44th ACC Annual Conference was held last week in Fort Lauderdale, Fl and was well attended. Sessions covered a range of topics including the next frontier in airport funding opportunities; the challenges powering airports for the next generation and took part in engaging social events.
A heavy focus of the conference was diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), both within ACC and the wider aviation industry. The keynote session included a powerhouse panel of industry experts that discussed the role of airports in driving equity in transportation. The panel consisted of Phillip Washington, CEO of the Denver International Airport, Lance Lyttle, Managing Director at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Dwight H. Pullen Jr., Senior Vice President, Global Aviation at AECOM, and John Bension, Assistant Administrator at the FAA Office of Civil Rights, and was co-moderated by AMAC President Eboni Wimbush and ACC President T.J. Schulz. Speakers discussed the benefits of moving beyond government-set minimums relating to Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) participation in projects and in accommodating passengers that have disabilities.
Mariama Boney, President and CEO of Achieve More, LLC facilitated discussions for the ACC Board of Directors on ACC’s draft Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statements and policies. Mariama has been working with ACC and its members over the last year to create these in alignment with the organizations mission and vision. On the last day of the conference, a workshop was led by Mariama, for ACC members to provide feedback and see how far the organization has come.
ACC announced the 2023 Board of Directors during the conference. Jennie Santoro, Northwest Regional Aviation Leader and a Project Director at Gensler, will step into the role of Board Chair, with Damon Smith (Mead & Hunt) as Vice Chair and Nick Ryan (RS&H) as Secretary/Treasurer. The rest of the Board includes Fin Bonset (VHB), Pam Keidel-Adams (Kimley-Horn), Sri Kumar (Connico), Tom Mochty (Woolpert), Chad Nixon (McFarland-Johnson), Kaly Queiroz (Jacobs), Carrie Schaeffer (Swinerton), Mae Whiteside (CKL Engineers), and Julie Wienberg (HNTB). 2022 Board Chair Dwight H. Pullen Jr. (AECOM) will continue his involvement with the organization as Past Board Chair.
The ACC Foundation held its 2nd Annual Raffle and Auction, during the event, raising over $10,000, which will be used to sponsor university students at the ACC/AAAE Symposium in March of 2023. The events were organized by the Foundation Board and supported by several ACC member volunteers.
New ACC members were invited to a new member meeting and reception during the Annual Conference. Firms represented a strong cross-section of the industry, particularly MWBE firms. During the reception, these firms were able to network with ACC Board members, committee leaders and staff. Thanks to the firms that joined us, including Milhouse Engineering & Construction Inc., who also sponsored the Welcome Remarks and Keynote Session, Parabit Systems who sponsored the Awards Luncheon, Austin Commercial, Infrastructure Engineering, CP&Y, ADCI, Art of Context, TRC Engineering and TLC Engineering Solutions.
Thank you to the countless members who organized, sponsored, and supported this event. We look forward to seeing you all next year!