need) Top Ten Working Women of the Year Award. She has received a Georgia Outstanding Citizen citation and was listed among Ebony magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential Black Americans and Organization Leaders,” during 1995 & 1996 and featured in Mentor magazine and South magazine. She is also listed among The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American oral history video archive that is housed in the Library of Congress.

James was the 15th National President of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated (1994-96) after serving as that organization’s National Corresponding Secretary. She was President of the National Executive Board of Sophisticates, Inc. and is a Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. James served as President of the Savannah Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Savannah Chapter of The Links, Inc., Jack and Jill of America and Sophisticates, Inc. She is a Sustainer with the Junior League of Savannah and its first African American member, as well as a Senior Steward at St. Philip AME Church of Savannah.

She and her husband, Robert E. James, President and CEO of Carver State Bank, are the parents of Robert E. James II, Esq. (Angela Payne James, Esq.) of Atlanta, GA; Anne Camille James Gennaio (Alfio Gennaio) of Mountain View, CA; and Rachelle James Gregory (Frederick D. Gregory, Ph.D.) of Morrisville, NC. They are proud grandparents of Lauren Connally James, Abigail Rose Gregory and Frederick James Gregory.


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