Connections – September 12, 2016

message from the chairman

farad-ali-picDear Friends and Colleagues:

As I begin my term as Chairman of the AMAC Board of Directors, I note that AMAC is in a very exciting place today.  With a new Chairman, a new President and CEO, and a new address, AMAC is poised for a fresh vision.

If you will forgive the metaphor, we are like a new aircraft revving to take flight on a solid runway built with substance by all those who came before us.  Our vision will be shaped by the past and energized by new possibilities for the future.

As Chairman, it is my job to take a bird’s eye view of the organization and provide broad direction to assist the President and CEO in determining the route that AMAC must take.  I will be an active listener in order to help AMAC provide valuable service to its members and stakeholders in the current aviation industry marketplace.

In my current job as president and chief executive officer of The Institute of Minority Economic Development (“The Institute”) my emphasis is on collaboration.   I believe strongly in the power of a collaborative approach to strengthen and grow AMAC.  I will recommend that AMAC reach out to create new collaborative programs with a wide range of organizations.  Together we can distill complex ideas and make them work to the advantage of our members.

I believe, too, that our focus should be on four words – Strategy, Structure, Systems and Skills.  The organization must have a Strategic Plan in place that strengthens that organization’s existing structure, enhances or creates systems that work for the betterment of the structure and which attracts the skilled personnel to make the plan, structure and systems work.

Ultimately, I will be dedicated to assuring that when my tenure is up, I will have had a positive impact that will make AMAC a better, stronger organization for the next Chairman.

I look forward to the challenge!



Farad Ali

amac news

george-tinsley-srMeet George Tinsley, AMAC’s New Southeastern Regional Director

For more than 21 years, restaurant franchise magnate George Tinsley Sr. has been an active member of AMAC.  He’s filled in when needed as a speaker or panelist at events, and has offered advice when needed on the growth and development of the vital organization.

This year, elected to the board as Southeastern Regional Director, Tinsley is taking a more proactive leadership role from which AMAC will surely derive enormous benefit.

Tinsley’s biography is rich with experience, faith and a drive to succeed.  A talented athlete, in 1966 Tinsley was recruited on a basketball scholarship to Kentucky Wesleyan College.  He graduated from that institution on the dean’s list and was the first African-American to receive the prestigious Oak and Ivy Award for academic achievement.

He then pursued an athletic career in the American Basketball League until 1972, when Tinsley transitioned his talent for athletics to the corporate sector, beginning with an 8-year management career at Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation.   There, he paved the way to his first franchise in 1984. Within 5 years he had acquired and built 5 more franchises and in 1989 was named KFCC’s Premier Operator, the highest honor presented to franchisees.

Today, Tinsley is the President and CEO of PenGeo Inc., Tinsley Family Concessions, Inc., The Tinsley Group, Inc., Tinsley-Bridgeman, LLC, and GW Tinsley Consulting, LLC.  His companies own and operate more than 50 franchises in Florida and Kentucky.

“I first became an airport concessionaire in 1995 with a TGIF restaurant in joint venture with HMS Host at the Tampa airport,” Tinsley recalls.  Tinsley Family Concessions is the family-owned airport concessions arm which has restaurants in Louisville, Miami and Tampa airports.

“I guess over the years I’ve learned a lot about the industry that I can share,” Tinsley notes modestly.  “I hope to be a strong resource.”

He believes that there is an urgent need for AMAC to raise its visibility nationally and to communicate the value of membership in the organization efficiently and effectively.

Clear communication is also needed internally with the current members, he adds.  “Too many members are not aware of how to make use of all of the rich opportunities AMAC offers for education, for networking and for career building.”

“There’s work to be done,” he says, “and I’m eager to do my part.”

ebon-glenn-head-shotMeet Ebon Sean Glenn, AMAC’s New Western Regional Director

The entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in AMAC’s newest board member Ebon Sean Glenn at an early age.  As his father, Ralph Glenn, built and grew RDG Concessions, a chain of seven retail shops at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the son worked in the stores throughout high school and college.

“I learned the front end of the business thoroughly,” Glenn says. He ultimately became Vice President of Operations for RDG Concessions.

In fact, his first experience with AMAC was working a booth for his dad at an AMAC Conference Expo in the early 2000’s.  He recalls being particularly impressed with a young conference speaker who, Glenn notes, was “a business owner, degreed, polished and really sharp. “

“At age 23, I thought I was hot stuff,” Glenn says with a wry smile, “but this guy helped me put things into perspective.”

With a undergraduate business degree from SW Minnesota State College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Phoenix under his belt, it wasn’t long before the energetic young man founded his own company, Aimhigh ESG.  Aimhigh is a minority-owned business that focuses on specialty retail airport concessions.

Now, at age 34, Glenn co-owns and is the Vice President of a San Francisco International Airport cafe concession called Green Beans Coffee SFO that generates over one million dollars in sales per year.  The café serves freshly made salads, sandwiches and baked muffins along with delicious specialty coffee.  During the development of this project Glenn assisted with the preparation of the RFP, the hiring or the architect and design team, the design of the café, the hiring of the contractors and the hiring of the employees.

Along the way, Glenn has continued to be active in AMAC, “listening and learning from experienced concessionaires – being kind of a proactive sponge.”

As newly elected Western Regional Director for AMAC, Glenn is eager to share his experiences and knowledge with others who are interested in the aviation industry and in the concession business.

“I want to be sure that potential business owners know how to negotiate a successful partnership and how to successfully market themselves and their business,” he says.

Glenn also wants to be sure that young people are aware of the myriad employment and career opportunities that are available in the aviation industry.  He is Executive Director of a non-profit he created called Aimhigh ESG Outreach Inc.  This non-profit’s mission is to enrich the lives of young people seeking advice and real world experience in today’s work force.

“I plan to brainstorm regularly with other leaders in this region to gather creative ideas to support all aspects of the AMAC mission,” he says.

Legislative Update


With FAA Extension in Rearview, Attention Now Turns to Nov. Elections

Action on Aviation Issues to Resume Next Year with New Congress and President

As Congress returns from one of its longest summer breaks in recent history, its primary focus will be to pass a stop gap government funding bill to avert a government shut before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.  This trend of passing short-term extensions of major pieces of must pass legislation has served as the hallmark of a Congress unable to find consensus on transformative policy matters in a volatile election year. 

Earlier this year, optimism was high regarding the possibility of Congress passing a multi-year Federal Aviation Authorization (FAA) Reauthorization bill.  FAA reauthorization bills are critically important pieces of legislation for our industry as they set spending levels and policy on a host of issues related to civil aviation. The most recent reauthorization act expired on September 30th of 2015 and the agency had been operating under a series of short-term extensions since that time. 

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate saw action on their respective reauthorization bills.  As discussed during the Annual Business Diversity Conference in Cleveland, we were pleased to see AMAC identified priorities reflected in both bills.  However, by early summer it became readily apparent that significant policy differences between the two chambers would hinder Congress’ ability to get a final bill across the finish line.  A controversial proposal introduced in the House of Representatives to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system, quickly diminished any chance of seeing a multi-year FAA bill enacted.  As a result of this impasse, in mid-July the House and Senate ultimately passed, and the President signed, H.R. 636, the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 which, for the most part, extends current law and funding levels through September 30, 2017.  President Obama’s signing of H.R. 636 all but ensures further Congressional action on aviation-related matters will be litigated by a new Congress and a new Presidential Administration next year. 

As 2017 will mark the beginning of a new Congress, both the House and Senate will have to begin work on new reauthorization bills.  Moreover, both candidates for President, to varying degrees, have stated infrastructure investment legislation would be an early priority in their new administrations.  Secretary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has proposed an ambitious $275 billion infrastructure proposal that includes investment in “world class American airports and modernizing our national airspace system” paid for through business tax reform.  Republican nominee Donald Trump is on record asserting that his plan would “at least double” Secretary Clinton’s plan and “will provide the growth to boost our infrastructure.”  Our need for your support in federal engagement in 2017 will be more important than ever, so be on the look out for details regarding our annual Industry Day Fly-In to be held next spring in Washington, DC.          

As we continue our work on behalf of our members and the DBE community-at-large, AMAC, led by the Government Affairs Committee will continue to actively engage lawmakers, in addition to the presidential campaigns, regarding AMAC priorities.  Stay tuned!  We will need your help.  We will continue to keep you apprised of emerging developments and actions that you as an AMAC member can undertake to make a difference.


aviation news

atlanta-airport-smart-lanesHartsfield-Jackson security checkpoint to be expanded, new smart lanes coming, Starbucks closing

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is about to begin an expansion of its main security checkpoint queuing area and plans to add more automated smart security lanes.
The Atlanta airport plans to add up to 20 more security “smart lanes,” which include a conveyor belt that automatically returns bins to the start of the lane. The $9 million project will be paid for with Atlanta airport funds, according to Hartsfield-Jackson spokesman Reese McCranie.

TSA says the new lanes, also known as innovation lanes, can speed security processing by up to 30 percent.

The lanes, which were first tested at Hartsfield-Jackson starting in May at the Terminal South security checkpoint with a $1 million investment by Delta Air Lines, have multiple stations for travelers to load bins that have RFID chips.


Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport considers nearly $1B in projects

Sky Harbor officials expect the airport to be at peak capacity Labor Day weekend, just like most holidays. They’re warning that if big projects aren’t tackled soon every day could become a "peak" day.

During a recent city meeting, the aviation department’s director laid out the airport’s capital investment needs, focusing on two projects

More Gates

Maybe you’ve been there – your plane arrives at Sky Harbor, you’re ready to get off, but you can’t.
“Instead of pulling up to a gate, you go off to the side, what we refer to as a hold pen,” Aviation Director Jim Bennett said. “And you have to wait on the airplane for a gate to become

available for the aircraft to taxi up to the gate.”
Bennett says Sky Harbor is seeing about 140,000 fewer flights than it did in 1990, while serving more than 8 million more passengers every year. That’s because airlines are putting more people on bigger planes. That forces airports to reconfigure gates and they lose space. Bennett wants to add eight gates at Terminal 4, but doesn’t expect to actually see all eight.


An Infrastructure Plan for America: How Investing in Infrastructure will Lay the Foundation for Prosperity, Advance Environmental Goals, and Rebuild the Middle Class

The Center for American Progress has released a report that details recommendations for investing in transportation infrastructure.


Upcoming Events

Light Pylons at LAX.

IT Professionals Invited to Upcoming LAX-Connect Industry Forum

The Los Angeles World Airport’s (LAWA) “LAX Connect-IT Industry Forum” will be the premiere Information Technology industry form brining together current and future LAWA contractors and consultants for an afternoon.  Invaluable insights or upcoming IT contracting opportunities with LAWA will be shared.

Interested IT professionals will meet the LAWA IT team that currently keeps LAX connected, they will  learn how to do business with LAWA and receive tips on submitting responses to upcoming RFPs.  Approximately 14 new opportunities will be upcoming in the IT area.

The event will be held Tuesday, September 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Sherator Gateway, Los Angeles, 6101 W. Century Blvd.  Parking will be available at 98th and Avion.

To RSVP for the event:  Https://

img_5391Indianapolis Airport Plans Concessions and Retail Refresh Program

Being an award-winning airport means keeping the airport experience fresh and meaningful for both leisure and business travelers alike. To that end, the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is undergoing a Concessions Refresh Program to further enhance the distinctive and high quality “Indy” travel experience.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) will host a series of informational meetings for anyone interested in airport concessions in the areas of Food & Beverage and/or Retail. We are encouraging businesses that are eligible for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program at the airport to participate. The IAA encourages local participation; current experience operating concessions at the airport is not required.

Each informational meeting will contain identical content and is in preparation for an upcoming Concessions Refresh Program - Request for Proposals in Spring 2017. IAA staff and key consultants will present the plans for the future Concessions Refresh Program, and will discuss the process of operating a business at the airport.

The IAA strongly encourages all interested parties to attend one of the three (3) sessions to learn about the upcoming IND concession opportunities. Attendees will have time to network with IAA staff, consultants and other key representatives following the presentations.

Due to limited seating, RSVPs are required.

Light refreshments will be served at each meeting.

Session 1, September 19, 2016 @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm EST (RSVPs due September 12):
Indianapolis International Airport – 4th Floor Board Room (Parking will be validated)
7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46241

Register for Session 1:

Session 2, September 29, 2016 @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm EST (RSVPs due September 22):
Fishers Town Hall – Auditorium (Parking is free)
1 Municipal Dr., Fishers, IN 46038

Register for Session 2:

Session 3, September 29, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST (RSVPs due September 22):
Indianapolis Urban League – Conference Room (Parking is free)
777 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Register for Session 3:

new-construction-philadelphia-airport-terminal-fPhiladelphia Airport Annual Business Opportunity Forum: Oct. 7

Business owners are invited to “Go Above and Beyond” with the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), at a free event to be held Friday, October 7, at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott.

The new PHL executive team and other business leaders will discuss business development,    construction, professional services and concessions.  Guests will learn new strategies and techniques to help form winning teams, increase revenue and built capacity.

The event is held in collaboration with Minority Enterprise Development   (MED) Week.

For more information and to register, Click Here

Save Oct. 18 for Atlanta’s 15th Annual Supplier Diversity Conference

The greater Atlanta Economic Alliance Supplier Diversity Conference is a year-end, annual symposium that targets small, female and minority-owned businesses.  The conference focuses on opportunities to participate in the multi-billion dollar construction and transportation industry.

Registration information will be available soon!

membership corner

We Want Your Opinion: AMAC Conference Survey Link Here!

“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.

To take the brief survey now, click here.

In the meantime, please enjoy a few conference reminders in the following NEW collage of photos:



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

For job postings click here.

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.