July-August 2022 - 27

COVER STORY
You've increased the number of
DBE/WBE businesses at SEA to a
record level. Why was this important
to you and how did you go
about finding the right partners
to achieve this goal?
Advancing women and minority businesses
in airports is one of my career
passions. Diversity is a necessity in
cultivating a high-quality program, so
we also want to assure inclusivity. The
team at SEA has created a partnership
environment where every business and
WMBE firm is valued.
The right partners are key to this
success. Prime tenants including SSP
America, Hudson, Host, Dufry, Stellar
Partners, and many others have done
an excellent job with partners that
understand the Seattle market and
bring incredible knowledge in retail,
food and beverage, and services. SEA
appreciates the joint venture partnerships
and our primes commitment to
our program.
Explain the policies you created/
introduced to capitalize on new
business opportunities at the
airport and how the airport was
able to capitalize on them.
The Port's emphasis on equity in this
process is changing the equation for
women and minority-owned business
while expanding dining, shopping and
service options for passengers. Policies
to increase opportunities for WMBE/
ACDBE businesses at the airport
allowed our concessions team to focus
on entry micro and small businesses.
SEA has a kiosk program that
offers short-term retail opportunities
for qualified small, local retailers for
six-, 12-, and 18-month lease terms.
Infrastructure in these spaces is provided
and maintained by the Port to
provide more flexible and less expensive
options for new concessionaires
interested in operating at the airport.
The kiosk program is designed to
mentor micro and small retail businesses
on how to do business with the
airport. This coupled with policies to
increase WMBE/ACDBE businesses
gave birth to a new portion of the
program. In 2019, we developed a
Food and Beverage Incubator Kiosk
program with three food and beverage
units, including all the infrastructure
and equipment. SEA is one of the best
incubators for small businesses, and
the kiosk program is increasing our
WMBE/ACDBE numbers.
You're noted for your collaborative
attitude with partners. Tell me why
this is an important quality for a
concessions program and how you
build a collaborative atmosphere
with all the stakeholders involved.
It's important for airports to build
strong relationships with all our tenants
and be their advocate. Collaborative
and trusting relationships are earned
over time through real mentorship,
inclusivity and care. It means being a
champion for our businesses and investing
in entrepreneurs with the knowledge
and support to be successful.
Involvement in both national
organizations and boards as well as
partnerships with other airports and
concessionaire-based organizations has
allowed us to bring new, innovative,
and collaborative concepts and ideas
to SEA and spread those innovations
across the aviation industry.
Moreover, building and maintaining
close and collaborative rapport
means that when we need to have
difficult conversations, or have events
like COVID-19, we work together and
develop solutions that are a win for the
airport and our tenants.
What is the biggest challenge
you see for airport concessions
programs going forward?
It is time to reimagine how we do
business moving forward. RFPs and
concessions contracts have remained
generally the same for the past two
decades. Food and beverage contracts
have hovered around 10-year terms
and retail at seven to eight years. The
industry recognizes that construction,
operational and labor costs have
increased. Many airports have regulated
sales at street pricing or added additional
cost like Centralize Delivery
Centers, yet the business models have
remained the same. Existing standards
must evolve to keep businesses viable.
When our business partners make
money, we make money.
You've accomplished a lot in just
five years. What are your goals for
the next five years?
I love working in this industry. It is
so rewarding to advance my people,
support our tenants and experience
the recovery of the airport economy.
Becoming director of aviation commercial
management in 2020 has
deepened my focus on customer
service innovation and expanding
economic opportunities.
I recently served six months as
Acting Chief Operating Officer of
Aviation at SEA, which was insightful
and increased my aviation knowledge
base. I'm inspired to learn as much as I
can about airports' functions. My goal
is ultimately to be an airport director.
What advice would you give to airports
of all sizes looking to improve
their concessions programs?
Think about the city or region you
service. Bring that flavor into the
airport. Build a team that understands
business and wants to collaborate
with partners to enhance the
customer experience.
Most importantly, give a small business
a chance. I once worked with an
ACDBE business that went on to start
winning so many contracts that they
were bought by a major prime. View
the investment of your staff's time to
nurture and mentor the business as an
opportunity to make change.
What do they need to focus on to
achieve their goals?
Every airport has a brand promise.
At SEA, we promise to create an
elevated travel experience that's
inspired by the Pacific Northwest and
a passionate service culture. The best
way to achieve your goal is to measure
everything by that promise. The
promises always surround providing
the highest level of service.
JULY/AUGUST 2022 \ AVIATIONPROS.COM / 27
http://www.AVIATIONPROS.COM

July-August 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July-August 2022

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
Supply Chain Issues, Disruptions and Their Effect on Aviation Infrastructure
Moving an Aircraft Hangar
A Guide to Concessions
Legal Matters
Remote Airport Project Implementation Takes Off
Desert Jet’s Newest Palm Springs Facility Sets the Bar High
Airport Guru
Product Profile
July-August 2022 - PCOV1
July-August 2022 - PCOV2
July-August 2022 - 1
July-August 2022 - 2
July-August 2022 - 3
July-August 2022 - 4
July-August 2022 - Inside the Fence
July-August 2022 - Industry Update
July-August 2022 - 7
July-August 2022 - Supply Chain Issues, Disruptions and Their Effect on Aviation Infrastructure
July-August 2022 - 9
July-August 2022 - 10
July-August 2022 - 11
July-August 2022 - 12
July-August 2022 - 13
July-August 2022 - Moving an Aircraft Hangar
July-August 2022 - 15
July-August 2022 - A Guide to Concessions
July-August 2022 - 17
July-August 2022 - 18
July-August 2022 - 19
July-August 2022 - 20
July-August 2022 - 21
July-August 2022 - 22
July-August 2022 - 23
July-August 2022 - 24
July-August 2022 - 25
July-August 2022 - 26
July-August 2022 - 27
July-August 2022 - 28
July-August 2022 - 29
July-August 2022 - Legal Matters
July-August 2022 - 31
July-August 2022 - Remote Airport Project Implementation Takes Off
July-August 2022 - 33
July-August 2022 - Desert Jet’s Newest Palm Springs Facility Sets the Bar High
July-August 2022 - 35
July-August 2022 - 36
July-August 2022 - 37
July-August 2022 - Airport Guru
July-August 2022 - 39
July-August 2022 - Product Profile
July-August 2022 - 41
July-August 2022 - 42
July-August 2022 - 43
July-August 2022 - 44
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