ACC News | Engagement is Key to Inclusion

A Letter for Board Chair Damon Smith

Welcome to the ACC DEI Framework update! In my previous letter, we were celebrating the anniversary of ACC’s DEI Framework and outlined initiatives underway internally to create an inclusive and welcoming organization. Our external activities, particularly through engagement with membership and the broader airport development community, are just as critical.

Over the past months, we have:

  • Held a Listening Session in Chicago with MWBE companies, where past and present leadership of ACC engaged with local small business owners to discuss the day-to-day challenges. These firms were interested in gaining more information on what goes into working at airports, and strategies to succeed, given threats in the courts to DBE programs.
  • Reconstituted ACC’s Small Firm Forum into a group that will meet consistently to discuss common business issues. Under the leadership of ACC Board Member Sri Kumar with Connico, the Small Firm Forum will develop an agenda of topics and hold virtual meetings to discuss best practices and offer mutual support. Expect great face-to-face engagement at the October 21-23 ACC Annual Conference where the Small Firm Forum will hold a breakout session. Contact Sri Kumar to learn more here.
  • Celebrated the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, which will ensure five years of investment in and opportunities at airports, along with codifying programs to attract underrepresented people into the aviation industry.

More is yet to come. The ACC Board of Directors will be developing a Code of Conduct to detail how we will be more inclusive and welcoming at our events, and we are looking to stand-up training for ACC leadership in 2025

I welcome your feedback and questions. Thank you and enjoy the summer!

Damon Smith, ACC Board Chair, Mead & Hunt

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