Connections – August 29, 2016

message from the president

KR MagazineDear AMAC Members and Friends:

The Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) is extremely grateful for your support of, and enthusiasm at, the AMAC Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference which was held in Cleveland, OH, August 19th through the 23rd.  As our conference theme promised, we were truly “Rocking and Rolling” together in the city that invented the famous phrase.

Thanks to your participation, we put on an exceptional conference with more than 30 forums, workshops, symposia, panel discussions and tours; eight networking events; two Chef Demonstrations; a sold-out Golf Tournament; Business Matchmaking and an Expo that featured over 40 exhibitors.  We also had high level representation from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration providing valuable information and effective training.

Our fun-filled Project Lift youth program and our Young Professionals Aviation Industry Career Panel discussion offered future aviation industry opinion leaders a look at opportunities that they may not have imagined.  The Catalyst Awards Luncheon recognized the stellar achievements of our remarkable members.

Our Celebrating Women in Aviation Breakfast acknowledged the contributions and growing influence that industry women have forged.  Please take a look at these documents that were mentioned by keynote speaker Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, during that event: and

As you know, the aviation industry is going through significant growth and change and it is critical for our members and stakeholders to come together to learn more about these changes and get ready for new opportunities.  The Conference provided a wealth of information to guide us all as we plan for tomorrow.

More than 850 aviation industry stakeholders, business leaders and professionals attended the event.  They included delegates from all of our regions; major airport directors from across the United States; political and governmental officials; airport infrastructure planners and decision makers; existing and aspiring concessionaires, CEOs from DBEs and businesses both small and large; and individuals and organizations dedicated to ensuring equitable opportunities in every sector of the growing multi-billion dollar industry.

Hundreds of volunteer hours went into creating this conference.  We’d like to say a special thank you to National Conference Chair Michael Svagdis of SSP America, Local Chair Herlinda Bradley of the Cleveland Airport System and the entire dedicated team of organizers.

Most importantly, we would like to offer our sincere gratitude to all of our sponsors, particularly our  host sponsors Cleveland Airport System and Houston Airports and our legacy sponsors Avis Budget Group, HMS Host, Hudson Group, SSP America and Paradies Lagadère who provided the backbone for the event.  We hope that we can count on your continued support in the future. Thank you again for your generous backing.  We could not have done it without you!

We hope to see you all in Houston in 2017!



Krystal J. Brumfield
President & CEO

AMAC Conference Recap

The 2016 AMAC Annual Business Diversity Conference theme, “Rocking and Rolling Together: Promoting Diversity Inclusion in Airports,” promised a focus on opportunities to foster and grow strategic partnerships across all lines of business within the airport industry.  In five days of education, inspiration, networking and entertainment, the conference delivered on the promise and more.

In upcoming issues of Connections we will provide in-depth articles on conference activities including Catalyst Award Winners, Project LIFT activities, and on our new board members. In the meantime, take a look at pictures representing all the elements of our exciting event!


AMAC news

The 2016 AMAC Annual Business Diversity Conference theme, “Rocking and Rolling Together: Promoting Diversity Inclusion in Airports,” promised a focus on opportunities to foster and grow strategic partnerships across all lines of business within the airport industry.  In five days of education, inspiration, networking and entertainment, the conference delivered on the promise and more.

In upcoming issues of Connections we will provide in-depth articles on conference activities including Catalyst award and Project Lift scholarship winners and on our new board members.  In the meantime, take a look at pictures representing all the elements of our exciting event!

Introducing the 2016 AMAC Elected Board Members

AMAC is proud to announce a distinguished roster of board members led by Board Chairman Farad Ali.

Ali is the president and chief executive officer of The Institute of Minority Economic Development (“The Institute”).  He has more than 28 years of work experience as an entrepreneur, business executive, corporate banking officer, consultant, community volunteer and elected official; which includes over a decade of work leading The Institute’s business development teams.

Ali has led teams of managerial and financial technical assistance consultants that enhance the internal controls and management capacity of diverse firms. The team provides strategic business consulting and technical support that helps client companies build partnerships and maximize their access to capital and markets.

He was also responsible for developing and implementing strategies that improved the utilization of diverse businesses. His leadership resulted in continuous improvement around strategy, process, architecture, resources, systems and empowerment and more than $1 billion of economic opportunity and business financing was generated.

Ali holds an undergraduate business degree with a concentration in finance from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MBA degree from Campbell University.  He received post-graduate training for emerging business markets from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University.

Currently, Ali also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Authority and chair of the minority and women owned small business committee of the Authority.

The following lists our newly elected board:

Second Vice Chair
John Clark
rhonda-arnold-pic Southwest Region Director
Rhonda Arnold 
Eastern Region Director
Charlene Reynolds 
ebon-glenn-pic Western Region Director
Ebon Glenn
george-tinsley Southeast Region Director
George Tinsley, Sr.


foundation focus

New Foundation Board

Name AMAC Position Company


Heather Barry


SSP America VP, Strategic Partnerships
Andrella Kenner


CI2, Aviation, Inc. President & CEO
Sean Fitzgerald First Vice Chair Enterprise Vice President, Airport Property, Construction & Environmental
Frank Wengler Chair Appointment- Director AECOM Vice President, Aviation and Planning Division
Iris Goldschmidt Chair Appointment- Director APW Brands President & CEO
LeeAnna Fresquez Chair Appointment- Director Fresquez Concessions, Inc. Executive Vice President
Greg Plummer Chair Appointment- Director CMS Hospitality, Inc. Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategic Alliance
Hadley Evans, Jr. Secretary/Treasurer Aegis Identity Software, Inc. Chief Financial Officer

aviation news

Five Construction Teams Vie for $2.7B LAX People-mover Contract

Construction Dive

Los Angeles World Airports officials have identified the five teams that will submit proposals for the Los Angeles International Airport's $2.7 billion people-mover contract, according to The group with the winning proposal will, in essence, operate as a public-private partnership and design, build, operate and maintain the people-mover.


New technologies and strategies strive to increase airport security and passenger experience

There have been a number of interesting developments in the field of airport security and the need for quicker, more seamless processing and baggage checks has led the likes of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to explore new security lanes. There have also been significant efforts to improve the accuracy of threat detection. These new technologies not only provide better security, but can also help to enhance the passenger experience.


Impact on Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Airport Leaders

The Transportaion Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has released its latest Impacts on Practice that focuses on preparing the next generation of airport leaders. It explores how ACRP Report 75: Airport Leadership Development Program influenced a collaborative effort in Florida to develop a three-and-a-half day program to develop and train future leaders.


Membership corner

We Want Your Opinion:  AMAC Conference Survey

AMAC members are asked to be on the look-out for an emailed AMAC Conference Survey which will be sent this week.

“We want your honest opinion and assessment of our conference,” says AMAC President and CEO Krystal Brumfield.  “We want to know what you think we did well, and what elements could use some improvement.”

She urges members to fill out the survey and return it as soon as possible.  “Your opinion will count when we plan for 2017!” Brumfield says.

AMAC On the Move

Please note AMAC’s new mailing and physical addresses as of September 1, 2016.  The telephone number will remain the same: 703-414-2622.

Mailing Address 

P.O. Box 71560
Washington, DC 20024

Physical Address 

100 M Street, SE
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20003

AMAC Office Closed On Labor Day

The AMAC offices will be closed on September 5th in observance of Labor Day.  We will be back in business on Tuesday, September 6th.

A Diverse Look at Aviation History

Today Connections introduces Kadijah Hall, J.D., PPL, attorney, pilot and inspirational author.  Ms. Hall will be a periodic columnist for our newsletter. She will write about aviation history, the contributions that minorities have made to the industry, and tout the values that are important to success in life.  Her first article combines all three elements.

Kadijah Hall, J.D., PPLLove is in the Air

By Kadijah Hall, J.D., PPL

The aviation industry is filled with stories of how pilots were bitten by the flying bug and fell in love with navigating the vast blue sky.

Flying offers adventure, unfathomable peril, and an adrenaline rush that can be addictive. But, more important, piloting a machine through the air requires a faith in one’s own abilities and a romantic connection to the sky that is deep and abiding.

For notable historic pilots, including African American aviatrix Bessie Coleman; aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart; and the famed Tuskegee Airmen, racism, sexism and potential danger took a back seat to that romance.

When Coleman, the first African American to earn an international pilot's license, was flying in the early 1920s, airplanes were not as safe as they are today. But Coleman’s love for flying outweighed all risk. She dazzled crowds with her stunts at air shows and refused to be deterred by racism or danger.

In the 1930s, Amelia Earhart made several cross-country flights in order to reach her set records even when she was strongly advised not to fly. When we trust and believe in our abilities and ourselves the force of love connects us to an energy source that gives us faith, hope and inspiration.

The Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces, were able to perform at their best while facing discrimination and cultural challenges during the 1940s.

These Airmen prevailed against all odds. They were able to achieve above average scores on flight tests and also able to maintain elite standards in combat during World War II.

The cultural challenges the Tuskegee Airmen faced did not hinder them from connecting to their love of flying, their trust in themselves and in one another. This connection allowed the men to pursue their purpose against intentional resistance.

Love is a universal force that connects everything in the universe. Once we have love within ourselves and belief in our own abilities we become resilient and our connectivity is infinite.



jobs board

The AMAC Job Board is a nationwide listing of active and upcoming job openings at governments and contractors across the country. If you represent a public or private organization that would like to post an open position, please contact us at

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bid board

The AMAC Bid Board is a nationwide listing of active and upcoming bid opportunities at governments across the country. If you represent a government organization that would like to post opportunities, please contact us at

For bid opportunities click here.