Airport_Business_November_2020 - 46

UNDER

Isabella Rhawie
Isabella Rhawie grew up in the retail world and in some ways,
it's a part of her DNA.
" I come from a pretty robust retail background. My parents
own a retail business and there are a lot of entrepreneurs in my
family, " Rhawie said. " Coming from a family of entrepreneurs,
I've been raised in that environment. I grew up spending a lot
of time at my parent's jewelry store, so I was exposed to that
industry pretty early on. "
Before joining the Metropolitan Airports Commission
(MAC), Rhawie worked at the Mall of America in the tourism
department. She celebrated her sixth anniversary with the
MAC in October and was recently promoted to interimassistant director, concessions &
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
business development.
Alma Mater: Augsburg University
When Rhawie joined MAC, they
Fun fact about yourself: My family speaks
were right at the beginning phase
Aramaic which is considered a dead language.
of redeveloping 80 percent of their
Someone I look up to in the industry: It's too
concessions program. Rhawie, who said
difficult to pick just one person. I've been extremely
exercising her creativity is one of the
lucky to work with industry trailblazers to look up
favorite aspects of her work, brought
to. I'm so appreciative to Eric Johnson, Director of
a new sense of design and direction to
Commercial Management & Airline Affairs at MSP,
the program. She played a pivotal role
and Liz Grzechowiak, former Assistant Director of
in the concession design meetings that
Concessions & Business Development at MSP, for
helped to push the boundaries of how
giving me the opportunities and encouragement to be
the new stores and restaurants were
successful in my career.
going to look.
My favorite thing about aviation is: The
" I really enjoy the creative process of
opportunity to provide your best airport experience in
designing and curating a concessions
while doing what I love.
program from start to finish. Seeing

that concept start off on a piece of paper, to working through
the design process, to watching that construction wall come
down and admiring the final product is the most gratifying
feeling and that's what keeps me going, " Rhawie said.
Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) has won
several awards recently for store designs, such as the Minnesota
Real Estate Journal 2018 - Best Retail Redevelopment.
Rhawie's knowledge of passenger demographics help store
operators fine tune their offerings to develop eye-catching
window displays.
" I'm really involved in what the windows displays look like -
how to draw people in - really looking at those demographics
and figuring out what's selling, what's not, what's trending,
how do we get people into your store or your restaurant?
That's really interesting to me, " she said.
Rhawie's leadership and skills has helped MSP win the
Concessions Team of the Year two years in a row (2017, 2018).
Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Rhawie has been
working to maintain an open line of communication with all
of MAC's tenants to provide operational updates and respond
to any questions business partners might have.
She has worked to facilitate a new concession consortium
to coordinate the reopening process as the passenger levels
slowly start to come back and is helping to develop a plan
that will provide the best opening strategy without putting
operators at risk.

www.AviationPros.com/21149648

David LaFay
No two days are the same in aviation - and for David LaFay,
it might be fair to say that no two hours are the same. As
senior director of technical operations and integration for
PrimeFlight Aviation Services, LaFay oversees the company's
integration efforts as well as the company's scheduling and
dispatching software used to collect billing data and service
information.
LaFay manages the integration of newly acquired business
units, bringing them under the PrimeFlight umbrella.
Integration efforts touch all aspects of airport business,
from cleaning and janitorial services to deicing, fueling and
ground handling for both commercial carriers and the general
aviation industry. As a result of organic and acquisition
Hometown: Saratoga Springs, NY growth, the company currently operates in more than 100
airports across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Through
Alma Mater: Paul Smith's College
his integration efforts, LaFay focuses on identifying best
Fun fact about yourself: I
practices and talent as well as systems evaluations, all with
greatly enjoy grilling and cooking.
the aim of bettering the company as a whole. While this
I love entertaining and feeding
may seem like a varied workload, LaFay prefers staying
people!
busy.
Someone I look up to in the
" I enjoy the diversity of the projects that I work on as well
industry: I've had too many
as the wide range of people I work with, " he explained.
mentors to name, but I wouldn't be
" Wearing many hats allows me to travel, learn new things,
where I am without all of them.
and meet new people, which are some of my favorite
My favorite thing about
things. "
aviation is: The constant learning
LaFay's contributions to PrimeFlight's scheduling and
and diversity of day to day work.
dispatching software helps keep the company at the top
of their game, integrating with safety, security and quality

" One of the eye opening experience
and what drove my passion for the
industry was the first trade show that I
attended - MRO Americas - five or six
years ago, and the diversity of vendors
and airlines and all of the different
aspects that are involved in this industry
interested me and is what opened my eyes
to just how interesting the industry is. "
efforts as well as the wellbeing of the airport environment.
Active in the industry, LaFay serves as PrimeFlight's
representative for the Airline Service Providers Association and
works with other service providers to further the industry's
common goals. While LaFay enjoys the diversity of his dayto-day tasks, he also notes that the diversity of the industry's
workforce is one of his favorite aspects of working within the
aviation industry.
" I enjoy how the industry brings together so many different
backgrounds, cultures and communities, " LaFay noted. " I
love working and interacting with people that have different
perspectives, and I believe the diversity of the industry is what
allows it to continually evolve and improve over the years. "

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46 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / NOVEMBER 2020


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Airport_Business_November_2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport_Business_November_2020

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Totally Boggus
How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Product Profile
40 Under 40
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 1
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 2
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 3
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 4
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Inside the Fence
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Industry Update
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 7
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 8
Airport_Business_November_2020 - A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Totally Boggus
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 11
Airport_Business_November_2020 - How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 13
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 14
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 15
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Product Profile
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 17
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 40 Under 40
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