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Sola Tapped As Director At MIA

Lester Sola, who has been with Miami-Dade County for more than a quarter century, has been appointed as the new director of Miami International Airport (MIA).

Sola, most recently the director of the water and sewer department, replaces Emilio Gonzalez, who left the department in December after just under four years in the position.

As the director of water and sewer, Sola was responsible for providing high-quality drinking water and wastewater disposal services to more than 2.3 million residents, businesses and visitors daily. He managed more than 2,700 employees and an annual operating budget of $796 million and led the largest capital improvement program in county history. During his tenure, which started in 2015, nearly 1,000 projects were completed, resulting in more than $1.1 billion in assets for the department, according to a memo written by Mayor Carlos Gimenez announcing the appointment.

Sola began his career with Miami-Dade County, which operates MIA through its aviation department, in 1992 as a member of the county manager management training program. He has since held myriad positions, including assistant to the county manager, associate director for the aviation department, deputy director for the department of business development, supervisor of elections and director of the internal services department.

He has helped reorganize many departments, coordinated and refocused capital programs at MIA, established minority-based programs for the procurement of goods and services, and established centralized systems for tracking capital expansion programs and professional services.

“I am confident that his experience in county operations, capital design, construction management, contract administration and negotiations will prove invaluable to [the Miami-Dade Aviation Department] and the residents of Miami-Dade County,” Gimenez wrote.

The appointment became effective last Friday.