Connections – August 31, 2015

MESSAGE FROM the AMAC Board Chairman

Dear friends and colleagues:

In today's Connections Foundation Focus, we feature a group of airport entrepreneurs who have joined together informally to develop a scholarship fund for young people interested in the airport industry. The Charlotte DBE's should be an inspiration to all of us.

As we look to the future of our industry, we need to assure that leaders will emerge that reflect the remarkable mosaic that is America. Through internships, scholarships and mentoring we need to expedite a pipeline of diverse young people who are ready and willing to grab the baton.

At AMAC, we are passionate about this process. We want all of our members to be a part of our mission to leverage their resources and provide guidance to those who would follow in our footsteps.

To that end, we have developed a wide range of Foundation programs. These range from Project LIFT (Leaders Inspiring Future Talent), which offers forum-style mentoring sessions throughout the year for students interested in fields related to aviation and aviation-related business, to the AMAC Internship Program which connects eligible minority and women students enrolled in aviation-related and business programs at colleges and universities with AMAC business owners and airports around the country.

I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the Foundation and to get involved. Help share information about the broad range of occupations and careers available in the industry by volunteering as a speaker at Project LIFT. Help train our youth to be solid professionals by offering internships in your business.   If you have a creative idea for a fresh program, share it with our Foundation board.
Ultimately we want all of our members to be able to say this simple, but powerful statement to our youth: "If you want to go somewhere, I'm here to help you get there."
Darryl Daniels



Spotlight on AMAC's Al Limaye

Al Limaye, founder of Logistic Solutions, Inc. (LSI), has a positive enthusiasm that is contagious.  After one conversation with this former AMAC board member, it’s easy to see how he built a large and prosperous multi-national software consulting firm.  He shares passion and dedication to excellence in each sentence.

“I’ve always had an interest in computer science, but I was very scared of it,” he admits.  He first got a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering.  Friends then persuaded him to take the plunge into computer science.  “Once I began training, I knew this was for me,” he says.  “This new work was exciting.  I was keen to learn more and find ways to enhance software to be more user-friendly and functional.”

Limaye was destined to become an entrepreneur.  His father owned a successful business manufacturing medications for pharmacies.  While he knew this work was not for him, he was smart enough to watch and listen and learn.  He did the same thing as an employee of GE fresh out of college.  “I watched their business procedures, paperwork, employee training processes,” he says, “and then followed them closely in my business.”

Fast forward 23 years and his New-Jersey-based company serves major clients including AT&T, GE, GMAC, Amdocs, HSBC, Cisco and Goldman Sachs.   With offices in the US and India, LSI and its affiliates provide services in the US and internationally including Europe and southeast Asia.

Limaye’s company is one of only 15 global partners for Microsoft Surface technology, a Microsoft Gold Partner. Only companies meeting the highest standards for certification and sales requirements receive this top distinction from Microsoft.  He has also partnered with other international software companies such as SAP, SAS, IBM and Oracle.

One division of his company develops software for the airport industry, providing an app for touch screen kiosks that can not only spit out boarding passes, but can provide a wide range of information for travelers.   “It can help travelers book a limo, find a hotel, restaurant or event, get maps and the weather at their destination, even offer discount coupons matching their needs,” he notes eagerly.

Built in partnership with Microsoft, the app is called TAAPP Concierge Kiosk.  It has been used successfully at JFK International Airport and is also available for smart phones and tablets, he says.  LSI plans an informational webinar on the app at 10 a.m. on September 22.  Visit for more information

Limaye credits AMAC with helping him to get in front of airport managers and industry leaders to tell them about the new software and how it can help them “reduce costs , increase customer satisfaction and increase revenues to all involved – airports, concessions and airlines.”  Note deletion here

Limaye is also committed to advising young people interested in business leadership.  He mentors young entrepreneurs and encourages them to do what his father told him – ““He taught me to work hard, have a passion and be dedicated,” Limaye says, adding that one needs to be patient but persistent, have big aspirations, and be original.


Charlotte Airport DBEs Continue a Legacy of Giving

A tight-knit group of minority- and women-owned airport entrepreneurs in Charlotte, NC, are having a major impact of the lives of young people interested in careers in the airport industry.  Over the past five years, the “Charlotte DBEs” have contributed more than $50,000 for AMAC scholarships.

“These DBEs in Charlotte truly exemplify the AMAC mission, says Molly King, AMAC Foundation program manager. “They are inclusive and supportive of fellow DBEs, they’ve been active in AMAC for years, and with little fanfare, they have provided significant scholarship funds.”

“We’re an informal group,” says Keith Haywood, of FDY Inc., a food and beverage concessionaire at a number of airports including the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CDIA).  “We don’t have a president or board, or any real structure; we just want to help each other out, and give something back.”

The business owners came together after the death of Bernard Johnson, the owner of SB&J Enterprises.  Johnson, who died of a heart attack in 2009 at age 67, was the first minority-owned concessionaire at the Charlotte airport in 1982.  His daughters and wife continued to operate the business.Charlotte Foundation 2

“He was a generous and unselfish man who had been contributing to scholarships at AMAC for years,” said Haywood.  “He was responsible for mentoring and giving a hand-up to many of us who dreamt of doing business at CDIA.”

Charlotte Foundation 1The first major gift of scholarship money by the Charlotte DBEs was made in his name.

In 2010, Deitra Benton, president of airport DBE Denard Enterprises, died suddenly at a young age.   Deitra was the daughter of PJ Benton, who had established the family-owned business, and who had been in the food and beverage industry for more than 28 years.  Her death followed her daughter’s unexpectedly in 2013.

The Charlotte DBEs were devastated by these deaths that came so quickly in so short a period, said Haywood.  “But it only made us more determined to continue the legacy of these entrepreneurs who believed firmly in giving others a chance to do well.  When we get together to make our scholarship contributions, nobody blinks.  We just reach for our check books,” he notes with a smile.

Today the scholarship benefactors include the following CDIA businesses:  SB&J Enterprises; Denard Enterprises; FDY, Inc.; Great Food Services, Inc.; Ewing-Dunn, Inc.; Geathers Enterprises; Charlotte’s Landing, Inc.; Susan Druckman, Inc.; and Withman May Enterprises.



Unions Press Congress on FAA Bill

The AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department is pushing Congress to approve a new round of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when lawmakers return to Washington next month.
The FAA bill, which includes funding for air traffic controllers, is scheduled to expire Sept. 30.
AFL-CIO TTD President Ed Wytkind said Wednesday that lawmakers should get to work on passing a reauthorization of the aviation agency's funding as soon as Congress return to session on Sept. 8.
"Today is National Aviation Day, which is a good day to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of U.S. aviation. It is also a perfect opportunity to remind politicians in Washington that on the last day of September, funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will run dry," he wrote in a blog post on the labor group's website.
"That means once back in session, lawmakers will have 19 days to avoid a lapse in funding that would devastate our aviation system," Wytkind continued. "What we really need is bipartisan, multi-year legislation that expands and modernizes our air traffic control system and aviation infrastructure."

Read more here

Delta Adding Name to Underside of Aircraft

Plane-watchers will have an easier time recognizing the aircraft from the Southeast's largest carrier as they show up at airports.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) said recently that it would be "joining a handful of airlines whose planes sport logos on their bellies for easy brand recognition from the ground."

Delta has already painted its logo on the belly of a new Airbus A330. It also has its name on a few Boeing 737-900ER jets, and plans to add the white logo and blue background scheme to its CRJ-200 regional jets, reports the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

"It fits with our brand promise of being thoughtful and innovative and really adds a unique element to what is already a sleek and modern aircraft livery," Adam Pinsley, a Delta graphic designer who came up with the idea, said in a news release.

U.S. Airfares Dropped 5.6% in July

U.S. airfares fell 5.6% in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decline is the steepest monthly drop in 20 years.Slate (8/19), Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (8/19), CNBC (8/19), NBC News (8/19)

View FAA Civil Rights Training Conference Online

Conference presentations from the Sixth Annual FAA National Civil Rights Training for Airports Conference recently held in Washington, D.C. are now available online.

The event is held in support of the FAA's goal of strengthening the nation's airports through diversity, equal access, and equal rights.  According to organizers, the conference "emphasizes FAA's commitment of working with civil rights advocates to eliminate discrimination in our nation's airports."

The training conference included all aspects of civil rights and nondiscrimination compliance affecting airports around the country.

Next year's training conference is tentatively scheduled for August 9-11, 2016 in Washington, DC.

This year's conference presentations can be found at:

New Report Details Hot Spots for Transportation Jobs

The Departments of Transportation, Education, and Labor have released a new the joint report, "Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways across the Transportation Industry."

The new report details future employment hot spots in transportation by industry sub-sectors, occupations, career areas, and geographic areas. It identifies good-paying, high-demand jobs and analyzes patterns in required education and work experience for entry.

Bottom line? Employers will need to hire and train a total of 4.6 million new workers; that's 1.2 times the entire current transportation workforce...
Learn more about transportation jobs at Fast Lane blog!


AMAC Legislative Update on FAA Reauthorization

The current funding authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the grant and other programs for which it is responsible is set to expire on September 30, 2015. As you may know, in addition to setting spending levels for these programs, FAA authorization legislation also sets policy on issues of importance to AMAC, airlines, airports, general aviation, and business stakeholders.
As the Congress continues its work on a new FAA authorization bill, AMAC, led by our Government Affairs Committee and Washington, D.C. consultant, has been actively engaged with policymakers and their staffs regarding AMAC priorities:
  • Incorporating DBE/Airport Concessions (AC)DBE goal-setting and good faith efforts as part of the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program;
  • Congressional support for regulatory improvements to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) DBE/ACDBE program in areas such as certification and reciprocity, size standards, and PNW ?? adjustments; and
  • DOT pilot program for car rental firms to increase DBE supplier opportunities based on AMAC's "White Paper" on this issue.

Alert: AMAC is exploring establishing a federal political action committee (PAC) to support its legislative efforts.   More to come as we progress on this initiative

DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue

DFW Airport Receives Top Flight Award

The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport was honored recently with the AMAC Airport Top Flight Award. This award, which was accepted by Tamela Lee, Vice President Diversity and Development and Ken Buchanan, Executive Vice President of Resource Management, recognizes an airport for significant contributions toward the realization of DBE, ACDBE or EEO goals within an airport.
These contributions include program implementation, new program initiatives to foster growth and development of DBEs or encourage employment, research or litigation in support of diversity inclusion.
DFW was honored at the Catalyst Awards Luncheon during the recent 31st annual Airport Business Diversity Conference held in Ft. Lauderdale.

New AMAC Speakers Bureau Needs You!

AMAC is developing a database of volunteer speakers to present at events and conferences including the Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference, Regional Forums, Economic Forums, webinars and legislative sessions.
We want to bring AMAC members expert training, professional and business growth tips and news relevant to the airport industry, with a focus on material aligned to AMAC's mission and goals.
Speakers Bureau members may be asked to speak at an AMAC event as a keynote, on a panel or in training sessions on a variety of topics and subject matter.
Examples of topics generally provided to our membership include:
Business Marketing, Access to Capital, Financing Your Business, Legislative Updates, Project Bidding and Estimating, Writing Effective Proposals, and Human Resources and Workforce Development, among others.

AMAC will consult the database and work with event hosts to identify speakers for specific events.  If you have a story to tell or are eager to share relevant information, please complete the speakers form 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.

Indianapolis and SBA to Host Business Matchmaking Event

The City of Indianapolis Department of Minority and Women Business Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration are co-hosting a Fall Business Matchmaking event. The gathering will be held on November 5, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1545 Riverside Drive, Community Building
The business development event is designed to help small diverse businesses find the right match for their products or services from among a wide range of major corporations, government agencies and organizations.  Among those who have already committed to participate are: SBA, The City of Indianapolis, Lilly and Company, IUPUI, the State of Indiana, Zimmer, Citizens Energy Group, Duke Realty, Cummins, Federal Agencies and OTBD.
Click here to find a registration form that must be submitted by September 15th.



AMAC Members Only Information on New Website

Membership has its privileges at AMAC. Now AMAC members can access a wealth of valuable information that is reserved specifically for them on the new website. AMAC members will receive membership login credentials over the next two days that should be used to access members-only pages on the re-designed website. If you do not receive your login credentials by Thursday, September 3, please contact AMAC Membership at

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.

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


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

For 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

For bid opportunities click here