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AMAC Legends & Leapers: November 2020

November 24 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

What is AMAC Legends & Leapers?

AMAC’s newest program, AMAC Legends & Leapers, is a monthly conversation between an aviation industry legend and an emerging leader designed to showcase the commonalities and differences in perspective on the aviation industry. 

AMAC Legends & Leapers November Conversation Event Details

AMAC Legends & Leapers
A Virtual Conversation
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern Time



Aviation Legend: Derryl Benton
Executive Vice President of Business Development, HMSHost

Derryl Benton is Executive Vice President of Business Development at HMSHost, a global restaurateur and world leader in delivering innovative dining solutions in travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 80 travel plazas in North America. Derryl is responsible for overseeing the winning and extending of industry contracts.

Derryl joined HMSHost in 2014. Before HMSHost, Derryl was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Hudson Group, where he was responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities in North America and working with the company’s Government Affairs department in maintaining relationships with the nation’s city mayors, city councils and other public officials.

Prior to Hudson Group, Derryl was Director of Concessions/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, where he oversaw the operations of a $500 million concessions program which included rental cars, food & beverage, news and specialty retail. In this role he also administered the authority’s small business procurement policies. Before becoming Director of Concessions, he was Director of Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWVE) Programs for the Authority, during which he received the Federal Aviation Administration’s DBE Liaison Officer Certification.

Derryl serves as Vice Chair of the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) World Business Partners/Associates Board of Directors. Derryl received his education in Business Administration from Lake-Sumter State College and the University of Central Florida. Derryl resides with his wife Jackie in Maryland and are the parents of three adult children.


Aviation Leaper: Kelli Kelly
Director of Business Development and Strategy, Aviation and Transit, Kiewit Infrastructure Engineers

Kelli Kelly is the Director of Business Development and Strategy for Aviation and Transit at Kiewit Infrastructure Engineers. Her primary function is to develop client, community and industry engagement strategies to drive and support the pursuit and delivery of key infrastructure projects. Kelli has over 15 years of industry experience serving in a variety of leadership roles, including proposal management, community outreach and diversity and inclusion.

Kelli volunteers with several community organizations focused on education and economic development; and currently serves on numerous boards, including Denver Workforce Development Board, Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists and the Hispanic Contractors of Colorado Contractor Academy. Kelli holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership.


Lauryn Mangum
Chair, AMAC Emerging Leaders Committee
Director of Innovation and Business Development, Stellar Partners

Lauryn’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, she was recruited and relocated by Stellar Partners, Inc. a leading prime airport retailer based out of Tampa, Florida, Stellar has an extensive portfolio of retail concepts, driven by a passion for innovation, beautifully designed stores and providing an exceptional shopping experience for travelers.

Lauryn has been with Stellar Partners for 3 years working within the Business Development Department. Previously, as the Business Development Coordinator, she supported the department in many facets, from coordinating RFPs to working closely with ACDBE partners during the RFP process and also assisting with ACDBE reporting to airports.

Lauryn just recently transitioned to the Director of Innovation and Business Development. In addition to business development, Lauryn has an emphasis on innovation, technology and strategy to position Stellar to becoming an even larger retail powerhouse, leading the industry in customer experience, relationship building and brand development.

In addition, Lauryn has utilized her role and Stellar’s desire to create a local/small business incubator to assist with connecting ACDBE’s and SBE’s with various departments within the company to promote diversity and representation in RFPs and the Stellar Stores across the country.

In 2018, Lauryn was appointed the Chair for AMAC’s Emerging Leaders Committee, with her Co-Chair Mori Russell, AMAC’s COO Anthony Barnes and a talented committee, AMAC’s Emerging Leaders has quickly grown from a conceptualized initiative to a full force committee with highly anticipated and well attended events by young professionals, emerging leaders and industry legends.

Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Lauryn left the Midwest to attend Arizona State University where she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and obtained her degree in Business and Communications. With a background in fashion, sales, branding and planning and an affinity for people Lauryn has applied her experiences and skills to the aviation industry and is excited to be a part of its succession. She also owns her own business consulting company and a financial literacy company, helping individuals qualify for personal and business credit needs.


Ricky 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, operation, and management 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.

Mr. Smith worked to establish and execute a strategic direction for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport that included expanding airport revenue sources, strengthening the airport’s brand recognition, improving airfield safety, and enhancing the passenger experience. During Mr. Smith’s leadership in Ohio, Cleveland Hopkins was recognized as the most-improved airport in North America by the international aviation industry organization, Airports Council International-North America. He led the development of a new $2 billion master plan for the Cleveland Airport System that is developing new cargo facilities and expanded corporate hangars, improved parking facilities, a new on-airport hotel, an improved passenger terminal building, a new on-airport service station/fast food plaza, and a new state-of-the-art FAA Air Traffic Control Tower.

Prior to his service in Cleveland, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Operating Officer for the MAA. Mr. Smith helped lead BWI Marshall Airport through a $2 billion expansion program, increased air service throughout the world, and the creation of a new food and retail program. Prior to returning to the MAA after a two-year departure, Ricky served as the Deputy Administrator for the Maryland State Highway Administration. There, he oversaw an approximate $1 billion annual budget and co-developed the financing strategy for the largest capital project in Maryland history – the Inter-County Connector. In addition, he served in the private sector for several years with International Business Machines, H&R Block Business Services, The May Company, and others.

Ricky holds an Accounting degree from Howard University and an Executive MBA from Loyola University in Maryland. He is a graduate of several leadership programs, including Leadership Cleveland, the Greater Baltimore Committee, and the University of Maryland Government Executive Institute. He is active on several national and local boards and industry associations including the American Association of Airport Executives, the Washington Board of Trade, the BWI Business Partnership, the World Trade Center Institute, AERO Club of Washington, the Greater Baltimore Urban League, and the U.S. Department of Transportation National Freight Advisory Council.

He has been recognized as the ‘National Executive of the Year’ (2010) by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, ‘Most Influential CEO in Northeast Ohio (2013 and 2014) by Crain’s Magazine, ‘Influential Marylander’ (2017) by The Daily Record, and ‘CEO Power 10’ by the Baltimore Business Journal (2018).

He and his family reside in Howard County, Maryland.


November 24
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:




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