At the end of December, we will say farewell to a staple at Friedman Memorial airport — Roberta Christensen. Roberta has been a member of the Friedman family for 24 years. Her original position at the airport was reconciling and billing parking lot receipts, prior to Ampco System Parking taking over the lease in 1995. Roberta’s responsibilities have certainly evolved over the years, and as her time comes to a close, she will be greatly missed.

When we sat down with Roberta, we had the chance to ask her about the biggest changes she’s seen at the airport. Without a doubt, the changes have been monumental. In 1994, Friedman had very few commercial flights with even fewer destinations. Roberta also noted how small the staff was when she started; they worked in a compact brown building next to the terminal — and this remained their office until just a few years ago. They recently expanded, moving into the Todd C. Combs building.

Now-a-days, Roberta has been tasked with accounts receivable, assisting with airport leases, overseeing passenger facility charges (PFCs) from the airports, and preparing numerous reports, i.e. month-end / quarterly / annual reports, FMAA reports, and auditor reports. However, her job doesn’t stop there. She always helps with board packets and distribution too. With the continued additions to the airport, come supplemental job responsibilities. Over time, these added responsibilities have allowed Roberta to grow and learn. Over the years, Friedman has been proactive in implementing the latest technology, and this has allowed employees to adapt their skills in the ever-changing tech world.

As Roberta prepares for retirement, we asked what initially brought her to the Valley. We wanted to give her the opportunity to reminisce! Initially, she moved to the Valley for the ski industry. With a husband on ski patrol, Sun Valley was an easy decision. The history, dedication to world-class skiing, and adventurous town helped contribute to the memories that Roberta and her family have here. Originally from Oregon, the initial adjustment was a breeze — the main difference was the Valley’s sunnier and drier climate.

Now, after spending many years of fishing, camping, hiking, and skiing, Roberta is ready to get out of the cold for a few months of the year and enjoy time with her husband. Traveling in their RV has always been a goal, and there’s no time like the present.  

We were curious to know what she will miss the most about the airport. Naturally, her response was the employees and management she works with. This all comes back to when we mentioned family — the airport truly is a family of hard-working, dedicated employees. On behalf of everyone at SUN, we will miss you, Roberta!

Lastly, we want to share some of Roberta’s favorites with you.

What are some of your favorite activities (both winter and summer)?

If you’re coming to visit in the summer, you’re going to want to go hiking, boating up north — on either Alturus or Redfish lake, camp near Stanley, or the South Fork of the Boise, and bring your fly rod — this Valley is only a few minutes from the world famous Silver Creek Preserve. If you’re packing your bags for a winter adventure, bring those skis — nordic or alpine, and pack your fly rod. Winter fishing on the Big Wood will not disappoint.

How about places to eat?

Roberta’s s favorites happen to be Enoteca, the Sawtooth Club, Pioneer — world famous, and Wise Guys.

Well, it’s safe to say that we’ll miss Roberta, along with her dedication, enthusiasm, and personality. Roberta, enjoy retirement! You deserve every minute of it.