Jacob Greenberg joined the airport board in 2012, shortly after becoming a Blaine County commissioner. Although he’s not a pilot himself, Jacob is a self-proclaimed airport enthusiast. Throughout the past 36 years, he has enjoyed many aspects of the airport. From commercial travel to flight lessons, Jacob is well-versed in the challenges, goals, and accomplishments of the airport.
We were able to chat briefly with Jacob during his busy spring schedule – mainly about his role currently, as well as historically, with the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority (FMAA) board. Currently, Jacob is the chairman of the board, the successor to Don Kern, who we were able to interview earlier this year.
Not only does Jacob fill the role of chairman, but he is also involved in the finance/lease committee. The finance/lease committee is tasked with decision-making concerning large sums of money or expenditures – for example, helping to build and review the annual budget, airport improvements and contracts. The committee also handles leases associated with the airport – for example, hangers, airport land, and airline leases.
Jacob will remain chairman for approximately the next two years, as this position is a two-year term. A few of the goals that are on his mind are as follows:
First, he’d like SUN to be selected as part of the pilot program for remote/virtual towers. The FAA is currently looking for two pilot sites, and SUN seems to check all of the boxes needed to become a pilot program airport. As chairman, Jacob also conducts the airport board meetings, and initiates any additional meetings needed. Chris (the airport manager), and the chairman also meet regularly to make sure the airport is successfully growing, adapting, and evolving.
Beyond the duties of county commissioner, FMAA chairman, and valley resident, Jacob and his wife ran Shorty’s Diner in Hailey, Idaho. Shorty’s is that quintessential, classic diner – one that is hard to pass up. Prior to owning Shorty’s, they were owners of the Western Cafe in Ketchum. To this day, people still rave about the cinnamon rolls (an employee’s secret family recipe). Just this winter, Jacob and his wife sold Shorty’s to their son and head cook. While they’re not involved daily, they are the biggest supporters!
During our conversation, we asked him what he loves about the valley – and what he would recommend to those who may be visiting. His answer was simple: the ability to be outdoors for recreational activities. If you are coming to visit Sun Valley in the summer, Jacob recommends visiting Titus Lake. It’s a beautiful hike in a remarkable part of the country. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, take the day drive north to Stanley, Idaho and enjoy the beautiful Sawtooth mountain range. The summer time is also home to the famous 4th of July parade, and it’s not something you want to miss. And although summer is on our minds, Jacob did note that if you’re visiting the valley in the winter, you must go snowshoeing on the trails by Galena Lodge!
Without a doubt, we think that Jacob has summed it up best: living here has the excitement and beauty of big town amenities, but with an intimate small-town feel.