Flyi Loses Its CFO

Independence Air lost one of its key executives last week when chief financial officer Richard J. Surratt resigned. The company said he was leaving to "pursue other opportunities."

The "other opportunities" became clear only on Monday when ProQuest Co., a Michigan-based electronic publishing firm, announced it had hired Surratt as its senior vice president and chief financial officer.

ProQuest has a diverse roster of clients. It serves the education and library markets, for example, by collecting and publishing content from a variety of sources, including newspapers, books and periodicals. It also serves the automotive and power equipment industries by publishing parts and service information.

Until 2001, the company was known as Bell & Howell.

Surratt is the second high-profile figure to leave Flyi Inc., the airline's parent, which is struggling to stay out of bankruptcy. Last month, Rick Pelc, head of Flyi's operations at Washington Dulles International Airport, left to work for rival low-cost carrier AirTran Airways in Atlanta.

Surratt had been with Flyi and its predecessor, Atlantic Coast Airlines, since 1999. Earlier, he had worked for Mobil Corp. Surratt, who declined to comment on his departure, will assume his new duties Nov. 11.

Surratt's replacement at Flyi is David Asai, the company's vice president and controller. Asai came to the airline in 1998 after stints at Reno Air and Spirit Airlines. Just as Surratt, he is a certified public accountant.

"I have worked closely with David for many years and am confident he is the right person to take over responsibility as the CFO," Flyi chairman Kerry B. Skeen said. "His strong accounting and finance background make him the ideal candidate for the job."

Stay tuned for much more on Flyi -- and fasten your seatbelts.

Loudoun Leaders

Leadership Fairfax Inc., a nonprofit organization that annually assembles regional business leaders to study community issues, has named six executives who live or work in Loudoun County to its "Class of 2006."

They are Caitlin Keegan Cloonan of the law firm Holland & Knight LLP, Sayeh "Sally" Behnam of the Design 4 Future branding firm, Erik Milch of the Cooley Godward law firm, Harry E. ("Eddie") Paul of the Ernst & Young accounting and consulting company, Matthew P. Snow of the law firm Biberaj & Snow PC and Nathan David Smith of Project Performance Corp., an information technology consulting company.

Want more information about the program? Go to www.leadershipfairfax.org.

Think Pink

The Leesburg Downtown Business Association has adopted a "Paint the Town Pink" theme for October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

About 20 businesses will sponsor a pink pumpkin float in the annual Leesburg Halloween Parade, and many are running fundraising promotions.

Eyetopia, for example, says it is matching every dollar contributed to a raffle for Gucci sunglasses and is sending the money to the Loudoun Healthcare Foundation's Mary Elizabeth Miller Radiation/Oncology Center.

Dates to Save

Oct. 24: Larry Rosenstrauch, director of the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, is scheduled to speak at a chamber of commerce "lunch and learn" at 11:30 a.m. at Magnolias at the Mill, 198 N. 21st St., in Purcellville. Tickets: $15 for chamber members, $20 for nonmembers. RSVP to skeus@loudounchamber.org.

Nov. 1: Steve Bass of PC World Magazine speaks at the chamber's Technology 2008 event, at which companies can showcase and demonstrate products and services for small businesses. The event runs from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at River Creek Country Club, 43800 Olympic Blvd., Leesburg. Free to chamber members, $20 for nonmembers. Vendor tables cost $250. RSVP to skeus@loudounchamber.org.

-- BILL BRUBAKER

Have news about Loudoun and Fauquier county business to share? Send an e-mail to brubaker@washpost.com.