Connections – August 17, 2015

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Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege to attend three important conferences.   I offered training to state DOT civil rights program administrators at the Southern Transportation Civil Rights Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I participated on a distinguished panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Political and Leadership Institute Conference in Tunica, MS to discuss contractual opportunities in aviation. I learned more about the DBE program updates and challenges at the FAA National DBE Training event in Washington, DC.

At all of these events I had the opportunity to enhance the AMAC mission. This was done either by sharing detailed information that would help smooth the road for our members to win contracts in the aviation industry, or by raising awareness of some of the roadblocks to diversity that need to be addressed.

The work is constant. The need for clear communication channels, strong, creative leadership and effective partnerships must continue to be expressed. These are the messages that I take to these events. I hope to offer solution-oriented details that will ultimately benefit us all.

In this issue of Connections, we continue to provide concrete evidence of the benefits of membership as well as encourage active support for our goals. Please note, for example, our call for committee members and the establishment of a new voluntary Speakers Bureau. Sign up and sign on!

Promote. Prepare. Advocate. Engage.

Let's do it together,
Shelby M. Scales
President and CEO


Spotlight on AMAC's Jung Kim

When a slender young girl from Korea came to the United States to study software development in 1970, she didn't imagine she would end up as a successful entrepreneur in the airport industry.  But, at age 71, Jung Kim now looks back on a thrilling lifetime of travel, hard work, and achievement in a business and a country she loves.

Kim is the owner of Airport Baggage Center, a shop in the Denver International Airport which retails luggage, purses, gifts and more.  Over the past 45 years, however, she has established, built and sold a series of shops at airports in Los Angeles, Oakland and Denver.

Her entrepreneurial story begins in 1987 when, after nearly ruining her eyes doing software programming, she decided it was time for a new career.  "I was developing software for official airline guides, and I decided to look around the airports I was working for," she recalls.

She bought tickets and crisscrossed the country visiting airports, checking into the retail services offered.  "I settled on a need I saw for a luggage service business that offered travelers help with luggage storage, shrink wrapping parcels for security, and materials to transport out-sized or oddly shaped items," she says.

But her biggest roadblock when it came time to bid on retail opportunities in airports was lack of experience.  She decided to start small.  "I called the John Wayne Airport in Orange County and talked to the airport director's secretary.  When I told her what I wanted to do, she said there wasn't a need and hung up!"AirportBaggage_0

Frustrated, Kim got in her car and drove to Santa Ana from Los Angeles to talk face to face with the director.  She got results.  The director introduced her to the head of the airport's porter service and she was allowed to share space at the porter's podium.
At the next opportunity to bid for airport retail space Kim could list some experience, and she offered the airport 62 percent share of her gross sales in order to get in the door.

Kim credits AMAC for her next opportunity to grow her business in the 1990's.  "I attended AMAC networking events and was able to meet people who could help and got great information on how to proceed," she says. "When I met the Airport Director for the Oakland Airport at an AMAC conference, she offered me a month to month contract for my business.  I was there for 13 years."

She eventually sold out her shops to Skyport Development, Inc., but kept her current Denver facility.

"I have loved the work and the opportunity to help people," she says.  "You'd be surprised at the stories that I hear from travelers in trouble. I'm a Christian and this career has offered many chances to do good deeds."





FAMU Intern Deering Whirls Through Tallahassee Airport Experience

In a whirlwind eight weeks of activity, Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Nahshon Deering, 19, got a chance to sample the work life of an International Airport Manager.

Thanks to a new partnership between the Tallahassee International Airport and FAMU's School of Business, Deering, a facilities management major, spent the summer in a paid internship at the Airport.

"I got a chance to rotate through the airport's key operations areas," he says. "Everything from assessing Airport security threat levels to understanding financial controls and business operations.

"Internships like this are vital," he added. "The hands-on experience makes everything so much more vivid than what you get from books or lectures. It helps you decide what you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life."

The partnership with FAMU was the brainchild of Tallahassee Director of Aviation Chris Curry. At an AMAC conference last year, he met with a group of Airport Directors who were the discussing the question "where are the next generation of airport managers going to come from?"

"We were reviewing ways to bring new potential candidates to the table," he recalls. "As a retired Air Force guy in Air Traffic Control and an Airport Director, I am aware how few women and minorities are in the pipeline. I wanted the opportunity to expose this group to aviation."

Noting that FAMU is known nationally for its excellent business program, Curry and Rep. Alan Williams, a FAMU graduate approached the university to negotiate a partnership and were warmly welcomed by Dr. Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Dean of the School of Business and Industry. FAMU selected Deering from a field of interested candidates.

"We were pleased to get Nahshon," says Curry. "He's poised, confident and articulate. He reminds me a little of a younger (President) Obama."

Curry turned Deering over to the very competent guidance of Assistant Superintendent of Airport Operations Thomas Vergo. "Not so long ago I was airport college intern myself," says Vergo. "I had a pretty good idea of what Nahshon needed to see in order to understand our operations."

"An airport is like a small city with all the functions that a city requires to operate smoothly, from its own wastewater facilities and road construction to traffic management and security," he notes. "And, it offers the excitement of connecting people in an ever advancing technological environment."

"The internship partnership established with an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) is one that we hope will be duplicated by other airport managers," says AMAC Foundation Program Manager Molly King.

"We have the model now," says Curry "and we are eager to share it and expand it to community colleges and other universities in the area."

Post Your Fall Internship Openings with AMAC

Does your airport or business host interns during the school year? Post your internship program on the AMAC Foundation site. Email Molly King at for details.


Inquiries related to the internships may be directed to the specific organization listed. If you represent a public or private organization that would like to post an internship opportunity, please contact Molly King at or call 703-414-2622.




Airports Contribute $2.4 Trillon to World Economy

According to statistics from the Air Transport Action Group, aviation contributed $2.4 trillion to the global economy in 2012, says ACI World Director Angela Gittens.

Airports have evolved from their former role as infrastructure providers to become businesses in their own right.

Many have moved from the public sector to the private sector, and we have seen a full range of ownership and governance models shifting with the interests and wishes of their original owners and the challenges posed by changes in airline business models. These ownership and governance decisions matter because airports are major employers.

Worldwide some 470,000 people work directly for airport operators. When on-site workers at airlines, ground handlers, retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, government agencies and other employers are included, this number balloons to 4.6 million - and it is set to continue growing.

Read more here:

World War II Tuskegee Airman Lt. Floyd Collins, who trained in and flew Mustang P-51 airplanes from South Dakota's Rapid City Army Air Base during the war, concentrates on flying a Redbird FMX flight simulator during a tour of the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Maryland, July 13, 2015. Collins was scheduled to fly around the Washington, D.C., metro area in a Turbo Commander but weather scrubbed the mission. Photo by David Tulis/AOPA

Tuskegee Airman Returns to the Cockpit

World War II veteran and Tuskegee Airman Lt. Floyd Collins, a former P-51 pilot, looked cool and confident as he returned to a cockpit in Maryland courtesy of a few military friends, the generosity of a third-generation pilot, and the co-owners of a pristine 1976 Turbo Commander.
The flight evolved from an idea sparked by Chris Clemons' chance meeting of the retired Red Tail airman at a recent veterans' appreciation day. He felt obligated to turn the former military pilot's fantasy of flight into reality and Clemons had just the right person in mind.
Enter Clemons' mom, Montgomery County Airpark Manager Sandy Richardson Poe. She's a third-generation pilot and her grandfather and father helped develop the suburban Washington, D.C., airport in the 1960s. Poe's family hasn't strayed far ever since and the instrument-rated private pilot grew up at the airport.

View a video on the story here and read more here:

Two Airport Retail Giants to Merge

Lagardère Travel Retail has struck an agreement to acquire North American airport retailer Paradies, from Freeman Spogli & Co, the Paradies family and other shareholders. The price for the acquisition, payable in cash, is US$530 million (€485 million).

Combining the activities of Lagardère Travel Retail in North America and Paradies will create the second largest player in North America, said the Paris-based group. Sales at the new combined company will be close to US$800 million (€730 million) a year.

The agreement is for 100% of the equity of the Paradies holding company, representing about 80% of the activities in aggregate (in accordance with US regulations, Paradies activities are operated in each airport with dedicated legal entities including minority partners, representing around 20% of the enterprise value of the Paradies Group).

Read more



Southwell Honored with AMAC President's Award

Miguel Southwell, General Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, has been honored by AMAC with the 2015 President's Award. This award recognizes an AMAC volunteer member for demonstrating leadership, service and dedication to executing the AMAC mission and strategic plan during the fiscal year.

Southwell was honored at the Catalyst Awards Luncheon during the recent 31st annual Airport Business Diversity Conference held in Ft. Lauderdale. He was named general manager for the world's busiest airport in May 2014, bringing more than two decades of aviation management experience to the post.

AMAC Announces Election Results, New Board Members

Below are the results of our 2015 Board of Directors Election. We thank everyone who voted and for their participation in shaping the future of AMAC's programming and the success of our organization.
Secretary - Simeon Terry
Treasurer - Karen Hardy
Second Vice Chair - Lynn Boccio
Regional Director (Great Lakes) - Ricky Smith
Regional Director (Central) - Roger Spearman
Regional Director (NW) - Marques Warren
Regional Director (NE) - Monir Saji

Four of the Members are new to the board. Meet them here!

AMAC’s new Secretary, Simeon O. Terry, MBA, MCA, is Director of Diversity Affairs for Austin Commercial LP.  He has been in the construction and risk management industry for 27 years.
Karen Hardy is AMAC’s new Treasurer.   She is Vice President of Partnerships and Diversity for LS Travel Retail North America in Phoenix, AZ.  A former CFO, she is also responsible for strategically processing the company’s financial offer preparations for new contracts.
AMAC’s new Central Regional Director is Roger Spearman, President and Owner of A1 Private Investigations.  St. Louis, MO-based A-1 Private Investigations provides both armed and unarmed uniformed security officers, criminal and civil investigations and pre-employment screening.
Meet AMAC’s Northeast Regional Director Monir Saji.  Based in Boston, he is the founder and CEO of three restaurant groups including Darul Kabab, Ryo Corporation, and Bangel Groups Inc.


Advertise with AMAC

AMAC has introduced advertising opportunities in our Connections eNewsletter and on our website! This unique opportunity provides a cost-effective vehicle to promote your business to thousands in the aviation industry and beyond. All-inclusive, special pricing is available for Connections and website placement and ads will include a hyperlink directly to your website.

The decision makers and business leaders at airports, major corporations, business owners, suppliers, and consultants rely on valuable information from AMAC. Your brand will gain widespread visibility as our electronic communications reach close to 20,000 industry professionals monthly. With our newly designed communication tools, we expect visibility to grow!

To reserve your exclusive space and lock in the special introductory rate, follow the button below to access the order form.


For questions, contact Anthony Barnes at or 703-414-2622, ext. 2. contact



Affordable Office Space

Are you in need of affordable office space close to Washington, DC and Reagan National Airport? We are here to help! AMAC members may take advantage of renting office space directly from AMAC. Centrally located in beautiful Arlington, VA, convenient office space is available for you to conduct business within the District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia areas and beyond!

For more information, contact Anthony Barnes at or 703-414-2622.

Member Referral Program

The heat is on during AMAC's summer of savings through the Member Referral Program! Current members may receive a $50 credit (up to $200) toward a future event registration for every business/airport/individual/corporate entity they refer that becomes a member. The credit must be used by April 30, 2016. For more information, please contact

Get Involved in the AMAC Committee of Your Choice

Choose an AMAC committee and join us! AMAC encourages all members to become actively engaged in the organization's activities by participating on a committee. Committees provide you with opportunities to participate in panels and forums with other business owners, airport executives, and corporate leaders who can become strategic partners, and more importantly potential clients. They also give you the opportunity to share your thoughts, suggestions, and innovations with our members, board, and staff.

The following committees are looking for volunteers:  Professional Development, By-Laws, Communications, Corporate Development, Elections/Nominations, Ethics, Awards, Finance, Government Affairs, and Membership. A description of each committee can be found here. Click and select Committees from the menu bar.



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

The Massachusetts Port Authority's Office of Diversity & Inclusion/Compliance is currently recruiting for a Workforce Diversity Program Administrator.  Massport is an independent public authority which develops, promotes and manages airports, the seaport and transportation infrastructure in the state. All interested applicants should apply online at or go to:

Jackson Municipal Airport Authority is seeking a Chief Operating Officer. The Chief Operating Officer of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority has broad institutional responsibilities and authorities to direct the aviation and landside operations, and associated supporting and administrative activities at the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport and Hawkins Field Airport (The Airports). For more information click here.

Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. is looking for an experienced executive to lead finance, budgeting, strategic planning and business development efforts. This seasoned executive should have a familiarity with airport management such that he or she is able to plan, organize, implement and direct the financial, business development and management (including properties and concessions). For more information, click here.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is recruiting a Deputy VP for Supplier Diversity. The Airports Authority is seeking a Deputy Vice President to lead its Supplier Diversity Program. The successful candidate will develop long term business strategies; define new growth opportunities (alliances, partnerships, programs, and diverse channels; create best in class practices, deliver key performance indicators (KPIs) in establishing and promoting the Airports Authority's Supplier Diversity Program. For more information, click here

For additional job postings click here.



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


RFP Auctioneer Services

Request for Proposals. The Norfolk Airport Authority (the Authority) requests proposals from qualified auctioneers (Offeror) to provide auctioneer services for the Authority. Auctioneer services are required for abandoned vehicles and goods which have come into the possession of the Authority under section 144 (C) (02) of the charter of the City of Norfolk, as well as any Authority-owned vehicles and equipment which have been declared surplus. Learn more.

For additional bid opportunities click here.  




Hosted by Jackson Municipal Airport Authority

October 15, 2015


AMAC Annual Economic Forum to be Held in LA , DEC. 2-3   

AMAC is pleased to announce that our 2015 Annual Economic Forum will be held in Los Angeles this year on December 2nd and 3rd.
On December 2nd, the day will begin with a Project LIFT event for college students to introduce them to the variety of career opportunities in the aviation industry. At the same time, Ken Weeden of KWA, a full service Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programs Consultant, will conduct an all-day training on site for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Liaison Officers and staff.
Also that day, a scholarship fundraising golf tournament will be held at one of our local golf courses by the ocean.  In the evening, enjoy a networking reception, "A Taste of LAX", at a facility that overlooks the LAX runways.
On December 3rd, there will be a full day of workshops with speakers discussing topics, including: legislative updates, concession and construction opportunities at the airports in the western region, how to finance your business and steps to success in the airports. Students in the Western Region who have been selected for scholarships will receive their awards.
Highlighting the second day will be a behind-the-scenes tour of the newly renovated, award winning Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX; Exhibitors' Booths; and an evening networking reception.  The events on the 3rd will be held at the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel, located on Century Blvd.
Information on how to register for this exciting event will be available shortly in this section of Connections.