AMAC Board of Directors

Officers

Ricky D. Smith

Chair, AMAC Board of Directors
CEO, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed Ricky Dorell Smith as Executive Director of the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) on July 10, 2015. Mr. Smith is responsible for the planning, operating, and managing of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall), Martin State Airport, and regional aviation activities for the State of Maryland.

Mr. Smith, a 29-year transportation official, returned to Maryland after serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Airport System, which includes Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport. In addition, he was responsible for overseeing the development and management of the City’s lakefront properties.

 

Simeon Terry

First Vice Chair, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Finance Committee
Vice President of Diversity Affairs, Austin Commercial

Simeon is the Vice President of Diversity Affairs for Austin Commercial. He has been in the construction industry for over 30 years and has managed diversity programs for over 20 years. In his current role, Mr. Terry oversees the Diversity and Inclusion program internally and externally through cultural competency education, diversity compliance, affirmative action, recruiting/hiring, mentoring and business procurement diversity. In addition, he develops and implements strategic strategies to maximize inclusion in the workforce and supplier diversity workspaces.

Over his 21-year career with Austin Commercial, he was previously the Director of Diversity and Diversity Program Manager. He also oversees Austin Commercial's mentoring program that has graduated over 400 firms, including a $3 billion investment in these firms.

Mr. Terry works closely with many different departments within Austin, including accounting, legal, risk management, marketing and business development, operations and human resources. Simeon began his career in construction as a safety manager and has held the positions of Estimator, Construction Manager, Project Manager and Operations Manager. Before his career in construction, Simeon worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, MO, building F-18 Hornet Airplanes for the Navy and as a Loss Control Regional Manager for Liberty Mutual.

Mr. Terry holds a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University and a Master's in Business Administration in Finance. He also has a Master Compliance Administrator Certification from Morgan State University associated with the American Contract Compliance Association. He is a Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Bridget Biagas

Second Vice Chair, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice President, Partner Relations & Business Diversity, Hudson

Bridget Biagas is the Vice President of Partner Relations and Business Diversity at Hudson. Bridget is responsible for enhancing partner outreach and business development. Her previous positions include a senior management capacity for a major rental car provider and more recently one of the largest airport parking management companies in North America. Ms. Biagas is highly-respected in the aviation industry, which is evident through her involvement with various industry trade organizations, including AMAC where she serves as the Chair of the AMAC Elections and Nominations Committee.

Ms. Biagas is a graduate of Dillard University with a degree in Political Science and earned a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center. She is admitted to the bar in Louisiana and is an active member of her sorority. In her spare time, Ms. Biagas has volunteered at Bishop Dunne Catholic School, with Step Up|Dallas and with First Tee of Dallas.

 

William (Bill) Swift

Treasurer, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Finance Committee
Owner, Business Traveler Services, Inc. and Swift Services, Inc.

Mr. Swift is the Owner and President of Business Traveler Services, Inc. (BTS), a minority-owned business and entertainment center development company that was founded in 1994. For more than 20 years, BTS has operated at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offering such brands as Zoom Systems (vending machines offering Apple, Sony and other electronic and business products), FedEx and UPS drop boxes, TracPhone vending machines, prepaid phone card dispensers, Travelex and InMotion branded stores. BTS also has operated at LaGuardia International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Kansas City International Airport, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and Augusta Regional Airport.

Lauryn Mangum Reed

Secretary, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Emerging Leaders Committee
Vice President, Business Development, Servy

Lauryn Mangum Reed’s industry experience started in 2012 when her family opened a café in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (The Refuge Coffee Food and Wine) as a subtenant of HMSHost. She played an integral role in the framework, opening, operations and staff training and became the Director of Sales and Marketing.

In 2017, Mangum Reed joined Stellar Partners as Business Development Coordinator and was later named Director of Innovation and Business Development. Lauryn supported the department in many facets, from coordinating RFPs to working closely with ACDBE partners, with a strong emphasis on innovation, technology and strategy.

Lauryn recently transitioned from retail concessions to the Vice President of Business Development for the global, omnichannel enterprise, self-service hospitality Servy (Grab) platform. Through the suite of contactless order and pay solutions, Servy enables partners to drive operational efficiencies and enhance the guest experience while improving profitability. Lauryn is responsible for business development and strategic partnership activities for the Servy (Grab) Airport Marketplace with airport authorities, developers and restaurant and retail partners throughout the Americas.

Although considered an emerging leader, Lauryn’s industry involvement is vast. Mangum Reed serves as the Co-Chair for AMAC’s Emerging Leaders Committee, Secretary of the AMAC Board of Directors and Member of the ACI-NA Business Diversity Steering Committee.

Lauryn has an affinity for people, representation and diversity in her day-to-day life, the aviation industry is no exception. Lauryn graduated from Arizona State University and became a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. As a new mom and wife, Lauryn strongly advocates for work/life balance and empowering women to do everything they desire!

Regional Directors

Justina Mann

Southwest Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Chapters Development Committee
Director, Infrastructure Controls Terminal Development, Houston Airport System

Ms. Justina Mann is the Director of INF Terminal Development for the Houston Airport System. In her role, Ms. Mann is responsible for the successful definition, procurement, negotiation, execution, and implementation of HAS Domestic Terminal Development Program as well as other major programs undertaken by HAS airlines and partners.  She serves as the HAS owner’s representative for Airline Terminal Development Programs, acting as an executive liaison between the airline program management teams and HAS. Ms. Mann currently serves as a National Board Member and was elected Treasurer for the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), where she Chairs the Finance Committee and is a long-standing member of the Conference Planning and Evaluation Committee.

Ms. Mann was elected the Southwest Regional Director for the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) where she Chairs the Chapter Development Committee and serves on the Membership Committee. A native of St. Paul, MN, Ms. Mann received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. She earned her Master of Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives, Certified Public Procurement Officer, Certified Professional Contracts Manager, Project Management Professional and Six Sigma Green Belt.

Ms. Mann began her career in aviation at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a procurement professional and was afforded the opportunity to join the Houston Airport System as the Chief Procurement Officer. Currently thriving in Infrastructure, Ms. Mann enjoys aligning her project management and procurement experience with current aviation programs and opportunities impacting passengers, contractors and businesses around airports and transportation.

Robin Gibson

Eastern Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Government Affairs Committee
Director, Quality Assurance, Fraport USA, Inc.

Robin Gibson is Director of Quality Assurance for Fraport USA, Inc., a division of FraportAG, one of the world’s largest airport operators with revenues exceeding $3.5 billion. Widely recognized as the creator of modern American airport concession development, Fraport USA hired Ms. Gibson to oversee various aspects of retail and concession operations compliance throughout the U.S. after her exemplary 15-year career at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

Tonja Pastorelle

Midwest/Great Lakes Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, Corporate Development Committee
President, Pastorelle Marketing Group

Tonja has spent her entire career in airport concessions. Her company, Pastorelle Marketing Group, has been in business for more than 10 years, focusing on business development consulting for concessions. She also has an extensive client list for which she and her team prepare requests for proposal responses in the retail, food and service sectors, using her wide range of experience in the industry to create winning proposals.

Early in her career, she spent years at O’Hare and Midway Airports in operations, marketing, specialty leasing, construction oversight and customer service. She also spent nearly five years working for a direct food operator in marketing and product development.

Pastorelle Marketing Group is a joint venture partner to InMotion Entertainment in Chicago’s O’Hare, Denver International and coming soon to Newark International Airports, and has signed deals for shops that will open in 2018 for Potbelly Sandwich Shops in Boston, and a Garrett Popcorn Shop in Chicago’s O’Hare. She is the Great Lakes Regional Director for the AMAC.

Milan Patel

Central Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
President, OHM Concession Group

As the Owner & Operator of OHM, Mr. Patel has led the company’s strategic growth. What was founded as a single unit company at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, OHM, has become one of the fastest-growing and most respected ACDBE companies in the airport concessions industry. Mr. Patel is committed to the success of each concept in OHM’s portfolio. A firm believer in guest service excellence, Milan is certified in all branded concepts he represents. Mr. Patel has experience in every aspect of concession operation including vendor relations, logistics, customer service and staffing. Mr. Patel is ACDBE certified by the U.S.  Department of Transportation in 23 states. He is also a member of AMAC, Airport Experience News, St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Northwest Chamber of Commerce.

Mori Russell

Southeast Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Emerging Leaders Committee
Business Development, Concessions International

Mori Russell is an entrepreneur and leads Business Development at Concession International, an airport food and beverage company. Mori is a third-generation leader of her family business, Concessions International, which was started 40+ years ago by her grandfather. She is the owner of Olle Fit, a wellness company focused on mind, body, & spirit. Mori also owns a consulting firm, MCR Services LLC, where she provides development and community outreach work.

Mori graduated in 2015 with her Master of International Business from Florida International University. While in school, she founded and operated her first company, an accessory boutique, O’Amor, in Miami, Florida and online.

Aside from her daily business-oriented goals and operations, she leads Concessions International’s Corporate Social Responsibility Arm, CI Cares, serves as the Southeast Regional Director for the Airport Minority Advisory Council, and serves on the YMCA Metro Atlanta Ambassador Board. Mori shares her late grandfather, Herman Jerome Russell’s, passion for entrepreneurship and supporting impactful causes to communities.

Andre Titus

Northeast Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Government Affairs Committee
Compliance Manager, Marketplace Development

Andre Titus is the Compliance Manager at Marketplace Development at Boston Logan International Airport and is an integral part of the Concession Program’s management team. Andre continues to develop and maintain key relationships while working on launching innovative outreach and development programs.

After completing his Bachelor of Liberal Arts at the University of Massachusetts, Andre spent the next eight years working with state and community organizations and has extensive experience processing MWBE and DBE applications. Since joining the MarketPlace Development team three and a half years ago, he has been an integral part of the joint venture review process by providing guidance that has led to the approval of several joint ventures tied to significant lease packages. Andre has also proven to be an invaluable resource for the ACDBE tenants at Logan airport by aiding in certification matters and general business development of numerous ACDBE Certified firms.

Andre’s passion for enhancing the development and implementation of diversity strategies to increase the capacity of socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and fresh perspective along with his experience and continued development puts him in a unique position to support small business owners in the community.

Kimberly Sutton

Northwest Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Chapters Development Committee
Small Business Development Program Manager, Port of Portland

Kimberly has over 15 years of experience developing and leading small business equity programs. She has extensive experience developing policies and initiatives to create equity in government contracting, leading compliance programs, and working with community stakeholders, political organizations and community chambers to ensure equity in contracting goals are met. Ms. Sutton is the Small Business Development Program Manager for the Port of Portland. In this role, she creates programs and policies to increase small business and minority participation in contracting, airport concessions and commercial development deals.

Kimberly studied Business Administration and Communications at the University of Phoenix. Before joining the Port, Kimberly was the Deputy Director of Economic and Business Equity for the Oregon Governor’s Office.

Michael E. Washington, MBA

Western Regional Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Chapters Development Committee
President & Co-Owner, Palazzo Concessions

Michael Washington has over 25 years of experience leading major hotels as a hospitality industry veteran. He co-founded Palazzo Concessions, a food and beverage and news and gifts concession service firm, in 2009. The company manages joint venture agreements with several national prime concession entities, including The Hudson Group, HMS Host International, Norm Nixon, and Magic Johnson Enterprises. Palazzo Concessions' ownership interest is located in Los Angeles International Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, and San Francisco International Airport. The portfolio includes Bulgari, Victoria's Secret, Hugo Boss, Tumi, Michael Kors, Starbucks, Coach, Fred Segal, Harley Davidson, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Panda Express. In addition, Palazzo Concessions partner with Servy and AtYourGate to provide passengers at SFO with the ability to order F&B and retail from their phones for pick up or delivery.

At-Large Directors

Farad Ali

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Government Affairs Committee

 

Karen Ellis

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Conference Planning Committee
Chief Customer Experience Officer, San Antonio Airport System

Karen W. Ellis serves as the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the San Antonio International Airport System (SAAS), which comprises the San Antonio International Airport and Stinson Municipal Airport. Karen has over 20 years of leadership and customer service experience in the aviation industry by serving with the following airports: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston Airport System and now SAAS.

Karen holds a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management from Troy University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Jacksonville State University. In conjunction with her educational background, Karen is a Certified Customer Care Manager by the Customer Service Institute and a certified Customer Service Manager by the Customer Service Institute of America. She is also a Certified Customer Experience Specialist by Airport Council International (ACI). Through Toastmasters International, Karen has achieved the status of Competent Toastmaster, Advanced Toastmaster Bronze and Competent Leader with Toastmasters International and served as President of the International Customer Service Association Georgia Chapter. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Customer Experience Working Group for ACI and is the past Chair of the Training Committee for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

 

Nikki T. Harland

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer, Paradies Lagardère

As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Paradies Lagardere, Nikki oversees over $1B in sales that contribute to the organization’s continued success and standing in the Travel Retail industry. She is responsible for Retail Operations, Dining, Merchandising, Business Systems and Transformation and Human Resources. Nikki is also a founding member of the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion Council.

With over twenty-five years of business and specific HR experience, Harland has contributed to various change initiatives in her career that have propelled turnarounds and growth efforts within organizations. Her work experience includes responsibility in the dining, retail, entertainment, and professional sports industries. Prior to her role with Paradies Lagardère, Nikki was the Senior Director of Field Human Resources for Gap, Inc.’s Old Navy Stores. In this role, she provided people leadership for the Brand’s 1,000+ stores and 45,000 employees in North America. Additional leadership experiences included Turner Broadcasting System, Inc and Toys “R” Us.

 

Tosin Kasali

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Membership Committee
Vice President, Business Development, HMSHost

Tosin Kasali is Vice President, Business Development, where he is responsible for developing and managing strategic client and partner relationships that lead to value-creating opportunities for the airport, and the company, primarily through structuring, winning and retaining the airport concessions contracts. Tosin joined HMSHost in 2016 as Director of Business Development Finance. He was primarily responsible for financial modeling and business case presentations—evaluating and communicating to the Executive Team the financial risk and return of new business opportunities. Before joining HMSHost, Tosin was Senior Manager of Business Development at Gategroup (Gate Gourmet), primarily responsible for deal evaluation, financial modeling, business case presentations and lead development.

L

Lance Lyttle

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Managing Director, Aviation Division, Port of Seattle

Lance Lyttle is the Managing Director for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Before joining Port of Seattle, Lance was Chief Operating Officer for Houston’s three airports and Assistant General Manager at Hartsfield Jackson. A growth-oriented executive, he has led strategic development efforts of $5B at Houston airports and played a crucial role in Atlanta's $6B development. Currently, he leads a multibillion-dollar terminal revitalization program, including an international arrivals facility, renovating the north and south satellites, and upgrading the baggage handling system. In 2017, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Airports Council International. Lance also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Airport Executives and is the Chairperson of Federal Affairs for the American Association of Airport Executives. Lance holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Computer Science and an M.Sc. in Management Information Systems.

Maria Martinez

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Governance and Performance Management Committee

Maria Martinez is a business development professional and franchising expert with over 15 years of experience in sales and business growth. Maria currently serves as Director of Business Development for prime concessionaire Areas USA. Maria has also represented global brands such as UPS, Jack in the Box, Qdoba and most recently IHOP and Applebee’s. As a driven, goal oriented and self-motivated individual, she finds joy in growing businesses with valuable business propositions in concessions through the brands she represents. Prior to working in business development, Maria held positions in Finance and Accounting.

Maria was initially introduced to AMAC and airport concessions in 2016. Since then, she has embraced and worked passionately to support AMAC’S mission. Most recently Maria served as Secretary of AMAC’s Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 term and Chair of AMAC Governance & Ethics Committee for the 2018-2020 term, as well as the AMAC National Conference Committee in 2019. She currently serves as a volunteer member of the Governance and Performance Management Committee.

Maria is fluent in English and Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in international business from CETYS Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. She has also completed a Finance Certificate at UCSD. Maria immigrated from Mexico to San Diego, CA where she currently lives. She likes to listen to audiobooks in subjects of finance, personal development and business. She also enjoys travelling the world and spend time with friends and family.

Gonzalo de la Melena Jr.

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Vice Chair, AMAC Government Affairs Committee
Founder & CEO, Emerging Airport Ventures

Gonzalo A. de la Melena, Jr. is the Founder and CEO of Emerging Airport Ventures, LLC. Emerging Domestic Market Ventures, LLC is a small business investment company that owns and operates Sir Veza’s Taco Garage in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Gonzalo has more than 15 years of experience in global brand management, business development, mergers & acquisitions and Latino marketing gained from working with consumer, retail, and restaurant companies. Before joining The Dial Corporation, he began his career with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, where he held various positions in brand management, international development and general management in the United States, Mexico, South and Central America, Canada, and the Caribbean.

In an advisory role, Gonzalo has served on various boards and committees, including JPMorgan/ Chase Bank of Arizona, Fiesta Bowl, Thunderbird, the School of Global Management, Valley of the Sun United Way, Arizona State University Downtown, Phoenix Community College and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs.

Gonzalo is a recipient of the 40 under 40, recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal, and is a graduate of Valley Leadership. He received his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University.

 

Dwight Pullen Jr.

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Aviation Professional Development Committee
Senior Vice President, Global Aviation Americas Leader, AECOM

Dwight H. Pullen, Jr. is Senior Vice President, Global Aviation, at AECOM, the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, where he focuses on strategic growth, profitability, operational excellence, growing talent and maximizing customer engagement in the airport market.

Pullen was previously the National Core Market Leader for DPR Construction, focusing on Customer Experience, Account Management, and the Aviation Market. Before that, he was at Skanska USA Building, leading the Aviation Center of Excellence. At CH2MHill (now Jacobs), he was the Vice President and Global Director of Aviation, responsible for driving global strategy, growth and profitability. He also served as a Vice President and Principal Program Manager for Parsons Corporation.

Pullen currently serves as the Board Chairperson for the Airports Consultants Council (ACC) and is on the Trade Board for the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC).

Pullen received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and is also an alum of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has a passion and volunteers for Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives, ensuring that inner-city communities are exposed to the STEM fields.

Michael Svagdis

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
CEO, SSP America

With 25 years of experience in the food and beverage industry and with SSP America since 2014 as Chief Executive Officer, Michael Svagdis leads a talented team driven by an unparalleled passion for bringing cool, authentic restaurants to airports that reflect a taste of place. Michael’s tenure is marked by his ability to assemble a world-class executive team who have collectively driven dramatic corporate growth of 300% in annual revenues since Michael joined SSP America. The team simultaneously developed a unique corporate culture based on highly embraced principles. Called the PASSION Principles, the Principles were imparted to each manager and employee during a continent-wide effort to unite the company around one set of ideals. The result has been a dramatic decrease in employee turnover and increased employee satisfaction.

Kenneth Weeden

At-Large Director, AMAC Board of Directors
Chair, AMAC Government Affairs Committee
President/Principal, Ken Weeden & Associates, Inc.

For 33 years, Ken Weeden has been a nationally recognized expert in all aspects of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE/ACDBE) Program under 49 CFR, parts 26 and 23. He has been working with the USDOT/FTA/FAA/FHWA Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs since 1980, when he started as an Airport Planner with an Engineering firm in Wilmington, NC. He founded Ken Weeden & Associates (KWA) in 1989 and has since led in the preparation of thousands of program documents for projects in 36 states and three (3) U.S. territories. The firm serves as a consultant to several large Concessionaire companies. Mr. Weeden is also the founder and lead trainer of the National DBE Training Institute. (www.natdbe-ti.com), which provides expert hands-on training to numerous compliance professionals around the U.S. KWA maintains offices in Raleigh, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Wilmington, NC. The firm has helped develop DBE/ACDBE program updates for airports of all sizes, including Atlanta's primary airport, Wash. DC; Memphis; Jacksonville; Tampa; Tallahassee; Savannah GA; Charleston SC; Myrtle Beach SC; Greenville-Spartanburg SC; Norfolk VA; and Greensboro NC. He has been an AMAC member since 1987.

Ken has a B.A in Journalism and Sociology from the University of Mississippi (1973), and M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1975). A native of Tunica, MS, he works out of the firm's Raleigh NC office.