WASHINGTON, DC (October 31, 2023) —The Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) Foundation is pleased to announce the following appointments to its Board of Directors: Devon Ray, Director of Strategic Alliances, HMSHost; and Erik Ward, Chief Development Officer of Bambuza Hospitality Group.
“Devon and Erik bring valuable expertise and enthusiasm to the AMAC Foundation Board, and their commitment to the mission is truly commendable. Their contributions will undoubtedly play a significant role in advancing opportunities in the aviation industry. Congratulations to Devon and Erik on their appointments!” said Sunshine White, Chair, AMAC Foundation Board of Directors; Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, Delaware North.
About the AMAC Foundation
The AMAC Foundation works alongside AMAC and is dedicated to advancing minorities and women pursuing careers in the aviation industry by developing educational programs and providing scholarships to students who are emerging aviation professionals. Established in 1997, the AMAC Foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing a broad range of aviation careers through airports, airlines, and the public and private sectors. For more information, visit www.amac-org.com/foundation.
About Devon Ray
Devon Ray is the Director of Strategic Alliances for airport concessionaire HMSHost. She uses her vast sourcing experience to identify new ACDBE partners and vendors, ensure program compliance with FAA guidelines and develop community initiatives. With Shelby Scales, VP of Strategic Alliances, she manages a portfolio of over 150 ACDBE partners, representing over $450 million in annual sales.
Before joining Strategic Alliances, she was a part of the HMSHost Supply Chain team, where she centralized all procurement contracts, created the supplier diversity program, reduced supplier risk exposure by over 95% and developed and implemented many efficiency initiatives resulting in over $4 million in cost savings within her first two years.
Before HMSHost, Devon held positions in supply chain and procurement with companies across various industries, including Reynolds Consumer Products, MeadWestvaco, Owens & Minor, Lowe’s, Avon Products and Caterpillar Logistics. She focuses on creating sustainable operations, sourcing diverse suppliers and driving savings through more efficient operational practices.
Devon graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Transportation & Logistics from North Carolina A&T State University and holds an M.B.A. in Supply Chain Management and Innovation/Entrepreneurship from Penn State University. She attended both Universities on full academic scholarships.
She is also a Project Management Professional, ISO 9001.2008 Lead Auditor, Six Sigma Green Belt, Certified in Transportation and Logistics and ServSafe Certified.
About Erik Ward
Erik Ward is the Chief Development Officer for Bambuza Hospitality Group, an ACDBE food and beverage operator based in Portland, Oregon. In this position, he is responsible for the company’s growth while ensuring that internal capacities grow commensurately to support this expansion. His passion is inspiring and motivating Bambuza Hospitality Group’s diverse employee base, honoring the vision and unique refugee immigrant experience of its founders and keeping a focus on the company’s core values: Community, Integrity and Stewardship.
Previously, Erik was with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development in San Francisco, where he built a team to collaborate with state and local agencies in responding to the immediate needs of local workers being laid off at the onset of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession. As layoffs declined, his focus shifted to promoting the regional growth of existing companies in San Francisco to ensure that the benefits of the recovering economy were shared by local residents, particularly those from historically underserved populations. When given responsibility for implementing a legislated local hiring requirement, Erik consulted with job training partners and impacted employers to design and launch an innovative online platform to facilitate compliance. Succeeding in these areas required inspiring stakeholders (including internal staff, contract partners, and constituent employers) to all work towards a shared goal of broad-based and inclusive prosperity for local residents.
Before that, Erik was an Executive Leader with Pacific Gateway Concessions (PGC), where he guided the growth of a closely held, medium-sized business while facilitating an exit strategy for the owners. PGC had formed nearly 20 years earlier as an ACDBE firm, operating retail locations in the highly competitive airport concessions space. He refocused the company’s core internal and external messaging to reflect partnerships with other small and locally-focused businesses. The ultimate result was the sale of the company, which required supporting its workforce through a transition process with the acquiring company. This involved empathetic listening and honest communication to maintain morale in an environment of uncertainty. During this time, over 96% of employees were retained by the acquiring company.