ACI-NA Honors San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Hudson Group Retail, LLC with Inaugural Inclusion Champion Awards

ACI-NA Champion Awards recognize commitment to airport workforce diversity


San Jose, Calif. — The Airports Council International -North America (ACI-NA) announced the recipients of ACI-NA’s first-ever Inclusion Champion Awards, which recognize exceptional achievement in promoting and sustaining diversity throughout the airport industry’s workforce.  The 2013 Inclusion Champion Award winners are the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and Hudson Group Retail, LLC.

A noted leader for its inclusive team of employees, contractors and concessionaires, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has made diversity a cornerstone of its success.  The Authority actively recruits a diverse workforce, which mirrors the demographics of the greater San Diego area: 43 percent of employees identify as an ethnicity other than Caucasian, with 20 percent identifying as Hispanic, 12 percent as African American, eight percent as Asian and three percent as Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.  The Authority has made a strong commitment to ensuring a diverse future through Project LIFT, a partnership between the Authority, San Diego City College and the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) which introduces students to aviation careers.  Additionally, the Authority has tailored its contracting process, such as that for its recently completed Green Build construction project, to improve participation by small and minority- and women-owned businesses.

Since opening its first retail location more than 25 years ago, Hudson Group Retail, LLC actively has placed a diverse and inclusive workplace at the heart of its corporate culture.  Seventy-five percent of Hudson’s overall workforce identifies as a minority ethnicity, as does 40 percent of management personnel.  A sponsor of AMAC’s annual business diversity conference and a strong supporter of numerous charitable and community development initiatives, Hudson is a noted champion of professional opportunity across ethnicity and gender.  This philosophy is most evident in Hudson’s outstanding history of Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) inclusion.  In 2012, Hudson reported $194 million in ACDBE participation, accounting for 23 percent of the company’s total sales.  Hudson also requires that its general contractors seek out minority- and women-owned subcontractors for its construction projects, and works to procure products for its retail outlets from similarly owned firms.

“We are so proud to receive ACI-NA’s Inclusion Champion Award,” said Thella F. Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “It is one of the Authority’s core values to foster a diverse, enthusiastic work force, and that value drives everything that we do—from developing an aviation career program for students to offering bonding and contract financing assistance to small businesses seeking work with the airport. It’s an honor to be recognized for something we feel is integral to the way we do business.”

Hudson Group President and CEO Joe DiDomizio noted, “From the very beginning of Hudson Group, a commitment to inclusion on every level has been part of our DNA. In particular, our meaningful ACDBE and minority business partnerships have led to numerous rich and greatly rewarding personal relationships. We are honored by ACI-NA’s recognition of what we consider to be a highly valued part of our business.”

“ACI-NA is honored to bestow its inaugural Inclusion Champion Awards on the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and Hudson Group,” said Monica R. Hargrove, ACI-NA’s general counsel and committee secretary to the ACI-NA Business Diversity Committee.  “Both are wonderful examples within the airport industry of how an unwavering dedication to advancing a diverse and inclusive workforce translates to exceptional performance and results for stakeholders, passengers and the overall community.”

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