AMAC Legends & Leapers: May 2023

AMAC Legends & Leapers is a virtual conversation series featuring an aviation industry legend and leaper.


Dennis Yap
Founder and President, DY Consultants

Dennis Yap is the Founder and President of DY Consultants, an award-winning aviation consulting firm based in New York. Dennis applies his 37 years of airport experience to serve as Project Executive, Lead Planner, and Designer for hundreds of airport initiatives to ensure the highest level of service and satisfactory delivery of all projects. Dennis is deeply committed to partnering with airport owners as their planner and engineer. His leadership and systematic approach enable airports to achieve their goals for their facilities while maintaining safe operations. His engineering background helps him to provide practical solutions to challenges faced by airports and successfully transition projects from planning to airside, terminal, and landside construction.

DY’s clients benefit from Dennis’ deep understanding of ICAO and FAA standards and regulations for conceptual and functional planning of airport-related facilities. His understanding of Federal (AIP) and State (DOT) funding programs, and the assurances and obligations of these programs are essential to his clients.

As a business owner, Dennis takes considerable pride and satisfaction in aiding the advancement of young professionals. He makes a point to recognize motivated, energetic, and hardworking individuals and provides them with opportunities for professional growth. He is dedicated to producing a new generation of leaders within the aeronautical community.



Edwin Tamang
Vice President, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

In his 17-year tenure with Kimley-Horn, Edwin has proven experience in driving strategic growth within the aviation infrastructure market. His global experience in airfield development projects and studies at commercial, general aviation, and Federal/Department of Defense facilities has provided Edwin with a variety of project delivery experience that exceeds $5 Billion in combined terminal and airfield infrastructure development projects using Design-Bid-Build, Progressive Design-Build, and Construction Manager at Risk. Recently, he completed efforts for the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport and the South Terminal Complex C Phase 1 at Orlando International Airport. He is currently the Program Manager for the Airfield Safety Enhancement and Improvement Program at San Antonio International Airport.

As a civil engineer, Edwin has held positions as Design Engineer, Project Manager, and Program Manager for both public (Airport, State, and Federal) and private programs. He is a Vice President with the firm and has provided services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Puerto Rico. As a thought leader, he has led several industry speaking engagements and trainings for the Florida Department of Transportation, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, the Florida Airports Council, and the Airport Minority Advisory Council.

As a member of AMAC, Edwin has contributed to the Project Leaders Inspiring Future Talent (LIFT) in partnership with the Airports Consultant Council. In 2020, Edwin was named to Airport Business Magazine‘s 2020 Top 40 Under 40 list and frequently serves as the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Coordinator at Kimley-Horn.



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 her grandfather started 40+ years ago. She owns 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 a 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.


Ricky D. Smith
Chair, AMAC Board of Directors
CEO, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

RICKY DORELL SMITH was appointed Executive Director/CEO of the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) on July 10, 2015. Mr. Smith is responsible for the management and operations of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall), Martin State Airport, and regional aviation activities throughout the State of Maryland.

photo of Maryland Aviation Administration Executive Director Ricky Smith
Mr. Smith, a 32-year transportation professional, 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.

Since returning to BWI Marshall, Mr. Smith has led the airport to five (5) consecutive record-setting years for passengers, including restoring BWI Marshall as the busiest airport in the Washington/Baltimore region and the Best Airport in North America for Customer Service, according to Airport Council International. Establishing a culture of performance, customer service, safety, and innovation, the airports have received several other national and regional awards for customer service, capital development, and marketing, including Emmy Awards in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, the LaunchPad program was started to enable minority-owned micro-businesses the opportunity to participate in BWI Marshall’s thriving food and retail program without barriers to entry. In 2015, he launched the BWI Marshall Youth Initiative to introduce Baltimore City youth to aviation and transportation careers. To date, over 100 youths have participated in this program.

Before his service in Cleveland, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Operating Officer for the MAA, where he 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. Before returning to the MAA, after a two-year departure, Ricky served as the Deputy Administrator for the Maryland State Highway Administration. 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 graduated from several leadership programs, including the Greater Baltimore Committee and Leadership Cleveland. He is active on several national and local boards and industry associations, including the Airport Minority Advisory Council, where he serves as Board Chair, the American Association of Airport Executives, the Washington Board of Trade, the BWI Business Partnership, the World Trade Center Institute, Greater Baltimore Urban League where he serves as Board Chair, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture where he serves as Vice Board Chair, and the Morgan State University School of Communications Board of Advisors.

He has been recognized as the ‘Best State Executive for Minority Business Enterprise’ by the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association (2022), ‘Leon C. Watkins Guardian Award’ recipient by Airports Council International/North America (2020), ‘Man of the Year’ by Women Transportation Seminar (2019), ‘Leadership in Excellence’ by Leadership Anne Arundel (2019), ‘Power 10 CEO’ by the Baltimore Business Journal (2018), ‘People Who Move America’ by the Boys Scouts of America (2018), ‘Thomas G. Newsome Founder’s Leadership Award’ by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (2018), ‘Influential Marylander’ by The Daily Record (2017), the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association ‘Black History Hero’ award (2017), ‘Most Influential CEO in Northeast Ohio’ by Crain’s Magazine (2014, 2013), ‘National Executive of the Year’ by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (2010), and ‘Congressional Achievement Award’ from Congressman Elijah Cummings (2006).


May 31 2023


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2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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