Connections – September 26, 2016

message from the president

Dear AMAC Members and Friends:

It has been a busy two weeks for the AMAC team.  As you all may know, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference (ACL) was held September 14 -18, 2016.  This event is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community.

AMAC was well represented at the Conference. Our very own Rhonda Arnold, AMAC Southwest Regional Director and Houston Airport System’s Chief Municipal and Community Affairs Officer, sat on a distinguished panel hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX 18th District).

AMAC Member and General Counsel Mareco Edwards raised a key question regarding supplier diversity from the panel audience (see photo).

I was the guest speaker at the National Association of Black Women in Construction reception during the ALC.  I used the opportunity to urge collaboration among minority organizations to increase contracting opportunities and remove barriers to entry in the aviation industry..

AMAC General Counsel Mareco Edwards
Rhonda Arnold is pictured here, at the far right.

Following the Conference, on September 22nd, I had the opportunity to attend a small group meeting with U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn hosted by the Joint Center/INSIGHT America Bipartisan Meeting with Leaders of Color.  Part of the discussion centered on Clyburn’s “10-20-30” poverty plan.  That plan would commit 10 percent of federal resources to the 20 percent of the population that has lived below the poverty line for the past 30 years or more.

The gathering provided a great opportunity for opinion leaders to determine what areas related to diversity we can work on together.

And, in the spirit of working together, I would like to encourage AMAC members to use other members for vendor services. We must first do business with AMAC member firms or at least make sure we solicit proposals from our AMAC colleagues.

Our recent Annual Business Diversity Conference set the stage for this type of vital collaboration.  As a result of contacts made at our Cleveland event, one AMAC member is currently considering proposals from five AMAC businesses.

From a ROI perspective, attending our annual conference is indeed a proven value proposition!



Krystal J. Brumfield

member spotlight

William A. Kirk is AMAC’s 2016 Catalyst Hall of Fame Award Winner

For nearly 20 years, lawyer/lobbyist William (Bill) A. Kirk has been the backbone of AMAC’s Government Relations program.  A partner in D.C. powerhouse law firm K&L Gates, Kirk represents clients before Congress and Executive Branch agencies with emphasis on tax, financial services, corporate and transportation and infrastructure matters.

He has represented both the AMAC organization and its individual members on a wide range of issues including:

  • Helping businesses get or keep DBE and ACDBE certification;
  • Honing the legislation and regulations that help minorities participate equitably in airport industry contracts; and,
  • Using the law to defend and protect the diversity and inclusion programs from political forces that would undermine or dismantle these hard-won advances.

Over the course of Kirk’s career, he has combined experience as a senior Congressional staffer and representing airport clients and others on policy, regulatory and commercial matters as an attorney in private practice..  While on Capitol Hill, Bill  worked on the Hill in positions as an advisor to Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and as a senior staff member of the House Ways and Means Committee including serving as Staff Director of the Committee’s Oversight panel then chaired by Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY).

“It was about 20 years ago when I was representing the Cleveland Airport that I attended an AMAC conference held in Seattle,” he recalls.  “I was impressed by the passion and commitment of the people I met.  I wanted to help.”

Kirk urges AMAC members to get involved with the Government Relations Committee to support the ongoing work.  “Members of Congress and government officials need to hear and relate to real life stories that AMAC members tell of the impact of diversity programs on their businesses and their communities,” he says.  “That’s the true value member participation adds.”

To join the Government Relations Committee, click hereThe committee members participate in a conference call on the last Friday  of every month at 3:00 p.m. EST.

“Bill Kirk’s years of service have been invaluable,” says AMAC President and CEO Krystal Brumfield. “Bill has an unparallel understanding of the legislative process and the intent of the DBE and ACDBE programs. His knowledge has greatly contributed to the success and stability of AMAC and member firms over the years.”   

This year he was honored with the AMAC’s Hall of Fame Award.  This award honors an individual(s), who has demonstrated historical, sustainable and profound contributions to the aviation industry and exhibited a positive impact on diversity inclusion within the industry. This individual has provided continuous support of AMAC’s mission and goals, as well as the growth and development of airport diversity.


aviation news

World's busiest airport? Atlanta takes the title, again

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has nailed down the “World’s Busiest Airport for the 18th year in a row.


small_airports-passenger_increase_c0-117-3120-1936_s885x516Small Airports Get Busy as Travelers Seek Savings

More and more people are flying out of airports in Provo and Ogden to take advantage of less expensive tickets and smaller crowds.


LAX Officials Seeking Public Comment on $5B Airport Overhaul

Los Angeles International Airport officials have invited public comment on the recently released environmental review of the planned $5 billion expansion, according to the Daily Breeze.

While the review's purpose is to determine how the project can best reduce and redistribute traffic as well as improve general access, it also makes public the most details to date regarding the renovation.



AMAC news

Aviation Planning Program Manager Job Opening at SEA-TAC

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is searching for an Aviation Planning Program Manager. Applications will be accepted until October 9, 2016. Click here for more information


Small Minority Businesses Resilient in Recession, SBA Research Says

From the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy comes research that shows the resilience of minority-owned businesses during recession.

An Issue Brief, Minority Business Ownership: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners by Regulatory Economist Michael McManus, analyzes the data collected from minority business owners through the Census 2012 Survey of Business Owners.

After taking a closer look at the five years enveloping the economic recession, McManus discovered that minority-owned businesses helped keep the US economy alive despite traditional setbacks.

SFIA Issues RFP for Management of Parking Facilities

San Francisco International Airport has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Management and Operation of its Public and Employee Parking Facilities.
The RFP is available in PDF format at the following link:  

The firm selected through the RFP process will manage and operate the Airport’s parking facilities pursuant to a Professional Services Agreement.  Small, local, and disadvantaged businesses are encouraged to participate.



Upcoming Events

Airport Concessions Networking Event Planned for IAH

United Airlines and food, beverage and retail management firm OTG Management have partnered to invite Houston retailers, restauranteurs, and service providers to a George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Concessions Industry Day on Saturday, October 8.

The event,which will include networking opportunities and information for Minority/Women/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (M/W/DBE), will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 1865 Aldine-Bender Road, Houston, TX 77032. Free parking is available.

Reserve space by emailing Please include your name, company, email address, and phone number. Please RSVP by October 1.

15017151230_0b2cff342bFree Seminar on Surety Bonds Offered by SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Association of Surety Bond Producers will hold a one day seminar entitled “Your Path to Surety Bonds:  What Small Businesses Need To Know!”  on Thursday, September 29th.

The free seminar will explore a variety of topics such as Bonding & Insurance, Banking & finance, Federal Assistance Programs and local Procurement Opportunities. It will be held at the Maryland Department of Transportation, 7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, MD 20176 from 8:00am – 2:00pm.



Fort Lauderdale “Transportation Industry Day” for Youth to be Held at Dillard High, Oct. 5th

The South Florida chapter of the National Association of Black Women in Construction will host a Transportation Industry Day at Dillard High School on Wednesday, October 5th, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m..

The free event for Dillard high school students will provide a unique platform for transportation industry professionals in the various areas of science, technology, engineering, architecture and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) to share information about careers with Dillard High School students.


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.”

Brumfield urges members to fill out the survey and return it as soon as possible.  “Your opinion will count when we plan for 2017!” she says.

To take the brief survey now, click here.

el-centro-ribbon-cuttingNew El Centro Restaurant Opens at Reagan National

A gala ribbon cutting was recently held for a new El Centro Restaurant at AMAC Member Reagan National Airport.

The authentic Mexican restaurant, founded by chef and restauranteur Richard Sandoval, will provide all of its classic Mexican dishes to travelers at the airport. This store will be managed by Diane Wilner of Grace Restaurants, continuing the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority’s (MWAA) efforts to include minority and woman-owned business among its tenants.

The restaurant is located at Terminal B/C, post-security.  

paradies-opening-at-fort-worthParadies Lagardère and Kent Rathbun Concepts Open New DFW Bistro

AMAC Member Paradies Lagardère, the travel retail and restaurateur leader in North America, and Kent Rathbun Concepts, have opened a new restaurant, Whitetail Bistro, in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s (DFW) Terminal D.

Together, the two companies were awarded the contract for three new restaurants and bars in the DFW Airport. Whitetail Bistro is the first to open.

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.