Stellar Partners, Inc. Awarded for Commitment to Diversity in Aviation Industry

June 14, 2019
Airport retail industry leader recognized for enduring and innovative inclusive business practices

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) has honored Stellar Partners, Inc. (Stellar) with its 2019 ACI-NA Inclusion Champion Award at the Business of Airports Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The award recognizes airports and one member organization for showing a demonstrated commitment to diversity in aviation.

“We’re honored and delighted to receive this award from ACI-NA. Stellar was founded as a woman-owned ACDBE company. This legacy of diversity is something we celebrate at Stellar to this day while we actively pursue new ways to continue expanding diversity in airports,” said Stellar President and CEO Padraig Drennan. “Stellar focuses on inclusion every day and our tremendous successes are, we believe, because of the diversity of our colleagues and partners.”

“The airport industry is an important economic driver in communities and this year’s Inclusion Champion Award recipients like Stellar Partners have further strengthened their businesses by supporting workforce diversity, outreach and advocacy,” said Kevin M. Burke, ACI-NA President and CEO. “I applaud the recipients for their important work and look forward to continuing our shared efforts to promote an inclusive and diverse workplace.”

The ACI-NA Inclusion Champion Award celebrates proactive steps taken for successful leadership in the inclusion of new diverse business, workforce diversity, outreach and advocacy and considers the following criteria:

- Business Inclusion by demonstrating sustained practices that result in positive participation of small businesses in relation to overall procurements.

- Workforce Inclusion using employment practices that demonstrate inclusion and diversity.

- Outreach through the development of future aviation industry professionals and the promotion of inclusion of all individuals.

Stellar attains success within these steps by incorporating diversity-focused practices in its strategic business undertakings, some of which include:

- Developing advantageous joint venture partnerships with certified Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBEs) to create opportunity for partners to achieve success in the airport concessions industry. Stellar has numerous certified ACDBE joint venture partners as well as market-specific local small business partners. Stellar is actively growing the population of highly successful airport business operators through these partnerships. Additionally, Stellar works with numerous certified small businesses across the U.S. in the design, construction, and furnishing of its stores.

- Stellar's commitment to diversity is illustrated by workforce statistics as well with an executive team that is 80% female and minorities and a company workforce that is 70% female and 69% minorities. This inclusive environment attributes to a low turnover rate of 32% and average retention of almost five years. Stellar also promotes from within and encourages career exploration, a practice that has led to promotions for over 50% of staff in leadership roles.

- Stellar is committed to the local communities where it operates and makes a conscious effort to merchandise local small business’ products. In 2018 local small businesses product sales were approximately $5.6 million of which $3.1 million was Native American jewelry and collectibles.

The ACI-NA Inclusion Champion Award is presented at the Business of Airports Conference, the industry’s forum to help airports and stakeholders better understand the evolving airport business model.