Connections – February 1, 2016


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

It's the political season and time for our members to engage in and advocate for AMAC's mission on Capitol Hill.  We also ask that you engage and advocate locally, through your aviation governing body, in support of diversity programs and resources in our airports.

All across America the DBE, ACDBE and diversity inclusion programs have provided thousands of jobs, created more efficient operations and offered unique services and products to our traveling passengers. We celebrate diversity inclusion on an individual and collective basis for it allows our country to grow and to continue to prosper.

AMAC member businesses, airports, partners and organizations are key to this growth and, without exception, add tremendous value to the aviation industry and the overall economy.  We ask our members to:

Join Us During the 2016 Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill
March 23, 2016


If you are unable to attend the Leadership Summit in person, please support our fight for business equity and inclusion by contacting your government leaders by phone or mail.

We have provided suggested wording for a support letter that you can individualize and forward to your local airport governing board, mayor, legislative representative and/or congressional members.

Click here for Letter Template

Additionally, we are requesting that you make a financial contribution in support of our legislative agenda and the work that must be carried on to strengthen the DBE and ACDBE programs.  

AMAC Celebrates Black History Month
AMAC is pleased to remember our proud 32-year history of promoting opportunity and participation for minorities and women in the airport industry this month.    It began with a small group gathered in the Administrator's conference room at FAA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on a fall day in 1983.  These men and women laid the foundation for the first FAA Minority Business Seminar that was held in Miami, Florida on May 3 and 4, 1984.  That seminar grew and evolved into today's robust organization.

We tell our story here.


Shelby Scales
President and CEO

AMAC Spotlight on the Herrera Family

John and Gavin Herrera picThe Herrera family, owners of Lakeview Leasing (, a prosperous equipment leasing business in Cass Lake, MN, believes in the power of unity and the strength of connectivity.

It’s that belief that fortifies both the achievements of their business and their commitment to AMAC membership.

“We’ve seen that when businesses interconnect and support one another, success often follows,” says John Herrera, who, with his son, Gavin, and his wife, Linda, opened Lakeview Leasing in 2008. With both Native American and Hispanic heritage in the family, the business is certified as MBE and DBE.

Herrera’s company offers financing to businesses -- both large and small -- to lease the equipment that they need in order to grow. “We’re like an equipment financer,” says Herrera. Equipment needs fluctuate, grow, and evolve, he notes. “Leasing equipment when it’s needed allows businesses to hold on to their capital for other business purposes,” he says. It is estimated that 80% of the businesses in the US lease some form of equipment, he adds.

Herrera has been in the lease financing business since 1992. After receiving an MBA in management from the University of Minnesota in 1986, he started his first business while attending night law school. He gained significant experience and expertise in the 90s consulting for, and leasing forklift and manufacturing equipment to, Fortune 1000 companies. Over the years, he developed relationships with stakeholders interested in corporate and airport equipment as investments, he says.

When his son graduated from Bemidji State University with a bachelor’s degree in business management and an interest in equipment leasing, the family decided it was time to start the new enterprise.

“Today, we do business nationally,” says Gavin. “We work with companies across the country to help them add equipment quickly and grow efficiently.” The work involves a lot of knocking on doors and attending conferences to get in front of potential clients, he adds. He notes that his mother handles accounting and procurement work for the company which leaves him and his father free to market and handle transactions.

“We saw the value of membership in AMAC immediately,” Herrera says. “Through them we attained a list of all airports and their liaison people and began making connections.”

Through a referral from an airport liaison officer, they connected with a rental car company that needed a kiosk in the San Jose, CA Airport. “Lakeview Leasing saw that the vendor that built the facility was paid under the lease and the rental company now leases the facility from Lakeview. We handled the entire operation for them,” Gavin notes proudly. The company also leases heavy sweeping equipment to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Herrera is an active member of the AMAC membership committee and is eager to tell his story to potential members, businesses, and small airports.

“We hope to encourage other minority businesses to seek opportunities with the airport community as a way to grow their business,” he says. We want to help get the word out about the benefits of membership and to encourage smaller market airports to get involved in the AMAC diversity training.”

from the dot

Subcontract Negotiations and Review Training Held in Pennsylvania

The USDOT has announced that the Walsh Granite Joint Venture (WGJV) will present an open training on the basics in negotiations and review of a subcontract. Beginning February 11th, WGJV will hold two hour sessions at three locations in Pennsylvania.

The invitation to attend these sessions is open to all subcontractors with a focus on S/M/W/DBE and Veteran Owned firms. They will offer basic subcontract structure in the following areas:

  • Next steps after winning the contract
  • Reviewing the contract
  • Negotiating the contract
  • Components of the contract
  • What questions to ask
  • Contract disputes
  • Payments

For dates, times and locations and to sign up


USDOT to Host Small Business Day for Women’s History Month

The US Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is holding a special Small Business Day in honor Women’s History Month in March. Titled “Opportunity Knocks, Transportation is the Answer”, the event will be held Wednesday, March 2th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Guests are invited to learn about direct contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses and to participate in networking with Prime Contractors, federal, state and local representatives.

The event will be held at the USDOT West Atrium, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, D.C. 20590

foundation focus

Post Your Internship Opportunities on Our Website Now!

The AMAC Foundation Internship Program helps to connect professionals and students in the aviation and airport industries.

The Program offers summer internships to current university students lasting up to 16 weeks. These internships are an opportunity to get hands-on experience with an AMAC corporate member, such as an airport professional or concessionaire, or other public and private organizations associated with the industry. Internships may be paid or unpaid, and are typically completed as part of college coursework.

If you represent a business or organization that would like to post an internship opportunity on our website, please contact Molly King at AMAC member organizations can also contact Anthony Barnes at

aviation news


It's Time to Rebuild America's Airports

By Serena Elavia Published January 20, 2016 Infrastructure FOXBusiness

More people than ever are flying through America’s airports. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported in 2012 that airline passenger travel will double over the next 20 years. By 2029, 1 billion passengers will travel through the nation’s airports, reaching 1.14 billion in 2035.

But even as the number of travelers grows, airport infrastructure has remained unchanged for the last 20 years. A 2013 Airports Council International survey found that U.S. airports have $71.3 billion worth of construction to complete by 2017 to keep up with passenger travel.

More passengers in terminals with the same number of seats has led to overcrowding. Those same passengers want organic, gluten-free food and luxury shopping to enjoy while waiting for a delayed flight. Adding more flights causes wear and tear on runways, which have a life of approximately 30 years.

The nation’s airports are in desperate need of repair.

Dwight Pullen, Director of Aviation at Skanska, the fifth largest construction company globally, says today’s airports can’t accommodate the growing numbers and the changing needs of passengers travelling through U.S. airports.


Waiting on the Runway May be Thing of the Past

That frustrating and sometimes lengthy period between boarding an airplane and taking off could soon be consigned to the history books.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an algorithm they hope will shorten how much time passes between passengers getting on board and into the sky.

The formula takes weather conditions, runway traffic and incoming and outgoing flights all into account to predict how long a particular aircraft will have to wait before departure. Air traffic controllers can use the data to hold airplanes at the gate, which would help avoid congestion on the actual runway.


Jump in Gun Seizures at Airports Reported

US security officials intercepted 2,653 firearms, 83 percent of them loaded, from carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints in 2015, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

The 2,212 firearms seized in 2014 was itself a record, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The firearms seized last year were intercepted at 236 airports, 12 more than in 2014, TSA said.

"Through increased training in detection methods, our officers are becoming more adept at intercepting these prohibited items,” TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said in a statement.


amac news

AMAC President Shelby Scales on Minority Economic Struggles Panel

AMAC’s Shelby Scales was recently a featured speaker on a distinguished panel of experts at Elon University in North Carolina who spoke on how racism impacts the economy.

Leadership and developing opportunities were recurring themes at the second of three Community Connections forums focusing on race in Alamance County in North Carolina.

The discussions targeted everything from education to the immediate need to build a future of minority entrepreneurs. Community Connections is a joint effort of the Burlington, NC Times-News and Elon University.

The four panelists explained the need for more local leadership in building economic opportunities for minorities.

“It starts with leadership and owning up to policies and practices,” said Shelby Scales, president and CEO of the Airport Minority Advisory Council and a Burlington resident.


membership corner

Join AMAC Now, Get Three Months for Free

If you join AMAC now, you will receive three months free membership!  This irresistible deal is offered through April 30th.
Membership has many significant benefits.  Through our annual conferences, you will be able to further develop your professional expertise and business network. Three times a year we will bring to you educational programs covering a range of subjects from how to do business at airports to important issues affecting the DBE Program to regional opportunities and policies. Our conferences attract airport executives, concessionaires, professional service providers, and government.

And, that’s not all.  Visit our Members Benefits section to learn more about the many advantages and privileges that AMAC membership offers.


Hartsfield- Jackson Plans Airport Industry Day Feb. 29th

Businesses interested in learning about  contracting opportunities resulting from ATLNEXT, a massive airport modernization and expansion project planned for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, are invited to a special Industry Day event on February 29th.

Over the next year, Hartsfield-Jackson will spend an estimated $800 million to plan, design and construct this impressive project.  Upcoming contracting opportunities will include central passenger modernization, cargo expansion, facility maintenance, parking structures, a hotel, mixed use areas and more.

The ATLNEXT Industry Day will include an overview, panel discussions, workshops, a luncheon, contracting opportunities and an EXPO/networking session.
It will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, Atlanta, GA 30337

For more information:


Houston Airport offers Workshop on Responding to RFPs and RFQs

As part of our ongoing commitment to increasing M/W/SBE selected as prime contractors, the Houston Airport System Office of Business Opportunity (HAS OBO) is hosting a workshop to educate M/W/SBE firms on how to properly respond to an RFQ/RFP.

We will discuss a variety of topics ranging from what evaluation committees look for in a proposal to best practices for submitting a successful RFQ/RFP.

HAS OBO monitors the utilization of Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprises (M/W/SBE) in City of Houston funded contracts. Additionally, our office provides contracting opportunity information to M/W/SBE, serves as an advocate for M/W/SBE and supports policies and activities to maximize their participation in airport contracts, and educate M/W/SBE on how to access HAS contracting opportunities.

The Workshop will be held Wednesday February 3, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Houston Airport System Supply Chain Management Office, 18600 Lee Rd. Conference Rm. 113, Humble, TX. 77338


Seating is limited. If you have questions, please contact HAS OBO at 281-233-7823.


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.