(September 1, 2016) As Tampa International Airport undergoes its largest expansion and concessions redevelopment in airport history, it’s also made significant strides toward including local, woman- and minority-owned businesses. Through outreach, workshops and other initiatives, the Ethics, Diversity and Administration department has touched a number of both local and national firms that are now doing business with TPA.
These efforts were recognized last week by the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC), which presented to TPA the Airport Top Flight Award for promoting diversity through concessions and construction programs.
“We’ve been active AMAC members for many years and this is the first year we’ve received this great honor,” said Elita McMillon, Director of Ethics, Diversity and Administration at TPA. “Our team, along with Concessions, Planning & Development and Procurement, have really worked hard these past couple years to attract more diversity and it’s great to be recognized nationally for this work.”
George Tinsley Sr., an ACDBE concessionaire who has operated restaurants and bars at TPA for 21 years, said AMAC’s recognition of TPA’s efforts is “right on point.” He commended Business Diversity Manager Cheryl Hawkins for her involvement in AMAC and helping bring new ACDBEs to TPA.
“I’ve seen the progress that CEO Joe Lopano has made with the inclusion of minorities – both female and African-American and other minority groups -- in key positions within the leadership, as well as in this concessions redevelopment by having minority ownership in all of the RFP packages,” Tinsley said. “Of all the other airports around the United States that I’m familiar with, this airport has made the most improvement over the last five years of any of them.”
The concessions redevelopment brought in 15 ACDBE partners, six of which are newly introduced to airport business. Projected concessions revenue for ACDBE businesses in 2018, the first year of the fully implemented program, is expected to be $50.5 million.
To date, the Airport has also paid $52.1 million to DBE and WMBE businesses involved in the historic expansion projects, and it is projected that at least $122.8 million will be paid to such business upon completion.
“I’m proud of the many partnerships we’ve built through our growth and development over the last year and a half, but I’m particularly proud of the ones we share with our woman- and minority-owned businesses,” said TPA CEO Joe Lopano. “Let’s keep up the good work.”