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Awards and Recognition
ACI-NA has a rich history of recognizing best practices and individuals through its awards programs. Here is background information about each.
As ACI-NA’s most prestigious award, the William E. Downes Jr. Memorial Award is the namesake of Bill Downes, the former commissioner of aviation for the City of Chicago from 1959 to 1975.
The eligible nominee must meet at least one of the following criteria. The nominee shall have provided in his or her career:
- Outstanding leadership and action in the cause of Airport or Aviation Management; or,
- Successful work for acceptance, development and support of needed airport programs; or,
- Fostering of cooperation among various segments of aviation, with the result of bettering airports; or
- A creative approach to solving today’s problems with a plan for future airport and aviation development.
Any person is eligible for this award provided they are not recognized as an active Official Representative by Airports Council International-North America.
Accomplishments of primary importance to the William E. Downes, Jr. Award Selection Committee include those made in the field of airport management in the U.S. and Canada. However, individuals from other organizations including a governmental body, private industry, academic institution or private citizen, and in other ACI regions, are eligible for recognition provided such accomplishments had a significant and outstanding positive impact on airports or aviation.
The ACI-NA Excellence in Concessions Contest honors the contributions of Richard A. Griesbach, whose influence on the commercial development of airports extended far beyond his employment with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. At the 10th annual awards ceremony in 2007, the category of Concessions Person of the Year was added.
The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions. These awards help to demonstrate the growing importance of concessions to the total airport experience.
One airport will receive the ‘Griesbach Overall Award of Excellence’. To be eligible, an airport member must submit entries in both Best Food & Beverage Program and Best Retail/Specialty Program categories.
In June 2008, the Marketing and Communications Committee launched the Ted Bushelman Legacy Award for Creativity and Excellence to be presented at the annual ACI-North America Marketing & Communications Conference. The award is named for its first recipient, Ted Bushelman, who served as Senior Director of Communications, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport for 40 years.
The award will go to an individual nominated and selected by his or her peers in the airport industry. This special award recognizes the values, accomplishments and creativity of airport marketing and communications professionals who also share those talents and contribute to the legacy of professionalism experienced throughout our meetings and programs. The Committee reserves the right to withhold the award any year when there are not suitable nominees.
The following criteria will be used as guidance when selecting an award winner. The recipient of this award must have a minimum of 15 years experience in one or more of the disciplines represented by the Marketing and Communications Committee. Those disciplines include:
- media relations
- community relations
- aviation education
- customer service
- marketing, and
- air service development
In addition, the individual who is selected must have a record of demonstrating his or her skills, expertise, and professionalism in some or all of the following areas:
- Promotes the professionalism of the marketing and communications disciplines within the airport industry;
- Has a history of generating and embracing new ideas to promote and support his or her airport’s programs and services;
- Actively shares his or her knowledge and experience with other marketing and communications professionals within the airport industry;
- Participates in the ACI-NA Marketing and Communications Committee and attends its programs; and
- Promotes the importance, and advances the understanding, of airports and aviation within the broader community.
- 2008 - Ted Bushelman, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
- 2009 - Michael Conway, Detroit Metropolitan Airport
- 2010 - Jerry Staples, Halifax International Airport
- 2011 - Tara Hamilton, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
- 2012 - Patricia Rowe, Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport
- 2013 - Not awarded
- 2014 - Lucinda Harshman, Pittsburgh International Airport
- 2015 - Carolyn Fennell, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
The ACI-NA Inclusion Champion Awards celebrate the proactive and innovative steps taken by a large hub, medium hub and small/non hub airport and an associate for their successful achievement in the inclusion of new business, workforce inclusion and professional development through a sustainable model. This is a unique opportunity for our industry to recognize the practices of three airports and an associate that demonstrate a commitment to diversity in our industry. Nominees for these four awards must have demonstrated a body of inclusionary work, not just a single program and/or project.
The awards will be given in four categories: large hub airport, medium hub airport, small/non-hub airport and associate.
The eligible airports must demonstrate commitment in the following three categories:
Business Inclusion: The airports must demonstrate sustained practices that result in positive participation of small businesses in relation to overall procurements. Opportunities should include concessions, construction, design, suppliers and professional services. Small business participation must represent diverse businesses including, disadvantaged business enterprises, minority-owned business enterprises, woman-owned business enterprises, airport concession disadvantaged business enterprises, and small business enterprises. Also demonstrate how this small business participation represents the diversity in your region including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, culture and gender.
Workforce Inclusion: The airports will be scored on the success of its employment practices that demonstrate inclusion and diversity. The program will be scored based on recruitment practices that demonstrate inclusion of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and gender diversity of workforce.
Development: The airports will be scored on the success of its programs to develop future aviation industry professionals and promote inclusion of all individuals, especially in educational institutions, vocational programs, colleges and universities in its geographic areas.
The eligible associate must demonstrate its efforts in three categories:
Business Inclusion: The associate must demonstrate sustained practices that result in positive participation of small businesses in relation to the overall procurement of the associate. Opportunities should include concessions, construction, design, suppliers and professional services. Small business participation must represent diverse businesses, including, disadvantaged business enterprises, minority-owned business enterprises, woman-owned business enterprises, airport concession disadvantaged business enterprises, and small business enterprises. Also demonstrate how this small business participation represents the diversity in your region including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, culture and gender.
Workforce Inclusion: The associate will be scored on the success of its employment practices that demonstrate inclusion and diversity. The program will be scored based on recruitment practices that demonstrate inclusion of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and gender diversity of workforce.
Development: The associate must demonstrate its commitment to the communities it serves in ways that enhance development and promote the future growth and diversity of the aviation industry profession, especially in educational institutions, vocational programs, colleges and universities in its geographic area. The associate will be scored on its practice of inclusion by involving other businesses with the intent to enhance their development in the aviation industry. Scoring may include the practice of involving regional participation in relation to an airport the associate is servicing.
Large Hub Airport - Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport;
Medium Hub Airport -Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority;
Small Hub Airport –-Columbia Metropolitan Airport; and
WPBs/Associates – Hudson Group
2013 Airport – San Diego International Airport
2013 WBPs/Associates – Hudson Group
2014 Large Hub Airport - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2014 Medium Hub Airport - Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
2014 WPBs/Associates - HMS Host
The Excellence in Airport Communications Contest has been in existence since 1990. The Airports Council International-North America’s Marketing & Communications Committee sponsors this annual competition. This contest allows ACI-NA to recognize the quality of work, abundance of talent, and creativity within the marketing and communications field of the airport industry.
The Excellence in Airport Marketing, Communications, and Customer Service Awards honors airport professionals that offer expertise and talent in a variety of categories including web site design, annual reports, newsletters, advertising campaigns, special event planning and more.
A major component of the contest is the judges’ selection of the recipient of the Peggy G. Hereford Excellence in Communications Award. This award symbolizes overall achievement in an airport’s marketing and public relations programs, honoring the creativity and effectiveness of the airport’s staff.
Deadline: The contest is open from June 22 and close on August 31. The winners will be announced in November in Nashville during the 2015 Marketing and Communications Conference.
Since 1997, ACI-NA has granted Environmental Achievement Awards to recognize its airport members that strive to protect and preserve the environment through their programs, initiatives and projects. Established by the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee, the annual Awards acknowledge the hard work and achievements of ACI-NA members by promoting awareness more broadly within the airport community, the general public and regulators of the many notable and innovative efforts being undertaken by environmental professionals at airports.
Environmental and planning staffs at our airports deserve recognition for their efforts in developing and implementing programs that protect the environment while keeping their airport’s projects on schedule, minimizing community and regulatory controversy and using creative means of maximizing overall cost-benefit.
Awards may be granted in the categories of environmental management, mitigation, outreach/education/community involvement, and special/innovative projects. Entries will be judged based on environmental benefit, innovation, effective implementation, widespread applicability, and cost effectiveness.
In 2014, the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee launched a new category within the Environmental Achievement Awards that recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the Committee. Winners of the “Peer Recognition for Outstanding Individual Contribution and Leadership” Award are nominated by their peers within the Committee and confirmed by Committee Leadership. The annual award will provide a special member “thank you” and encourage continued contribution to ACI-NA and the aviation industry.
Entries: We have just completed the 2014 Environmental Awards and selected winners. We will begin accepting entries for the 2015 Environmental Awards in the spring