Connections-October 26, 2015


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

AMAC is proud to announce that we will partner with Avis Budget Group and the American Association of Airport Executives at an upcoming event to help our veterans find jobs. 

We will participate as an exhibitor and on the speaker’s agenda at a Supplier Diversity Veteran Business Opportunity Fair on  November 10th and 11th at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort at 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382

Our role will be two-fold: to encourage AMAC member airports and businesses to actively recruit and hire vets and to raise veterans’ awareness of the business opportunities and careers available in the aviation industry.

There is no question that the skills that veterans’ learn in the course of their service – leadership, discipline, attention to detail and logistics planning – can translate well to the job requirements in the airport business.  

Hosted by Til Duty Is Done, a 501c3 veteran-owned organization, the recruitment event will offer mixers, business matchmaking opportunities, certification information, business plan development support and panels on a variety of business oriented topics.

We are pleased to be a part of this worthy effort.

Click here to register and/or to learn more about the event:

Shelby M. Scales
President and CEO



JackThomas for TMJack Thomas is Avid Advocate for AMAC in the Southeast Region

As an AMAC board member, Jack Thomas, Director of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Community Development for the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, has always been an enthusiastic proponent of the organization’s mission to encourage diversity in the airport industry.  However, after organizing and seeing the positive response to AMAC’s Southeast Regional Forum in Jackson, MS, last week, his fervor is even more focused.

“We definitely expanded our reach to smaller airports in the Southeastern region that have not previously had much familiarity with efforts on behalf of DBEs, WBEs, and ACDBEs,” he says.  “We need to continue to build on this experience.”

“The bigger airports in this region – Birmingham, Atlanta, Miami – have had significant practice building diversity into their hiring and contracting efforts and have had robust programs for years,” he continued.  “But this conference attracted leaders from such airports as those in Meridian and Lafayette, MS, among others, who are also eager to learn more about developing their DBE programs.”

In fact, AMAC signed 25 new members at the event.

Thomas noted that the Forum, which was planned for approximately 150 guests, attracted more than 250 energetic participants.  “They all received a high level of information from seminar and panel members and left the event with good feelings.”

“There is no question that there is an audience for AMAC’s message in every city that has an airport, small or large,” he says. “We should continue to tap into mid-size and small markets .”

Thomas has more than 37 years of business experience. Prior to his job in Jackson, he was the Assistant Airport Director for the City of St. Louis Airport Authority with 30 years of service to the City and the St. Louis business community.

As National Co-Chair of AMAC Foundation’s Project Lift, which reaches out to encourage minority and young women students, Thomas is also an avid advocate for programs that expose youth to the variety of jobs and career tracks offered in the aviation industry.  “When I talk to young people about the business, I see their eyes light up, and I know AMAC is on the right track.”

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Sandra BufordAMAC Mentoring Program Shaped by Training Expert Sandra Buford

As the AMAC Foundation begins to structure an Airport Executive Mentoring Program, they have sought advice from Dr. Sandra Casey Buford, a leader in talent management, training and development.

“Everyone, no matter what their skills and accomplishments, can benefit from the support and guidance of an effective mentor,” she says.  “And,” she adds, “Everyone has gifts and talents to share with a mentee.”

CEO and Principal of Synergy Resources Consulting Group (SRCG), a Boston-based management consulting firm, Buford has significant experience fostering diversity and inclusion in the transportation industry.

A speaker, author, researcher and educator, the energetic entrepreneur is quick to note that mentoring is a key factor in her career success.

“Even now I turn to my mentors for advice, for guidance in puzzling situations and for sanity checks,” she says with a smile.  “There are lots of times when you have to turn to someone you trust and ask ‘are you seeing what I’m seeing?’.”

The history of mentoring goes all the way back to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, she notes,  “but in today’s complex business world, it is particularly important that young men and women seek a mentor or mentors and that accomplished professionals reach out to guide and share instruction, encouragement and goal-setting advise.”

A good mentor should use their power to open doors and to create opportunities for their mentees to showcase their strengths, Buford says.  “That can involve getting them speaking engagements, walking them into rooms where they can meet key players, or steering them toward career tracks that fit their abilities.”

A smart potential mentee should take advantage of formal mentoring programs where they work or go to school.  “They should look for someone whom they admire, someone who shares their values and make sure that their mentor is someone that you can speak freely to about your life and workplace,” Buford suggests. 

“No one person can provide everything you need to build success,” she notes.  “You may need to have a number of mentors who can provide a variety of tools.”

“AMAC hopes to develop a pipeline of talented minority and women professionals who are ready to assume senior leadership and C Suite positions in airports throughout the US,” Buford says.

The AMAC Mentoring Program would partner with the airports and airport industry stakeholders to identify and assess the skills and needs of high performers and provide the structured training, mentoring and support they need to step into lead positions in the future.  “It is a powerful strategic process for assuring that when the job opens, minority and women candidates are available for consideration,” she says.


Big 3 Airlines Flexing Their Political Muscle in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. airlines are conducting an aggressive lobbying campaign that seeks nothing less than to convert the government from industry regulator to business ally.

The big three legacy carriers - Delta, American and United - want the Obama administration to protect them from competition from foreign airlines, arguing those rivals can undercut ticket prices thanks to government subsidies or cheaper labor.

At the same time, the U.S. airlines want Congress to roll back or forestall rules aimed at protecting consumers. One is a requirement that airlines show ticket buyers the full cost of fares, including taxes and fees, instead of burying the information in fine print.

The lobbying already has been effective.


Oklahoma City Airport Expanding Terminal

Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport has presented plans for an impressive new addition to its terminal that will improve the passenger experience and allow expansion at the airport for the foreseeable future.

The most significant part of the plans will see a new concourse added to the terminal with four new gates (and capacity for an additional two). In addition, the security screening areas will be improved and larger, open spaces added.

Read more here:

Win up to $10,000 in Transportation Challenge Competition

George Mason University’s Center for Transportation Public-Private Policy is calling all "outside the box" thinkers to participate in a competition to help solve or improve a public transportation challenge.

Transportation today faces many challenges:  

  • financing
  • fostering public/private sector collaboration
  • developing creative new modalities
  • encouraging multimodal solutions
  • reducing environmental and community impacts
  • enhancing quality of life
  • expanding opportunities for disadvantaged populations
  • tackling challenges arising from demographic shifts
  • data collection and management.

Competitors are invited to submit a 2,000 word proposal and/or video outlining creative ideas to help address those challenges.  The best idea could win up to $10,000!  Second prize is $5,000.  Third prize is $2,500.

Team submissions are accepted!  Visit for submission guidelines. Entries are due November 30, 2015

Dayton Airport Ramps Up to Attract Business Travelers

The Dayton International Airport will be a more attractive venue for business travelers in the next few months.

Officials hope to soon kickoff a $250,000 renovation of the Business Center, which includes new flooring, lighting, wall finishes, furniture and work stations.

Read more here:

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Shelton Russell Catalyst Award WinnerAmerican DBE Magazine’s Shelton Russell Receives AMAC Award

Shelton Russell, owner and publisher of American DBE Magazine, has been honored with the AMAC 2015 Small Business Partner Award. This award honors a small business that has demonstrated support of AMAC’s mission and goals and has made a significant impact on their community and workforce.

Russell received the award at the Catalyst Awards Luncheon during the recent 31st annual Airport Business Diversity Conference held in Ft. Lauderdale.  American DBE launched at the 2013 Airport Business Diversity Conference in San Diego and since then has become a leading publication for diverse firms and stakeholders in the DBE and ACDBE Program.

American DBE connects Russell’s passion for diverse business development with the desire to share important news, information and opportunities with the ultimate vision of advancing diverse businesses in the transportation industry. Since its launch two years ago, the American DBE digital and print publication has circulated to more than 50,000 industry participants and has amassed over 10,000 readers.

AMAC Southeast Regional Forum Draws Overflow Crowd

More than 250 guests attended the AMAC Southeast Regional Forum held last week in Jackson, MS.  Hosted by The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA), the event offered educational sessions on Doing Business with Airports; Regional Opportunities and Procurement; Navigating the Certification Process; Legislative Policy Updates, an Economic Forecast for the region, and a keynote speech by Stephen Hightower, CEO of Hightowers Petroleum Co..

Two lucky guests won drawings at the event:  Ray Alfred, Ret. Fire Chief and President of Emergency Responders Industries, Inc., won a free AMAC membership.  S. Sheg Lawal, Managing Principal of  KHI/Amgood Strategies won  free registration to an AMAC conference.

Following are photos from the Forum:

AMAC Welcomes New Members!

AMAC is pleased to announce that the following businesses and individuals joined our organization as new members at the Southeast Regional Forum.  Welcome to all!

A National Limo Crochen & Associates Modular Building Systems International
Acela Technologies CSM America Quality Communications, Inc.
ADK Consulting & Executive Search Dream Staffing Rebel Services, LLC
Advanced Environmental Consultants, Inc. Elcon Group, Inc. Strategic Action Council
Aviation Career Services Eternal Security Inc. The Praline Connection
Bruno & Tervalon LLP,CPAS Ever-Redi Exterminating Company Thompson Wealth Advisors
Butler Snow LLP Immaculate Janitorial Services US Essential Supply & Services
Charles E. Carpenter, Attorney Major Design Studio  


Advertise with AMAC

AMAC introduces all-inclusive advertising opportunities for 2015-2016! This unique opportunity provides a cost-effective vehicle to promote your business to thousands in the aviation industry. All-inclusive pricing is available for printed programs at national and regional events, AMAC's website, and Connections with a hyperlink directly to your company's website in electronic communications.

Over 20,000 decision-makers and industry professionals are reached on a monthly basis through AMAC's electronic communications and AMAC's events draw 200 to over 1,000 registrants per event. Your brand will gain widespread visibility with our newly redesigned communication tools.

Reserve your space now! Click Here to access the order form.

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

AMAC’s Membership Directory Now Available!

AMAC's Membership Directory is available to download. Search for, and connect with, members by following this link to access the Directory. The Membership Directory is only available to members.  Please log in with your membership credentials.  Contact AMAC membership at if you have trouble logging in.

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.



Chicago ACDBE and AMAC Plan Headshots Event on Wednesday

The Chicago ACDBE Alliance and AMAC have joined forces to host a Headshots Event on Wednesday, October 28th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at O’Brien’s Restaurant, 1528 N. Wells St. in Chicago.

Spruce up and come early (5:30 to 6:30) to get a professional headshot taken for $50!  The photographer’s price includes one shot and light retouching.  Bring a credit card or a check.

The evening will feature a presentation by Shelby Scales, President and CEO of AMAC and offer networking opportunities with fellow ACDBEs.  Key primes from the Chicago Midway project have been invited.

Book your headshot appointment now with Rachel Ivy at  To attend the event, RSVP to Tonja Pastorelle at

Supplier Diversity Fair for Vets Planned in Connecticut

AMAC will participate in a Supplier Diversity Veteran Business Opportunity Fair which will be held November 10th and 11th at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort at 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382.

Hosted by Til Duty Is Done, a 501c3 veteran owned organization, at the Mohegan Sun, the event will offer mixers, business matchmaking opportunities, certification information, business plan development support and panels on a variety of business oriented topics.

The event will also feature a “Vets Rock” concert on November 11th emceed by Tony Orlando, headlined by Trace Adkins with special guests Dropkick Murphys and Madison Rising.  For more information about the Opportunity Fair and the Concert, contact Adrian Guglielmo

(917) 968-1357,

Western Forum Moves East to Washington D.C.

The Western Region Economic Opportunity and Policy Forum planned for December 2 and 3rd in Los Angeles has been moved to Washington, DC and will be hosted by the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) on March 22, 2016.  See the many outstanding networking, educational, and advocacy events planned throughout 2016:

March 23, 2016
Economic Opportunity and Policy Forum
Washington, DC
Hosted by Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority

March 24 & 25, 2016
Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

April 21 & 22, 2016
Great Lakes Regional Forum
Detroit, Michigan
Hosted by Wayne County Airport Authority

August 18-23, 2016
Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference
Cleveland, Ohio
Hosted by Cleveland Airport System