Rochester International Airport adds two new executives

The Rochester International Airport has hired Laura Archbold as its new marketing and communications manager and Benjamin Watkins as the parking manager, which is a new position at the airport.

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Laura Archbold (left) and Benjamin Watkins (right).
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ROCHESTER – The Rochester International Airport has two new faces — Laura Archbold and Benjamin Watkins — landing in leadership roles.

Archbold is taking on the position of marketing and communications manager, to fill the role last occupied by Tiana O’Connor, who left in the fall of 2021.

A well-known local communications professional, Archbold will handle internal and external communication and community engagement activities. She will also help “oversee air service development efforts including strategy, meeting with consultants, airline planners and executives to advocate for new air service.”

Airport Executive Director John Reed introduced the hiring.

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Laura to RST. Her experience in public affairs and marketing inside Mayo Clinic will help to elevate our outreach to the medical traveler,” he stated in the announcement.


In the same announcement, Reed also welcomed Watkins as the airport’s new parking manager. He will oversee day-to-day parking and all front-facing customer experience operations.

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Watkins held various management positions at Timberland Partners, Kelly Services and Halcon furniture.

“Airport parking is the front door to RST and is an important aspect of the overall customer journey. Creating this new position at RST will ensure our parking facilities and amenities are best practice and help to drive superior experiences for our customers,” stated Reed.

Mayo Clinic founded Rochester’s first airport in 1928. While the City of Rochester owns the airport, Mayo Clinic is contracted to manage it via its Rochester Airport Co. firm.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard Around Rochester." Send tips to or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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