ACI-NA Honors 2015 Inclusion Champions

April 22, 2015


PHOENIX – Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today announced the recipients of the ACI-NA Inclusion Champion Awards, which recognize exceptional achievement in promoting and sustaining diversity throughout the airport industry’s workforce.  The 2015 Inclusion Champion Award winners are Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and Hudson Group.

“North American airports and our associate members are dedicated to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “The recipients of our Inclusion Champions Awards have truly demonstrated their commitment to advancing business and workplace diversity.”

Small Hub Inclusion Champion: Columbia Metropolitan Airport

When Columbia Metropolitan Airport re-focused its diversity initiatives in 2010, the result was the development of an engagement cycle that helps put disadvantaged businesses on equal footing with larger, prime companies. The airport’s initiatives were successful in increasing disadvantaged business participation from nine percent to over 30 percent, with two major prime contracts being awarded to disadvantaged businesses. In addition, the airport’s workforce diversity initiative refocused its commitment, resulting in an increase in both minority and female personnel. Since the inception of the program, the number of women and minorities on the airport’s executive staff has increased by more than 50 percent, as has the number of minority and female representation in managerial positions.

Medium Hub Inclusion Champion: Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority (the Authority) has a long-standing commitment to business diversity and inclusion which dates to the mid-1980s. Since then, the Authority’s programs and policies regarding diversity and inclusion have grown to include every aspect of the Authority’s business relationships, including inclusive business practices. For example, when the Authority learned that disadvantaged businesses were unable to secure direct airport leasing opportunities due to a lack of capital the Small and Emerging Business (SEB) program was developed to remove one barrier to competition for these firms. The airport committed $1.5 million to provide up to 80 percent of the collateral necessary to underwrite capital development loans. Additionally, as part of the airport’s commitment to workforce diversity, the Authority strives very hard to provide a work environment that values multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and gender diversity This is reflected in significant minority representation in staff from the executive level down to the front line worker.

Large Hub Inclusion Champion: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

As the economic engine of North Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport continues to strengthen the region’s capacity to grow and maintain its competitiveness in a global marketplace by ensuring that vendor opportunities are available to businesses that reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the region. The airport integrates diversity and inclusion into all aspects of airport business with expenditures to minority and women-owned businesses and revenues generated by those businesses resulting in thousands of permanent, high-quality jobs and the creation of real economic opportunities for the DFW region. The airport also emphasizes workforce inclusion and development through DFW’s flourishing resource groups for women, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, millennials and veterans which help attract the best talent while cultivating and retaining top-performing employees. The resource groups support DFW’s diversity and inclusion efforts by responding to a growing and changing customer base; partnering to develop specialized marketing strategies; creating an inclusive workplace environment; targeting community partnerships; implementing supplier diversity initiatives.

Associate Inclusion Champion: Hudson Group

Hudson advances diversity in many joint venture partnerships for retail concessions in the airport industry. The company’s track record of minority participation is a direct indicator of its commitment to include all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. In 2014, disadvantaged business participation represented 23 percent of its total business. Hudson’s overall workforce is 80 percent minority and the management team is 58 percent minority. The company is also passionate about the development and promotion of future aviation professionals and leaders from diverse backgrounds. Hudson continues to support Communities in Schools, the largest dropout prevention organization in the U.S. that works with at-risk students to help them stay in school.


About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at