Connections – March 27, 2017

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message from the president


“If you end up on an elevator with Bernie Sanders, don’t be surprised.”

What a wonderful intro from our 2017 Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill.  We filled room 902 at the Hart Senate Building with excited AMAC Members, we formed new relationships, we made sure our voices and our issues were heard!

We received a warm welcome and personal invitation from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, whose city of Houston will be hosting us for the Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference this June!

Senator Cory Booker, our keynote speaker brought an authentic and humane personal touch to the summit.  Every guest clung to his words as he made us laugh, prompted us to think, and most of all he reminded us to take action together:  “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together.”

I’m honored to call Senator Booker a friend and proud supporter of AMAC.  During the keynote, Senator Booker pointed out AMAC’s mission, the shared goals we are all trying to achieve together is literally written in our country’s founding documents.

I’m beyond grateful for those of you who were able to join us on Capitol Hill and I look forward to seeing all of you in June.



Krystal J. Brumfield

new member spotlight

The Challenge of Entrepreneurship Drives Tillage Construction’s Keith Tillage to Success

For energetic entrepreneur Keith Tillage, 47, principal of Tillage Construction Company, LLC, life has been like a train ride with the next stop eagerly anticipated, and the forward movement always to be savored.

“Sometimes the ride is bumpy,” he says with a smile, “but the challenge is to learn something from every experience.”

The Baton Rouge-based, multi-million-dollar company evolved from Keith’s father’s cabinet-making hobby.  “My father is a gifted craftsman who worked as a football coach and in juvenile detention, but built custom cabinets for the love of it,” Tillage.  “In 1991, he turned his hobby into a business called Ken Tillage Construction Company.”

Though Tillage had always yearned to be an entrepreneur himself, his first step after graduating from Southern University with a degree in computer science was into corporate America.  He worked for Price Waterhouse Cooper and Texas Instruments for years, travelling all over the world and gaining a keen understanding of the inner workings of successful business.

In 2000, Tillage felt it was time for him to come home and partner with his father to help grow the family business. From there Tillage Construction Company, LLC, was born!  “I started out as the chief nail-holder for my dad,” he recalls.

It wasn’t long however, before his corporate sales experience kicked in, and Tillage took on more and more responsibility for business development.  “I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he says, “but that’s what I love – the excitement and uncertainty of it all.  It’s both frightening and intriguing.  Each day brings something new; each step creates a fresh opportunity.” 

Over the next 17 years, the business grew steadily, taking ever bigger steps, surviving economic downturns and thriving in good times through careful planning.  As they moved from residential construction to commercial and opened offices in Dallas and New Orleans, Tillage learned as much as he could about every aspect of the industry.  He put in the painstakingly hard work in order to get all the necessary minority and small business licenses and certifications, including the federal government’s 8A certification. 

The company began building an award-winning reputation for quality work.  They have been recognized for excellence multiple times by the SBA and by Black Enterprise magazine, among others.

“We tried to stay in commercial areas that were stable and recession-proof,” Tillage notes.  They targeted health care, education, government, multi-family, gaming and airport construction.  For example, in 2014, they partnered with McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. on a three year contract at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

“The aviation industry offers a lot of opportunity for construction companies,” Tillage says, “and AMAC membership helps put minority companies in the center of that big tent.”

“I joined AMAC as soon as I learned that Krystal Brumfield was president,” he adds. “I’ve known her for years and followed her career.  I know that she will bring good people to the table and can help us all find friends and allies.”

The Tillage Family

legislative update

Trump Administration Releases FY’18 Budget Outline Document

Blueprint Gives Nod to Controversial Air Traffic Control Proposal; Silent on Major Airport Investment

On March 16th the Trump Administration released it’s much anticipated budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018.  The broad plan presented to Congress provides a first glimpse into the priorities of the new President and his Administration.  With respect to transportation the Administration’s budget request would shrink the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) by 13 percent which represents a $2.4 billion decrease from 2017 levels.  The document is silent on the Administration’s previously announced plans for major investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure systems.

With respect to aviation the document expresses support for “a multi-year reauthorization proposal to shift the air traffic control (ATC) function of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to an independent, non-governmental organization, making the system more efficient and innovative while maintaining safety.”  As we have previously reported in our legislative updates, attempts to reshape the U.S. ATC system last Congress derailed any chances of Congress enacting a multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill due to bipartisan, bicameral opposition over the controversial proposal.    



ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE: Eliminates funding for the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which was originally conceived of as a temporary program nearly 40 years ago to provide subsidized commercial air service to rural airports. EAS flights are not full and have high subsidy costs per passenger. Several EAS-eligible communities are relatively close to major airports, and communities that have EAS could be served by other existing modes of transportation. This proposal would result in a discretionary savings of $175 million from the 2017 annualized CR level. 

AIRPORT SECURITY:  Eliminates and reduces unauthorized and underperforming programs administered by TSA in order to strengthen screening at airport security checkpoints, a savings of $80 million from the 2017 annualized CR level. These savings include reductions to the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response program, which achieves few Federal law enforcement priorities, and elimination of TSA grants to State and local jurisdictions, a program intended to incentivize local law enforcement patrols that should already be a high priority for State and local partners.  In addition, the Budget reflects TSA’s decision in the summer of 2016 to eliminate the Behavior Detection Officer program, reassigning all of those personnel to front line airport security operations.  Such efforts refocus TSA on its core mission of protecting travelers and ensuring Federal security standards are enforced throughout the transportation system.



Report calls for air traffic control reform ahead of FAA reauthorization

One of the chief arguments behind the spin-off plan is that air traffic control operations, which are subject to the annual appropriations process, face constant political and funding uncertainty. Eno points out that “many other developed countries have already departed from this model.”

“Only an entity outside the direct control of government will have the necessary independence to implement modern technologies at the pace needed to meet demand,” said Rui Neiva, the report’s co-author.

The report found that the government has struggled with modernization efforts, including establishing a precise satellite-based surveillance system and implementing digital data communications for air traffic controllers and pilots.




aviation news

The Virginia Department of Transportation promotes partnerships to create contract opportunities

VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick expressed the same level of commitment: “We’re proud to assist the Transportation DBE Advisory Committee in facilitating growth and business opportunities for DBE firms in Virginia through this event. These businesses play an important role in transportation projects across the Commonwealth, and are at the heart of our mission to Keep Virginia Moving.”


Atlanta Tech Loses FAA Approval

With air travel expected to double in the next 20 years, according to industry experts, the demand for all related occupations will soar. That’s what officials at Atlanta Technical College were banking on when its decades-old aviation maintenance programs were upgraded seven years ago. But in December, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration alleged the college failed to maintain strict government standards. The FAA suspended its air agency certificate, the official authorization for such training programs. To date, Atlanta Tech is still working to bring the program up to compliance.



Trump Budget Proposal Calls for Air Traffic Control to Shift to ‘non-governmental organization’

President Trump is shaking things up with his first budget proposal. Included is one of the largest increases in military spending in decades plus many large cuts to other departments and programs.

One interesting proposal for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is shifting the Air Traffic Control section of the FAA “to an independent, non-governmental organization.” This would mean the federal government giving up day to day control over the personnel managing the civilian and commercial aircraft in the skies over the United States.



Miami International Plans to Grow Cargo Business with New Foreign Trade Zone

The pending component of MIA's three-part cargo plan represents significant upside business potential. In its application for foreign-trade zone status, MIA projects that business within the airport zone would generate $5.5 million in additional airport revenues and create hundreds of new jobs.

The airport's total economic impact is estimated at $33.7 billion, with nearly 283,000 direct and indirect employees.

If MIA is granted foreign-trade zone status, it will….



Upcoming Events



St. Louis Lambert International Airport Business Diversity

Announcing the Business Diversity Forum Keynote Speaker:


Friday, March 31

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

B Concourse Event Space in Terminal 1

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)

Reserve your spot now!

Registration closes on March 27.


"Connecting Diversity to New Heights"

Krystal Brumfield advocates for diversity and inclusion of minority and women-owned companies in themulti-billion dollar airport/aviation industry. Brumfield is known as a passionate relationship builder who fuels audiences with inspiration to improve performance and succeed in business.

Brumfield will discuss the exciting growth of opportunities nationwide, as well as AMAC's mission to promote the inclusion of minorities and women in employment at all levels of airport management, operations, and contracting opportunities throughout the airport/aviation industry. Brumfield joined AMAC last June. She previously held the position of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. She has also worked as Tax and Procurement Counsel for the Unites States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Brumfield earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the Southern University Law Center. She also holds a Master of Laws degree in taxation from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Southern University.

AMAC announces, "The Magic of Flight" the 2017 Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference


AMAC is excited to announce that you may now begin registering for the2017 Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference! Hosted by Houston Airport System this annual event, appropriately themed, “The Magic ofFlight” will examine trends and best practices for new entrants and veteran attendees alike. We look forward to seeing you in Houston on June 16-20, 2017 – Click HERE for more information, and to register now!   



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.

Position TitleSupplier Diversity Outreach Specialist
Announcement No.MWAA-17-11872
Salary RangeS20, $76,579 - $111,039
Position TypeFT Permanent
LocationRonald Reagan Washington National Airport, Office of Supply Chain Management, MA-950
Opening Date3/01/17
Closing Date3/15/17




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.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority is pleased to announce a Request for Quote at the Indianapolis International Airport:

  • RFQ for Rehabilitate RW 14-32 and TW with LED Lighting - Project No. I-17-071

The timeline and requirements for submitting questions, submissions, and other details for these requests are specified in the documents at the link below.

Detailed information regarding these Requests may be found on our website:

A Request for Proposals for the following Airport Cooperative Research Program project is now available:

ACRP 11-01/Topic 10-02: Legal Issues Relating to Large Scale Airport Construction Projects

March 2017 Opportunities Forecast

A number of projected  procurement opportunities will be available at Broward College.

For additional information on the procurement opportunities listed, contact the following Broward College employees:

Eileen Hunt at

Michele Traft at

Zaida Riollano at